The big debate: Do you warm up to mittens or gloves?
Take a look at the movie March of the Penguins to figure out why mittens will always rule over gloves when it comes to warmth. The flightless birds survive the bitter, brutal cold of a frozen arctic continent by huddling together.
And that’s just what our fingers should do, if we want to keep them as warm as possible. Gloves, while offering us dexterity, don’t allow our four fingers to cuddle.
This basic advice is offered by everyone from doctors to outdoor enthusiasts. But the bigger question is: What will keep our hands warmest when the temperatures plummet?
Eric Smith, spokesman for L.L.Bean, points to one obvious factor to consider when trying to keep those fingers warm. He likes classic down mittens and gloves, but offers this caveat: Wet down is not useful.
“The key for keeping down warm outside is keeping it dry, so these gloves also have a waterproof membrane built in,” Smith says.
A few simple scientific facts back up Smith’s advice. Backpacker magazine recommends layering with insulated material, and protecting those digits by keeping your core warm. See, the body naturally works to keep those vital organs warm, and it will stop sending blood out to our fingers and toes to keep our torso from getting chilly. So don’t run out of the house in a thin jacket and expect your hands and feet to keep from getting cold.
Here are a few choices—for both mitten and glove fans:
Go with a classic
The key to keeping warm is to keep dry so these classic gloves are waterproof. Women’s Baxter State gloves, $44.95, llbean.com
Get down with waterproof styles
Down is tops in keeping warm, but wet down won’t do the job, so if you’re planning to play in the snow, be sure your mittens are waterproof. Let the snowman building begin. Women’s goose down mittens, $29.95
Don’t sacrifice style
While these might not cut it in sub-zero cold, if you aim to look stylish, we give these mittens two funky-looking thumbs up. MUK LUKS vintage sweater mittens, $34, kohls.com