The Couloirs are gloves for hard usage and tough conditions. With leather covering all the fingers, the palms and part of the back of the hands they should prove very durable for using with trekking poles, ice axes and climbing ropes. The pile and fleece inner should prove tougher than synthetic fills too. The thick pile covers the back of the hand for warmth while the thinner fleece is on the palm to reduce the bulk. The Couloirs are quite warm and should prove adequate for all but the most severe winter conditions. The short gauntlet style with a single-hand drawcord closure can be worn under or over a jacket sleeve. The fit is on the small size as the test sample, marked large, only just fits me and is tighter than the Lowe Alpine medium size gloves. If you need the durability these are good gloves. They are expensive though, £25 more than the similar Rab Guides.