Misc gear reviews

Had the opportunity this past weekend to try some new cold weather gear I had invested in.

Polartec underlayer: I picked this up a few months ago and it was great. Wore it constantly for 3 days, kept me warm and comfortable and dried quickly when moisture from sweating got it damp.


For my feet, my trusty Chota’s did what they were supposed to do, keep my feet dry. Smartwool socks kept my feet warm. Change socks if they get damp.

Paddling gloves: I had a pair of Glacier gloves for for several years now. I find them far superior to any other paddling gloves I own. Mine have developed leaks, they are 5 years old and have been used quite a bit. Even when wet internally, the gloves are warm. I did purchase new liners for the gloves. I have a set of polypro liners, wool liners and a set of metal fibered liners that have a pocket for heat pads. By far the wool liners were the warmest, quickest drying and easy to put on when damp. They quickly dry if you have them on. The wool liners were the most expensive, but I’d get them again.


Are Glacier Gloves available for very
long fingers?

how long?
I’ve got big hands (8 inches long), and the XL glacier gloves fit my hands just fine.

Long fingers too
XL gloves

My middle finger is …
… 3-7/8 " long from tip to the soft tissue b/w it and my index finger (without pressing the soft tissue, if I do , it gets to 4" sharp.

But my fingers are on the thin side. and I use the Large size with no liner. I doubt I can get a liner insede, but have not tried - mine are good on their own to a few degrees below freezing and I usually do not paddle when it is colder. The XL is too loose but for me and will work well with a liner. The L are snug and very little water can get inside and they stay warm.

May be because I opt for the smaller L size and I fill them pretty good, or may be because I use them for WW where I have to grip the paddle more compared to what I do with sea kayaking, I wear them off at the thumb joint to the index finger for one season. But being snug, they remain warm enough even with some water coming in through there. Probably they can be reinforced there, but for touring kayaking may be they are all right and will last much longer

Hands are 8.5 and middle finger is
3.5" by the Kocho measurement method. It sounds like the XLs are worth a try. Gloves I have bought from NRS have been just barely long enough, which is to say not really long enough.

3 5/8 "
But I like having the liner. The wool liners (close weave, fine thread) were great. I’d get them all sweated up paddling very hard. When I took a break, I’d take the gloves off, leave the liners on and they’d dry in minutes and as gloves they’re surprisingly warm, but delicate. I forgot my heavier gloves and was consigned to wearing the liners the whole weekend. That took their toll, all the fingertips are torn.

Thanks for the info
I don’t have a great need for “better” underlayers, but I’m always interested in better gloves for paddling, as I tend to have chronically cold hands. My best combination so far, by a big margin, has been windshell mittens with cheap wool gloves inside. That makes me think the setup you decribe might be better in some ways, considering that (when new) the outer layer is waterproof. I’ve always had much better success with wool than anything else for for keeping my cold-prone hands and feet comfortable in damp or wet conditions, so I generally don’t pay any attention to all those people who say synthetics are “a lot better” than wool. Since your experience “makes sense” to me, I’ll definitely look into trying those gloves with the wool liners.

Just bear in mind…
that I was paddling very hard and I worked up a good sweat from the waist up, 5 1/2 hours worth. Temps were in the low 30’s.


I got a pair of Glacier gloves …
… they are the fishermans’ type with the split in the forefinger and thumb joints (so you can pop your finger and thumb out there) ,

I measured my hand , my 2nd finger is 3-5/8" using the kocho method , my hand is 8" long total w/fingers , and basically a square semi thick palm (good carpenter hand) ,

I remember trying on the exact same pair in L , too tight and uncomfortable ,

my Glaciers are XL and fit perfectly , not loose at all - not tight and skin touches everywhere inside , fingertips just touch ends … little tag inside says XL , KENAI™ , 90% Neoprene , 5% Polyester , 5% Nylon … made in China ,

these gloves are thick but very flexable , have grip palm and fingers … real nice and warm out fishing ,

but I like my synthetic RedHeads most of all , they’ll get semi wet eventually in the rain , but still keep my fingers warm (cold early springtime river water and temps that make ya go Brrrrrr) ,

I’d probably wear my Glaciers more if I was paddling a kayak , but I don’t kayak … still , the Glaciers are real nice gloves I think .