Columbia Mountain Monster ReviewOctober 3, 2012
- Pre-curved fingers and stretch panels made it easy to flex and grip
- Light weight
- Goatskin and cowhide leathers were durable
- Pull-to-release closure on the gauntlet
- Wrist elastic was located too close to the hand; would be better down on the wrist
- Gloves weren’t particularly warm
- The leather on the front of the fingers should be wider to prevent wear on the nylon on the sides of the fingers
These gloves are straight in the middle of the pack – acceptably functional, but certainly not the best in their class, especially at this price.
The Mountain Monster gloves use Columbia’s proprietary synthetic insulation, backed up with its eye-catching Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective lining (a metallic-looking lining that supposedly reflects heat back at your hand).
Warm down to the 20s F
The Mountain Monsters were very comfortable until the mercury fell into the low teens and single digits, but colder temperatures made for cold hands. The insulation was somewhat thin and it wasn’t as warm as other gloves that are similarly priced.
Columbia’s Outdry waterproof membrane is laminated directly to the outer layer to keep water from building up just under the shell of the glove. It managed moisture very well.
The construction of the gloves made the nylon on the sides of the fingers somewhat vulnerable to wear – if the leather on the front of the finger was wider the nylon would be less exposed and abraded, though there wasn’t any tearing of the fabric during the test. (The palms and fronts of the fingers were goatskin as were panels on the backs of the fingers. A cowhide patch reinforced the high-wear areas.)
Features & Design
There was a nice closure on the gauntlet that released by pulling, which eliminates having to squeeze a cord lock to release the closure.
The pre-curve built into the fingers and the stretch panels on the back gave these gloves good flexibility, and the leather was durable in work environments and had adequate grip when caked with snow.
The elastic gathering at the wrist was placed too close to the hand for comfort – it felt tight around the base of my hand and would have been better placed farther down on the wrist.
Wet hand test – no bunching
I didn’t expect the Omni-Heat lining to be so comfortable against my skin, but the metallic look was at odds with how cozy the lining felt on my hand. The lining fit well and didn’t bind up unmanageably when I was putting the gloves on and taking them off over wet hands.