The Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove is a winter glove that is made for mountaineers, guides and outdoor professionals. True… to a certain degree. Read de review!
- Price: € 149,95
- Weight: 220 grams
- Sizes: XS-XXL
If I just look at the specs of the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove this is one impressive winter glove. The outside is made from a combination of Pittards leather and a unspecified synthetic material while the interior is lined with the waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane and a PrimaLoft Gold synthetic isolation. The complete pair weighs on my precise scale 199 grams in a size S. Rab claims a weight of 220 grams but fails to mention what size this is.
A few years ago I visited Arc’Teryx at the moment that the famous $ 300 Alpha SV winterglove was designed. It was not production ready at that time. What I saw immediately was that that glove was going to be something special. When it came into the shops I also came to the conclusion that it was only for the happy few, who could afford it? Why this story? Well when I laid my eyes for the first time on the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove… I got that same feeling. Ok, almost.
The Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove is beautiful made. The Pittards leather is around the most part of the hand and on the inside the hand is protected with a double layer of leather. This part – that you wrap around a trekking/ski pole or ice axe – has a structure to make it less slippery. The lower thumb is made of a softer chamois leather and services as a nose wipe; or in my case to wipe rain off my spectacles. The top of the fingers and the shaft are made from this not specified synthetic material.
PrimaLoft Gold & Bemberg fleece
When I put my hands in the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove I notice that the first part of the inside of the glove shaft is made from this same synthetic material. This is good since water that might drip from the sleeves towards the glove will not wet the isolation material. On the spot where the arm stops and the wrist begins, I feel the soft Bemberg fleece liner. The PrimaLoft Gold isolation material is hidden behind this fleece. On the palm side of the hand the Bemberg fleece is silky smooth so I have good grip with the trekking poles. On the outside the fleece has more a ‘wool’ like structure. The funny thing is that the Polartec isolation on the palms side is 100 gr/m2 and on the outside 60 gr/m2. Since the inside is mostly well protected and the outside is vulnerable to wind and cold, I would expect it to be the other way around.
Rab uses a Gore-Tex membrane to make the gloves waterproof and breathable. A membrane is a very thin material with very small holes in it. Compare it to a plastic glove that you use at petrol stations if you the fill the car with diesel. The holes in the membrane are so small that waterdrops cannot go through the material but tiny water vapor – sweat – can. In this way your hands stay dry from the outside and the inside. This is good since wet hands get cold fast. This Gore-Tex membrane is situated directly behind the leather/synthetic outlays. The PrimaLoft isolation and the Bemberg fleece are on the other side. In the top inside of the fingers the membrane and the liner are attached to the outer shell. With this construction it is not possible to pull the inside out of the glove if the hands are a bit sweaty. This is the only proper way to construct a membrane and a liner in a glove. The leather is water repellant and doesn’t get too wet, by the way.
I do like the fit of the Rab Guide 2 GTX Gloves. My hands are a size 7 or Small. The Rab Guide 2 GTX Gloves fit me literally like a glove. The fact that the gloves are quite curvy preshaped is good too. It means that they have less material in the inside so when I grab around something there is not much wrinkled material in between. Also the curved shape minimalizes the effort that the hands have to do to curve it. On the long whole this is less energy consuming and prevent cramps.
- The shaft of the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove has a nice leather pull-on tab which makes putting on the gloves with slightly wet hands easy.
- The shaft has a good elastic band around the bottom and the shaft works super with a sleeve. It prevents cold draft is getting in or warm air escaping.
- The opening and closing can be done with one hand.
- The gloves can be attached to each other with a simple buckle. In this way they don’t get lost in your backpack.
- On both middle fingers on the outside is a rubber loop. This loop is handy if you want to attach the gloves to the outside of a backpack.
- Normally the opening of the shaft would point upwards and rain and snow can get in the glove. Using the rubber loops on the middle finger the shaft opening points downwards and is protected from rain and snow.
I have been using the glove during the early spring and in the fall this year. Partly in the Netherlands but also for a good part in the German and Austrian Alps. Thanks to the good pull-tab they are easy to put on even with wet hands from snow. The gloves are very comfortable to wear and are warm enough for lower temperatures. How low I dare not say since it depends a lot on how active you are. The grip is fine too.
I don’t have a lot of reasons to complain about the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove. After a good month of use there is not much wear and tear except from what I could expect. They have proven to be waterproof and breathable. In that respect they are made for ‘mountaineers, guides and outdoor professionals’ like Rab claims. Except for one thing. I don’t consider myself as one of the three; I am just a regular guy who loves the outdoors. In my use I don’t wear it down too much on sharp rocks and ice but I use the gloves in combination with an axe and chopping wood. I also use the glove with cooking and pots and pans. And for this kind of use the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove is not good enough. On top of the thumb the leather is attached to a piece a synthetic material. When lifting a pan of the stove the heat from the burner melted the synthetic fabric, leaving a seam open and exposing the Gore-Tex layer underneath it. So if you are a ‘outdoor professional’ or just a guy or girl like me: don’t use the gloves near heat.
Overall I am quite positive about the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove. It is easy to put on and it is a warm and comfortable winter glove. I also like the features that I would need in a winter glove: like the loops to hang them on a backpack, the closure of the shaft and the softer nubuck material at the thumb to wipe my nose (or glasses). The combination of Pittards leather and synthetic material is understandable for weight and comfort and for a certain degree also for the durability. Regarding this durability… Question for the Rab designers: what is the purpose of the synthetic fabric on the thumb? I don’t think there is a reason except for the design and in this case it is design before function. The Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove would be a better glove ‘for mountaineers, guides and outdoor professionals’ without the synthetic fabric on this spot. One last remark on the design: the gloves look way more expensive than they are and that is a positive thing. The Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove retails for € 149,99/ £ 110,00/$150.00 and that is fine. I rate the Rab Guide 2 GTX Glove at 8,2 point out of 10 total.