Please note, this has been updated- and there is a new blog on Gloves I'm wearing this winter - Published December 2013.
No idea if I have a form of Raynards syndrome or not, but I do tend to have ridiculously cold hands, as discussed in a previous post.
I know of a number of people, generally runners and walkers who are loathe to spend more than £20 on a pair of gloves. To be honest, I've been in a lot of situations where I would quite gladly have spent a bit more on a pair of gloves just to be able to feel my fingers and be able to function somewhere close to normal.
Not all of these gloves are horrendously expensive, but in some cases, I wouldn't buy them again.
Rab Phantom Grip Gloves
|Phantom Grip Gloves|
Yes, they are a bit thicker, yes, they are a bit warmer, and yes they are a bit more waterproof, but once it gets cold, flipping heck, they get cold. I originally used them as running gloves when it got too cold for my current thinnies. However, there were times when the weather got just too thick and wet and claggy, and my hands got cold. They do have a great little clip on them so that you can clip them together when running which stops you losing a glove, perhaps the most annoying thing that can possibly happen. You either don't lose them at all, or you lose both. A much better way of doing things!
Mountain Equipment Mountain Stretch Gloves
|Mountain Equipment Stretch Gloves|
Once more, I tried them on an evening walk, and still, my hands stayed pretty cold. Not so good.
They went into a drawer and didn't come out for a month- during that time, I saw them again in a shop, and realised just how warm they felt. If I was out on skis or on the hill climbing, I would be expending a lot of energy, creating heat. In comparison, when I'm walking, I'm not generating a whole lot of heat, not creating heat means that there is nothing to insulate.
Out they came again, but for a run. Boom. Perfect. It would seem that I have a pretty good very cold weather glove, which works like a soft shell- the more heat you create in the hands through movement, the more the glove dries from the inside, outwards. Brilliant. Happy with that. But it doesn't keep my hands warm while walking.
The only minor issue with these gloves is that they do not attach together when you aren't wearing them. There is no clip to keep them together and the amount of times I've lost one of them in my gear drawer is approaching hilarious numbers. (Doesn't help that everything in there is black). Otherwise they are pretty damn good, as long as I keep moving fast.
I have also noticed that they are advertised as a waterproof glove. I'm not totally convinced about that, but I can say that as long as you are putting effort in, they dry from the inside out.
I used them in the ice and snow last night for a decent run, and my hands stayed at a tolerable temperature. I'm beginning to like them.
Rab Baltoro Gloves
|Rab Baltoro Gloves|
|Rapha Arm Warmers|
Next plan was to try a pair of merino arm warmers, as used by road cyclists- and, to a point, they worked. In fact, they almost worked wonders. My hands stayed relatively warm in quite horrible weather, and I didn't have too much of an issue getting them on or taking them off. Now these are pretty much a staple of my hill walking clothing, the only minor problem being that the ones I have are bright white. Not the most bog friendly colour. Not an issue. They keep me warm! Yes, the ones in the picture are Rapha, a present from a friend. I would imagine any decent fleece lined arm warmer will do the same thing. If you get cold hands on the hill, get some.
Sealskinz Lobster Gloves
|Sealskinz Lobster Mitts|
Its not a glove, and its pretty easy to put on with 2 fingers in each "finger", relatively dexterous, but, with the primaloft lining, they keep my hands WARM. I use them walking, running, slow navigating, scrambling, everything. This is a pair of gloves that I can say, without a doubt, is worth every penny I spent on them. Yes, they were about £40, however, the benefit of actually being able to feel my fingers when running and biking, and also being able to undo my shoes at the end of it all is incalculable. Without doubt, if these end up giving up the ghost, I shall certainly be buying some more.
|Primaloft. Secret weapon|
They have the little clippy bit on them to attache them together. I use this feature as and when I get too hot (a hitherto unknown problem), I generally keep the left glove on, and clip the right glove to it, ensuring it doesn't get dropped, and that it is to hand (haha) as and when I need it. They are waterproof for a good number of hours, and when the water eventually does begin to ingress, (down the arm), they stay warm.
Yes, I do sweat in them, but the fact they are not a glove means that taking your hands out, and putting them back in again you don't mess up the lining and end up with the fingers tangled up in themselves. (very annoying)
|Modelling the sealskinz at the end of the Trigger|