Mountain Equipment bill the Randonee Gauntlet as a glove for big alpine style climbs, but given the name we decided to test its capabilities for ski touring too.
Mountain Equipment Randonee Gauntlet
The Randonee Gauntlet is the bigger brother of the original glove, now boasting an over-cuff for more protection around the wrist. Made with super-breathable Schoeller softshell fabric, super-durable Pittards leather palms and super-warm fibre pile insulation, and aimed at those on the uphill as well as the down.
For a winter mountaineering glove perhaps the most important consideration is insulation, and fibre pile is a superb choice here. Cosy and comfortable as well as being a very effective insulator, the added bonus is that fibre pile allows for an amazing amount of dexterity - so much so that I am more than happy using the fiddly buttons of a DSLR camera whilst wearing these gloves.
Another bonus of fibre pile is that its insulating properties hold up even when wet, which makes the combination with a non-waterproof softshell material, a very shrewd design choice. I've climbed dripping ice falls in these gloves and found them warmer than more expensive options.
The breathability of softshell and the bomber construction (enhanced by the high quality leather reinforcements) make these gloves almost the perfect package for winter pursuits.
There is slight room for improvement however, in the wind resistance, but that may hinder the breathability which is key to this 'Randonee' leanings of the glove.
With the low-bulk, low-profile of a much less insulating glove and the ability to breathe on the uphill as much as it warms on the down, the Randonee Gauntlet would be a bargain at a far higher price than the £85 rrp. Add in the dexterity offered by the construction, and this is as good as any glove I've ever tested.