Gloves are an essential element in any winter mountain activity or bad conditions. The extremities, both hands, and feet, are the areas of the body most sensitive to cold, because they are at the end of the venous return, away from the heart, and therefore their blood frequency is not the same as in the trunk. They are responsible for protecting and safeguarding our hands, and without them, in most cases, we could not even dream of making mountain trips. Especially for our children, we should equip them with adequate gloves. But kids don’t like things that are too covering up, and in some cases, we should choose the fingerless gloves for boys.
It is clear that its main mission is to protect us from the cold and the elements. But there is a problem: we need protection, but on the mountain hands are one of our most important tools, so we also need protection that does not prevent us from doing the activity.
For this reason, there are differences between the different types of gloves: as a general rule, a mountaineer needs more agility in the hand than an alpine skier, mountaineer or hiker, who in turn, when not moving it, will need all possible isolation.
Glove or mitten?
The great advantage of mittens is that, being fingers together, they are hotter, just as it will heat more 1 room with 4 people than 4 rooms with 1 person in each. Its great disadvantage is that, having no fingers, they are less agile and allow fewer maneuvers. For situations of intense cold in which we do not need to perform techniques that require intensive use of hands (such as alpine skiing) can be an excellent solution for those who suffer especially from cold in the extremities.
But always considering one thing: if we wear mittens in an activity in which, by use of hands, we have to take them off on numerous occasions. Mittens are also used in expeditions, in this case with pen filling, acquiring large volume.
The importance of choosing the right size
Gloves that are very large will reduce agility of movement. But in no case should we choose tight gloves to facilitate agility; if our fingers are pressed, we will feel cold due to the lower blood circulation, and in more extreme situations we can even freeze. They will lose part of their protective function. For this reason, a pen is usually not used in the filling of gloves, except in expedition mittens. Its greater expanded volume, in addition to hindering dexterity, presses the fingers, and to avoid it the only way is to make gloves or oversized mittens.
Gauntlet or short glove?
The gloves with long gauntlet are designed to carry the sleeve inside it. They protect more against the elements, preventing the entry of snow, water, etc. They have the disadvantage of their greater volume which, in technical situations, can interfere with some movements. In addition to greater protection, gloves with a long gauntlet have the advantage that it is easier to put them on and take them off. In cold-handed situations, it can be important.
Protection against the elements? With membrane?
As in so many other clothes and tools of mountain, snow and ski, we are not going to find gloves that serve us perfectly for everything. That’s why there are different types of gloves. Imagine that we go hiking in a somewhat cold day without precipitation: it is likely that with polar gloves, very breathable and pleasant, and that just prevent our movements, it is enough. In such a situation, we would have some gloves of great calorific power and protections for skiing or mountaineering.