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  1. #1
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    Gloves/Mitts...really, really warm ones!

    This past winter I did more riding, in harsher climates, than the previous 5 winters combined. I was able to solve most of my 'cold' problems with better gear, and the rest was solved with the right attitude. The only gap in my clothing was my gloves. I have used lobster gloves with/without a liner glove, and gortex snowboarding gloves with a liner glove and once the temp is -15c or colder, my digits get cold. I know bar mitts are probably the warmest, but I ride a drop-bar bike and like changing hand positions frequently. I believe I need either very warm lobster gloves, where some fingers are together, or mitts so all fingers are together. So I'm in the market for buying new gloves and want to know what are the warmest ones out there? I do have to change gears time-to-time with my brifters, but I would rather struggle to do this with warm mitts or gloves, than have it easy but be cold. I'll spend around a $100, though this may invovle finding a $150-200 pair on sale.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    After years of search and use, the warmest i've got vs dexterity are homemade based on those choko mitts (not the best leather quality outthere). Those are kind of weak just like that so it requires some modifications to get something crazy warm
    Welcome to Choko Design ? Snowmobile - ATV Garments ? Accessories
    modified i find them better than marmot expedition mitts, OR alti mitts, black diamond mercury mitts, vapor altitude mitts from RBH...
    mainly because my big hands didn't allow to add layers inside those mitts so those bigger mitts from choko are warmer for me after doing some modifications.

    The trick was to get a bigger size for layering and blood flow, sew another layer of leather on the thumb part and add aluminum foil covered with tape inside those mitts. Those allow to reach -40F for several hours without trouble at all. I also cut the cuff part to remove unnecessary bulk. In fact i spend most of the time without even using the liners of those mitts so i got just 2 layers (leather and aluminum foil/tape combo) which is pretty thin on its own and allow great dexterity.


    Also i have some very warm DIY gloves but i get way better dexterity and can reach way lower temps with mitts than with gloves for bike purpose since warm gloves require big fingers which reduce dexterity which defeat the purpose of having gloves over mitts. It is also way easier to remove mitts and do stuff with liners than do things with bulky finger gloves.

    If you have smaller hands then the easier thing to do is to go for marmot, OR, RBH, black diamond, rab or hestra
    Last edited by erig007; 05-15-14 at 06:41 PM.

  3. #3
    etw
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    There are a few on the market but those seems interesting. Something to look at.
    What i would check:
    -does it works?
    -reliability? (only one finger that doesn't heat anymore for this to become useless, at this price it should better last a little)
    -how the heat spread especially at the fingertips?
    -is the run time really what they say it is?
    -how long to recharge the battery?
    -do they fit my hands? (gloves are probably the most specific thing to wear in the whole body)
    -comfort?
    -how it handles sweat, snow, water?
    -washable?
    -durability? how long before they start to have holes?
    -how the warranty is when you actually need it?
    -looks? design?
    -actual cost per use

    The good news is that heated gloves will become better and better as this technology reach maturity
    Last edited by erig007; 05-15-14 at 08:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Gloves have been the weak area for me as well. It doesn't get as cold here in my area as it does in yours, but the combination of fairly cold weather and rain turn my hands to ice. My wife found some rubber gloves that are supposedly used by fishermen that I will insert a wool liner, for the next season.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    If you have smaller hands then the easier thing to do is to go for marmot, OR, RBH, black diamond, rab or hestra
    I do have small hands (were a size medium cycling glove) so I will look at the warmest gloves from those companies, though I may still size up so I can fit a liner in there.

    I'm not very handy so DIY isn't that appealing...though I haven't ruled this out.

    Not sure on something with a battery...though that can something to research in the future if I feel nothing else is working (to start I just want the 'warmest' gloves available, with at least some dexterity, and I'm guessing those will be fine).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
    I do have small hands (were a size medium cycling glove) so I will look at the warmest gloves from those companies, though I may still size up so I can fit a liner in there.

