For us photographers, the quest for new and better pieces of equipment is never over. It is not only about the gear either. The clothing, the bags, anything that simplifies our lives and helps us get the shot, matter too. And today, I review a recent addition to my ever-growing collection of photography essentials: the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 photography gloves.
I have been testing these gloves extensively for several weeks now and have been mightily impressed by their performance. Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 is a pair of really well-rounded photography gloves, so let us dive into what makes them so excellent.
Before we proceed, a quick disclaimer. I am not sponsored by Vallerret, paid for this article, or otherwise instructed on what to write. However, I did receive the gloves from them for review.
I do admit that I am probably a little biased. Not only because of the above but also because I love Vallerret as a brand. I used their products in the past, long before they got in touch, and will probably continue to do so in the future.
That said, my intention is to always be fully transparent and honest in the opinions I express. This Markhof Pro 2.0 review is no exception.
Lastly, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you buy anything through them, I might get a small commission. That helps me run Sunset Obsession, so if you found the review useful, please, don’t be shy.
Meet the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0
If you never heard of Vallerret before, they are a Norwegian brand specializing in making gloves for photographers. Here is how they express it themselves: “we design premium gloves customized to fit the needs of adventurous photographers in their battle against cold hands.”
The company was born in 2014 and by now has an entire range of products. Among those, the Markhof Pro model takes a special place. Not only is this Vallerret’s most popular and best-selling photography glove, but it is also the glove that started it all.
The Markhof Pro was originally designed in 2015 in collaboration with the German photographer Simon Markhof (hence the name). The intention was to create an everyday glove suited for landscape and travel photography in the usual European winter temperatures.
Fast forward to the present, the Markhof Pro 2.0 is a revamped version of that original hit glove. As somebody who used to own the first iteration, I am pleased to report that Vallerret improved on it in almost every way imaginable.
What defines a good winter photography glove? As Simon himself summarized it years ago, first of all, it must be warm. Then, it should allow for easy access to the camera dials. Finally, it needs to have a firm and secure grip.
With that in mind, let us now dive into the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 review. I will go through each of these criteria, see how well the glove performs, and share my own thoughts.
Markhof Pro 2.0 At a Glance
|Model name||Markhof Pro 2.0 Photography Glove|
|Materials||100 % Merino Wool inner|
Laminated soft twill
2 ply DWR suede
|Key features||FlipTech finger caps with magnets|
SD card pocket
|Price||€74,95 / $79.95|
The Look and Feel
I will start my Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 review with the overall look and feel. Now, don’t get me wrong — when buying anything photography-related, appearance should probably not be at the top of the list.
Still, fine feathers make fine birds, as they say. To put it simply, we all enjoy beautiful things. And, well, the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 definitely look the part, in my opinion.
Made of top-end materials such as goat leather, soft water-resistant twill, merino wool, and two-ply suede, they have a true premium feel to them. The gloves are soft, pleasant to the touch, and everything about them conveys quality.
Vallerret has obviously poured a lot of time and effort into making the gloves as comfortable as possible. The pre-curved build and jersey cuffs guarantee a snug fit, while the tacky rubbery finish on the inside ensures a reliable non-slip grip.
There is even a small zipped pocket on each of the gloves. These can be handy for keeping an extra memory card, hand warmers, microfiber cloth, or anything else of a similar size close to where you need them.
As an additional nice touch, one of the pockets comes equipped with a handy tripod key styled in the shape of Vallerret’s logo. No more desperately searching for coins for those who don’t have a D-ring screw!
Design is a matter of taste, of course, but personally, I like it a lot. For me, the Markhof Pro 2.0 represent an elegant mix of modern and classic. While overall more on the sporty side of things, the leather intakes are somewhat reminiscent of urban fashion.
Overall, I think it is safe to assume that Markhof Pro 2.0 will look great wherever you wear them.
The FlipTech Finger Caps
The central feature of all Vallerret gloves is the so-called FlipTech finger caps. This is exactly what makes them so wonderful for photographers.
Behind the somewhat fancy name hides a simple yet brilliant idea. The top parts of the index finger and the thumb flip back to reveal the fingertips. For added convenience, the flipped-out caps are then held in place by the small magnets.
This instantly turns a regular glove into a fingerless glove, allowing you to change the camera settings, operate the touch screens, and do countless other things without taking it off.
This is super handy for keeping hands warm, which is crucial in winter. After all, numb fingers are the number one enemy when shooting in low temperatures.
I have to mention that on the first generation of the Markhof Pro, the openings let in a fair amount of air from the outside, even when fully closed. That was arguably my main complaint about them — they just weren’t super warm as a result.
However, over the years, Vallerret has pretty much perfected the idea. In the current iteration, this problem no longer exists. The company kept the same slit-style design but tightened the sealing to minimize exposure to the outside temperature.
Personally, I like this approach even better than the one adopted on the Ipsoot model, where the caps overlap the rest of the glove when closed. It is more lightweight, works well, and exposes more of a fingertip.
The only minor issue I have is with the magnets. Sometimes, they do not seem to hold the flipped-out sections firmly in place. Occasionally, the caps come loose and get in the way.
Another important consideration when choosing a photography glove is the overall warmth. So, how warm are the Markhof Pro 2.0 really? Well, the short answer is — it is a reasonably warm glove well suited for many occasions. A more detailed response is, as is often the case, far more nuanced.
