How do you up your glove game?

a pair of mittens

This question comes from us, because... brrr...

When it's really cold, the answer for clothing is almost always: more layers. But what about your hands?

Even though they make you look like your four years old, we are staunch fans of mittens because they do a better job of keeping your fingers warm. But mittens aren't good if you're trying to do much with your hands: zip things, pick up dog poop, operate a mobile or camera.

In that past we've tried a very thin pair of gloves under mittens. That was warm, but also bulky and sort of clumsy.

So... Thoughts on leveling up in the glove game? Types of hand wear, materials, styles? Are those finger gloves with the mitten flap (or whatever it's called) worth a try? How do you keep your hands warm?

Earlier on AOA: What sort of winter coat(s) should I buy? And where?

Comments

I wear mittens. Wool mittens that I knit myself. Must be 100% wool for warmth. For knitting mavens who will understand this, I use relatively small needles (#4) for a tight weave, which is better at keeping the cold out and is not too bulky. Also, I make two sizes. One medium women's size for average cold days (20s + 30s). For bitter cold days, I have knitted a larger size (men's size) that slips over the medium size mitten for double warmth. This double mitten is not great for manual dexterity, but at 3 degrees I don't much care. When I need my fingers I just yank off the mittens for a few agonizing minutes.

I could knit one of those tricky glove/mitten combos, but have not done so yet. I have bought high tech gloves and mittens at places like EMS and haven't been as happy with them as I am in old fashioned wool.

I have the exact pair of EMS mittens pictured above. They're my play outside ones. When skiing, I wear them over my "everyday" arm warmers (fingerless, thin wool sleevie things that fill the wrist gap and hold in some heat when I instragram from the lift. On super cold days or when night skiing, I toss in some hothands and am all set.
Days like today, just getting in to work, I have another pair of fleece EMS mittens with the foldover top and with a little fold over for the thumb, too. Need that. The thumb out option is essential - my advice is don't waste your money on a pair without this. If you need your fingers, you probably need that handy opposable thumb, too.

Answer: layers for you hands as well! I use Pearl Izumi glove liners (or EMS brand) over top EMS windstopper gloves. The liners insulate and wick sweat well.

For me, it needs to be mittens.

For a long time I used Outdoor Research's Meteor Mitts, which are both waterproof and have a removable fleece liner mitt. They work great, so warm I usually only needed the shell.

However, I just switched to LL Bean's Chopper Mitts (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/60315?page=mens-buckskin-chopper-mitts) and I love them so much more. Natural wool removable liner and wool stays warm even when wet and naturally regulates temperature, rather than overheating and creating freezable sweat like my previous synthetic gloves.

Natural buckskin leather shell, which is naturally windproof, somewhat breathable, comes waterproofed, and is easily re-waterproofed.

I've found these much more comfortable, less bulky, and more versatile than the other mittens I've used. I have worn them skiing in sub zero temps, walked around cities, drive in them, and used them in a snowball fight. Have not used them in the rain, but with proper waterproofing, they should do fine.

Also, they have that lifetime guarantee...but I try not abuse that privilege. For $60, its a tough deal to beat.

I'd like to know the answer to this, too, because the answer is not "make sure they have holes in them," like both my gloves and mittens have right now. I could really feel it today.

I wear the fingerless-glove-with-mitten-flap kind, made of fleece, so I can operate my phone or whatever, if I need to. They are AWESOME.

My hands were just fine and warm enough as I walked to work for 20 minutes this morning in below zero weather.

I found a very affordable pair of work gloves at an Army/Navy Surplus that have served me surprisingly well in subzero temperatures. They're really, really warm. Obviously I can't do too much fine motor activity but that's not really the goal, since I don't plan to type outdoors this winter.

We love our HESTRA brand Heli Mitt mittens. Even after a long ski day they keep our hands and fingers very warm. We tried lots of other brands of gloves and mittens (LL Bean, North face, Swany) but our fingers were never warm, including with removable liners, until we used the HESTRA mittens.

two words: Swany Toasters!

They are mittens with glove liners (non-removable) and a zipper on the side. Not only can you unzip the side to excess your dexterity, but you can use a hand warmer without putting your skin in direct contact with the warmer itself. You can also pull your cuff up over the wrist of the mittens. The only thing you can't do (at least with my super old pair) is use your smart phone, but maybe the newer ones have smartphone compatible liners. If they don't they should.

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