Warm Gloves for a Picky Person
January 19, 2007 5:53 AM   Subscribe

When ever I go outside during the winter, my hands hurt (a lot). I have warm winter gloves, but I don't like them. I have issues with any clothing items that are bulky so that rules out ski gloves.

I also hate leather so no insulated leather gloves. And, to top it off, I refuse to wear gloves that are any color besides black or dark blue. So, can anyone recommend some warm, non-bulky, plain looking gloves or mittens (and where to buy them) for this overly picky (and stubborn) guy whose hands are in pain?
posted by toddst to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Might want to change your tag -- it's spelled Raynaud's.

I have this myself -- I wear superduper man-on-the-moon gloves for when I have to be outside, like for shoveling snow. All the other gloves and mittens are pretty much the same in terms of preventing a Raynaud's incident -- they don't really help. So I use polar fleece gloves from L.L. Bean and just try to limit my exposure to cold.
posted by JanetLand at 6:10 AM on January 19, 2007

My advice is to go to an outdoorsy store like REI or EMS and check out their glove selection. Browsing through REI, I found some gloves I think meet most of your criteria. But if you go to a brick & mortar store that caters to the outdoorsy types, they will almost certainly have some good, thin but warm gloves for you.
posted by tastybrains at 6:22 AM on January 19, 2007

I have Raynaud's too. I like these SealSkinz gloves. They're not as synthetic-looking as the picture would make you think -- they're just a matte black material. Not at all bulky, very warm, and they give you enough dexterity to pick up change.
posted by desuetude at 6:24 AM on January 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

I swear by these Black Diamond Jetstream gloves:


They have an associated outer goretex layer you can buy which slips over the top. Brilliant, brilliant gloves. The manufacturer says down to -4C but I have worn them waaaay below that.

Also look at Paris Cross-Country Ski gloves, which are even more amazing in their own way, but I don't know about black.

Basically, head to your nearest Nordic center and check out the XC ski gloves. That's what you're looking for.
posted by unSane at 6:27 AM on January 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: JanetLand - Thanks, my spelling is crap.

tastybrains- For some reason, I never thought of going to an outdoorsy store even though I work in walking distance of an REI. I am going to check it out after work since some of those gloves seem to be exactly what I am looking for.

If any one has experience with any of these REI gloves, let me know.
posted by toddst at 6:27 AM on January 19, 2007

I have a pair of Possumdown gloves which are much warmer than any other knitted gloves I've worn, without being bulky.

That site doesn't seem to have a colour choice, so maybe try somewhere else ... here?

My other winter gloves, better for doing things than for looking good, are fleece ones by Regatta, supposedly meant for sailors, and have a reinforced bit over the palm and a couple of fingers, again without being bulky; better versions are probably available for a higher price!
posted by Lebannen at 6:32 AM on January 19, 2007

I love the North Face Windstopper Glove.
posted by blister at 6:39 AM on January 19, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks! Tons of great options. I think that I am going to get the SealSkinz gloves since desuetude knows the pain that my hands are in. The gloves seem to be exactly what I am looking for (and, as an added bonus, they will allow me to get crap out of my pockets without taking them off).
posted by toddst at 6:39 AM on January 19, 2007

I have some awesome leather gloves from Timberland with Thinsulate lining to keep me warm. If you don't want to use gloves, carry a bunch of pocket hand warmer packets, open one up to warm your hards. You can pick a pair of packs (one for each hand) for $1 at most sporting goods store. I would recommend using the brand the ski rescue teams use.
posted by riffola at 6:42 AM on January 19, 2007

While you're at REI pick up a pair of glove liners. Warm liney goodness.
posted by hydrophonic at 6:43 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Since you're already getting good recommendations on the gloves, hope you don't mind if I suggest something else you should do before you go out, and before you put your gloves on: rub some hand cream on your hands, the most basic nivea is fine. It will help, because the cold makes the skin of your hands drier and that makes them hurt more.
posted by pleeker at 7:08 AM on January 19, 2007

I find mittens keep my hands warmer and as an added bonus they don't have that bulky feeling between my fingers that heavy gloves often have.
posted by advicepig at 7:10 AM on January 19, 2007

My sister got me a pair of Rossingol gloves that have a better fit than any other gloves I've worn, and they're warm and non-bulky. I suggest you look at that brand of glove, which is geared towards cold weather. These looked promising; thin yet made to stay warm even in windy conditions.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:11 AM on January 19, 2007

cashmere gloves are very delicate but they keep you very warm and are not bulky
posted by matteo at 7:13 AM on January 19, 2007

Get a pair of wool mittens. You can easily stick chemical heat packs in them to keep hands and fingers warm and there are even some good ones where the top flips open allowing you to use your fingers without taking the mittens off.
posted by JJ86 at 8:11 AM on January 19, 2007

Another vote for glove liners. I have mild Raynaud's, and am very fond of a pair of white silk glove liners I got from Lands' End; they don't seem to still have them in stock there, but they're not too hard to find.

