Anti-Frostbite Gloves
January 19, 2010 2:50 AM   Subscribe

What are some great gloves for real cold weather?

I have been living in cold weather for the past nine years and have never found a perfect glove. My problem is that I have horrible hand circulation and have even gotten some frostbite on my hands while living in Utah. I current live in Boston where the weather is even worst (read: colder and more humid).

What I have tried:
-this post (all of the products linked are no longer being sold)
-hand warmers (both the kind you get from si shops and this kind)
-ski gloves (from multiple ski stores)
-snowboard gloves (the kind with the four fingers together)
-leather gloves (from Target) (don't like leather)
-cotton/polyester gloves (from TJ Max)
-keeping my hands in my pockets

How have you solved this problem?

Bonus points: a good glove that works on a touch screen Android phone.
posted by 1awesomeguy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mittens are better than gloves with individual fingers at keeping you hand warm. Not so much use with a touch screen.
posted by SueDenim at 2:54 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Looking at the list of things you have tried I honestly don't know if this represents an improvement, but I recieved the Logos "exhale" gloves as a present. They keep my hands warm even without the added bonus of being able to blow into a chamber to warm your fingers.

Info here.
posted by jeremias at 4:09 AM on January 19, 2010

I used to live in a place that was even colder than Boston in the winter, and this year Beijing is going through its coldest winter in decades. This is what I do: I buy a pair of regular knit gloves and then over those, I wear a pair of synthetic fur-lined leather gloves over them. They probably won't be Android-friendly and I can't help you out with particular brands since I just buy my gloves off the street in China, but the layering is key. Even just wearing two pairs of knit gloves keeps my hands warmer than my leather gloves alone.
posted by so much modern time at 4:23 AM on January 19, 2010

Layering is very important. Try a thin, warm glove (cashmere or other woolen or synthetic material, preferably one which won't collect sweat) next to the skin and a bulkier one which blocks the wind over them - leather, parachute material, etc. Mittens might be best of all as the top covering but wouldn't help with the touchscreen.
posted by tavegyl at 4:35 AM on January 19, 2010

I got some nice wool gloves made by smartwool who make great socks.
posted by starfish at 4:51 AM on January 19, 2010

Kombi Down Mittens are incredibly toasty. Couple them with glove liners, and you should be able to keep warm.

If these aren't enough, consider going to hand warmers- my wife started using them, and they absolutely turned around her attitude towards skiing and all sorts of cold weather activities.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:52 AM on January 19, 2010

As for the touch-screen ness, just get some regular mittens and sew some conductive thread into them.
posted by suedehead at 5:09 AM on January 19, 2010

Best answer: Would something like this do the job?

You can get regular fold-back mittens (saw a girl with them on the bus this morning, oddly enough), or proper shooting gloves (which are regular gloves that have the first couple of fingers and maybe the thumb fold back).

If it's really cold I wear two pairs of gloves for cycling; inner pair made from either silk or a synthetic like Meraklon (polyproplene) and a thicker outer that's waterproof . Otherwise you could try gloves aimed at cross-country skiiers/biathletes which have to be warm, but thin enough to shoot with.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 5:10 AM on January 19, 2010

Best answer: I have the same problem, only with my feet instead of my hands (it's a hereditary thing -- my little sister has horrible foot circulation too, to the point where we get chilblains if our feet get too cold. Side note: Are you sure that what you experienced in Utah was definitely frostbite and not chilblains? Sometimes they can be confused.)

For me, buying a loose-fitting but warm boot and then doubling up on socks helps somewhat -- I would translate this to hands by doubling up on gloves, getting a thin inner glove (look for gloves made for runners or other outdoor athletes) and then a thick, waterproof glove with a lot of Thinsulate insulation. Make sure that neither glove is tight, because that will only hurt circulation and make the problem worse.

However, the thing that works better than any other single thing for me is to make sure to exercise every single morning that I know I'll be out in the cold, and then take a really hot shower, and avoid any vasoconstricting drugs (especially caffeine and nicotine). This helps the blood vessels open up and STAY open, plus it's better for your health.
posted by kataclysm at 5:40 AM on January 19, 2010

What I like to do is go the the Army Navy Surplus store and buy a set of wool glove liners and waterproof shells, total cost: $10. Not the most fancy solution in the world but they have served me faithfully on countless backpacking trips. Eventually threads will come loose on the wool liners, but then I just go get another pair since they only cost $5 for the liners.

