Getting cold hands is no fun at all. Not only can it dampen your spirits on the slopes, it may even cut the day short.
So why do hands get cold and why does it happen so easily in the mountains? It’s because your body’s working much harder to stay warm, which means blood flow increases in your body’s core and decreases in your hands and feet. On top of that, skiing tends to work a lot of your lower-body muscles, so circulation heads to your legs before your hands.
There are loads of ways to keep your hands toasty in the mountains. Here are some of our top tips.
Tips for keeping your hands warm
Invest in a good pair of gloves or mittens
The quality of your gloves or mittens is super important. And while it’s not about buying the most expensive ones on the shelf, you get what you pay for, plus a good pair will last you a few years. If you tend to have cold hands, then it’s worth the investment.
What makes a good pair of gloves?
- Waterproof, windproof, seam-sealed and insulated – These are the basics for any pair of skiing gloves. Keep an eye out for all four and you can’t go wrong.
- Breathable – Trapped sweat equals cold hands, so pick breathable gloves to let moisture evaporate.
- Choosing the right material – Synthetic fabrics tend to offer the best protection on the mountain. Nylon and GORE-TEX® outer shells and synthetic insulations are lighter and have advanced properties for breathability, waterproofing and warmth.
Try using mittens
Mittens aren’t just for kids – keeping your fingers in one pouch lets them share the heat in one space, so they’re generally warmer than gloves.
Avoid all-leather and woollen gloves
A no-go on the slopes. Gloves made entirely of leather don’t breathe, which makes your hands damp, and the outer layer can take ages to dry if it gets wet. Also stay away from gloves made from wool – they just get soggy and cold the moment you touch the snow.
Keep your core warm
The more you keep your core warm, the more heat you’ll have left for your hands. Wear several thinner layers and top them off with a good quality jacket. And remember a hat to keep your head warm too.
Try glove liners
Liners are a thin pair of gloves, often made from a silk-like material that you wear underneath your normal gloves or mittens. They’ll absorb sweat and add an extra layer to keep your hands toasty and protected.
Stock up on hand warmers
Stock up on reusable hand warmers and you’ll never look back. Keep a couple in your pocket and when you need a little boost of heat, simply click the magic disk inside and the liquid pouch turns into a warm block for anything from 20 minutes up to several hours.
Blood flows best when you’re staying active. Keep your fingers wiggling as much as possible, especially on the lifts. You could also sit on your hands or put them under your arms to share your body’s heat. And keep the little ones warm by coming up with games and activities to keep them moving and avoid standing still for long periods of time – plan your routes on the lifts or over a warm drink in a mountain café.
Try heated gloves
If all else fails, splash out on a pair of heated gloves and get toasty fingers at the push of a button. They work with a battery, connected to tiny wires running through each glove. When they’re switched on, the electrical current passes through and heats them up. They’re pricier than standard gloves, but if you really suffer with cold fingers, they’re worth every penny.
Don’t let the fear of frosty fingertips stop you from heading to the slopes. Find your next ski deal and put these tips to the test.