The North Face Montana Futurelight are warm, well-designed, versatile gloves, good for a multitude of mountain escapades – but don’t expect too much from the Etip.
- Warm and waterproof
- Recycled materials used
- Etip touchscreen feature ineffective
- No nose wipe on thumb
Marketed primarily as a skiing and snowboarding glove, the North Face Montana Futurelight Etip is actually a good all-rounder, and can also be used by walkers and hikers out and about on the hills in cold conditions.
The thermal insulation is provided by TNF’s proprietary Heatseeker Eco technology, almost three-quarters of which is made from recycled synthetic material. On top of this, the big brand’s Futurelight membrane insert is both breathable and waterproof, preventing moisture from getting in or building up inside the glove, even when you’re working hard on the trails and slopes. The outer also has a water repellent finish, to stop the glove getting sodden.
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The drawcord secured wrist and extra fastener across the back of the hand both help to keep body-warmed air trapped in, and stop chills and snow finding their way in. There’s a synthetic leather palm, a wrist leash to stop accidental drops and the index finger features fabric that purports to work with touchscreens.
• RRP: $70 (US)/£75 (UK)
• Unisex: Men’s and Women’s versions available
• Sizes: S–XXL
• Materials: Shell: DryVent 100% nylon plain weave; Fabric: polyester (55%) and polyurethane (45%); Insert membrane: Futurelight; Lining: 200g Heatseeker Eco
• Weight (men’s large, per glove): 101g/3.5oz
• Colours: Black / Taupe
In the field
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip is wonderfully warm glove, with a comfortable and relaxed design, and a range of excellent features that make it extra functional in the frosty field.
The Heatseeker Eco insulation does a good job of keeping hands toasty warm, with lots of assistance from the intelligent design of this glove. The full-length gauntlet is easily long enough to stay securely in place under jacket cuffs, and the elasticated fastener pulls the mouth of the glove tightly shut, providing the first line of defence against the ingress of snow or cold drafts. This is supplemented by a ladderlock wrist-cinch on the top of your hand, which keeps body-heated air in, and your fingers stay warm right to the tips, thanks to the fourchette-box construction of the glove.
The synthetic leather palms are durable, and work well with poles, and the glove’s shape keeps hands in a naturally neutral position, which feels comfortable.
In theory, you can use a phone and other touchscreen devices with these gloves, as you can with all the Etip range gloves. In practice, however, while you can sometimes swipe between screens, it’s hard to do much else with a fingertip that is so well padded. For our money, the insulation on a glove designed for snow-conditions use is more important than the ability to use a touchscreen, but if you’re following a cross-country trail on an app and you need to keep checking your device, it might become frustrating. Thankfully, both gloves in the pair feature an elasticated wrist leash, for keeping the gloves secure if you do remove them to perform a task (such as checking your phone).
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