The Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno is a mostly leather design that is very dexterous and exceptionally durable. Despite the Jalapeno's name, it's just an average warmth option for skiers and snowboarders who frequent areas that aren't as cold (above 15F) or for people who are more warm-blooded these could be a great option. The leather on it is softer and more subtle than most and has a quick break-in time. The fit is also awesome and helps give it some of the best dexterity of any glove in our review, allowing it to do simple tasks like buckling boots and zipping zippers easy. The Jalapeno also has a bunch of small features that are pretty nice, like the easy to tighten and loosen gauntlet and cozy nose and goggle wipe.
Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno Review
Cons: Not as warm as many other gloves we tested
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno Glove vs. The Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno OutDry Glove
The Jalapeno Outdry is now available and retails for $110, $15 less than the Jalapeno. Outfitted with Thermal.Q™ Elite, the Jalapeno OutDry is similar to the original Jalapeno, but now has OutDry®, what Mountain Hardwear refers to as a "breathable membrane bonded directly to the shell fabrics to full seal out water, wind, and cold." While we have not tested the OutDry, we have contacted Mountain Hardwear to confirm the differences.Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the Jalapeno Outdry shown on the left and Jalapeno pictured on the right.
The Jalapeno was one of the more dexterous in our review. It could accomplish all but our most complex tasks during testing. While wearing them one could easily buckle boots, open a locked car door, take photos with a camera, tie shoe laces and even write with a pen in a notebook. Though close, the Jalapeno didn't perform quite as well as our Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Alpha SV Glove. Even thought it wasn't quite as dexterous as the Alpha SV, it was the only option in our review we could consider dexterous enough that you could ice climb in. Just barely behind the Jalapeno was our OutdoorGearLab Top Pick, the Outdoor Research Magnate.
Warmth and Breathability
As a result of having less insulation, the Jalapeno is noticeably less warm than other models we tested. This is part of why the Jalapeno had such good dexterity, and makes them a better option for folks who don't get cold hands. We think it would be okay for resort skiing and snowboarding down to around 15F but would work okay for colder temps while backcountry skiing or mountaineering. We thought they were around the same warmth as the Black Diamond Squad and the Black Diamond Rebel and a little warmer than the Rab Guide.
Durability was one of the strongest points for the Jalapeno. The palm is completely covered in a goat skin leather along with much of the fingers, the rest is a beefy nylon that proved to hold up to even the harshest of users. Having used this glove for over forty days it is still looking great. The only product that might be more durable is the BD Guide or the BD Legend, and we think the Jalapeno is more durable than the OR Northback Sensor or our OutdoorGearLab Top Pick award winner the OR Magnate, as well as far more durable than the price pointed Columbia Air Chamber.
Features and Ease of Use
The Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno has a unique, easy to use and super effective gauntlet closure system that was among our favorites in the review. To tighten it, you simply pull on one side with one gloved hand and to loosen you pull on the other. Simple but awesome. We liked the nose wipe on the thumb of the Jalapeno and while there wasn't a wrist strap like on many other models we tested, the elastic did a great job of holding our hand in place.
Value and the Bottom Line
This is a great product for resort skiing and snowboarding in warmer temps above around 15F or backcountry ski touring. It is also a good option for general mountaineering and alpine climbing that would also even work okay for ice climbing because of its dexterity. At $125, it's a little less expensive than a lot of other mostly-leather modeled designs we tested like the Black Diamond Rebel. Though compared with several others, it was less warm.
— Ian Nicholson