Wear with any plain knitted wool or cashmere -- quite warm, and not bulky at all. LL Bean has decent ones.
posted by kmennie at 8:21 AM on January 19, 2007

toddst: The charcoal handwarmers are great, but even better are the charcoal toewarmers that stick to your socks -- these things have made all the difference in the world to me. Seriously. As in, next month I'm going skiing/snow tubing in Minnesota.

Head down to that REI and do some comparison shopping -- I'm going to be checking out some of the gloves to which tastybrains linked, too! Report back if you find something you like better than the SealSkinz.
posted by desuetude at 8:31 AM on January 19, 2007

Nthing an outdoor store for gloves. My particular recommendation is to make sure you get gloves that comprise an outer layer of something that will stop wind with the inner layer of insulation. They need not be thick. Gloves that don't have an outer layer of something tend to be awfully cold once the temperature drops or the wind starts blowing. Mittens with the same design will be even warmer, but if you don't want to lose all use of your fingers you could always try lobster gloves (gloves/mitt hybrids which hold your four fingers in two separate compartments).
posted by ssg at 9:42 AM on January 19, 2007

Another place you might shop at is a good bicycle shop as year-round bikers put a premium on hand mobility.
posted by nanojath at 9:56 AM on January 19, 2007

Response by poster: Again, thanks for all the options and ideas. I am stuck at work late tonight so I am going to check out REI and a bike shop this weekend. I will report back on this thread with what I decide on and what I think of them. I will also pick up a bunch of handwarmers for the more severe days. But, before I head out, I will check this thread again to see if anyone has posted a new tip/idea. Thanks again!
posted by toddst at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2007

I wear mittens like JJ86 mentioned, similar to this pair from REI. (Mine are Manzella but I couldn't find them on the web).

They're windproof fleece. The top flips open so you can use your fingers. The thumb has a slit too. The fabric over the fingers is soft & thin enough that you can use your hands well - and the mitten design means no seams up and down your fingers to make it hard to feel stuff.

These are awesome if you have to actually do stuff with your hands in cold weather. Flipping the top back is lots easier than removing your gloves when you need your hands free.

Once I got a pair of these about 8 years ago I haven't worn regular gloves since.
posted by altcountryman at 6:09 PM on January 19, 2007

Although it has never been diagnosed as Reynaud's, my brother and I have had similar problems for a while now. His hands are problematic, while my feet suffer from the cold. Try taking Vitamin E supplements during the colder months, as well as regularly applying hand cream (bonus points for Aloe Vera or Vitamin E enriched creams).

Although it sounds a little odd, a few years ago my doctor also prescribed me a hemorrhoid treatment cream to help the the sores that I got on my toes as a result of the cold. The nitroglycerine in the treatment dilates the blood vessels in the afflicted areas, improving circulation, hence making the area warmer.
posted by cholly at 8:04 PM on January 19, 2007

Get mittens, they are way warmer than gloves. If you do get gloves, buy them windproof and slightly big.
posted by fshgrl at 9:11 PM on January 19, 2007

once, working on a TV shoot in frigid weather, the sound guy suddenly pulled out pairs of 9volt batteries (the rectangular ones, which we were using in the microphones) and connected them to one another in pairs. they warmed up and stayed warm for an hour or so, keeping our hands nice and toasty- it was a great macgyver moment.
the batteries can heat up a lot, so pay attention and don't leave them connected for too long- definitely separate them before putting them back in your pocket! we used partially-drained batteries, so the heat generating capacity wasn't as intense.
this is probably dangerous, so take with a grain of salt.
you can also try chemical hand-warming pads like these.
posted by twistofrhyme at 6:53 PM on January 20, 2007

Response by poster: On Sunday, I stopped in REI, and ended up spending more time in a glove aisle than I thought was possible. I decided on the Seal Skinz. While there were a few other gloves that were very thin and seemed warmer, they were all made of a material that I did not like. I also decided against the mittens since I liked the grip on the Seal Skinz (which will make a huge difference when switching gears on my old Vespa when the weather warms up a bit). I also picked up a pair of Serius liners.

So far, the combination of the two are perfect, but the true test will be during the walk home tonight after work. I also picked up a few heat packs for the extra cold days (and will also get some 9-volts to leave in my desk and my truck).

I am going to try the moisturizer and Vitamin E ideas later in the week.

Once again, thank you for all your suggestions.
posted by toddst at 6:33 AM on January 22, 2007

just found these gloves which allow the wearer to exhale warm air into them. neat!
posted by twistofrhyme at 2:35 PM on January 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

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