    I'm not very handy so DIY isn't that appealing...though I haven't ruled this out.

    Not sure on something with a battery...though that can something to research in the future if I feel nothing else is working (to start I just want the 'warmest' gloves available, with at least some dexterity, and I'm guessing those will be fine).
    Actually, on a theoretical standpoint from studies i read for boots that should apply to hands as well, the warmest are those made of fur then come those made for arctic expedition (they may be made of fur as well)
    If you don't mind wearing animal stuff:
    Expedition :: Bilodeau Inc.
    Here is max or jack or theodore the beaver

    Probably that the natural beaver one is too much (noticeable) for urban use. I tried the long black seal mittens at the shop which is very nice looking and a good compromise in terms of fashion to warmth ratio. Not for wide hands though. Should be ok for medium hands.

    If you mind wearing animal stuff then there is artificial fur mitts
    The one from RBH is what i would look at then (i got those and they fall short to my homemade one but are still incredibly warm) (just noticed they don't have the artificial fur version anymore on their website )
    VaprThrm vapor barrier handwear to keep your hands toasty
    there is also those from northernoutfitters than claim they are the best in terms of weight to warmth ratio in the world (haven't tried them)
    Arctic Mittens

    Here is their system

    Usually, it is the limitation of expedition stuff. They design things in way they are as light as possible or dry as fast as possible for expedition purpose. Fur, wool is warmer but also heavier and gather moisture which make it not a very good solution for expedition. (waking up with 1 pound of frozen sweat for instance) When riding a bike the weight of what you're wearing isn't as vital as when in Antarctica. And the fact that you will reach home at night allowing them to dry, garments that gather moisture like wool are not so much a trouble. Because of that i would swap those liners with wool/(nylon, acrylic, leather) blend liners. Blend for the next to skin gloves (compromise between warm and durability) and 100% wool for the mitt liners, the outer shell would be found among all those brands above. Whatever brand fit you the best.
    Also your mitts are as warm as your weakest point, the weakest link in mitts is the thumb part (can also be the wind going through your mitts) as the thumb will be the first to feel the cold as it don't have the advantage of being with other fingers. Be sure you have enough room there taking into account the other layers.
    Last edited by erig007; 05-17-14 at 02:12 PM.

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    erig007 - thanks so much for the info. I'm thinking the earlier list you provided in terms of the Marmot, OR and BD options might work. They all list temps colder than I'll be riding. Not sure if I would size up to use a liner glove, or get the right size and trust.

    I would love to use on their gloves instead, for the dexterity when shifting, but just not sure they would be warm enough (already been down that route).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
    erig007 - thanks so much for the info. I'm thinking the earlier list you provided in terms of the Marmot, OR and BD options might work. They all list temps colder than I'll be riding. Not sure if I would size up to use a liner glove, or get the right size and trust.

    I would love to use on their gloves instead, for the dexterity when shifting, but just not sure they would be warm enough (already been down that route).
    Manufacturers tend to exaggerate what their mitts/gloves can handle. I wouldn't bet on it. Also, everybody is different in terms of how one can handle cold. It also may varies in time due to people that adapt to cold and gloves/mitts that lose their ability as time goes by especially lofty one like those made of primaloft.... So temp rating allow to compare gloves/mitts inside one brand more than anything else like between brands and the absolute temp rating. More like a relative value rather than an absolute one.

