Winter Hats and Gloves - protecting the extremities

Clothing to make you proof against the elements, there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes

686 Derelict Beanie
On sale - now $9 - was $20

686 Good Times Roll-Up Beanie
On sale - now $8 - was $20

686 Roku Facemask - Women's
On sale - now $10 - was $20
Hats and Gloves - The Extremities

When your feet are cold, cover your head." - Inuit saying.

The brain is one of the most metabolically active parts of our bodies. About 15% - 20% of body heat is lost through the head, so wearing a hat is one of the quickest and easiest ways of keeping warm. If you are wearing quite a lot of clothing but still feel cold, particularly at the extremities, putting on a hat is the simplest way to deal with it.

Many outer shell garments, and also insulating layers have hoods built in which are exceptionally useful, particularly in conditions of rain or snow. They are also excellent ways of keeping the wind and precipitation of any kind out of the neck region. In less extreme conditions however when it is cold, but there is no rain or snow a hood can be an encumbrance, hats become much more convenient. In fact in many situations I actually prefer an insulated and elasticized headband that covers the ears so keeping the wind off them and gives me a little more control over my temperature. I also tend to find traditional woolly hats quite itchy. My personal choice is of a headband with a synthetic fleece balaclava that can be rolled up into a hat. Along with a hood on the shell layer this gives the maximum flexibility and the ability to deal with extremes of cold and wind.

Glove Liners and Lightweight Gloves

Gloves are essential in cold conditions and indispensable unless you walk around all of the time with hands in pockets or just being miserable. Summer conditions in much of coastal and maritime Antarctica (where most visitors go) don't really call for much beyond medium weight gloves. If you suffer particularly from cold hands, I'd recommend a lighter pair of gloves for use most of the time with good warm mittens that will go over them when necessary.

If you're in the Arctic or Antarctic as a tourist, the chances are you'll be spending a lot of time taking photographs or filming using a video camera so good quality fairly thin gloves are a good choice. Cheaper gloves just don't deliver the same insulation levels for thickness as more expensive ones and extra thickness means less manual dexterity. Fingerless gloves are available and I once had a pair of mittens with a slit in the palm and thumb allowing me to put my fingers out for a while and then, back inside again to warm up. Unless you know you like them, don't bother giving them a go, the great majority find them next to useless - I hated them!

In selecting clothing for cold and extreme weather the priorities are:

  • Keep the body warm, particularly fingers and toes
  • Allow for free removal of perspiration
  • Allow free movement
  • Be comfortable at all times, whatever the weather

Glove Liners

Arc'teryx Atom Glove Liner

Arc'teryx Gothic Glove
On sale - now $34.26 - was $48.95

Arc'teryx Phase Gloves
On sale - now $31.16 - was $38.95

Arcteryx Atom Glove Liner

Arcteryx Atom Mitten Liner

Arcteryx Phase Glove
On sale - now $32.99 - was $39

Arcteryx Phase Liner Glove
On sale - now $25.99 - was $34.95

Arcteryx Stinger Glove (Fall 2009)
On sale - now $78.99 - was $98.95

Lightweight Gloves

Arc'teryx Agilis Gore-Tex Glove
On sale - now $104.26 - was $148.95

Arc'teryx Rivet Glove
On sale - now $45.98 - was $58.95

Arc'teryx Teneo Glove

Arc'teryx Venta Glove
On sale - now $52.4 - was $68.95

Asics Felicity Fleece Glove - Women's
On sale - now $18.71 - was $24.95

Asics Thermal Run Glove
On sale - now $19.96 - was $24.95

Black Diamond Mont Blanc Ultralight Glove
On sale - now $13 - was $20

Black Diamond Pilot Softshell Glove
On sale - now $30.25 - was $55