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Anyone know of gloves that really are waterproof and warm in cold weather?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Can't believe that I am asking this but here goes.......

I have skied loads and I mean loads. Had my fair share of gloves during that time, some cheap, some middle of the road and some expensive. Despite all the fancy words and hyped up promises I have never actually found a pair that do what they say on the glove. My hands don't generally suffer from the cold but at temps less than minus 20c then things can get a bit cool. Also, if the gloves are waterproof why do I have to dry them out most days?

When conditions are warmer I can wear other gloves, I just need a pair for the extreme cold.

So guys, can anyone give me recommendations for gloves that really are waterproof and really do keep you hands warm at less than minus 20? (Please, no suggestions for hand warmers and yes I know about inner gloves already and have some).


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 17-11-13 13:26; edited 1 time in total
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Ha ha. Hmmm. Your hands get moist due to sweat I think.

The best gloves I have ever had, and I have/do ski "loads" >60 days a year, were a most magnificent pair of Marker branded race gloves in 1990 which I wish I had bought 20 pairs - gore tex membrane, thinsulate lining and furry insides. Totally awesome and colour coded to my then uniform.

However, I now have a lovely pair of Hestra heli gloves with removable linings which are just awesome.
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There have been a handful (badum, tish) of threads on gloves and mitts here in the recent past... well worth a browse to see what turns up.

Seems like there are generally two results to such threads... 1. get something by hestra (followed by a bunch of people saying 'don't get something by hestra') and 2. get some other sort of synthetic insulated mitts (the black diamond mercuries were mentioned last time, and they look jolly nice). Regardless of manufacturer, mitts are definitely the way to go.

Waterproof membranes work both ways... they'll keep wet out, but they'll also keep a certain amount of wet in. Small amounts of sweatiness will waft away in the form of water vapour, but if you have very sweaty hands you may overwhelm the membrane especially in warmer conditions. Larger amounts of wet in the form of snow getting in will be much harder to shift. Paying more for a fancier membrane may help. Washing your gloves will also help keep the membrane pores free of ming and improve breathability.

Edit: and whilst I think of it... making a proper waterproof membrane for fingered gloves is very hard, so it'll be expensive and as often as not, imperfect. Waterproof mitts are cheaper and more reliable. You can also get waterproof overmitts (like extremities tuffbags) but I don't know how nice they are to ski in. I use similar things for hiking, but I've yet to ski in em.

I avoid this by using gloves that aren't waterproof and are designed to be comfy when wet, dry quick and breathe well (montane extreme range, but the stuff like the 'chamonix bin men' gloves that get mentioned here are basically the same), but I wouldn't want to use them at below minus 20. I'd consider down mitts, but wet will kill em, so you'd have to be a bit more cautious.
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Serriadh,

You forgot the Kinco/Ventex "never paid more than a tenner for my gloves" brigade.
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The reason I haven't searched the other threads is because I wanted to ask my own specific question and I am hoping for some definite positive answers rather than some saying Hestra and some saying not Hestra.
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musher wrote:
You forgot the Kinco/Ventex "never paid more than a tenner for my gloves" brigade.


Serriadh wrote:
the stuff like the 'chamonix bin men' gloves that get mentioned here are basically the same


wink

idkwia wrote:
The reason I haven't searched the other threads is because I wanted to ask my own specific question and I am hoping for some definite positive answers rather than some saying Hestra and some saying not Hestra.


But there are already other bits of useful advice in those threads (see also the mercury mitt suggestion, found in the one of the two most recent glove threads). Writing them off because they might just be hestra love-ins seems a little short sighted, or perhaps even lazy. Don't make me break out the 'lmgtfy'...
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Marmot Work gloves are my choice for cold conditions. Gloves will get wet if:

- they aren't waterproof
- you have sweaty hands so they get wet from the inside
- moisture gets in through the wrist. You need to be careful about snow getting in or, moisture running down your sleeve and into the gloves
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Quote:

I am hoping for some definite positive answers rather than some saying Hestra and some saying not Hestra.


But "get Hestra" is the definite positive answer for some, and "don't get Hestra" is the answer for others. And handwarmers are the definite positive answer for some (including me). And the waterproof membrane isn't always on the very outside - one reason why they still might need to be dried out. There's probably nothing that hasn't been said in the other threads. And yes, mittens are the way to go.
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idkwia, try mittens - some ski gloves seem to restrict the circulation in the fingers.
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https://www.norrona.com/en-GB/Products/5370-11/1225/narvik-dri1-insulated-short-gloves/

These gloves are the business!
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I'd give these a try to start : http://eur.flylowgear.com/goat-oven-mitt-13.html new, waterproof.

