Gloves vs Mittens

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 JimbotheScot 28 Oct 2019

for winter hillwalking?

 JoshShaw 28 Oct 2019
 pass and peak 28 Oct 2019
 Webster 28 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

fleece glove with water/windproof shell over mitt

 NathanP 28 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Thin liner gloves, if I'm not using an axe (hands in pockets some of the time), and the same ME Super Alpine gloves that I use for climbing, if I am. A pair of fleece lined Gore-Tex mittens in reserve.

 Deleted bagger 28 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Both. However after many years using various makes of waterproof gloves and mittens I've given up. I reverted to old school dacstein gloves and mittens (I know the spelling's wrong!). 

 hbeevers 28 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

For just walking I've not found anything better than buffalo mitts. I can hold an axe with them on too.

For any climbing I wear insulated gloves with some over mitts in reserve.

 munro90 29 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Various combinations, all carried at once (winter gear is heavy anyway, cold hands aren't worth the weight saving):

  • Merino wool liner gloves
  • Rab Vapour-Rise Glove (softshell - combined with above liner, good to a little bit below freezing, even holding an axe, starts to fail when v. cold or comes in to contact with snow (axe techniques on steeper ground), worthwhile for dexterity and breathability most of the time)
  • Montane Alpine Stretch Gloves (Waterproof, primaloft insulation, pile lining, these boys are very warm but fairly dexterous, ideal for when the softshell gloves reach their limit, used with or without the merino liners depending on whether those are wet)
  • Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski (Three finger glove-mitt hybrid, Water resistant, exist as the back up pair if the Montanes become soaked, still dextrous enough to hold axe or poles, warmth benefits of mitt like design)

As Andy Kirkpatrick has previously expressed, there is no perfect glove. All you can do is have options and find a system that works for you (and your use case).

For me the telling moment was stopping in the Cairngorms as the sun was setting near midwinter, took off the softshell gloves which had served me well all day to help my walking partner with a dextrous boot related task, she did likewise. By the time we came to put them back on the water-vapour in them had frozen solid. I gave her the Montanes, shoved my hands back in the softshells and plunged them inside my pile lined pockets - it was painful 15minutes until everything thawed. At that point I resolved to carry an additional spare, as it made me realise the importance of gloves and that a single redundancy was insufficient.

 Pay Attention 29 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

5 pairs of gloves in case any gets wet (usually they all do).

Have yet to find an inexpensive pair of over mittens that are effective in holding a walking axe.  The prices above (£59 - $145) are just mad.  

 maybe_si 29 Oct 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Buffalo mitts everytime 

 Basemetal 29 Oct 2019
In reply to Pay Attention:

Have a look at some of the army surplus mitts and overmitts, British tend to be plain and roomy, German often pile lined and leather palmed. Usually ~£12 a pair or thereabouts.

Also, might be worth insulating your axe head? Bicycle inner tube cut into a strip makes a good self gripping spiral wrap, stretch and tuck the ends and no adhesive needed. I use one spiral wrap of this on my Apexes' shaft for climbing and it's surprisingly insulating. On a walking axe you could go as thick as you want round the head.

Post edited at 22:11
 Duncan Beard 02 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

A question for those of you who winter climb & have used over-mitts, how do you get on taking them off (obviously have wrist loops) to put in / take out gear then put them back on? I have some but not tried them yet.

In reply to Duncan Beard:

I don't tbh. I wear mitts for belaying or walk outs if it's proper Baltic. I'll wear gloves to climb in, swap them for the mitts at the belay and shove the gloves under my armpits inside me shell to keep warm.

Once I'm ready to climb again, I switch the gloves and mitts, sticking the mitts inside my shell clothing to keep warm.

Rinse and repeat to the top.

(If it's not a really cold day, I'll keep the mitts in the bottom of my pack and do the same drill with two pairs of gloves.)

 pass and peak 03 Nov 2019
In reply to angry pirate:



 Phil1919 03 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Do they still make Dachsteins?

 SFM 03 Nov 2019
 d_b 03 Nov 2019
In reply to hbeevers:

The montane version are slightly warmer with a grippy palm. They lose a couple of points for being slightly bulkier but come out slightly ahead for me.

 andyd1970 03 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

I take both

In reply to JimbotheScot:


You shouldn't really need dexterity for non-climbing stuff, so mitts should be fine. For UK stuff I'd get some touch base layer gloves for photos/phone and then an over mitt or glove depending on what you're doing. 

