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Tips for warm hands?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there, I was wondering if anyone could give advice on how to keep my hands as warm as possible on piste, or if there are any glove recommendations.

My hands get cold pretty easily even in the UK and I'm off to Breckenridge in about a week. I've been there before and had to come off the slopes for a while on one occasion as I'd lost feeling in both my little fingers. Chilly, and on that occasion I had three layers of gloves on.

I've got good quality, waterproof, breathable Dakine gloves now and I was planning on just wearing tight gloves under those. But I am considering buying mittens as maybe they would be warmer? I've not been able to find any I'm tempted buy though - some Northface ones looked good but very pricey, other cheaper ones either looked too thin, not waterproof enough or actually had fingers inside the mittens which seemed to be against the point.

Any hints or tips greatly appreciated. Cheers.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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ifiboard, many people say mittens are warmer, I prefer a pair of very fine silk gloves under my normal ski gloves. I cant remember who makes them, but I saw a pair with battery operated heat elements, very pricey(about 300 euros Shocked ) if youre feeling flush.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
just googled them they are made by Zainer and now ONLY 250 dollars!
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I have a pair of ski glove liners (under £10 from places like ebay) and then depending on how cold it is I would either wear a pair of cheap gloves I got in finland or if it's bitter then I ware my fav mittens which are made by snowlife, they are amazing and have kept me warm as toast in -30
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just keep them in your pockets

or round a mug of hot chocolate
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sev112, with just a dash of rum wink
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Maplins sell electrically heated gloves for under a Tenner

Make sure your gloves, cuffs and sleeves are not tight, Air is a much better insulation than anything else. Tight gloves will not be as warm as large ones

Also make sure your core is warm so that there is plenty of hot blood to pump down to your extremities
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Cheap mittens are warmer than expensive gloves in my experience.
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try to avoid any taking off of gloves outside. If the phone rings, just ignore it. the heat warmer pads are very good - a pair will last all day. And they are much cheaper than $250 gloves.
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Mittens work for me, no issues down to minus 20 with no underglove etc.

Mine have the separate fingers, they do seem to work even if I don't know why Smile Definitely warmer than separate fingered gloves of similar thickness with similar materials.

Mine were on sale Trespass ones, cost me a tenner. Seriously cheap, but seriously warm. Only time I've ever been cold using them is when I've sat outside in the cold having lunch and allowed the gloves to cool off, the first hour back on the slopes they are a bit chilly. If you spent a bit more no doubt you could get some very warm mitts.

If you used mitts and undergloves I can't believe you'd get cold. It would have to be incredibly cold, and you'd have to be very sensitive to the cold.
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Your extremities (hands, feet) get cold because you body considers them less important than your core (lungs, heart) and so reduces the blood supply to those unimportant(!) parts. So the solution is to make you core warmer: another fleece or similar. I find a fleece gilet is brilliant at adding an extra layer of warmth and stopping the hands/feet getting cold without adding too much bulk.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
You can buy little warming bags full of iron filings that heat when mixed with the small quantity of water that they contain. They may help.
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Apparently if you shrug your shoulders as high as you can with your arms stiff by your side (and hands sticking out at right angles) then thrust your shoulders down as fast as you can... you'll create a rush of (warm) blood to your hands... which should warm them. Apparently.

wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Keeping your core warm also helps to keep your extremities warm. So a good layering system should help and keeping active to keep warm too. Also make sure your cuffs are not to tight and stopping circulation from getting to your hands.
Agree with what nozawaonsen said or variations of this idea will warm them up if they get cold.
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Thanks all for the replies. Interesting point madmole about making sure they are not tight. Last time I was there, with my three layers of gloves I could hardly grip so that may explain why they were still cold!