If your really cold, get one close fitting liner and one the next size up, then a shell. That should keep your hands nice any toasty.
posted by token-ring at 5:59 AM on January 19, 2010

Best answer: North Face fleece/weird synthetic fiber gloves. Best I've ever found - available at City Sports on Boylston St. 'moonMan has two pairs of these and sometimes I end up borrowing them and not wanting to return them as they're actually warmer than my own leather gloves.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:01 AM on January 19, 2010

Also, This glove by North Face claims to be cell-phone friendly.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:02 AM on January 19, 2010

I just bought some thinsulate-lined leather gloves which keep my hands really warm, even on the coldest of days up here in Canada. The leather takes away the sting of the wind, while the thinsulate helps keep your hands warm as well as being a good liner if you don't like the feel of leather against your skin. The ones I got were fairly cheap Perry Ellis ones, like $35 on sale from The Bay, and the leather feels decently smooth and soft.
posted by pravit at 6:06 AM on January 19, 2010

These are the best I've ever found. They are designed for Minnesota ice fishing, and the work very well for that purpose. I've been out on the ice for an entire day and never worried about my hands being cold.
posted by sanka at 6:12 AM on January 19, 2010

I live in Ithaca NY so we have wet winters. I've learned that there is a huge difference in the type of clothing that you need for an active outdoor sport and other less active outdoor times. If you are doing something active you heat up and need very little insulation for temperatures as low as 20deg F. If you are sitting around waiting for something to happen you need a lot of insulation.

Also, size is important. If your gloves are too tight they will constrict blood flow and compress their insulation. Try a size you think will fit, then try the next size up. If there isn't too much difference go with the larger size.

I've recently gone over to mittens. I use Outdoor Research meteor mittens which have a shell and a fleece lining with flip back. Walking around town my hands have been warm when the temperature has been down to 10deg F. That is as cold as it has been this year. It seems like they will be warm on even colder days. Bicycling for half hour commutes they have been cold but not painful down to 10deg F. I'm sort of sold on mittens. There is a limit to how much insulation can go between the fingers.
posted by bdc34 at 6:15 AM on January 19, 2010

have you considered heated gloves?
posted by phil at 6:50 AM on January 19, 2010

It depends on your outdoor activity - no one glove/mitten works for all activities. If you want something warm that still allows you to use your bare fingers for operating equipment and such a fingerless mitten works great. You can actually store a chemical heat pack in the flip-mitten part to warm up the fingers.

Then if you want something for extreme cold weather get these military spec mittens. Granted you have to take them off to use anything but if you are not using anything then they are the best although they do work for holding ski poles. Wearing these inside will give you the best of all worlds and you will never get frostbite - even in the Antarctic.
posted by JJ86 at 6:56 AM on January 19, 2010

The warmest gloves I ever had were some down mittens. Mittens aren't so good with doing things with your hands but they are significantly warmer than gloves. Down loses it's effectiveness when wet, much more so than the synthetic materials, but when dry it's still the best, as far as I know, if you routinely avoid situations where your hands could get wet.
posted by 6550 at 10:22 AM on January 19, 2010

When it's really cold out, I wear all of these (in order of dressing):
Thinsulate glove liners
surplus-store wool gloves
Outdoor Research Gore-Tex overmitts

The overmitts block wind, and are long enough to go over jacket cuffs.

This is a bit inconvenient to put on, and I have tried various thick insulated gloves, but I have never ever found a single "pair of gloves" that will actually keep my hands warm. With this outfit, my hands stay warm down to around at least -10 F or so.

I've found that many screens don't display well at these temperatures, so you might find that being able to operate a touch screen isn't such a factor.
posted by yohko at 11:57 AM on January 19, 2010

I have a pair of amazing "chopper" mittens made by Mister Henry Held of Ely, Minnesota. I traced my hands and mailed him a check, and I got a pair of killer moosehide mittens in the mail shortly thereafter. He even branded them with a picture of a moose. Kick-ass!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:24 PM on January 19, 2010

Obviously not sleek, but roomy enough to bring your phone into the mitten along with your hand. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:25 PM on January 19, 2010

This may sound idiotic, but...I'm a polar bear. Last week I was out taking pictures and it was 2F. Every part of me was bundled up except my hands, which had some cycling gloves on them. My hands got cold, especially handling the aluminum tubes of my tripod. I discovered that if I windmilled my arms ten or so times, fast, the blood was forced out to my fingertips (in fact I could feel the pressure spike from the centripetal force) and warming occurred.

As for gloves proper, loose is better. Get some soft liners made of 200 weight thinsulate, and some heavy-duty outer gloves. The most effective gloves I've found in a consumer setting are made for cyclists, since our hands are in the wind - and that's one hell of a wind chill.
posted by notsnot at 9:03 PM on January 19, 2010

I've managed to get by doubling up - cheap (thin) pair of gloves ($1.50 deals from CVS or Walgreens) under heavy knit mittens. Keeps your hands pretty toasty and you can easily rip off the mittens when you need to use your fingers. Might consider cutting the fingertips off the gloves, if you get easily frustrated with trying to grasp anything through the glove material.

(As a Bostonian, you may also want to consider these, which seem incredibly handy:
posted by dayspteh at 10:09 PM on January 19, 2010

« Older Which do I need a external sound card or DAC?   |   Is time on my side? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.