Gloves & Mittens

3:29 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I figured since we were talking about cold weather noggin toppers how about gloves and mittens. 

Anyone have any preferences for when the white stuff starts flying? This could be a single pair, a pair combined with a liner, etc. 

Granted there are different gloves for different temps & applications so if ya want to include the temps you are subjecting yourself too & use that would be awesome. 

I am on my second pair of OR Stormtracker gloves(I lost one on my previous pair.) I found that these are about perfect for me when I am in transit. My hands do not over heat or get clammy. 


If temps are really cold I whip out my Dakine Rangers with liners. Like I said in a previous thread its all about keeping the digits intact. 

3:35 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
244 reviewer rep
5,239 forum posts


For me this winter now in Tucson AZ I get colder as I bicycle around the city. I wear a liner glove with a synthetic glove over the top. Temps have been in the 40s not counting the added windchill of cycling.

When I go hiking in the winter I like to wear wool gloves.

4:44 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

My system for my hands is this:

Base: Marmot stretch wrist gaitors

Liner: Smartwool liners

Mid: OR Flurry gloves

Shell: OR Endeavor Mitts

In camp I use just a cheap pair of fingerless ragg wool gloves. If its not super cold sometimes i will hike in the fingerless and save the flurry gloves for camp.

This sytem can take me to -30F(havn't been camping with this system lower)

I find myself often only needing the wrist gaitors and Flurry gloves. The liners are just there for a little extra when needed or to wear with the mitts if its wet. The shell mitts are just a goretex shell with no insulation.

Here are links to everything I use. I have been very happy with this system.





5:01 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,973 forum posts

I'll use leather palmed, wool, XC ski gloves around camp, or in cold situations where I am not touching snow and ice.  If it is cold enough I have a pair of oven sized goretex mitts with really thick pile linings I'll put on over the wool gloves.  I normally use ski gloves when underway on skis or crampons if I feel cold.  I have normal weight ski gloves and heavy weight ones too.  I always take always an extra pair, to have a dry pair available.  If climbing or expect to be in regular contact with snow or ice, I use tech glove systems.  Sometimes all of these gloves go with me.  It is a lot of bulk, but then warm hands contribute to a more enjoyable, safer, trip.


5:20 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
51 reviewer rep
135 forum posts

I have thick liners and synthetic mitts when moving, and a pair of really warm down mitt when standing still. I always take a second pairs of liners. when it's cold i keep my down mitts inside my jacket. I always take oversized mitts and avoid elastic draw cords. 

2:28 a.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
2,571 reviewer rep
1,403 forum posts

I'm currently looking for a pair of overmitts, as I don't really have a solution for extremely cold weather. I've heard really good things about OR gloves/mitts in general, so yeah, maybe their Endeavor mitts? Maybe the boiled wool jobbies?

That being said, I currently use a three-glove system: I use set of MH PowerDry liners most of the time. Over those, I'll use a set of Seirus Hyperlite (thin neoprene) gloves if not too cold, or, if it is, a pair of Rab eVent-lined Ice Gauntlets. The Ice Gauntlets are stellar: full Pitards leather palm, primaloft insulation, eVent membrane...

4:09 a.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
733 reviewer rep
1,378 forum posts

My system varies depending on the situation. Paddling requires fairly specialized gloves or poggies. For general winter stuff(bc skiing, etc.) my choices are finger less ragg wool gloves or silk liners, dachstein mittens, then breathable overmittens. I may also supplement with leather palmed winter cycling gloves.

I vary how I layer these to produce the warmth I need and the dexterity required, keeping a few things in reserve.

7:48 a.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

Pillowthread, you might really like the OR endeavor mitts, keep in mind that they are simply a paclite goretex shell mitt with NO insulation. They do sell the OR Meteor Mitt?(i think thats the name, might be wrong) which is the endeavor with a removeable insert.

I really like the Endeavor mitts. They weigh a hair under 4oz for the pair, fit well over my insulating layers, and are very waterproof, and seem very durable. They are an esential part of my system.

12:13 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,139 forum posts

someone on ebay is selling new, old stock granite gear gloves and mittens at a really low price.  I have both and they are excellent.

Here is the link and the price is dirt cheap.

5:17 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
6,102 reviewer rep
1,625 forum posts

OR Meteor mitts

8:45 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
3,640 reviewer rep
946 forum posts

These bad boys.....

a pair of wool liners underneath and you'll think your in the Bahamas in the middle of summer!........ or your hands will at least :)

2:56 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

I just got a pair of these-

Got them on sale at even less than what STP has them for now. They just showed up, so haven't tried them yet. BUT, if you buy these, the sizing is off. I have small hands and I traded back a pair of mediums for large.

