There is nothing worse than being cold while you’re riding. It can put a damper on your whole day and even make you call it quits early. It’s something that many people feel is a necessary evil of being out in the elements. If you have ever gotten cold while riding and want some tips to stay warm this article is for you.
The most important things to stay warm are not what you may think. For most people the first thing that comes to mind is your jacket and pants. While these are definitely needed and important when you’re riding they aren’t the most important. The first things to get cold are the parts of your body with the least amount of blood flow in a cold environment. That’s why having a quality set of gloves and socks are the keys to having a nice warm day on the slopes.
Which is Better Gloves or Mittens?
The first thing you need to decide is would you like to have gloves or mittens. Mittens tend to be warmer because they will keep your fingers together which creates more heat. However, they do lack the ability to use your fingers and will have to be removed to do certain activities. Traditional gloves allow you to do most things without needing to remove them but might not be as warm.
Most companies will make both gloves and mittens the same way. They will have the same type of layer construction and be the same price. The only main difference will be the style of having all fingers together in the mitten or individual fingers in the traditional form. It’s up to you to decide if you prefer the extra warmth given from the mitten or prefer the use of your fingers in the traditional glove.
This choice is all preference and comes down to what you feel you need and what will make you the most comfortable. In my personal opinion I like to use mittens and find that I don’t need to remove them too often.
Why a Better Pair of Gloves is Worth it
It’s common knowledge that a pair of warm gloves are an essential part of your riding gear. Many gloves will keep you warm at first but as your day goes on you will find they aren’t quite getting the job done. This will be especially true if you get them wet.
The reason some gloves don’t keep you warm as the day goes on might not be the reason you think. Because riding is an active sport you will get some blood flowing while going down the hill. This will cause you to sweat in your gloves even if you don’t realize it. The sweat will then freeze making your hands cold. That’s why it is important to have a glove that “breathes”, allowing moisture to exit the glove and keep your hands warm. Having this breathability is what you gain by going for the better gloves along with quality, craftsmanship, and durability.
Finding the right glove is based on a combination of things. You want to pick what material the outer shell the glove has, make sure it has a quality insulation and a sufficient liner.
The outer shell will provide the glove with most of the waterproofing and will be made out of Leather or a synthetic blend material. A quality glove will utilize both of these materials strong suits.
You also want to look for a glove that provides a breathable membrane that stops water but allows sweat to go through it. A very popular brand for this is something you may have heard called GORE-TEX. Although GORE-TEX may be the most popular a lot of companies have their own proprietary products that are very similar. You just want to make sure the glove you get has one of these breathable membranes.
The insulation is what provides most of the warmth in the glove. It traps your body heat in keeping your hands warm. Different gloves use different types of insulation. You want to review the gloves temperature rating which will give you a good gauge of what weather will be ideal. Use this to find what will work best for your riding conditions.
The liner is what is added to the glove for comfort and again breathability. This part of the glove will provide you with a nice feel and remove sweat from your hands. This is an essential part of a quality glove.
In a more expensive pair of gloves you will get what you pay for. All parts of the glove will be better quality and do its designed purpose more effectively. To put it simply you won’t regret getting a better glove because it won’t let you down like an inferior one might.
Protect Your Feet
Another crucial part of your body to keep warm is your feet. You need a good set of socks to keep you going all day. This is one of the easiest ways to have an enjoyable day of riding. A solid pair of socks will give added comfort and that warmth you are looking for.
A ski or snowboard sock is designed to fit your foot and prevent it from falling down while you are riding. It also provides a material to get rid of the sweat just like in the gloves I mentioned above. Having this will make it a lot easier to stay warm.
What Kind of Socks should I Wear While Skiing
The main thing you want to look for is the material of the sock. You want to find ones that are made from Synthetic Blends or Merino Wool and stay away from a cotton brand. Cotton will not remove the sweat from your foot like the others will.
Another tip for socks while riding would be to bring multiple pairs with you. If your socks get really wet from snow or sweat to the point they are saturated they will not keep you warm. If that happens it would be smart to change into your backup pair.
The best way to keep warm is by having the quality gear you need to help you out. Getting the gloves and socks that are designed for the cold conditions will improve your overall experience. Having the proper equipment isn’t always enough however. If your gloves or socks manage to get wet on the inside from snow finding its way in they won’t be able to keep you as warm as possible. Keeping a spare set of gloves and socks will ensure that if this does happen you won’t be stuck with wet gloves on the mountain.
So remember to get the gear you need to keep those sensitive areas as warm as possible. They will be the difference between a mediocre day or the best one yet. Stay warm out there!
Check Out Some of Our Other Posts
I hope you liked this article and gained some great information. If you enjoyed this one check out my other articles about skiing and snowboarding by clicking the link Snowsports.