Dec 03 2011
I don’t hibernate in winter. I’m out and about my business even when the temperature drops below zero (that’s zero Fahrenheit, not Celsius). Sometimes I walk. Sometimes I ride. But I’m seldom enwombed in a climate-controlled shell. Which means I have to dress in a way that makes the most of my internal fires. Wool, down, and fleece are the keynotes of my winter wardrobe, layered as the thermometer dictates. And this works admirably to keep my body core comfortable warm. My extremities aren’t quite so well served, however, and my hands are a particular trouble-spot. That isn’t surprising. Fingers need to be kept free of bulky insulation to do their work, but their high surface-to-volume ratio makes them vulnerable to rapid heat loss. The solution to this problem? Layering. And more often than not, my hand’s first line of defense is a pair of Manzella Silkweight Windstopper gloves:
They have grippy textured palms and fingers, a fleecy interior, and reflective accents (good on the road, but not so good if you’re hoping to shoot pictures of wildlife). Best of all, they fit me like…well…like the proverbial glove. They boast several helpful little touches, too: a D-ring and snap-link that make clipping the gloves together easy (and put an end to frantic searches for a missing glove hidden in the depths of my pack), along with webbing loops sewn into the cuffs. These are especially handy on the trail, when I have to remove my gloves for some reason. A cord tied to the loops and threaded through my sleeves insures that the Windstoppers will still be with me when I next need them.
Of course, the Windstoppers alone aren’t enough in really cold temperatures. When the mercury drops below 45 degrees or so, I pull a pair of thick fleece gloves right over them. Then, when I need to free my fingers for fiddly work—using a camera, say, or scrolling through the menus on my GPS—the heavy fleece gloves come off again. But the Windstoppers stay put. And they live up to their name. Provided I do what needs to be done quickly, my fingers remain comfortably warm.
So far, so good. But one of the unhappy consequences of accelerated product development cycles—not to mention manufacturers’ growing tendency to confuse fashion with function—is the short shelf-life of many products. By the time I’ve bought something and used it long enough to form an opinion about it, it disappears from the stores. Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered that Windstoppers are still available, even though I got my pair three years ago. So if you’re looking for a first line of defense for your own fingers, why not check out Manzella Silkweight Windstoppers?
- Backcountry Photography: Out in the Cold—First Steps
- Backcountry Photography: Out in the Cold—Down the Trail
- Cold Comfort: Outdoor Research PL 400 Gloves
- Cold Comfort: Keeping Hands Warm When Cycling