I still have a few of the gloves that I wore back then - though they are looking a little battered now, and not a whole load of new ones. I have, however, got rid of a few that just didn't work for me. (and lost a pair... they're probably at the bottom of a bag, or something).
What do I still own and use?
Mountain Equipment Mountain StretchSince it has got colder, the most regular gloves in use have been the Mountain Equipment Mountain Stretch gloves - fluffy on the inside, schoeller fabric on the outside, generally great to use, and perfect for me on a run. Walking-wise, just not warm enough for me. I don't produce enough heat at a lower level of activity to get any blood to my fingers, so they
basically freeze. I wore these gloves on the Full Tour of Pendle and didn't take them off the whole time. They're great if you run and get really cold hands.
But what if you walk and get really cold hands? Which is what happens on an MR callout. You need to have warm hands, be dexterous and not loose your gloves, which is quite a challenge.
I have to confess that I have gone from gloves to mitts. Not a "cool" thing to do, but it has saved my fingers many times, and I have a couple of pairs that go out with me on every callout. The advantage being that I have warm hands, and even when I take the mitt off to do things that require dexterity, and my hand gets freezing cold, as soon as the mitt goes on, the heat of my hand and fingers together heats up the space in the mitt and the whole hand heats up to a point where I don't need to worry about it any more.
So which mitts am I using?
mitts are based on the original soft shell principle- a bit like the Mountain equipment gloves above, but in a mitt format. Water resistant- but certainly not waterproof - on the outside, and warm cosy fleece on the inside. The wrist is done up with a velcro strap that is long enough to strap the glove to your wrist should your hands actually get TOO hot and you need to take them off. (this actually happened to me the other day, I was astonished to be walking across Bleaklow with barehands - heat emenating from them like 60w lightbulbs - a completely new experience!
|When your hands get too hot - the velcro volumiser can be used to strap the mitt to the back of your hand. Good when you need dexterity and don't want to lose the mitt.|
Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
Montane Resolute mittsAgain, a montane mitt - with the same kind of inner - based on the softshell idea, but with an eVent shell that you can put over the top to be completely waterproof. (until the rain drips down your arm and into the hole
It is a bit of a faff getting them on and off as the outer layer has a habit of coming off separately to the inner layer, so I suppose its a bit like putting on 2 gloves at the same time, but for dry (ish) hands, that really isn't a problem.
I have also used the outer waterproof layer as a waterproof cover for some of my thinner gloves earlier in the year, which was quite successful. If it isn't cold, but I need gloves on, once they get wet they are worse than useless. Once I put on a hardshell outer, though, protection from the wind and the rain is there, and my hands stay toasty warm.
Much more expensive than the Extreme mitts, and made for worse conditions. For my money though, the Extremes see a lot more action.
Sealskinz Lobster mitts
|Looking a bit the worse for wear now... 5 years on.|
served me very well. Once the weather gets colder they will be making more and more appearances until they just fall off my hands from overuse.
Once that happens, I will either buy another pair, or, I have spied some of the same kind of thing made by Craft. Whether or not they are as good is another matter, but I might try and get hold of a pair of them instead. They aren't primaloft filled... so may not be as warm.
Dynafit X4 Performance glovesI bought these in Switzerland. Dynafit say that they are a summer glove - I think they are more of a changing season glove... One of those purchases where later you think... what? Proper bright lycra with an excellent
storm jacket thing in the wrist pouch. I've used these a couple of times, but not enough to give a decent verdict. This winter might prove too cold for them, but I suspect that when we get to spring they are going to come into their own.
Extremeties Sticky Thickies
|Yup - being slowly eroded away...|
|The new sticky thickies|
Gloves I have got rid ofRab Baltoro gloves- I just didn't find them warm enough. My fingers just froze in them as soon as we left the house.
Sealskinz Activity gloves - again, although they are ok, I don't need a glove that is waterproof and doesn't keep my hands warm. To me, pointless.
Sealzkinz Primaloft filled activity gloves - yes they have primaloft around the hand, but not really around the fingers - where I really feel the cold. Walking in them was like any other glove - my fingers just froze.
Rab Phantom Grip Gloves - I haven't intentionally got rid of these, I just can't find them anywhere.