|Montane Prism gloves - image courtesy of montane.co.uk website|
My experience of the Prism gloves came in the Cairngorms on a seriously windy day (60-70mph gusts and constant 45mph). We'd started in the Sugar Bowl car park just around the corner from the road up to the Cairngorm Mountain car park, walked via the icy and snowy Chalamain Gap and down into the Lairig Ghru before heading back into the Rothiemurchus Forest. We'd stayed low due to the high winds which just got increasingly intense through the day.
|Into the Lairig Ghru - furiously windy to the extent that standing up proved an issue!|
The main issue was taking photos that day as it was an incredible weather day and atmosphere. Added to the fact that my friend had lost her phone, I ended up taking a few photos and cold hands followed! I did have a pair of mitts in the bag and had already replaced my wet gloves but neither pair were touchscreen compatible.
My friend suggested her (men's small) Prism gloves which I just about managed to wriggle on! I wore them for about 2 hours.
I kept them on until we got lower in the forest as the wind was blowing incessantly until about 400m. In this time I took several photos with the Prisms and my hands instantly warmed up and stayed warm. The windchill that day was around -11C.
So here are my observations...
These are brilliant gloves if you need some quick warmth on your fingers. Yes, mitts are often warmer but I found these warmed my cold hands very quickly, within a minute or so. It wasn't raining so I can't comment on that but we all know that synthetic insulation like Primaloft does stay pretty warm when wet.
The gloves are very lightweight and pack down very small (Montane show them to be about the size of an apple). In terms of sizing, I found that I could put on a pair of mediums in the shop but went for a large in the end. My hand circumference is somewhere in the region of 22 inches - if that helps!
The outer material is pertex so of course it isn't very strong. I personally wouldn't use them for any kind of scrambling or lots of hand on rock. I wouldn't use them with poles for any length of time either. Something like the Super Prism with the added hypalon on the palm would work better for this (these are also warmer with more Primaloft in) - or gloves with a more resilient outer fabric. These aren't designed for intense use though, so don't think of them like that.
The touchscreen element (like many other gloves) is fine when touching the screen to access the phone and get to your apps but I found I really had to hit the screen a few times to take a picture or even to open apps. This isn't uncommon on touchscreen gloves, however. The 2019AW version has a black plasticy kind of outer fabric on the fingers for the touchscreen. These feel a bit flimsy and like they might 'crack' at any moment - time will tell. You always have Montane's guarantee to back you up however!
Update... having headed up to the Gorms in March 2020 during the amazing snow and weather I can now say the gloves do not work with touchscreen regularly, so if you are buying gloves for this, then like many other gloves they won’t work consistently!
|Coming back from Coire an t-Sneachda|
The Prism gloves will be an essential pair of gloves I'll pack and take with me as a backup pair or a general glove when it's cold. While expensive (despite getting them for a reduced price), I'd highly recommend them. If you need a warmer glove in the same ilk then get the Super Prism gloves. They are a bit less lightweight (but still very light and packable). The Super Prism gloves have a stronger palm and 130g of Primaloft and are slightly longer - but they don't have touchscreen compatibility. The regular Prism gloves are touchscreen compatible and have 40g of Primaloft in them.
I took a long time choosing between the Prisms and the SuperPrisms but in the end went for the Prisms for the touchscreen compatibility. I can get a liner glove underneath these and will use a cheap liner glove (with more resilient outer gloves). I don't think you can lose whichever glove you choose. Chris Townsend said in TGO Magazine that he'd used the Rab equivalent of the Prism and it was his now his go-to glove.
The choice is yours...!
|Some relief lower down in the Rothiemurchus Forest!|