They have a Thinsulate lining and an inner fleece mitt. I plan to wear them with my fleece gloves instead of the mitt liners unless it gets really cold.

Kevin at Empire Wool & Canvas makes two different mitts for really cold weather; this link is to one of them-

5:20 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I am pretty hard to fit when it comes to gloves. Even in an XL gloves are pretty close to not fitting my paws length wise.

I am built like a monkey... :)

10:30 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
5,546 reviewer rep
2,024 forum posts


-thin capilene glove liners (want something on my hands, but not much)

-expedition capilene glove liners - the base of what i wear in cold weather.  means that if i pull my mitts or gloves, i have full use of my fingers but have something covering my skin.  i'll wear them alone if i'm really active and concerned about overheating, eg for nordic skiing and snowshoeing in the woods, so long as it isn't too cold. 

-OR windstopper gripper gloves - uninsulated fleece windstopper gloves, great if you need to use your hands.  sized so i can wear either pair of capilene liners underneath.  very durable; kind of hard to dry in the field. 

-shell gloves lined with primaloft - a medium-cold solution if i need some use of my hands.  mine happen to be marmots, but there are several brands.  the warmer versions will have removable primaloft or fleece liner but i wanted to save some $; if it's really cold, i don't trust gloves.   

[the one hole in this array is that i don't own gloves suitable for really cold weather.  that's a personal preference.  there are some pretty warm gloves out there, eg the black diamond guide gloves, if that suits you).

-dachstein wool mitts - aka boiled wool mittens, thick, densely-woven wool.  my oldest winter mittens, used to wear 2 pair under shell overmitts as my coldest-weather solution.  large enough to wear with capilene liners underneath.  i carry them mostly as a backup at this point.  worn with the liners and a shell overmitt, they work reasonably well for me down close to zero.  somewhat resistant to wind and moisture, so they can be useful even without shells.  very hard to damage.  plus, they looked really cool when clint eastwood wore them in The Eiger Sanction. 

-old REI shell mitts with primaloft liners - my main deep winter backups.  rei waterproof/breathable shells.  years old, still good to about -20 with liners. 

-OR alti-mitts - my main deep winter mittens.  thick removable primaloft/fleece liner, under gauntlet gore tex shells.  nicely articulated thumb.  with liners, happy fingers in -70 degree wind chills. 


one point of emphasis - for really cold weather, make sure your shell overmitts or gloves have leashes, and make sure you use them on your sleeves.  if your gloves get dropped or blown away, they don't do any good.  even with the leashes, carry a real pair of backups.

11:07 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

leadbelly- check out the Stormtrackers I listed above. They are Windstopper as well. Pretty nice glove with good dexterity.

Personally, I wish I could get them in a XXL so I could run liners with them.

I am not familiar with the cap liners but if they are anything like the other cap products I am definitely interested.

1:53 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
4,404 reviewer rep
6,005 forum posts

One type of glove that is finally appearing is gloves you can use with all the touch-screen widgets coming out. A couple days ago, I was at REI trying all the claimed ones hanging on the rack. I didn't try them for warmth, of course, although our weather in the SFBay Area has been a bit cool for the season. One that works well both as a liner and touch screen is by Seirus. I have found this brand to make a good variety of gloves and good quality. Another that seems to work well for touchscreens and provide a bit of warmth was by OR, with a leather palm, and seeming like it should be good for moderate cold, such as for XC skiing. The TNF version seemed like it would be warm enough for hiking in subfreezing temperatures, but didn't work that well on my touchscreen PDA (yes, I know, PDAs are old school in this day of smart phones). I had previously tried three brands at the OR Show, but found they tended not to work in the corners of the screens. In the case of my Magellan 610 GPSR, this could be serious, since a lot of the function selection buttons and menu selections are in the corners.

As examples of touchscreens you might have with you in the backcountry are smartphones (for calls and some map apps), GPSRs (Magellan and Garmin), or even a tablet like an iPad with the Backpacker maps app that has pretty good topo maps on a much larger screen than most GPSRs or the SkyQ app from Celestron that gives a very good display of the current sky with the moveable objects like the Moon and planets.

Personally, I prefer layering with gloves, just as with clothing. thin liner inner (maybe now with the touchscreen capability), insulating midglove, wpb shell (I really liked my BD shells, which aren't made anymore, but the ORs work almost as well). All-in-one gloves are ok for ice climbing, though they always get wet after a few hours, so you have to carry several (expensive! barely compressible!) pairs. And a single layer is ok for XC skiing.

