Cloudveil Troller Gloves
November 1, 2005-- Thirteen or fourteen years ago, my great friend
Allen Hawkes introduced me to the practical pleasure to be found
in owning a good pair of leather work-type gloves for skiing.
It was about this time that my days each season on snow really
began to pile up, night skiing at the area or by the light of
the moon in the mountains around my house after work, stolen
early morning hours of touring before heading to the office,
and as many long, full days as possible... racking up around
50+ days in the backcountry, and another 50 or so at the resorts.
Technical backcountry gloves and mittens
have a hard time standing up to the wear and tear associated
with this level of use, and after blowing through a couple of
$100 plus pair by early March one year, Allen, who grew up as
a skier in southern Idaho and knew about these things, came home
from a visit to his parents with a couple pair of really nice
elk skin gloves. The kind you would expect to see on the hands
of an Idaho rancher. "These are what you need to use when
the weather is good, save those spendy gloves for when you really
need them," Allen advised. Ever since, I have had a good
pair or two of leather "work gloves" in my ski bag,
and they continue to see many days of use each season.
Fifty, sixty or more days a year, and this
is definitely the way to go if you want your technical gloves
to stay in decent shape and perform well for a season or two.
So it was with great interest that I began
what turned out to be a very long test of Cloudveil's Troller
gloves. At $70 per pair they are a high end leather work glove,
to be sure. And with their Schoeller panel across the back of
the hand for breathability, as well as a plush fleece lining,
I had to wonder if maybe Cloudveil had taken the idea of a basic
leather glove and souped it up to the point where it would lose
some durability, the main thing that makes this kind of glove
attractive in the first place.
Two full years, and many dozens of days of
use later, the answer is unequivocally no. If anything my Trollers
look like they have become tougher with age and use. The leather
has taken on the burnished look of a working man's hand.
Plush and with a supple feel, the Trollers
are a pleasure to slip my hands into every time I pull them out,
especially on cold mornings or windy winter afternoons. They
slide off and on very easily compared to more form fitting gloves
I've used, and while some gloved-hand dexterity is sacrificed
for this, being able to slip them off easily when I need full
use of nimble fingers for a minute or two of photography, for
instance, makes the Trollers very easy to work with under a variety
Several important features set the Trollers
apart from hardware store-style leather work gloves: most importantly,
they are made using high quality, water resistant leather, and
they are designed and built with a snow and wind-sealing inner
cuff around the wrist. These are mission-critical features for
gloves intended to be used while working in the mountains and
out on the snow. Far less important, but always nice to have,
is the snot wipe panel built across the back of the thumb.
One note, with their Primaloft insulation
and fleece lining, the Trollers are surprisingly warm for leather.
Unlike other all leather gloves I've owned, I am not afraid to
take them out on cold, dry days. This makes the Trollers a little
less appealing for warm spring corn days, that's probably why
Cloudveil offers a Spring Troller model with larger Schoeller
panels and less insulation.
This is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words. At
right is a photo taken earlier today of my Troller gloves after
two full years of use and testing. They remain as water and weather
resistant as when they were new.
For this kind of glove, the Trollers don't
come cheap, but they are nearly half as expensive as the good
technical gloves they preserve, and based on my experience, they
should last for years of hard use.
Comfortable, warm and very durable, what
a great combination for those who spend a lot of time outdoors
in the winter!