But the ones I covet are the Black Diamond Guide series http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/ski-gloves/guide-lobster-mitt-BD801524_cfg.html?dwvar_BD801524__cfg_color=Natural#sz=60&start=25

I have Hestra's - they are OK but not as Good as the Black Diamonds for extreme cold in my opinion.
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I've been wearing the BD Guide gloves as a cold weather glove for a few years. The wool liner is just awesome.
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I have been trying to keep kids hands warm for years and prepared to pay anything necessary to achieve the same. IMO Hestra's are overpriced and have never delivered the goods on the occasions I have tried them so I'm with the negative Hestra brigade noted above. FWIW I am still on the same quest, about 10 years in.
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Hestras work for me in anything from cold January days high on a glacier through Feb skiing anywhere, Easter trips to L2A and fridge sessions. First scenario is my 3 finger Seth Morrisons and everything else is my Hestra ski cross gloves. Guess its like boots though what is perfect for me might not work for you and vice versa.
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idkwia, I have some Marmot gauntlet type gloves that are warm and dry. They are similar I think to the Black diamond gloves mentioned above. They look like an old fashioned pair of motorcycle gloves and extend about a third of the way up the forearm. Best I have ever tried and we do a fair bit of early season skiing in Tignes. Cost?.... over £100 IIRC but you gets what you pay for. wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

you gets what you pay for

not necessarily. I got a pair of Reusch mittens in T K Maxx which are excellent and I've worn them a lot, sometimes with silk inners when it's cold, and with handwarmers when it's colder. They were cheap as chips, but same gloves cost a lot in S & R.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Hestra, the gloves that get better with age.



(According to their FB, those gloves have had 7 years of hard use)

Mine are still going (very) strong after 4 seasons of hard use (minimum 8 weeks a season, max over 80 days). Really happy with them, and will be sticking with Hestra in the future.

Most people who don't get on with Hestra seem to have been using the fabric (rather than leather) gloves. The leather ones may not be cheap, but the sheer craftsmanship makes them pretty special IMO.
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Another happy Hestra user. I have the Army Leather Heli the same as under a new name. I can't fault it. Waterproof enough, and any dampness tends to come from my own hands. The removable liner makes it very quick to dry overnight and keeps my hands warm in the lowest temperatures. Do need to look after the leather tho, so I use their leather balm at the end of each week.
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clarky999 wrote:
Most people who don't get on with Hestra seem to have been using the fabric (rather than leather) gloves. The leather ones may not be cheap, but the sheer craftsmanship makes them pretty special IMO.


Most people on this forum who complain about Hestras aren't complaining about the quality or durability, they're complaining about cold fingers wink
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No cold fingers in my Hetras
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idkwia,
In very cold weather your hands do not get wet from the outside as the water outside is frozen very solid your hands get wet from perspiration which does not wick away. You may actually find that more than one pair of gloves in the answer high insulating but very breathable fro very cold days and more waterproof ones with less insulation for warmer days.
Personally my Hestras work quite well.
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Wear more on your core. At -20 if you dont have enough layers on your core you will get cold fingers even with the thickest gloves or mitts in the world. So yes get a warm pair but ultimately your body will withdraw the blood from your extremities if your core temperature is dropping.
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No cold fingers in my Hestras either. Another fan of the Army Helis here. Now into their 3rd year of use and still looking brand new despite skiing all year round. I do notice it takes longer to warm up if I have miscalculated with my layers though, but once I'm warm so are they.
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I have a apir of Hestras which are great, waterproof and warm enough. The warmest gloves I have tried though are Black Diamond Mercury mitts which are great, really warm though, I always have cold hands and these are too warm for me on all but the coldest days. Hestra have a good name for a good reason, I'm pretty sure they make plenty of super warm gloves as well, I just read lots of reviews for the Mercury mitts so decided to get them
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No problem with my hestras , hands might get a bit hot is the biggest problem. Not used below minus 20 yet.
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I am sure its all been said before but on the waterproof aspect, there are gloves that are 100% waterproof but they don't breath and therefore get wet inside, which sort of defeats the object.

