Designed for use in what Montane describe as Cold Alpine conditions, the Sabretooth gloves are made from Polartec’s Power Shield fabric. Power Shield is a softshell material with a slight stretch to it, making the Sabretooth gloves flexible and adaptable. The Power Shield has been twinned with a gently ribbed, fluffy internal surface that traps a layer of heat next to your skin and makes them very warm when you’re doing activities. However, it’s also very breathable, so helps stop your gloves getting clammy and cold when you’ve been sweating.
The softshell backing of the gloves is teamed with a fully-lined leather palm, which works brilliantly in aiding grip, and in creating a rugged surface. My gloves are still fairly new, but the leather palm and fingers feel like they’d last quite well.
The stitching on the Sabretooth gloves is quite chunky, which you can certainly feel when you first put them on. The fingers are constructed in a box design, which makes them comfortable and keeps the seams off your fingertips.
Fit wise, I have a medium and am finding the fingers a fraction too long. I don’t piano-player’s fingers, but haven’t ever thought of myself as being the possessor of stumpy digits.
The thumb has a soft, absorbent section of what feels like suede. This works admirably for wiping glasses and gooey eyes.
The wrist of the Sabretooth glove is stitched with elastic, but Montane have avoided putting any heavy works in this area to keep the gloves compatible, and comfortable, when using leashed ice tools. I’d describe the wrist length as a medium – it’d cover the cuff of a jacket, but not keep out the worst weather.
Styling wise, the Sabretooth is typical of Montane’s gear. It’s a sort of understated but definitely outdoorsy-style. There’s a flash of orange stitching which echoes their logo, and a simple three-square detailing in reflective film on the forefinger. I like simple designs, so this is quite an appealing glove for me.
Polartec’s Power Shield is water resistant, and the gloves have quite a good DWR (Durable water repellent) applied to them so that water beads up and runs off the gloves. As far as I can tell the seams aren’t sealed, so I’d expect some ingress to occur in prolonged wet conditions. Power Shield is, however, 98% windproof, so if you DO get wet hands at least the wind won’t rob them of all your heat.
Priced at £50, these are in the realm of the more technical gloves available, but the price isn’t too bad at all for a full-leather palm and branded technical materials. Plus Montane is a British company which is always encouraging when you see the words ‘Lifetime Guarantee’ on the packaging.
SUMMARY: Light weight (110g) mountain gloves with a leather palm and breathable softshell back. They’re warm, windproof and water resistant, so would cope with any adverse conditions well, and continue to offer grip throughout. Appealing design. They are on the pricey side when compared to competitors though, which could rule out the less demanding customer.