The Rab Latok Gloves have a waterproof-breathable eVENT membrane. Features include Max Dry softshell exterior, fleece-lined interior, silicon gripper palm (red pattern), back of thumb flocking patch (to wipe your nose), and Velcro tab closure. Other than the fleece interior, the Latoks are not insulated.
We are all familiar with eVENT’s superior performance in shell jackets and pants, but how about gloves? For some reason, gloves with a waterproof-breathable eVENT lining are uncommon. Rab’s Latok Gloves are one of the few to be found, and Rab gear is now available in the United States through a growing network of dealers. How well does eVENT perform in a glove, and specifically how do the Rab Latok Gloves perform in a variety of activities?
My first observation on the Latok Gloves is that they run small. The extra-larges I tested fit more like larges (Rab plans to adjust the sizing).
The Latok’s layers consist of Rab’s Max Dry softshell outer fabric laminated to an eVENT membrane and a fleece lining (no insulation). I consider the Latok a cool, not cold, weather glove. In my testing, I found them to be comfortable while actively skiing or snowshoeing down to about 15° F – below that, and my fingers got chilly. However, on an extended winter camping trip in Yellowstone National Park, I found that slipping a shell mitt (Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt) over them made a huge difference in warmth. With the mitt and Latok Glove combination, my hands were warm in temperatures down to 0° F.
The Max Dry outer shell is a softshell fabric with some lateral stretch. Snow sticks minimally to the fabric and is easily brushed off (however, snow does stick to the Velcro closure on the gloves). The shell fabric performs much like PowerDry (which is more familiar in the U.S.), which dries out very quickly. Rab’s Max Dry has a pronounced DWR surface treatment to make water readily bead up and run off. However, like most softshell fabrics, it will wet out with prolonged exposure to moisture.
In use, the Latok Gloves performed exactly as I had hoped – they stayed dry inside, even in aerobic activities and warmer temperatures, when my hands tend to sweat a lot. A BIG problem I have had with other so-called “waterproof-breathable” gloves I have tried is that they accumulate moisture inside due to sweat, my hands get cold, then I need to switch to a pair of dry gloves. Not so with the Latoks: they effectively transferred moisture away from my hands and stayed dry inside. In normal use – which was mostly snow sports during the test period – the Latok Gloves resisted wetting on the outside, and when they did get damp, they dried out quickly. Overall, my hands stayed dry and warm.
Two annoyances with the Latok Gloves. First, the red silicon gripper material on the palm (left) tends to shred and peel off. It consists of two layers: the outer layer peels off, while the inner layer remains intact. Second, the gloves’ Velcro wrist closure (right) is bulky and does not easily slip under the sleeve of a shell jacket, so snow can enter the glove. I would prefer a simple elastic cuff.
Since the Latok Gloves have an eVENT lining, are they truly waterproof? Rab describes them as a “technical close fitting glove with eVENT membrane waterproof insert,” which gives the impression that they are waterproof. The short answer is…nope! When I immersed the gloves (with plastic liners inside filled with sand) in water up to the wristband for one hour, the gloves were soaked inside and out. After soaking they weighed 14.5 ounces, so they absorbed over two times their weight in water. Apparently the seams in the gloves are not taped (which we admit is very difficult to do in a glove) so water entered through the seams.
The bottom line is the Latok Gloves are highly breathable and highly water-resistant, but they are not waterproof. Keeping your hands warm and dry while actively hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing are reasonable expectations for any such glove. The Latok gets our recommendation because they actually meet these expectations.
Specifications and Features
|Year/Model||2008 Latok Glove|
|Fabrics:||Shell is Max Dry softshell, interior is brushed fleece Insulation: None, other than the fleece lining|
|Features||Waterproof-breathable eVENT membrane, Max Dry softshell exterior, fleece lined interior, silicon gripper palm, elastic wrist, back of thumb flocking patch, Velcro tap closure|
|Weight||Measured weight: 5.9 oz/pair (167 g) – Men’s Extra-Large|
Manufacturer specification: 5.6 oz/pair (160 g) per pair – Men’s Large