🎵 Sleigh bells ring, are you listening
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight
We’re happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland 🎵
Imagine, if you had never experienced winter, forming your expectations solely off carols and holiday advertising. Wouldn’t you would think – much like the holiday classic above – that winter is indeed a ‘wonderland’ ready for exploration?
Those of us in colder climates know better.
Of course, winter is beautiful and there is plenty to enjoy – as long as you can stay warm. That’s what our latest webinar was all about – how to stay warm when the mercury drops.
If you missed it, don’t worry, sign up below to watch it on-demand or keep reading to find out how you can venture out in the wind, sleet, and snow and have it all feel like a winter wonderland!
The Science of Staying Warm
To stay alive, your body needs to stay at a certain internal temperature, which is typically between 97.7°F and 99.5°F. Don’t worry, much like breathing, your body controls this automatically through a process called homeostasis.
If you get too hot, your body will cool itself down by lowering your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and sweating; if you get too cold, your BMR will rise and you will start shivering to warm yourself. If you are in extreme conditions for a prolonged period of time and your body is unable to regulate itself, your core temperature will become too hot or too cold and eventually your organs won’t be able to function.
Of course, you can help your body by adding layers when you’re cold or removing layers when you’re hot; this blog will focus on the former and how you can properly layer to keep yourself warm all through winter.
How to Stay Warm
Not everyone manages their temperature the same. For instance, those who are active will have an easier time staying warm than those who are sedentary; similarly, the elderly will have more trouble than younger people staying warm and will therefore need more protection. Gender also plays a role in the amount of protection you’ll need.
This means that two people completing the same job may require completely different levels of warmth protection based on their life stage and style.
Why it’s Important to Stay Warm
Your comfort is not the only reason you want to stay warm. Freezing temperatures can cause a lot of damage and in some cases, be deadly.
Hypothermia: When your body loses heat faster than it’s producing heat, you can develop hypothermia. As your body temperature drops, your organs will stop working properly and without treatment, will eventually fail. Hypothermia also puts you at risk for other serious conditions such as frostbite and gangrene.
Frostbite: Occurs when your skin and the underlying tissue are frozen and in the most severe cases, will turn the dead skin black, permanently. If left untreated, frostbite can lead to infection, nerve damage or, in the most serious cases, amputation.
How Insulation Keeps You Warm
The function of insulation is to trap the heat released by your body and keep it from escaping. Air is actually one of the better insulators, which is why it’s important to allow for air flow in your winter gloves for added warmth.
To learn all about insulation and how it keeps you warm, check out our report, What is Insulation and How Does it Work?
Anatomy of a Winter Glove
Typically, most winter gloves have three layers to keep you warm: a base layer, middle layer, and outer layer.
Some newer gloves may also have a membrane that provides a wind- and water-proof shield.
The base layer is typically made of a material that is able to wick away sweat, keeping your hands dry and stopping the moisture from freezing and making you cold.
The middle layer is the insulation layer. We discuss the different types of insulation you can choose from later on.
The top layer provides protection, such as from wind, water, and other hazards including abrasion.
Choosing the Perfect Winter Glove
To find the perfect winter glove for you, you’ll need to look at several factors: The job you’ll be performing, the insulation needed, the style and material, and the fit.
Consider the Job
The job you will be performing while wearing your gloves will drive your decision as to which pair is best so you can match up the right protection with the ability to do your job.
For instance, if you’ll be shoveling snow, dexterity won’t be terribly important and you can opt for a bulkier pair that will offer greater warmth; however, if you’re looking to perform tasks requiring a great deal of dexterity, you may need to opt for something slimmer that provides less warmth.
For basic heat protection that still allows for movement, cotton flannel is a good choice.
If you’re looking for a lot of warmth and can deal with a bulkier glove, boa acrylic is an excellent choice; it’s also a more cost effective option.
The best of both worlds is offered by Thinsulate, which provides excellent warmth in a slim glove; however, this also tends to be one of the more expensive options.
Styles and Materials
When choosing the material for your gloves, always consider the various hazards you are likely to encounter – this will play an important role in determining the best material for your gloves.
For instance, a leather glove will provide great abrasion protection while coated gloves can help with grip.
Mitts vs. Fingers
For the ultimate in warmth protection, a mitt is your best bet. But for many jobs, this style isn’t practical as it offers little dexterity.
Coating and Treatment
To add additional protective properties to your glove, consider coatings or treatments. Coatings can enhance grip for added dexterity in icy or wet conditions, while a treatment can add benefits such as waterproofing. Many of our gloves come pre-treated with Oilbloc and Waterbloc.
How your glove fits is extremely important when choosing a winter glove. Your glove shouldn’t be too loose or too tight – it should fit just right and provide room for airflow around your fingers. If you aren’t comfortable, you’ll probably find yourself removing your glove throughout the day, and then what’s the point?
Additionally, think about how much coverage you’ll need beyond your hand. Many of our gloves come in a gauntlet-cuff style to provide coverage beyond your wrists.
Your Perfect Winter Glove
Of course, to find the perfect winter glove for your needs, we suggest a custom recommendation. To get an idea of the variety of gloves we offer, check out some of our favorites below.