Heads up on something excellent from The North Face. For decades I’ve sought the ultimate “thin glove” for ski touring. Criteria: Tight and form-fitting on the hands, waterproof-breathable membrane. Purpose: General use during warmer days, with warm hands, and handling snowy things such as ski bindings and climbing skins. Apparently TNF read my mind. Out they come with the CloseFit, a thin, read that T-H-I-N glove that includes a ePTFE layer (engineered by Gore-tex under their Infinium brand-extension).
Heads up on Infinium, it’s a variety of four fabric weights from Gore-Tex, comprising softshell and fleece, all with a ePTFE layer. From what I’ve seen, basically Windstopper engineered for the twenty-first century. Thin Windstopper gloves were always my go-to, excellent to see a reprise.
Constructed with the thin version of Infinium fabric, the CloseFit glove is formfitting and as my testing revealed, plenty breathable (though it’s still a membrane backed fabric, so you’ll want something 100% breathable for super-warm temperatures). TNF makes the gloves using a molding process with “30% fewer seams.” I’m not sure what that’s in comparison to (typical marketing spreech), but the CloseFit fits close, easily as dexterous as any other thin backcountry glove I’ve tried — and better than many.
About the vaunted lack of seams: I got a chuckle out of the unnecessarily taped hem fold, resulting in reduced stretch where you need the glove gauntlet to stretch when you insert your hand. I remedied this by cutting a small slit in the hem. I’ve got big hands, optional mod.
In all, a nearly perfect glove for warmer days when you handle wet and snowy gear. Recommended.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.