Lowe Alpine Raptor (2015)

Features

There is a little more warmth here than you get with some other similar gloves as the Lowe Alpine Raptor has Primaloft synthetic insulation. The palm is leather and there is a Triplepoint waterproof lining with stretch material on the back of the hand. There is a wrist leash that isn’t elasticated, and you get a cuff adjustment cord. The wrist itself is elasticated, with no additional adjustment. 4/5

Fit

This comes in unisex sizing of S-XL, and the L fitted me well. The thumb was a particularly good fit compared with others, being much closer than expected, while all the fingers were also a good fit. The cuff was a notch longer and wider than some, which allowed it to fit better over or under a jacket sleeve, while the cuff adjustment fine-tuned this fit. 5/5

Comfort

This glove feels great on the hand, although the closer fit does perhaps make it feel a

little more restrictive in terms of movement compared to some. But there is no bunching or snagging of material. I also like the insulation, which feels warmer than some lower-priced gloves, and it’s well-suited to typical winter hill days in the UK. 5/5

In use

The Lowe Alpine Raptor is great for holding ice axes and trekking poles, and it offers very good dexterity due to its closeness of fit. The wrist leash is well-designed too as it isn’t elasticated,

so gloves don’t catapult around but hang securely from your wrist when removed. The cuff adjustment is easy to use and overall the Raptor works well when hillwalking. 5/5

Value

This has more insulation than lower-priced gloves and better features than some pricier options, making it great value. 4/5

Verdict

The Lowe Alpine Raptor is superb for the price, with only small improvements available on some pricier options. 4.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine February 2015

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Montane Alpine Stretch (2015)

Features

For superior warmth, Primaloft Gold synthetic insulation is packed into the back of the hand and pile fleece is fitted to the palm. You get a long gauntlet design too for greater protection, the palm is leather and there is a nose wipe. And I really like the wrist leash along with the cuff adjustment drawcord and webbing buckle around the wrist. 5/5

Fit

The Montane Alpine Stretch is available in S-XL. I was sent the XL; its size appeared similar to that of an L in other models, and it fitted me well. Being able to cinch in the wrist and gauntlet cuff was a bonus that not all other gloves have but it was welcome. The lining didn’t snag or come loose in use either. 5/5

Comfort

This feels very comfortable on the hand, with no seams digging in or material snagging or bunching. The back of the hand and gauntlet feature Chameleon stretch fabric to ensure comfort and ease of movement, while a Freeflow waterproof lining keeps your hands dry and comfortable. 5/5

In use

The Montane Alpine Stretch feel great in use: it’s ideal for grabbing trekking poles and ice axes, and I was able to open buckles and zips wearing it too. There is slightly easier movement with it, as the leather isn’t too stiff, but it doesn’t feel quite as durable as those gloves with more leather that’s also thicker. All the cuff and wrist adjustment works well. 5/5

Value

Not the costliest and perhaps not the most durable, but a great price for a glove that should be ideal for most hillwalkers in the UK. 4/5 

Verdict

The Montane Alpine Stretch is hard to beat as an all-round general winter glove, but perhaps not the most durable option. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade. 4.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine February 2015

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