Cabela's Kangaroo Leather GORE-TEX® Thinsulate™ Shooting Gloves - A Field-Test Review
By: Dan Carlson
If your hunts sometimes have you hopping around in wet and cool weather, Cabela's Kangaroo Leather Shooting Gloves with GORE-TEX and Thinsulate will keep your fingers warm and dry down under.
The weather on the opening day of South Dakota's 2005 West River deer season was miserable on the plains north of the Black Hills. High-wind advisories were in effect and 50-mph gusts made the mixture of rain and sleet feel like birdshot hitting the face. Wind-chill factors were hovering around zero and temperatures were falling. If ever there was a day to test the limits of a pair of shooting gloves - that was it.
A few days before the hunt I purchased a pair of Cabela's Kangaroo Leather GORE-TEX®-lined Shooting Gloves, with 40-gram Thinsulate™ Insulation. I'd used a number of GORE-TEX and Thinsulate products in the past, including on a caribou hunt north of Alaska's Brooks Range, and had been impressed with their performance. Combining the two with kangaroo leather intrigued me because I knew this particular leather was several times stronger than regular cowhide. Once a pair was on my hands the sale was made. I couldn't resist the soft, supple feel of that kangaroo leather.
This particular glove is engineered to stay snug. Doing so enhances the dexterity, which is achieved, in part, by spandex inserts in the finger knuckles, back of the hand and wrist cuff. I found that the gloves flexed with my hand as I clenched a fist, and they returned instantly to a snug, comfortable fit when I relaxed my open hand. This ability to stretch and flex gives these gloves an edge over other leather shooting gloves I've used, which didn't immediately return to a uniform snug-fit position when flexed from fist to open hand.
I found grasping cartridges, loading, unloading and using a scoped rifle easy to do in the kangaroo leather shooting gloves. The only time I removed them in the field that cold, windy and wet day was to field-dress a deer and peel the backing off the adhesive deer tag. Unlike some brands of waterproof neoprene gloves, the gloves I was using were breathable and kept my hands and fingers from becoming moist with perspiration when I walked a half-mile stretch of thick cover and cattails. Velcro®-cuffs kept rain from running down my sleeves and into the gloves. As the driving rain continued, the glove leather on the outside did eventually become quite wet, but the GORE-TEX kept the water at bay outside the inner glove, and the Thinsulate did its job keeping my fingers warm.
In the near future I'll be going on a winter muzzleloader hunt north of the Black Hills. It will be a midwinter hunt, and you can bet I'll be using my Cabela's Kangaroo Leather GORE-TEX®- Thinsulate™ Shooting Gloves on that trip as well. In fact, I like the feel and performance of these gloves so much that I wear them most of the time when I'm outside and the weather is chilly.