A good, general-purpose glove for hiking and hillwalking in winter and early spring, the Rab Power Stretch Contact Grip Glove is extremely lightweight, and offers excellent grip. The perfect pair of gloves to keep close at hand at all times.
Warmer than most gloves of similar design
Slightly extended cuff gives good wrist protection
Contact print on thumb and forefinger is smartphone-friendly
Fabric snags relatively easily
Not an ideal liner glove because of the tacky palm
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The Rab Power Stretch Contact Grip Glove is an unlined, all-purpose glove of relatively simple design. The Power Stretch Pro fabric ensures a close fit, and means they are a little thicker than most liner-style gloves, providing a greater degree of warmth.
They also have a slightly extended cuff compared to most gloves of this type, giving added wrist protection. Sensibly, the design is still low-profile, with a Lycra binding but no raised hem edging, so they slide easily underneath layers.
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The latest version also has a conductive print on the thumb and index finger, enabling you to use them with smartphones, which is an increasingly important feature for modern users.
• RRP: $40 (US) / £30 (UK)
• Unisex: Yes
• Sizes: XS, M, L, XL
• Materials: Power Stretch Pro with silicone print palm polyester (53%), nylon (38%), elastane (9%)
• Weight (per glove): 30g / 1oz
• Colors: Black / Deep ink
In the field
As a single-layer solution for hiking, biking and general hillwalking – rather than technical scrambling or winter mountaineering – Rab Power Stretch Contact Grip Gloves work really well.
The silicon grip on the palm is very tacky, ensuring a firm hold on things when you need it, but this isn’t really a glove for getting hands on rough rock regularly, as the fabric snags easily (as we found to our cost, when we tore a small hole in the palm).
Contrary to what Rab say, they’re not really practical for use as a liner glove either, worn underneath a thicker pair of mitts for example. That’s because the palm grip is too sticky to slide under other gloves or mitts easily, which perhaps makes these a little less versatile than other similarly lightweight alternatives.
Bear in mind that these gloves are not water-resistant, so they’re best suited to cold but dry weather. They are, however, very quick-drying thanks to the synthetic fabric. They’re also fairly breathable, so you’re unlikely to get sweaty palms unless you’re tackling a particularly scary mountain ridges.
This makes them versatile enough for multi-activity use, though personally I found them a bit too warm for high intensity pursuits like trail running. Still, as a general outdoor glove for frosty countryside walks or chilly days on the hills, we’d happily stash them in the lid of our rucksack.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.