    I'm pretty sure you will need to have liners. There is always something that can happen that requires to do stuff outside. Big gloves or mitts are of no use in this case. And reparing something with naked hands outside when it is freezing cold is no fun without some protection.
    My advice would be to go for the combo (thin liner gloves - thick outer mitts) at least thin liners first then once you have it then go at the shop and look for the outershell mitts that fit from marmot, OR and BD
    Maybe some high dexterity gloves from mechanix to have a minimum of cold and water protection with lots of dexterity
    http://www.mechanix.com/the-original-05mm-covert
    http://www.mechanix.com/the-original-insulated

    I have some BD gloves that i love though they don't offer the best dexterity and are a little bulky but they last and give lots of warmth. Those could be good liners i'm not sure they could fit inside marmot, OR and BD outershell mitts though.
    Those "ultimate winter" mitts from marmot, OR and BD were already too tight for my hands so i couldn't fit these BD gloves inside but maybe you could
    WoolWeight Glove - Black Diamond Gear

    Another combo that is great as liners under mitts is ibex shak liners combined with 40g thinsulate-leather motorcycle gloves.



    Pretty much what i currently use and can reach -1C/30F sometimes lower.
    Thin motorcycle gloves can handle light rain and snow and allow me to work on my bike when it is -10C/19F or get my keys in my pocket or unzip my jacket or buy my groceries without having to remove my gloves.
    When i add the modified leather shell (without the mitt liners that come with it) above this combo I can reach -30C/-21F and get great comfort since i don't need to add the lofty mitt liners since it isn't yet cold enough to requires it.
    In fact to put that in perspective i reach more or less the same temp -30C/-21F with this combo as when i use the RBH altitude mitts (remember at this time i haven't added any mitt liners in the modified mitts yet) so i can reach way below temp with the DIY system than with just the RBH mitts that are available on the market.
    Last edited by erig007; 05-19-14 at 09:06 PM.

  10. #10
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    That is one very cute and warm-looking glove! (Poor animal, though)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    That is one very cute and warm-looking glove! (Poor animal, though)
    It's not a glove...it's a black russian terrier
    Here it is with the mouth open

    Last edited by erig007; 06-03-14 at 12:45 AM.

  12. #12
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    Try using some tennis wrist bands along with your gloves/mitts. If the pulse points in your wrists are warm your hands stay warmer. This is surprisingly effective IME, although we don't get extreme winter weather where I live.

  13. #13
    Senior Member CharlieFree's Avatar
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    My hands have always been my weak point. Tried dozens of different things. I finally broke down and bought these and used them all last winter. Very happy and good customer service. I use them in combination with Bar Mitts so I could run them on low and not have to charge them very often.

    See my experience below.

    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    There are a few on the market but those seems interesting. Something to look at.
    What i would check:
    -does it works?
    -reliability? (only one finger that doesn't heat anymore for this to become useless, at this price it should better last a little)
    -how the heat spread especially at the fingertips? Yes
    -is the run time really what they say it is? Yes, unless you accidentally leave it on all day/night, which I did on occasion, but my fault.
    -how long to recharge the battery? A few hours I would say.
    -do they fit my hands? (gloves are probably the most specific thing to wear in the whole body) I have smaller hands for a male and got the mediums.
    -comfort? yes, but battery at wrist can press if you wear it inside a larger shell glove, which I did. Not noticeable if you get the right size shell. The shell was from a pair of gauntlet style winter gloves and helped to support the battery weight. I didn't try putting the battery in my jacket because I didn't want to deal with cords.
    -how it handles sweat, snow, water? Sweat, pretty well. I wore it inside waterproof shell so can't answer the others
    -washable? Yes, but don't wash the battery...
    -durability? how long before they start to have holes? no problems after a full winter of daily use. Usually only on low so I only charged them once every few days with over an hours riding time per day.
    -how the warranty is when you actually need it? Not sure but they replaced a faulty charger no questions asked. (A bad batch which since have all been replaced).
    -looks? design? nice. and well made.
    -actual cost per use. Not sure - not cheap but I used them probably a hundred days or more on the bike, and also when at football games and other outdoor stuff.

    The good news is that heated gloves will become better and better as this technology reach maturity

  14. #14
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    I haven't had to ride with gloves in years. But I wore mittens. I can't do that anymore with my gears changes.

    Oh wait, I live in Florida. I should be OK.
    sharon

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