There has been a lot of chatter about a new glove waterproofing technology coming out of Italy these days called OutDry, which completely laminates a waterproof membrane to the outer shell of a glove. This is different from other technologies used by GORE and Polartec, in that most other membranes are attached to the shell of the glove by only the finger tips and base…near the cuff. OutDry claims that since there are less places for “dead air” (and water vapor) to accumulate, gloves made with OutDry will be more waterproof, as well as more breathable and durable.
From what I can tell, so far, only one US company, Mountain Hardwear, currently uses this process to make their gloves. I was lucky enough to get a pair of gloves made with OutDry before my trip to Antarctica and Aconcagua, some Mountain Hardwear Medusa Gloves. Though the weather was too warm and sunny (thank you very much) to really need and use a warm glove in Antarctica, and too dry to really test the waterproofness of the gloves on Aconcagua, I have been doing my best to run them through the ringer since I've been back.
To start out with, the workmanship of these gloves is nice, with no stray threads hang off any of the seams, and the overall cut and fit of the glove was good...if not a little small. I am normally a size medium in gloves, but these mediums were a little tight. Not sure if this is consistent for all gloves made with OutDry...but maybe something to consider when purchasing. Some people have commented that gloves with OutDry are stiffer than others, but I'm not sure I would agree. The Medusa's have a leather palm and were just as stiff as any other leather glove I've owned. However, I did feel as though their dexterity was better, since there is a uniform attachment between the gloves layers...so less twisting and sliding around between them. Nice for when you're fiddling with boot buckles, zipping up your jacket or putting on crampons.
Testing the waterproofness of Outdry. Is that a snowboard binding on the television?
Durability has been good so far, but it's not like it's been snowing very much up here and the season's just getting started, so there will be more feedback in the spring, when things get wetter. As one would expect, they are totally waterproof right now. How do I know? Well, since it's hard to test waterproofness when it's zero degrees (F) out, so I sat for about a half hour last night with my hand submerged in a pitcher of water last night. I'd say a pretty darn scientific test if you ask me. And since there is less space for water and moisture to get trapped between the waterproof membrane and the outer shell, gloves with OutDry tend to dry better, and after soaking the pair I have in water, they dried within an hour over the heater. Pretty good considering.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to putting some more time in these gloves, trenching up couloirs, skinning through foggy wetness and generally using them as my warmer gloves in my backcountry kit. Anyone else have any experience with OutDry?!