2:24 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

I am seriously behind the times and do not have the slightest inkling of what all of these hightech gadgets are, so, I still use the Dachstein mitts, thin woolen gloves, fingerless woolen gloves and either GT overmitts or, my usual favourites, leather choppers treated with Obenauf's that have served me well since the 1950s. I prefer mitts to gloves in cold weather and wool over the various synthetics I have.

I like to carry moisturizing cream for my hands in really cold weather, as well and this keeps my hide from cracking and causing me discomfort. Try this, it really does help with maintaining skin comfort in cold conditions, a good "skin grease" is worth carrying.

I learned about this in the NWT in '66, from my late uncle, who had been a miner in many of the early projects there, from the end of WWII and those boys worked in COLD underground!

3:09 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
411 forum posts

I almost wish some of these gear threads were more like gear guides than anecdotes and "this is what I use."  It gets very, very confusing, and a lot of information gets buried.  It does for me at least.  A lot of people are much more up on the newest technologies and smaller technologies of yesterday, and that's where all the helpful stuff is.  We're all so idiosyncratic about HOW we use the gear that sometimes just knowing about what gear is out there is the most helpful part of these conversations.  You aren't going to use it like I do.  I'm not going to use it like you do.  And neither of us is going to use it at all if we don't even know it exists.

As for hand cream, I have to recommend Vitabath Spring Green lotion.  I would never spend $15 on a bottle of hand lotion, but after someone gave me one for a gift, I'm forever sold on it.  Not greasy, which is absolutely key to me. After you rub it in a few minutes, you can rinse your hands of any remaining excess lotion and not wash away the conditioning of the skin.  I find that lotions are either solid oil or one chemical step away from being a soap, so when you wash your hands the next time, the lotion almost dries your hands out more than it ever conditioned them.  One Vitabath application a day keeps my hands from cracking, and I'm a germaphobe.  I wash my hands tens and tens of times a day.  In the dead of winter, my hands used to be messed up.

8:58 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
5,546 reviewer rep
2,024 forum posts

skin stuff can help with cold toes, too.  my personal fave is something lanolin-based, bag balm or lansinoh.  (lansinoh is intended for nursing mothers, but in fact it's medical-grade lanolin).  

on the issue of gear advantages:

-capilene is a synthetic material that wicks moisture well and is stretchy.  if it gets soaked, you can wring it out, and it still works reasonably well.  expedition weight capilene is thicker than most glove liner materials, so it tends to be a little warmer than most.  it does not stop wind at all.

-windstopper fleece blocks most/all wind.  it has limited insulating properties on its own, usually.  because it's fleece rather than nylon shell material, it is quieter and allows better use of your hands.  it also tends to be used on closer-fitting gloves rather than bulky shells.  it isn't waterproof and can leak, particularly at the seams.  

-primaloft is synthetic insulation, in the same vein as polarguard, thinsulate, quallofil, etc.  for the most part, it seems to be one of the better synthetic insulation materials because it seems fairly resilient in terms of bouncing back after getting crushed repeatedly.  

-dachstein wool mitts - densely woven, thick wool.  they do a decent job blocking wind and moisture due to the tight weave, and they tend to improve in that regard as they get wet and dry repeatedly in my experience.  because the wool is fairly thick, they also do a pretty good job as insulation.  they are not completely windproof, and once they get wet, they aren't easy to dry out in the field.   

-leashes - the cords that you find at the bottom of most good winter gauntlet glove/mitten shells.  they should have a toggle or something that allows you to tighten a loop around your sleeve.  they help keep your glove/mitten from falling or flying away if you take them off for some reason.  an essential backcountry/alpine safeguard.  

12:59 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
6,102 reviewer rep
1,625 forum posts

BRING A PAIR OF BACKUP GLOVES! Mittens and stuff blow away during summit photo ops. Or... um... so I hear anyway. 

In a pinch your nose can activate a touchscreen w/o taking your gloves off if they aren't touchscreen compatible. .

2:37 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

OR Mutant Mittens, i.e. with Mutant super thick fleece liner,

and then,

super thin liner full fully fingered gloves

2:38 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts


5:51 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

FromSagetoSnow said:

In a pinch your nose can activate a touchscreen w/o taking your gloves off if they aren't touchscreen compatible. .

 I do this all the time. Kinda fun in some odd kind of way. I have a big honker(picture Tucan Sam w/o the rainbows.)

April 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Cold weather bean protection... Newer: Integral Designs Observer
All forums: Older: marmot plasma 15 womens sleeping bag wanted Newer: NorthFace Hyvent rain jacket