The thing is, cold is subjective, and different people experience it differently. So instead of assigning a temperature range for their products, Vallerret has developed its own warmth rating. According to it, Markhof Pro 2.0 ranks as mid-winter ready. That is right in the middle of the pack, in between the mild and deep winter.
In their own words, mid-winter rating indicates that “this particular photography glove is best suited for photo sessions in mid-winter temperatures and is a great choice as an Every-Day-Use glove in Winter.”
To me, there are both pros and cons in such an approach. There is certainly merit in trying to describe what the glove is actually for rather than simply slapping a number onto it. Still, it may be hard to understand what this translates to in practice. What I can offer is a couple of observations from my own field testing.
The Markhof Pro 2.0 are definitely warmer than the previous version. Vallerret has added a Thinsulate mid-layer to the already present merino wool. Combined with an improved implementation of the finger caps, it is a welcome change that definitely contributed to extra warmth and wind protection.
As for my personal comfort level with the Markhof Pro 2.0, it sits somewhere right above 0°C. It is an outstanding glove for early spring, late autumn, and relatively mild winter. It really shines in those low but not yet freezing temperatures.
Anything below zero though, and I would absolutely choose the Ipsoot model instead.
Please bear in mind that this is merely a subjective judgment. Generally, I do not think of myself as somebody who gets cold quickly. Then again, some people are very content with the Markhof Pro 2.0 even in much harsher conditions.
That is to warn you that your own mileage may (and probably will) vary.
Usability and Comfort
When on, the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 are every bit as comfortable as you would imagine. They fit really well and are very enjoyable to wear. So much so, in fact, that I love having them on even for non-photography outings.
The non-slip rubber grip is fantastic, as one would expect. I had no issues holding any of my cameras. It is almost as if they are glued to the palm.
Fun fact — that rubber pattern on the inside is not random. It actually depicts a famous german landscape — the Devil’s Bridge. Another nice touch that shows the attention Vallerret pays to every little detail.
In my Ipsoot review, I mentioned the noticeable loss of dexterity when wearing the gloves. Perhaps because I started with a warmer, bulkier model and slowly got used to it, I had no such difficulties with the lighter Markhof Pro 2.0.
They felt natural the moment I put them on. Obviously, if these are your first photography gloves, you will likely need time to adjust. But overall, I reckon that with Markhof Pro 2.0, Vallerret managed to strike an ideal balance between warmth and usability.
As far as water resistance goes, I did not yet have a chance to test the Markhofs in truly horrendous wet conditions. But both in snow and light rain they managed very well, staying dry and pleasant all the way through.
A Perfect Photography Glove?
As we all know, perfection does not exist. That said, with Markhof Pro 2.0, Vallerret seemingly created if not the perfect glove, then at least one pretty close to it.
For me, it ticks all of the boxes in my photography endeavors. It looks stylish, fits really well, is pleasant to wear, and has become indispensable to my cold weather shooting sessions. I honestly cannot think of much else to wish for.
As I mentioned, warmth could be an issue for some people in more severe weather conditions. If that is the case, I would consider one of the company’s liner gloves as a supplement.
Other than that, the Markhof Pro 2.0 really hit the sweet spot between comfort and usability. The gloves are lightweight, easy to use the camera with, yet sufficiently warm in most situations.
My only suggestion for Vallerret is to take a closer look at the magnets for the flipped-out fingertips. As I briefly touched upon earlier, these do not appear overly strong and occasionally come loose. It is a slight inconvenience but one worth bringing up nonetheless.
Are Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 Worth It?
At €74,95 ($79.95), I imagine the price would be a sticking point for many, so here are my thoughts on the matter.
Yes, these are not cheap gloves. But is anything in the photography world? In the end, you always get what you pay for. We spend thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, bags, and accessories. And we do so for one simple reason — quality.
With Vallerret, quality is exactly what you get. Whether you go for Markhof Pro 2.0 or the Ipsoot model, these gloves will serve you for years. Much like with any other gear, this is an investment. An investment in yourself and your own comfort while doing the thing you love the most.
While I understand that photography gloves are probably less exciting than new lenses, ultimately, it is about getting the shot. The photos you capture and the memories you collect stay with you forever. That is why we do what we do, and the tools are there to help us.
If you enjoy or seriously consider winter photography, buying a pair of gloves is absolutely worth it. And in that game, Vallerret is miles ahead of the competition.
And consider this — 1% of Vallerret sales goes directly to environmental non-profit organizations. Not only are you investing in your own well-being, but also help the planet. Isn’t that awesome?
The Verdict and Final Thoughts
Vallerret has done an incredible job improving on almost every aspect of the original Markhof Pro. In doing so, they achieved what I can safely state is the best photography glove in its class today.
Every little detail about the Markhof Pro 2.0 is carefully thought out and thoroughly considered. This translates into gloves that are both practical and enjoyable to own and wear.
As a photographer, I want to focus on the shot, the composition, and the story behind the image, not on being cold and miserable. The Markhof Pro 2.0 allow me to do just that.
If outdoor photography is something you are passionate about, buying a pair of dedicated gloves is a no-brainer. Trust me, you will not regret it.
I also encourage you to read my review of the Ipsoot photography glove. It is a warmer glove from Vallerret that might be a better fit for your particular circumstances.
Other than that, I hope this review of the Vallerret Markhof Pro 2.0 photography gloves has been useful. I tried to be as profound and detailed as possible, and, hopefully, answered any questions that you might have. If not, please let me know in the comments, and I will do my best to respond.