Wildlife photography is an obsession for most requiring patience and persistence. Like the postal service, only more dependable, we brave the elements to get the shot. In fact, often times we seek out those miserable rainy days as they add a dimension to a wildlife photograph that a clear blue sky just can’t compare to. Enter the search for the perfect wildlife photography glove.
So what do you look for in a wildlife photography glove? My checklist included the following: windproof, waterproof, breathable, light weight, thin enough to work the camera controls but warm enough to withstand a bit of cold. I have purchased numerous gloves but there was always a compromise one way or the other.
I purchased the Mountain Hardwear Epic Gloves in Canada for $59 at the Live Out There Store about a year ago and I am happy to report that they are as close to the perfect waterproof photography glove as I have found. In fact I just ordered my second pair because I gave my first pair away to my Alaskan Bear guide Buck Wilde cause he liked them so much. When you first receive the gloves they are a little stiff and require about a week of dog walking and other chores around the yard to loosen up and become pliable. Once you’re through the break in period they loosen right up and working camera controls is a breeze.
These waterproof gloves also passed my dunk test. I immersed the gloves in a sink of water for 5 minutes which resulted in no water making it to my hands. As of this writing I have not been out for a full day in the pouring rain to see if they pass that test but I am hopeful given the result on the dunk test that they will hold up as a truly waterproof glove. One thing I particularly like about the Epic Glove is that they use a technology called OutDry®. The OutDry® membrane is directly bonded to the glove’s outer shell, eliminating the ability for wind and water to penetrate through the sewn seams of the shell which keeps your hands warmer and the exterior of the glove dry as opposed to those gloves that have their waterproof layer on the inside of the glove so the glove gets soaked and retains the water until you get home to dry them out.
From a temperature standpoint I’d say you’re good to about 0 °C (32 °F). I ordered large gloves and there is enough room to add a thin cotton glove inside so you might be able to push that limit a little before moving to a glove better suited towards sub zero temperatures. They are super lightweight, windproof and breathable so you can check those off the list as well.
Verdict: These waterproof gloves from Mountain Hardwear get a Cool Wildlife Photography two paws up.