 Siward 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Dachstein mitts I find dextrous enough for all walking based adventures with goretex over mitts for when it is properly perishing. Wind gets through Dachsteins if its strong/cold enough. 

 Guy Hurst 04 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

For winter hill slogging I've found Dachstein gloves or mitts with a Goretex shell mitt, plus powerstetch gloves as back-ups, to be enough. The only ptoblem is that decent shell mitts at a reasonable price seem hard to find. I used a pair of ultra tough Gore mitts found in a discount bin for years, and when they died bought a pair if Extremities Tuff Bags. However, they're just too fragile, and expensive for what they are.

 Alan Breck 05 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

I see that Joe Brown (The Climbers Shop) are currently offering "(Legendary) Dachstein Mitts" at £30.00

Think that I might just splurge as my old (very) ones might be a bit past it.

 Siward 05 Nov 2019
In reply to Alan Breck:

Ooh, green ones!

But wait, they're 3 ply not 4, apparently

Post edited at 14:31
 druridge 05 Nov 2019
In reply to JimbotheScot:

Totally with basemetal on insulating axes. I use the roll of sticky handlebar tape designed for pushbikes, its quite rubbery. really improves the grip on shiny surfaces as well.

In reply to Deleted bagger:

What are the Dachstein gloves like? I have the mitts but thought gloves wuold be decent although I feel they may defeat the point of the Dachstein

 Basemetal 07 Nov 2019
In reply to O'Donopoo:

Had a pair 30 years ago. Good winter walking gloves, but cooler than the mitts.  The extra dexterity is compromised by having slippy woolly fingers. Otherwise very similar thermally to Sealskin stretch merino mix dot grip gloves, that have the advantage of grip and waterproof membrane.

 Frank R. 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Basemetal:

Really? That would be pretty bad - the Sealskinz were the most disappointing gloves I ever had

Although that might be partly because of the fit (even though I have pretty slim and long fingers, the biggest size was still so tight it tended to cut off my circulation), and partly because a glove that tends to soak on the outside in snow (where most of the insulation is, with the membrane underneath) is bound to lose its insulating properties pretty quickly. YMMV of course

What's the sizing on the Dachsteins BTW? I was looking at them this autumn, but would have to order online, and the shops recommend "sizing up to two sizes smaller than your regular" ?

Post edited at 12:09
 Basemetal 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Frank R.:

Re the Sealskins, I've had two pairs of them - bought 10 and 5 years ago, so don't know if the construction changed. The oldest wore through on the fingers eventually (too much scrambling) and showed the membrane was just under the outer layer. I'd found they lost heat retention with age too, possibly as the membrane failed? But first year or two I was very impressed.

Latterly I've been bothered by Raynaud's so I've given up on them and have been using a combination of pile lined  army mitts ( with and without hand warmer tea bags behind my fingers) and those £6 Freezer worker's gloves for leading - easy to carry a couple of pairs of these. Wristovers make a huge difference with short cuffed gloves too.

For this coming season Im trying a pair of Alpkit Rhombic I bought in their sale. They seem a bit bulky new, but I expect they'll compact down a bit.

Post edited at 12:36
 Ross McGibbon 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Frank R.:

The sites do say to size down but, as a big fan of Dachsteins, I find that they shrink (because they are felted wool) and buying too small is a mistake. Personally, I would go to a real shop, try some on, and go a big.

I also recommend ARCO freezer gloves. They are fleece with rubber coating and take a while to dry but both they and the Dachsteins are cheap enough that you can have a dry pair in the car for your next day.

My ideal kit for a day trip would be 1 pair Dachsteins, 2 pairs of ARCO

 Frank R. 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Basemetal:

Sealskinz - it was a pretty bad fit (found out too long after purchase once it got colder). The insulation on mine - woven something both above the membrane and below the membrane - meant that either they soaked very fast from the outside, losing half the insulation while still dry inside, or soaked form the inside, where the woven insulation kept water in, unlike pile. Might have been just me though

Just for cold winter hillwalking, especially if you have cold fingers like me, good down mitts are hard to beat for a "rewarming" glove, although not much dexterous...

Can't find Dachsteins locally, unfortunately, and I am not very keen on ordering gloves I can't try out on my hands...

 d_b 09 Nov 2019
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

Looking at the Arco website they do a wide range of low temperature work clothing. I'm tempted to try some of their base layers as they are dirt cheap.

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