I recently reviewed the Alpine Alibi II Gloves from Outdoor Research concluding that they were a great protective gauntlet, but I did have a few issues with the fit, particularly the thumbs.So how do the Men’s Luminary Gloves compare?
Well the Luminary is a gauntlet style glove but rather than having full waterproof protection via a Gore-Tex insert, OR have gone for a Gore Windstopper fabric instead. As a result the Luminary does offer fantastic weather protection (100% windproof, very breathable), but it is not waterproof. As such it performs best in cold and dry climates such as those found more regularly in the European Alps.
Outdoor Research say: “Technical ice climbing gloves designed for elite climbers, the windproof Luminary Gloves™ provide excellent dexterity while shielding from brutal weather conditions. Incredibly versatile three-in-one gloves.”
I’ve used the Luminary Gloves in Scotland this winter, whilst ice and mixed climbing and also in the Alps for skiing and climbing. They’re my current favourite gloves as they are so comfortable and versatile and this time, the fit is perfect for me (my test pair are Size Small). Again, fit is all down to you and not every glove will fit you perfectly. It’s really important to try them on before buying them. I find that the Luminary Gloves are warm but incredibly dexterous and I will quite happily lead technical ice and mixed pitches in these.
I sometimes swap the removable fleece liners for a thinner silk pair on harder leads and this works fine without compromising the performance other than reducing the warmth a little. With some modular gloves in the past I’ve had issues with removing and replacing liner gloves, but not so with the Luminary, it all works very smoothly.
Warmth wise, the Luminary is marketed as a warm glove being suitable for a temperature range of -4 to -17 degrees C. I suffer with cold extremities due to poor circulation but have found these will keep my hans adequately warm in temperatures down to -10 C even when stationary, so they are definitely a warm glove. It is important to remember though, that as your gloves get damp, they will be less effective at insulating and this is why I always carry two or three pairs and swap between them, drying the others next to my skin.
Now let’s have a look at the features in a little bit more detail. The 100-Weight Fleece Removable Liner is comfortable, insulates effectively and fits well. It also slides in and out of the shell easily and is not hindered by the shell’s microfleece lining. This can be a problem with removeable liner gloves particularly when things get damp. The WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell 94% nylon, 6% spandex fabric is windproof, flexible and more breathable than a full on waterproof fabric, but the downside is it is less likely to keep your hands dry when the precipitation really kicks off.
The combination of the 100% goat leather palm and fingers and the flexible soft shell fabric means that the luminary gloves are both durable and tactile. I can do most tasks in a pair of these, they have taken on multiple abseils too and are still looking pretty new.
I really like the cinch closure system which is easy to operate both on and off. These are a gauntlet glove and I feel that the extra protection this offers does not compromise flexibility. I also like the idiot loops which greatly reduce the risk of me dropping them when I do take them off.
So, I can conclude that The Luminary Gloves are awesome. They fit perfectly (for me), are well made, flexible and warm. Dexterity is great for a glove of this warmth too and I can highly recommend them for everything from technical ice to ski mountaineering. A great offering from OR and well worth the £100 as far as I’m concerned.
- RRP: £100
- To find out more visit the Outdoor Research website.