Gear Review: The Heat Company Merino Liner Gloves

A couple months ago, something happened to me that never happened before: I got frostbite on my right hand. Thankfully there was no lasting damage, but it was rather severe and I even had trouble closing my hand for a week. Usually I wear gloves but I was operating some camera equipment, so I took them off, and for too long apparently.

After that, did two things: I just stopped going out when it was -10C or colder, and I bought The Heat Company’s Merino Liner Gloves. In this post, I will review them. It is not a sponsored review.

The gloves. Exciting.

Right off the bat, you can see they are thin so basically they are not going to provide much protection from the cold. In the -10C to -15C weather like the kind that gave my poor hand frostbite, they will allow you to keep your hands out and shoot for maybe an additional couple minutes. I feel like they transform painful to rather uncomfortable. So if you are intent on shooting in really cold, biting weather, then you will still need an additional source of heat like a battery powered heat warmer to keep your photography going.

House Sparrow. My hands were more comfortable taking this shot because I was wearing photo shooting gloves

Temperatures in the -2C and up range are really where these gloves come in handy. They do lessen the discomfort of the cold, though in such weather I would still put my hands in my pocket when I am walking around looking for photo opportunities. You can of course wear them as a liner to heavier gloves, but in many cases heavier gloves need to be taken off to actually operate a camera.

The touch-enabled fingertips. Notice how the index finger is a little lopsided.

As for usability, they work fairly well. They are a little slippery, but not so much that I would drop my camera. I can still operate the controls such as scroll-wheels and autofocus selector joysticks with them. They also have touch-enabled fingertips. They work, but the index finger pad is a little off on my pair, so I sometimes have to shift the pad a little to get it to work. I don’t actually use touchscreens outdoors, but it would come in handy for those who do.

There is a back pouch on the gloves so you can insert small items like a heat pouch but I don’t believe in using disposable heat pouches so I never tried using it. However, you can also put things like bills or notes inside so maybe that could be cool. At least the extra flap of the pouch provides some extra insulation.

The pouch on the back…guess you could put your hot chocolate money in it?

What about durability? I’ve used them only about thirty times so far so I can’t really say if they will last. They feel a little cheap for 60 CDN (45USD) and there are a couple hanging loose threads on them.

So, what’s the bottom line? I do recommend them for a little protection in mildly cold weather around 0C, but for much colder temperatures, they can only be considered part of a much bigger solution (like, maybe, going some place warm for the winter?). However, I haven’t tested other products so it’s possible there is a better pair out there for this purpose.

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