Gloves with any type of membrane will still get wet on the out side fabric its just that the dampness finds it hard to get past the membrane, but it does on most gloves around the stitching and stuff because the membrane is hard to keep water proof in these areas.

Leather gloves which are treated and have a membrane can be a good answer but you need to treat the leather regularly with a breathable treatment to keep the outer fabric dry, the trouble is and this is why many top end gloves get damp inside its that once they have been treated they are not that breathable, so its important to use the correct re proofer. Some leather balms are wax based and this does not do the breathability any good.

The other points on leather gloves, is what type of leather is used, cow hide leather can go hard after getting wet, goat, bambi and pig skin are much better and remain soft,

So if its really cold -20 and below then you need a very well insulated glove, which will also stay dry on the outer fabric as we all know if they start to get wet then they freeze to the ski lift bars and thats a pain.

I have tested loads of gloves, the best for being waterproof were actually some Columbia gloves I tried 2 years ago, but they were not very warm, the warmest and most breathable gloves are the Kinco 901, but you have to keep treating them to maintain the water resistance, they have no membrane but are pretty much full hide pig skin so if treated correctly they work. The draw back on these types of gloves is that they need some work to break them in, they have a full hide and a huge amount of insulation therefore they do not feel nice and comfy like a Hestra when you first put them on.

I know some of you will say that I am bound to say this as I sell the Kinco gloves, but to be honest after standing around for hours in the cold doing skis tests for snowheads then the only glove I use for this is the Kinco, when I am skiing I will be using other gloves or testing different ones.

If I had the time and money to do it I would produce my own gloves which would be a combination of the kinco but with a 100% breathable pre formed and not stitched membrane, maybe ultra sonically welded into the glove, so that no water can get through, so far I have not found a glove like this that is being manufactured. If any ones knows of one please let me know I would love to test them

Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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livetoski wrote:
The other points on leather gloves, is what type of leather is used, cow hide leather can go hard after getting wet, goat, bambi and pig skin are much better and remain soft

Ooo where can I get bambi gloves? Madeye-Smiley
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Well my liftie / binman gloves are definitely warmer than my Hestras so don't see why they not worth considering. Only available in canary yellow though, I suppose that's a negative, but they can be picked up in garages and the like for about 15quid. If the cheap price bothers anyone I'll sell them mine for 80.
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Princess? wrote:
livetoski wrote:
The other points on leather gloves, is what type of leather is used, cow hide leather can go hard after getting wet, goat, bambi and pig skin are much better and remain soft

Ooo where can I get bambi gloves? Madeye-Smiley


Hestra Laughing

Got my gf a pair of deerskin/lambskin (not ski) mittens from them for Christmas a few years ago; the leather is almost impossibly soft and supple.
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snowrider wrote:
Wear more on your core. At -20 if you dont have enough layers on your core you will get cold fingers even with the thickest gloves or mitts in the world. So yes get a warm pair but ultimately your body will withdraw the blood from your extremities if your core temperature is dropping.


+1
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 Poster: A snowHead
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[quote="clarky999"]
Princess? wrote:
livetoski wrote:
Ooo where can I get bambi gloves? Madeye-Smiley


Hestra Laughing

Got my gf a pair of deerskin/lambskin (not ski) mittens from them for Christmas a few years ago; the leather is almost impossibly soft and supple.


Laughing don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-Hestra, I have two pairs that I use for skiing in warmer temps. I just haven't found a pair (not even the heli model) that are warm enough for me in cold temps.
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[quote="Princess?"]
clarky999 wrote:
Princess? wrote:
livetoski wrote:
Ooo where can I get bambi gloves? Madeye-Smiley


Hestra Laughing

Got my gf a pair of deerskin/lambskin (not ski) mittens from them for Christmas a few years ago; the leather is almost impossibly soft and supple.


Laughing don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-Hestra, I have two pairs that I use for skiing in warmer temps. I just haven't found a pair (not even the heli model) that are warm enough for me in cold temps.


Ditto.

Having seen a mate with these and read this review, I m keen to get a pair of these at some point:

http://www.wildsnow.com/10659/black-diamond-guide-glove-review/

My Hestras have been OK for most European endeavours but full winter at altitude with few breaks starts to get a bit much.
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Bought a pair of Hestra Army heli gloves last year to replace apair of Swanys i'd had for around 7 years. These were getting a bit used and looking tired although still functioned well, foolishly I never treated them with balm and now get a little damp in wet conditions Embarassed which doesnt add to their looks.

