Expert Review: CAMP Geko Gloves
This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2019.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2019.
Originally meant for an upcoming ice climbing trip due to their dexterity, the C.A.M.P. Geko Ice Pro Gloves have been my go-to backcountry skiing glove ever since. Being low bulk, they make it easy to transition from downhill to uphill skiing without taking them off while keeping my hands plenty warm all day!
About this gear
- Model: 2019 C.A.M.P. Geko Ice Pro Gloves
- Size: XS
- Height: 5’3”
- Weight: 115 lbs
- Experience: 20+ years of camping and hiking
- When I bought them: May 2019
- Days used: 100+
- Weather conditions used in: Spring resort days, snowy blizzards, wet, heavy snow, light snow, and light rain
- Where I’ve used them: Utah
- Terrain: Backcountry and resorts
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for some ice climbing gloves for a trip I had been invited on. I knew I needed something I could wear while easily gripping ice tools, tying into and out of a rope, and clipping carabiners.
Why I chose this gear
I didn’t have a ton of options when I went looking for women’s ice climbing gloves since I have smaller hands, and most ski/snowboard-specific gloves are a bit bulky. They’re also too warm for ice climbing. I had heard of C.A.M.P. before and knew they specialized in ice and rock climbing gear, so I thought they were a trusty brand. Even more, they were the only brand with a small glove available in an ice climbing-specific model when I hit the local gear shop, and I was pleasantly surprised.
What I love about it
- Fit: These gloves fit me perfectly. My hand from the base of my palm to the tip of my middle finger is about six inches. I got a size XS and they are snug without being tight. There isn’t any extra room, which makes them both warmer and more dexterious.
- Comfort: The Geko gloves are also incredibly comfortable. They have a soft internal fleece lining, which is both comfortable and sweat-wicking to keep the hands from being too wet.
- Ease of movement: This particular feature made me purchase these gloves; they are really easy to move in. Prior to finding the Gekos, I had to remove whichever gloves I was using (Hestra Fall Lines, Hestra Helis, or a few various Gordini gloves have been the picks over the years) to buckle my touring boots, remove my ski skins, and transition my bindings when I got to the top of a backcountry ski run. As someone with circulation problems and constantly cold, this was detrimental to my well-being for the day to have to remove my gloves as it took soooo long for my hands to warm back up. These Gekos are so easy to move around in that I can do everything with them on. I am way happier throughout the day of skiing, and I’m sure my touring partners are, too, since I no longer complain about my cold hands as much.
- Waterproofing: These gloves don’t look waterproof, but they have a DryMembrane under the outer layer of the glove. I think such material is why when I have been in a few heavier wet storms, they have felt a little damp on the outside but my hands never felt wet or get cold.
- Breathability: Their breathability is another key feature that makes them an awesome ski touring glove. Though my hands are usually not too sweaty, I have used these on some hot days where I am sweating quite a bit, and I can tell the liner on the inside of the gloves is wicking away sweat really efficiently.
- Weight: Another key feature of ice climbing gloves is that they are usually pretty lightweight. Though I’m not sure of the total weight on these, the insulation is around four ounces, so I would guess each glove is around 8 ounces. They are much lighter than any other glove I have used, and I will usually throw them in my pack when I am hiking or backpacking in the late fall or early spring since they aren’t much to carry.
- Conditions: These gloves have really thrived in all types of conditions in the backcountry. The only thing these would not be awesome for is really cold resort days. Just because if I am riding chairlifts instead of walking up, I wouldn’t be exerting as much energy that would generate body heat, so I would want something a little more insulating.
- Features: The Gekos have a really durable yet elastic wrist leash and a nifty loop that can pull them on. These aspects mean that I don’t need to mess with a closure at all.
- Durability: I have put about 100 days on these between skiing, climbing, and just using them as a general glove when doing outdoor activities such as hiking/camping, and they still look brand new. They have no holes or tears, and the fabric isn’t thinning or looking worn anywhere. The fact that they were designed with mountaineering and ice climbing in mind truly shows.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Warmth: I have a pair of Hestra Helis if I am skiing on an especially cold day. These Gekos are insulated and really warm but mainly intended for aerobic activities where body heat is generated from sweating and movement. If I were to be riding chairlifts all day at a ski resort and not creating a ton of body heat on my own, I would wear my Heli gloves because they are a lot thicker.
- Touchscreen compatibility: The pointer finger and thumb are supposed to be touchscreen compatible, but I often have a hard time getting it to work with my iPhone. It’s about 50/50 in its effectiveness. I don’t usually use my phone a ton anyway, so it’s not a huge deal to me.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these gloves was the end of ski season in 2022 on a tour in Millcreek, Utah, with my pup and two friends. It was the coldest day we had all season, and we were all sort of miserable. When we got to the top and were ready to ski down, I started transitioning from “walk” to “ski” and was done in about two minutes. Both of my friends took around 10 minutes because they were trying to switch with their gloves on, but they were both wearing whatever bulky ski gloves they use at resorts that are not intended for being agile and maneuverable. One of them had a really complicated boot system that requires a person to twist to “ski” from “walk.” It took them both so long to switch, and they had to take their gloves off. It was kind of comical, though I’ll admit I totally felt for them because I have been the one with freezing hands taking my gloves off. My dog and I were just standing, ready to go, while all of this went on. Hower, it did also give me a few extra minutes to warm my dog's feet up before the ski down, which I’m sure she appreciated!
Value for the money vs. other options
I didn’t expect to use these gloves as much as I have. I am not someone who loves being cold, and ice climbing is not something I often seek out, but I was excited about going when I got invited and wanted to be ready. I spent a little over $100 on them at the time and didn’t have a ton of other options, so the juice was worth the squeeze to keep my hands happy on this trip. And as it turned out, they were totally worth it. They are cheaper than a lot of other backcountry gloves (such as the Hestra Fall Line Gloves at around $150) and have been so versatile. It was really shocking for me to be able to find a glove that fitted well, kept my constantly cold hands warm, and didn’t need to be taken on and off during ski transitions. I think these are a great product and would purchase them again even if I did have other options.
The C.A.M.P. Geko Ice Pro gloves are a really dexterous ice climbing glove that do an incredible job at keeping the hands warm and useable for backcountry skiing. They are really comfortable and soft inside, have a waterproof membrane to keep that cold snow or rain from soaking through, and don’t need to be taken off when transitioning from uphill to downhill during backcountry ski days. I have put about 100 days on them for different things between skiing, ice climbing, hiking, and camping, and they have yet to show visible wear. They are an awesome glove that I’m stoked I ended up purchasing, even though at the time, I thought I would only use them for a weekend trip.