I am tempted by mittens, but I've not seen anything that I want to buy locally. I think I will continue to have a look around to see if anything grabs me, if not I'll see what it's like when I am out there. I've got better outer gloves than last time and I'll get some good liners but make sure it's not too tight this time. If that doesn't work then there's a better range of shops there for me to find the thickest pair of mittens I can afford Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Oh yeah, I've also got some handwarmers, but I prefer to have toasty hands than have to stop and use them. I'll see how your tip works out as well nozawaonsen, thanks - I look forward to shrugging like a loon on the slopes Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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nozawaonsen, yep a tried and tested method of getting blood to the hands and forearms when on a long (rock)climbing pitch
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Bought some Swany Toaster mittens in Fernie, Canada during a -40 degree C spell of weather. They allow handwarmers to be inserted in the finger area of the mitten via a waterproof zip opening on the side of the index finger area. The fingers are in a separate inner glove and the handwarmer can be located on the back of the fingers so as not to interfere with the grip on the ski pole. I now cannot ski without this essential piece of kit! Absolutely the mutt's nuts!!
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It might be worth a look in your local TKMaxx- I got some down filled Reusch mittens in mine before Christmas (sans finger dividers) which I'm looking forward to trying out in La Plagne a week on Saturday.

I don't think it should make a lot of difference whether mittens have internal finger dividers or not - your whole hand is still inside one warm 'bag' rather than each finger being surrounded by cold air, as with gloves.
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Try weeing on them.
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new ski addict - Thanks, I've had a look, unfortunately my local TKMaxx didn't have anything as swish.

paulio - should I eat the yellow snow if I get thirsty too wink
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I have trouble with poor circulation and still haven't found anything which prevents my fingertips going painfully numb on long chair lifts. Unfortunately once they get really cold it is almost impossible to get them back warm again without stopping and putting them near a heat source. I've tried silk inner liners, heated inserts, wool liners, mittens and am now running out of options.

So, has anyone tried the newer battery operated gloves which heat the fingers as well as the palms? If so, what were they like and can you recommend them?
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Clap your hands alot.
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Clap your hands alot.

rolling eyes OK, I didn't mention I've also tried putting my hands inside my coat, rubbing my hands together, moving my arms around, moving my fingers inside the mittens/gloves constantly and putting extra layers on the rest of my body.

So, has anyone actually used heated finger gloves?
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karenhenry, I bouight the Maplins ones and to be honest they don't get that warm and the batteries only last a couple of hours. I believe there are some that are supposed to get warmer but I am sceptical.

The warmest gloves I've tried so far are the Sealskinz ones. I am considering the Extremities Super Inferno mittens but have found no independent reviews of them yet. Am also going to try silk inners - Mountain Warehouse do them reasonably priced.


TK Maxx in Scunthorpe had Reusch and Giordini mitts, but only in ladies' small sizes - none big enough for me (no men's either).

EDIT
someone mentioned hands being cold after gloves/mitts got cold during a lunch/drink stop. I was given the tip of tucking gloves inside your clothing while you're stopped to keep them warm.
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Thanks Butterfly.

I have been looking at Zanier, bewell and snowlife gloves,whic cost upwards of £130 but am reluctant to spend that amount of money for something which might not work. I was hoping someone here had used them.
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You don't say which hot pads you've tried, but in my experience the disposable ones get hotter and stay hot longer than the reusable ones. £130 sounds an awful lot of dosh to me.
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karenhenry, I said is earlier, but I'll say it again.... hands can get cold because your body decides they are less important than you core. What are you wearing in terms of thermals, fleece, jacket &c???

In my experience, as long as you have windproof gloves with a reasonable degree of insulation, cold hands usually mean an inadequately warm core.
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silk gloves/liners - there is another thread somewhere that covers this same topic, and the silk option came up. My parents have been using them for years and swear by them, and I got some for Christmas this year from my better half - not sure why cos I don't really suffer. Anyway, silk is supposed to have good heat retention properties....no doubt a review of the esteemed tome "THE HEAT RETAINING PROPERTIES OF CLOTHING COMPUTED ON A PHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS. (PART II) by T. C. Angus from the Journal of the Textile Institute Transactions, 1944-7027, Volume 27, Issue 11, 1936, Pages T273 – T284" might be a useful reference...
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As a mechanic who works with cold compresed air tool and keen cyclist in all weathers, I tend to have warm hands when skiing even when I choose the wrong gloves. However I've learned a few tricks and it's because of them my hands are warm.

