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Winter Gloves and Miitts system
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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 13:35:06 MST Print View

Hi folks,

Just spotted this article about winter gloves on Outdoorsmagic and it got me thinking I need to sort out my winter handwear.

I normally pack a pair of synthetic fil mitts and gloves but they are very heavy and are pain to dry if they get soaked, so I had a rummage in my glove collection to see if I could come up with a lighter and more versatile system, I can fit a pair of thick Fleece mitts inside MLD's Event mitts, for camp wear or if is uber cold I could add a pair of goose Feets down mittens in with the pile ones. I obviously would be using liner gloves also.



Edited by stephenm on 12/15/2012 15:32:38 MST.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 14:04:30 MST Print View

I've always been happy with a three-piece system: liner gloves (currently powerstretch but I've used various over the years), warm mittens - fleece is good and easy to make your own - and mitten shells. The warm mitts can be of varying thickness depending on how cold the weather you are dealing with, and might be primaloft or down if you like. But the fleece works great, and if you make your own you can pick the weight of fleece and how many layers you want.

I wear the liner gloves a lot, the shells over the liners a little, and other combinations occasionally.

edited to add - I might add that I carry a spare pair of liner gloves, mostly because I once lost a liner glove on a ksi tour, but also becasue they are pretty likely to get wet and having a dry pair is well worth the extra 1.5 oz.

Edited by paul on 12/17/2012 21:41:01 MST.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 15:04:25 MST Print View

Assuming "winter" means temps less that 32F ... Add vapor barrier gloves to Paul's suggestion and you have winter hand wear nirvana.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 15:40:23 MST Print View

Cheers Paul,

Making your own fleece mitts does sound like a great idea.

Hi Jim,

I have never tried any VB clothing.

Thanks both,

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 16:12:04 MST Print View

Our winters are pretty mild. If it gets to single digits it is rare. Most of the time our lows are in the mid teens and up, not counting wind chill. I have been fine just using my OR PL150 Fleece gloves and then lining a waterproof mitt over them. I had been using the MLD eVENT mitts up until this past February when I bought some of the ZPacks cuben mitts. I have been quite happy with this set-up.

I have often thought about adding in a pair of nitrile gloves as a bit of a VBL. I could just throw these on under the fleece gloves. I may try that this year just to try something new...

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 19:32:49 MST Print View

I really like the MLD Event mitts, I must seam seal mine though.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 20:47:35 MST Print View

I don't do any sub-zero backpacking, or haven't anyway. For above zero:

On the move, I like my Extremities windstopper gloves. They're usually good by themselves, but if it's especially cold, I'll wear an Ibex wool liner. If it's raining, I really like my Extremities Tough Mitts over the gloves.

For hanging in camp, I like my BPL VaprThrm mitts, with the Ibex liners if necessary. I also have a pair of the Black Rock down mitts, but haven't used them much.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 21:29:08 MST Print View

Sounds like a nice system Doug.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 21:33:52 MST Print View

Does anyone have any suggestions for vapor barrier liners? I would like to give them a try for multiday trips. I think nitrile exam gloves would work, but I would think there would be something out there designed for this purpose.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/15/2012 23:59:59 MST Print View

Virtually all VBL specific gear for hands are mitts of some kind. Nitrile gloves are your best option (and INCREDIBLY cheap compared to anything else the market could come up with). Gets some of the thicker ones if you're worried about long term durability.

Also there are plenty of neoprene solutions that act as a VBL available from watersports companies, they just tend to be bulkier than necessary as a pure VBL (but warmer too).

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/16/2012 07:19:57 MST Print View

Rbh Designs makes a few excellent mitts with built-in VBL. I purchased both their lighter and heavier versions. I use various weight liner gloves with the lighter mitts. I used to bring the heavier mitts with me just in case it got too cold for the lighter ones, but stopped after a few trips because, even at 0F, they really were't needed.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/16/2012 12:44:13 MST Print View


There is a definite learning curve with VB clothing. Hands and feet are a good place to start with VB clothing. They are a small % of your total body surface area and being extremities, can be hard to keep warm. The payoff is big. It is a big junp from there to a VB shirt ... still working on that.

The hand wear article you read has a strong mountaineering slant. Here is what I like here in the northern midwest flatlands.

  1. Big and thick mitts are useful once you reach the point of idly killing time in camp waiting for a reasonable bedtime but they don't leave my pack while on trail or doing camp chores.

  2. I use VB socks and gloves next to my skin with liner gloves/socks over them. Others prefer the liners between skin and VB. Try each way and choose for yourself.

  3. I wear knit or fleece gloves over VB gloves. Different thickness for different temps. When VERY cold I'll use mitts instead of these gloves. I don't worry about this layer being windproof. That would be wasted weight.

  4. On the outside I wear breathable but windproof non-waterproof mitts. Might have waterproof mitts along with if it's possible that I'll see rain (like yesterday, ugh). I have to admit that I tend to try to avoid rain with temps near freezing.

  5. For footwear I lean towards the approach described in Will R's excellent lightweight winter footwear series.

  6. I have size 12 feet. For winter I use size 14 Inov-8 Roclite 390 GTX and replace the insole with 1/4 inch wool felt insoles. There's still room for up to two layers of heavy wool socks.

  7. What I haven't done to-date is use a waterproof shell overboot. That was OK for day tripping but last winter I learned that the overboot was important to keep snow from penetrating the outer fabric of the boot resulting in frozen boots starting with morning of day 3.

  8. Gaiters finish off the system

Edited by jcolten on 12/16/2012 12:49:24 MST.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Winter Gloves and Miitts system on 12/16/2012 13:21:21 MST Print View

I remember as a kid the very technical glove system my parents devised -- socks with a plastic bag rubberband'ed around the wrist! Fun stuff, worked sort of well during the light snow we got maybe every two years. Come to think of it, slightly UL but definitely multi-use!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Patrol gloves on 12/16/2012 15:19:02 MST Print View

For cold days ski patrolling I use a Cabela's GTX glove shell with removable fleece liners. I carry a spare set of liners and change them out at noon.

For extreme cold I have OR GTX mitten shells with either Dachstein boiled wool liners or double layer fleece liners. I carry both liners if our for more than a day.

Very cold air is quite dry and liners will dry out quickly but you may have to beat some frost off of them.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
winter on 12/16/2012 16:43:29 MST Print View

for very cold temps I've had very good luck w/ OR PL 400 mitts and OR Endeavor gore outer mitts, I always carry 1 oz merino liner gloves for the fine stuff

what are folks using for VB for hands- ultra thin nitrile gloves? I've thought about using those under a light glove for trail running in wet/cold conditions

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
System on 12/16/2012 19:12:02 MST Print View

While moving,
Army surplus wool liners
Add fleece mittens(colder)
Over mitts(even colder still)
If its warmer and a bit windy, I just wear the over mitts with no layers.

At camp
Second pair of surplus wool liners
Thick primaloft mittens

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: System on 12/17/2012 06:02:44 MST Print View

Cheers Guys,


Locale: Western Michigan
Slow Walker on 12/17/2012 06:38:36 MST Print View

Wool Liner
Dachstein Wool Mitt
Black Rock Type Down Mitts
MLD Type Shell

Interchange the Wool and Down inner mitts per conditions/needs.
Always carry two chemical heat pad when either the wife or I need them.......have yet to in 49 yrs.