Before my trip to Iceland I had found almost everything I needed except a pair of photography gloves to be used in cold weather. After a lot of research and asking photographers around me for advice I was recommended to have a closer look on the gloves from the Heat Company and their Heat3 Layer System. The Heat Company is an Austrian company producing high quality outdoor products since 1994. The technology and design of the Heat 3 Layer System Gloves spoke to me and I had the great opportunity to bring a pair of tactical liners and Shell Smart gloves with me to Iceland to test them on the field! The worst thing I know is to stand in cold winter weather freezing my fingers while trying to capture a beautiful scenery. With the Heat3 Layer System gloves from the Heat Company, frozen fingers turned out to be a fade memory….
Heat3 Layer System Gloves
Let’s have a closer look on what this technology means and how it’s beneficial for cold weather. With the Heat3 Layer System you configure your own glove! How does it work? Well, as the name reveals, your glove will consist of three layers : Liner, Shell and Hood.
The Heat Company offers three different Liners:
- Tactility Liner : A basic liner with the thumb, index and middle finger that are touch screen friendly :-) These liners are very flexible to use and they also have a pocket for a handwarmer.
- Merino Liner : Contains 39% merino wool which will keep your hand and fingers warm and the thumb, index and middle finger have black carbon inserts which makes these liners touch screen friendly as well. Just like the Tactility Liners this one also have a pocket for a handwarmer.
- Durable Liner : their warmest liner made of 50% sheep leather. The index finger comes with a flap so you can still use your touch screen without taking off your gloves. Like the two previous liners the durable liner also comes with a pocket for the handwarmer.
Two different Shell Gloves:
- Shell-Smart : This wind/waterproof and breathable warm shell-smart mitten has a palm side made of 100% goat leather and the mitten has a flapping function so you can keep them on while using your liners. The insulation is made of Primaloft Gold which is fast drying, water resistant and incredibly breathable yet keeping the heat.
- Shell Full Leather : If you want the warmest alternative this is the Shell Glove to choose. Its made 100% of goat leather and use the same Primaloft Gold insulation as the Shell-Smart glove. Comes also with the functionality to flip over the mitten.
And last but not least a Hood:
- Polar Hood : For extreme weather conditions the Poolar Hood is a must and is used as a third, and extra layer over the shell glove. It’s thin and light in weight and will keep your hands warm throughout your outdoor stay.
To be added, the gloves from the Heat Company are not only made of high quality materials but they are also all free from toxic chemicals and therefore safe to use!
Photography Gloves for Cold Weather
I brought a pair of Tactility Liners and Shell-Smart Gloves for my trip in Iceland. I did not use any Hood Gloves such as the Polar Hood as I believe for my purpose, they were not needed, more for extreme weather conditions than the one I found myself in Iceland.
How to find your size?
Thanks to their practical print tape measure you can be sure of receiving gloves that perfectly fits your hands!
On the field in Iceland I used both the tactility liners and the shell-smart gloves. They were both very useful and definitely kept my hands and fingers warm. During the way from the car to the spot I was wearing the shell smart glove on top of my liners and while setting up the camera I simply flipped the mitten flap with it’s magnetic closure and also the thumb flap in order to have more control while setting up my equipment such as tripod, camera etc. When bringing out my fragile and thin glass filters, I needed to remove the shell-glove as handling the filter you need to have full control and be aware of not accidentally drop any of the filters while sliding them into the filter holder. In this situation, the safety strap came to use as when I removed the shell-glove it was still hanging around my wrist. So no need to be worried that the strong wind would take them away and you don’t need to waste your time to take up your backpack and put them inside it as you would need them again as soon as your equipment is set up for the shooting. When I was all set, I put on my shell-glove again, flipped and could begin my shooting without having my hands or fingers freezing.
Warmers for Hands, Feets and Photography Equipment
Even though the gloves kept me pretty warm, I do want to add that I used them with the warmers for hands. Believe me, standing outside in the cold, on the same spot with your camera, one of the last things you want is to have freezing fingers. Having a warmer in each pocket of the gloves and also in my shoes made me forget about the actual cold and rough weather and let me concentrate more on my photography instead. The warmers are not only handy for feet and hands, they are excellent to use to keep your batteries from draining (as they drain quite fast in cold weather).
The Heat Company offers warmers in different sizes for different purposes. I got warmers for hands that I used in my gloves, for feets that I used in my shoes and multi-warmers that I put in my backpack in order to avoid battery drainage.
How do the warmers / heating pads work?
Very easy! And no need to boil or put them in any microwave. In fact they are ready to use from the moment you take them out from their polybag. They transfer a heat of 40°C which lasts for approximately 12 hours (depending on the size). It is the air that activates the warmer and if you wish to stop the heating process, simply turn back the warmer in a air tight bag. After usage you throw them in regular house hold waste.
Good to know, the warmers / heating pads are made of 100% natural materials are non-toxic and free of pollutants.
Photography Gloves For Cold Weather – My Final Thoughts
Photographing warm and sunny locations has never been my cup of tea. I love moody skies, I love winter landscapes and shooting during periods with heavy wind. However what I dislike is to have my fingers frozen which they easily get when I’m out in cold weather. In fact, it has happen that I have been forced to take a break from capturing sunsets or a beautiful sunrise during harsh weather conditions just because my fingers have turned numb due to the cold weather. That’s why I made sure to bring gloves, especially designed and created for photography in cold weather conditions. I could not be more than pleased with the Heat3 Layer System from the Heat Company. Indeed, I used them with their warming packs, and together they made the perfect shell for my hands and fingers while I was out shooting in Iceland during March, considered to be a winter period. Very comfortable, giving me flexibility yet keeping me warm. I appreciated their functionality and how they had been designed, the smart layer system, giving me the freedom to remove or simply flip back parts of the mitten glove and the security strap keeping my gloves attached to me. A few things that could be improved in my opinion: the liners got burls after a few days and the carbon insert started to fade, however that didn’t impact the overall functionality.
The liners and shell-smart glove definitely fulfilled their job, keeping me warm, yet letting me work with my photo equipment in the field during cold and windy weather conditions. For future adventures in the winter season these gloves will for sure be an essential part of my packing.