A little over a year ago I read an article on Gossamer Gear’s website from Will Rietveld – gear reviewer extraordinaire. Will pointed out the benefits of Nitrile coated gloves in applications for backpacking when there was a need to have some palm padding. I determined this would be especially beneficial when bush-whacking, rock scrambling, gathering firewood, and generally hands-on uses.
To be fair, most of my backpacking is done in a manner where I exercise a significant amount of due diligence when it comes to putting myself or my gear in harm’s way. For example, in as much as I like fires, I rarely light them because I’m usually hiking during daylight hours and sleeping shortly after arriving to camp. I also don’t want to fuss about dealing with local regulations, gathering wood, being responsible for Leave No Trace ethics, or dodging burning embers, etc. This isn’t to say I don’t love fires, which I do, but when moving fast and light, sometimes it is just easier to hike and sleep.
Now with that said, when outside of my “normal” kinds of trips, I do find myself being somewhat unconventional. Whether it is gathering firewood or rock scrambling, it is in these moments that a decent pair of gloves makes sense. Since the release of Rietveld’s original article, I’ve been on the lookout for a pair I liked. Unfortunately, most options were poor. The typical gardener’s glove I found to be heavy and poor fitting. The breathable back was also a little too thick and the nitrile coating was generally in such abundance that the glove would maintain its own shape even without a hand in it.
Recently I was doing some work on my car and ended up at our local AutoZone. While browsing for the parts I needed, I came across “The Roc”, a nitrile-coated glove from Magid Glove and Safety Manufacturing Company. These were thinner than the standard gardener gloves and the actual nitrile coating was also less robust. The result was a snuggly flitting glove which allowed for great dexterity and offered significant palm protection with back-of-hand breathability. Like my merino and possumdown gloves, I can wad these up and twist them as they extremely pliable.
I’ve been on three trips with them thus far to include fidgeting around the yard. In this time I’ve come to the conclusion that these gloves are exactly what I was looking for. If you need something similar, give them a shot. They are extremely lightweight and are usually around $5-6.