TESTED BY MARTIN
For deep winter skiing and for hauling ropes, whacking axes, shovelling snow and poling hard I like a burly work glove. Black Diamond’s Spark Gloves hit the spot – like a pimped up version of those amazing Chamonix-bin-men-gloves we all adore.
Great quality goat leather means they are supple yet dextrous and great for gripping ropes and tools.
The super-soft fleece liner is a joy to slip into (even when hands are damp) combined with PrimaLoft Gold insulation to keep you toasty. The fingers are spacious enough for my chubby digits, yet really well designed: no annoying thumb flap to snag in karabiners.
Any of you who dabble on the dark side and climb ice will appreciate the extra padding on the back of the hand; and all of you will use the suede goggle wipe to keep those lenses free of snow.
The pièce de résistance is the cuff closure. Hurrah – someone has actually designed a glove to be sleek at the wrist. Hence, they are an ‘inny’. That is, they fit effortlessly under any shell cuff to seal out the harshest weather.
With a great neoprene and ‘plenty of Velcro’ combo they will reliably close and won’t ice up. Slap on a bit of Nikwax to get them super-grippy and you are good to go.