Mountain Hardwear is pushing glove design a bit with their new OutDry extreme waterproof technology. We've been testing the men's Hydra glove, with a waterproof membrane welded directly to the soft shell outside, and it's a comer.
The Hydra is intended for alpine climbing, and as long as you understand the tradeoffs you'll love it. It doesn't have knuckle guards or a lot of insulation, and it fits snugly so if you want to wear anything thicker than the thinnest liner you may want to size up. With that in mind, the Hydra excels where you need waterproof dexterity. It has a medium thickness tough leather palm that provides excellent traction on your tools, an elastic wrist and a comfy fleecy lining inside.
The cuff has a supercool feature: there are two toggles, which confused my little climber's walnut brain at first. I finally figured out that one cinches down the cuff, and the other one – wait for it – loosens the cuff. Brilliant! No more pinching and pulling those munchkin-sized cordlocks to loosen the cuff before you slide it on over your jacket sleeve. Just crank it and yank it. The OutDry tech works as advertised too; it's always a good idea to have the membrane as far towards the exterior of a laminate fabric as possible, otherwise everything outside the membrane gets wet and compromises performance. None of that here. For its intended application the Hydra rules.