Reply To: Neoprene gloves VS mitts

George Prevost

I recently read an article about an interesting piece of research that might be pertinent to this topic.  The researchers measured skin temperature for a number of subjects, both at normal room temperature and after various lengths of time exposed to cold water.  The subjects turned out to sort fairly well into two distinct groups.  One group had relatively cold hands at room temperature.  Their hands got significantly colder when exposed to the cold water than was the case for the other group, whose hands were warmer both at room temperature and in cold conditions.  The authors speculated, but didn’t prove, that the cause for the colder hands of some participants might have been subtle damage from previous exposure to cold.

I think this is relevant to the current discussion for two reasons.  First, a solution that may keep one person’s hands warm enough might not be effective for another person.  On the other hand, the amount of protection required to keep some people’s hands warm might be overkill for others.  The second thing to keep in mind is that allowing your hands to repeatedly get seriously cold, even well short of frostbite, may make you more susceptible to getting cold hands in the future.