Dry hands are warmer than wet. Dry your gloves well and warm them before wearing.
Lots of times people get cold hands after a cafe stop; Damp gloves get cold on the table and the result is cold hands. Tuck the gloves into the waist bad of you salopetes if there's no radiator available and they'll stay warm.
Mitts are warmer than gloves. If you don't like mitts try and get hold of some "Lobster-claw" type ones. These have a thumb and 2 fingers (2 of yours in each of them).
"Tea-bag" type hand warmers in your gloves work, but don't wait untill your hands are freezing before using.
Last one to try is a bit extreme and counter-intuitive... Before you leave in the morning go outside and rub your hands in the snow! Go back inside and dry your hands (well) then put on your warm gloves. Give it 10 mins and you should have hot hands. Works with feet as well.

adrian
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
All good tips from agt. Also, you can lose a lot of heat through conduction, which can be avoided. Some techniques:
Hold poles by the handles rather than the metal on a chair lift, as the handles have much lower thermal conductivity. Better still, grip the holds with your legs, not your hands
Avoid carrying cold skis as much as you can
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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If you check out eBay you might find some good deals. I find gloves that keep your hands drier will generally keep them warmer. Mittens are always good to go for the 'curl your hand into a fist until it's warm' approach.

I bought some Dakine Apollo gloves on eBay for £50 which are lovely and warm.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You can get merino liner gloves which may be warmer than silk. They're Icebreaker and I've seen them in Tiso but sure they're available loads of places
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I have silk inner gloves but they ladder and start falling apart.

I also used dispoable hand warmers.
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I bought Hestra army leather gloves, thinking they must be really warm because I saw them worn by Everest climbers. Not so. I added merino glove liners and chemical hand warmers but my fingertips still burned with cold during Dec/Jan skiing. My ESF instructor on my last trip recommended mittens, which I bought immediately after the lesson ended. Have to admit, the old French codger was correct, the mittens did the trick (though I'm undecided whether that's due to them being mittens or that they're insulated with Primaloft, which is uber warm).
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Someone earlier mentioned core temperature. On a similar theme - it's usually best to avoid showering/having a bath in the morning as residual moisture on the skin can lead to more rapid chilling once dressed and out on the slopes.

Other than that the "tea bags" seem to be a really good option from those I know that suffer more from cold hands.
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ifiboard, I always have a second pair of gloves in my rucksack, don't always use them, but 'life savers' sometimes. The number of times I've been round a table at lunchtime and someone has remarked their gloves are soaked 'but Mummy I haven't fallen over' .. most people sweat, Gortex is great, but just putting on a spare pair, IMHO, is best and easy.
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I would go for mittens, I used to get cold hands wearing gloves, but now, with mittens my hands stay toasty warm. Sorry, cant say what brand they are but have had them for many years and they have really really fluffy linings. Hands definitely stay warmer when dry, and when in dry mittens/gloves. I have looked at other pairs of mittens but have refrained from replacing ones that have served me so well. They are slightly more cumbersome than gloves but I can still operate most zips, boot bindings and even my camera whilst wearing them. I would definitely go for mittens.
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Another vote for mittens instead of gloves, they keep my hands much warmer. I think that the main reason for them being warmer is the reduced surface area that heat can escape.

I have a pair of Dakine mitts, about £60 if I remember correctly but they've lasted 20 weeks worth of skiiing so far.
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One solution i've encountered is washing your hands in very cold water (assuming you can also dry them again - so possibly one for the day-lodge rather than out in the field) the sudden cold will cause the capilliaries to dilate and increase blood flow to the extremities (believe this sometimes goes by the name of the Hunters Reflex...) Works with feet too - cold to start with but you'll soon be toasty!
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