The Hestras arent any warmer, probably just as warm as my old gloves - but for the price I paid ok, around £50 in sales. I certainly wouldnt want to pay any more for them.
I passed up the chance of getting a new pair of the Swanys at the same place, but if I ever see them again I'll willingly pay full price for them. Totally bombproof, warm and supple from day one.
SWMBO also bought a pair and she suffers with cold hands, not just when skiing. Prior to the Hestras she wore Reusch and didnt really have cold hands even down to -20 and below. Her mittens(Army Leather Heli Mitt, cost £47 ) arnt any warmer than her old Reusch Mitts. I would never had paid the full price for them. Judging how well they sell now in the UK I probably should have filled our suitcases Smile

I'm not against Hestra like Princess?, and will still use them. I just dont feel they warrant their RRP, they have a big following now and seem to be the fashionable glove atm. Folks love em and swear by them. They probably work for some people but as mentioned warm extremities come form the core and warm blood circulation. Warm wrists also help too Smile
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To those of you who have suggested specific names of gloves that you have used personally thank you very much, some excellent suggestions and I will be investigating further.

To certain others, I appreciate your efforts but my hands do not get sweaty and I am not cold in the rest of my body at all. My gloves get wet because I have to pick skis up to get on gondolas and cable cars etc.

Fishmongatti, where did you get your Norrona gloves from?
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 photo expedmitts_zps2abd3c5b.jpg
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I've got a pair of leki goretex gloves. I tried the hestras but I think the leki are better.
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There's some good advice here already.

I ride at minus 20 a lot. Usually at those temperatures there's not a lot of moisture in the air: it's generally dry. If you ride at freezing point a lot, in storms, the problem is somewhat different. So you're asking for two things really.

Generally...
  • Personally I don't much like leather, but if you have it, you have to wax it regularly.
  • Anything without taped seams isn't waterproof.
  • Anything with separate fingers isn't waterproof (too many seams, too complicated).
  • Separate fingers are colder than mitts, more expensive, and slower on/off (important for photogs).
  • Mitts with liners you can take out are good - faster to dry, and you can take two sets of liners
  • Mitts where you have space for "silk" gloves inside when it's especially cold are good. Three layers is better than two and thin gloves stop your hands freezing when using cameras etc.
  • Down and rain don't mix too well.
  • I need easy/ quick on/off, so big lose mitts with leashes are the way to go.


So currently I'm using a pair of these although not at uk prices.

They're a combination of down and synthetic fill. They're toasty when it's cold, and when I've ridden them in Vancouver in the rain... the down doesn't insulate but the synthetic stuff does. I would not pick them specifically for use in rain, but they still work then. In normal riding (freezing temperature and below), they work fine and I've never got the insides wet.

Disadvantages: price; leather needs treating; a bit over the top in May but still usable. Liners aren't removable.
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Serriadh, I have some Extremities Tuffbags too, they are so light and low volume I can just keep them in my pack, but although I've used them for hiking/climbing in the past, since I've been bringing them out I haven't suffered from the really high wind / low temp situations that lead to cold fingers.

However, following a lead on this site I bought these, http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/head_hands_+_feet/hands/randonee_glove---303/

They have Schoeller dryskin instead of a waterproof membrane so are more breathable although not 100% waterproof, and with a pile fluffy inner, you can even soak them, wring them out and within minutes your body heat will drive the water away from the skin. A nice high quality goatskin palm completes the package. Pile keeps its insulation properties when wet way above many other materials. It's the mainstay of the old Buffalo clothing system so beloved by Scottish winter climbers in the past.

I still have my Hestra's but I find that these are now my first choice, even in warmer weather the pile just wicks sweat away so much more efficiently.
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My leki gloves are the detect S with trigger s poles. I also have POW mittens with liners. Thanks tkkmax.
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+1 on the hestras . I have these which are gore tex with leather palms, and I never get cold or wet hands in temperatures up to minus 25 c. If it is colder
I wear hestra merino liners underneath which are great. https://www.freezeproshop.com/hestra-gore-tex-classic-leather-gloves/colour:25056/size:25058?country=GB&currency=GBP&utm_source=GoogleShopping&gclid=CPGx8rPM4rsCFUkCwwodPQQAOg
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