It's difficult to keep your hands toasty in cold weather, even when you're wearing Thinsulate-lined everything. We take gloves on-and-off, making it more challenging to keep our hands warm on cold days or when we're skiing the slopes.
But there are some pricey high-tech gloves that fit the bill using sensors to detect when our digits get too chilly, so the gloves can warm them back up.
The Chaval Response-XRT gloves ($390) are for the ultimate outdoors person or anyone who intends to spend some time in freezing conditions. If you slip your hands into the gloves and one of your fingers is cold, the proprietary nanotechnology (in the form of a thin film inside the glove) will detect this temperature deviation and send more heat to that finger.
As the fingertip warms, the film properties will again change and automatically reduce the power going to heat that one finger. The gloves are also waterproof, so you can use them in rain and snow.
"Instead of wires we use flat, flexible, conductive traces," explained cofounder Mark Boone. The trace, he explained, is the thin material in the hand region that connects with the heating polymer that runs all along the fingers.
"This is an optimized solution generally seen in highly-engineered products, such as cellphones and computer chips, to maximize the use of available space. The same concept is applied here."
Gloves that use some sort of material to distribute heat are replacing gloves of the past that used wiring, similar to electric blankets.
The gloves can hold a charge for 4 to 6 hours. But the actual running time of the glove depends on a number of factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, wind chill and how cold your hands are.
The gloves are made to handle the harshest cold temperatures. Right now, some heli-skiing professionals (yes, skiers that drop from helicopters onto mountains) are testing the gloves in temperatures around minus 20F.
There are a number of other heating gloves on the market some for skiing and outdoor winter sports and others for keeping your hands warm in a cold office. But many gloves with built-in heating technology in the form of lithium batteries or anything needing to be charged at the end of the day, work best in slightly warmer conditions.
Nearly $400 might be a hefty price to pay for gloves, but Boone said the pair can operate at fully capacity for the 4 to 6 hour battery life. The gloves come with a charger.
Is it worth that much money to keep your hands perfectly warm this winter? Tell us in the comments.