Marmot Ultimate Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Well designed features, tough as nails, dexterous
Cons: Not as warm as other high-end ski gloves, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Marmot was first known for their equipment that was suited towards expedition mountaineering. Large expedition tents, down sleepings bags, down suits, and a variety of other gear was created, and they even were one of the pioneers to use Gore-Tex fabric. Shift to today, and we enter modern-day Marmot which makes gear for every occasion. Especially resort skiing, and their flagship glove, the Ultimate ski glove, exemplifies its name.
Oddly enough the Ultimate was not a very warm option. We felt that this was a great choice when it was over 15F, or when sized with a liner, a great cold-weather option. The lack of warmth comes from a very close-fitting palm that packs out a bit as the glove is worn, adding to the dexterity and "broke-in" feeling of the palm increase. When used in a backcountry setting, we found that the glove was plenty warm, slightly too warm for any uphill travel, and did a fantastic job on the descent in cold temperatures. The large cuff was able to seal on all of the testers' coats to keep heat in. Overall, not a very warm pick but warm enough for the average resort skiing day.
A big factor in the lack of warmth of this glove is the increase in dexterity that comes with it. A thin layer of Primaloft gold covers both layers of the hand and allows for a close feel of the ski pole. With such a durably designed palm, we were surprised at how well this glove functioned in our lab dexterity testing. We were able to select a key from a keychain easily and open a door, something other gloves could not do.
After the initial treatment of the leather, this glove was able to shed water well and never wetted out on any testers during a day of skiing. With all of the stitching located on the palm, it was a concern that water ingress would be able to exploit these areas. Surprisingly, the glove did excellent in our water testing benefiting from the Gore-Tex insert AND a wicking lining that separated itself from the other gloves in the test. We felt that in addition to a waterproof outer, if a glove was effectively able to remove moisture from your hand via wicking it away, then it was even further weather resistant.
This is where the Ultimate ski glove shines. Ski patroller, ski bum, a resident of a resort town, will all rejoice when considering the durability of this glove. When you analyze the construction of the glove, you can see why it is built to last. From the reinforcements on the palm, the stretch panels covering the knuckles on the back of the fingers, and the oversized plastic tensioner and thick brightly colored wrist cord, this piece of kit was built for the long haul. You can't ask for much more in a glove this dexterous, as durability usually decreases the dexterity of a glove due to thicker leather separating your fingers from the surface to an even greater extent.
What a masterful execution of features Marmot has been able to do with this glove. Oversized and exaggerated controls cover the glove from the thick and easily adjustable wrist strap to the massive gauntlet cinch; each feature increases ease of use just a tad more. One feature we sorely missed was a solid nose wipe on the thumb. Instead, your nostrils are greeted with another leather reinforcement! We can't really fault the glove for this, but we did hold back a point due to this detail and the lack of a finger mounted loop for stowing. Overall each feature that exists on the glove is perfectly executed and built to last.
This glove has a pretty high value, since it should last for multiple seasons. Our testers found that there are warmer and just as durable gloves on the market for the same price. We have seen its price creeping up over time, though…Inflation?
When you spend most of your time carving arcs at the resort and riding the chair to the top of the peak, you look for a durable, dexterous, and weatherproof glove. The Marmot Ultimate ski glove is that. While it does lack in the warmth category, it is a great pick for the majority of days on the local ski hill.
— Jeff Rogers