Winter Warmerland: Winter Gear to Beat Back the Cold


Winter is here and we all need to dress appropriately while we’re outside—whether we’re working or playing. Dressing right is important for any number of reasons—from just being comfortable on a chilly windy day all the way to avoiding debilitating frostbite (which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can occur in less than 30 minutes!)… and remember, frostbite can get you anywhere your skin is exposed, in places such as ears, nose, or random patches on your hands and face. But winter shouldn’t be a scary or depressing time—sure, the days are short and cold, but that also means we have snow days and skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, and football (and by football, of course, I mean tailgating). There are plenty of great activities to do, even if it’s just walking down a quiet street during a blizzard to listen to the silence. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you dress appropriately for the cold—oh, and did you know, B&H has gear for you to do just that? Yup.

Let’s see what we’ve got to beat Old Man Winter at his own game.

Head Gear

Were you aware that the whole “you lose 50% of your body heat from your head” is a myth? That’s not to say that you don’t lose quite a bit of heat, because you do, especially when you’re follicly challenged, like yours truly. If it’s not bitterly cold, and the sun is out, covering your head and neck will not only protect you from losing body heat, it will also save you from sunburn and windburn.

Glacier Glove’s Sun Shade II wears like a traditional baseball cap with a long brim, but it also has a piece of blue camo that can be worn in various ways for added protection. When used as a shade, it is completely unfastened and covers the sides and back of your head, allowing you to pair it with a cap for full protection against the sun. By folding it and engaging its snaps, you can transform it into a mask that fits around your face and covers your entire neck up to your chin. Additional folding allows it to be worn as a neckerchief or ’do-rag for a wide variety of options. Regardless of your choice, the shade helps ensure a comfortable experience, due to its breathable and stretchable material.

Glacier Glove Universal Sun Shade II
Universal Sun Shade II

For more protection, you can go with RucPac’s Pro Beanie. I’m not quite sure what about it makes it “Pro,” but I can say that it will keep your head and ears comfy and cozy. Designed for extreme weather conditions, it is made of a comfortable and durable acrylic material with warm, double-layered construction. The roll hem design gives your ears extra protection and the whole beanie wicks away moisture, which helps keep you dry if you start to sweat.

RucPac Professional Beanie Hat
Professional Beanie Hat

When I did construction, back in the day, I preferred a multi-tasker piece of gear that I could wear different ways. This allowed me to change how I wore it, based on the changing temperatures throughout the day (cold in the morning, warmer in the afternoons, back to cold at the end of the day). That’s why RucPac’s Pro Neck Warmer speaks to me. With a drawstring and barrel lock on the top opening, you can wear it as hat, scarf, bandana, or balaclava. It’s made of soft and comfortable fleece that, like the beanie, wicks away moisture.

RucPac Professional Neck Warmer
Professional Neck Warmer

Hand Jive

How many of us wear gloves all the time in the winter? I’d ask for a show of hands, but most of them are holding smartphones or tablets right now. Since we’re always on our phones these days, fingers are often the most prone to frostbite for most of us, whether we work outside or not. In the past, we’d have to suffer the cold, but now many manufacturers have figured out how to keep us warm while maintaining touch-screen accessibility. This allows you to keep it classy in the cold while still being able to Tweet, post, update, share, and LOL to your heart’s content.

Starting with the basic form of protection would be Glacier Gloves Fingerless Gloves. As the name suggests, your fingertips are exposed. This is ideal when it’s not bitterly cold, but you still want protection. If you’re a photographer or newsie, you have complete, full-finger functionality. The step up from there would be the Pro Angler Slit Finger Glove. This protects all your digits while allowing you to turn down little flaps on the forefinger and thumb so you can type on your phone or snap a pic. If I’m going to be outside for extended periods, I prefer mittens (your fingers stay warmer in mittens), so I have the Freehands Finger Mitten that I use when I’m snow-blowing, or out with my daughter.

Glacier Glove Lightweight Pro Angler Slit Finger Glove
Lightweight Pro Angler Slit Finger Glove

For the truly brutal days, the Heat Company makes the HEAT3 modular glove system. The system consists of different kinds of base layers, many with capacitive material on some of the fingertips so you can use touchscreens without having to expose them to the elements, plus outer layers. These outer-layer options include conventional mittens, gloves, or glove/mitten hybrids that allow you to fold back portions of them, giving you access to your fingers, whether you use the base layers or not. They have multiple-weight versions for various conditions, including expedition-quality, for maximum protection.

The Heat Company Heat 3 Smart Mittens/Gloves
Heat 3 Smart Mittens/Gloves

On the thinner side are Agloves’ Sport Touchscreen, which are woven with a conductive material throughout so the entire glove maintains touchscreen functionality. While not sporting capacitive materials, Freehands makes a stretch Thinsulate glove that is a bit more rugged, as well as water- and windproof. This model has the thumb and forefinger tips that fold back to expose the finger for use, with magnets that hold the tips down. A silicon gripper palm and fingers make this ideal for doing tasks outside while giving you the ability to keep at least six digits warm while sending a text, answering an email, or taking a photo.

Agloves Polar Sport Touchscreen Gloves
Polar Sport Touchscreen Gloves

Outside-the-Box Thinking

For additional warmth, you can also go with a handwarmer. Back in the 20th Century, we needed to use chemical disposable handwarmers—but not anymore. Telescope manufacturer Celestron has introduced the Element and Gamekeeper line of products that bring handwarmers into the 21st Century, for those long cold winter nights that astronomers love so much. These multitaskers pull double or triple duty, so there’s less gear for you to carry. The Elements ThermoTorch 5 is a flashlight, electric handwarmer, and a 5000mAh power bank, so you can charge small electronics. The FireCel+ is similar, but in a smaller package. There’s a GameKeeper version of the ThermoTorch, as well as a ThermoCharge Power Pack that is just a power bank and handwarmer (no flashlight option).

Celestron Elements ThermoTorch 5 Flashlight
ThermoTorch 5 Flashlight

Stay Warm

Winter is a time of beauty and wonder, and you shouldn’t feel the need to shut yourself in because of the cold. If you dress smart, make sure to protect your extremities, and avoid hypothermia and frostbite, you can (and should) spend plenty of time out-of-doors with friends and family, taking in the sights and sounds that are unique to the winter months. Now grab your gear and get outside—you know you want to. Let us know about your favorite cold-weather gear, in the Comments section, below.