It’s not just in extreme cold and technical environments where keeping your hands warm should be a priority. Even when it’s not life-threatening, having cold, malfunctioning fingers can waste time and effort as well as being annoyingly uncomfortable or even painful. Fortunately, there’s no need or excuse to let them get that cold – with a range of handwear to suit every outdoor application, our selection of men’s gloves proves that you don’t have to be restricted to keep your hands in full working order.
If you’ve ever been caught out without gloves in the cold, you’ll know the problems of having cold hands when trying to function outdoors. Fingers that won’t obey, a lack of sensation for fiddly tasks and whole hands that resemble cold meat, not to mention the distracting pain. In everyday life it’s an annoyance, forgotten once you’ve thawed them out. But when you’re self-sufficient miles from anywhere, not having full use of your hands can be a real problem when it comes to cooking, tent pitching and the like. In really low temperatures, insufficient insulation on your hands risks frostbite or frostnip, which could be catastrophic for your trip. Pockets may offer some light relief in moderate cold, but realistically they’re a temporary solution.
Hence the importance of carrying at least two pairs of gloves in winter so you have a backup if one goes missing, gets blown away or ends up soaking wet. Many experienced hillwalkers will take more, as many as seven pairs including liners. They weigh little, take up a small space and can save your bacon on a mountain, so why not?
Men’s gloves and mitts come in many forms; like everything else in the world of outdoor equipment, each has its own strengths and specialisms. So another benefit of carrying multiple gloves is the ability to switch for different tasks. A pair of windproof fleece gloves for the walk-in, a dextrous and technical set for the ascent, waterproof mitts to add over the top and a lightweight, insulated pair for emergencies: with liners and spare liners seven pairs of gloves isn’t so extreme for a mountain day.
In our range you’ll find all these plus robust and dextrous ski gloves and huge, massively insulated mitts for summit days and high-altitude trips as well as a wide selection of liner gloves at varying weights. Liners are particularly important when you need to take your outer gloves off for fiddly tasks – a liner offers a little protection from wind while you regain full dexterity, plus a barrier between your fingers and cold surfaces that suck away heat – plus they add warmth and wick away moisture to keep your skin dry inside your gloves too. They do take up a bit of extra space though, so always try on new gloves with the heaviest liners you’ll wear under them.
Aside from having the required level of insulation, dexterity is the most important objective when selecting gloves. A well-fitting, dextrous glove, even an insulated glove, will let you move each finger individually and grip objects comfortably. For specific tasks there are other important requirements of course – an ice climbing glove will protect your knuckles and maximise your grip on your ice tools for example – but all the features in the world are useless if you can’t move your fingers properly. Most gloves are sized by palm knuckle circumference and finger length: the fabric between your fingers should be able to touch your webs without pulling on the tips of your fingers. Obviously, it’s difficult to know how a glove will fit when you’re buying online, so we recommend ordering more than one size to try and then returning the unused pairs on our sixty day returns policy.
They may be one of the smallest items in your pack, but decent gloves make a massive difference to your outdoor experience. It’s therefore worth taking the time to try plenty of pairs on in order to find the best fit for you. For additional assistance or guidance, just give us a call, send us an email or visit our Milton Keynes shop. Give your hands the best support in cold conditions – invest in good gloves so you can rely on your fingers when you need them.