In many cases, one pair won’t be enough. For technical activities like winter mountaineering or climbing, you’ll need a combination of different glove types to meet the varied challenges and conditions you’ll face. Lightweight gloves on the other hand are usually sufficient when working hard on a low-level winter walk or run, even when it’s very cold. That said, if you’re moving slowly, have poor circulation, or if it’s way below freezing, you may want something warmer. Much like the layering system with your clothes, having a combination of different glove types that can be swapped on and off at different times of the day, or to serve as a backup pair in case of emergency, will give you maximum flexibility on your adventures.
With gloves, a lot of it comes down to personal choice and finding out what system works for you. However, some simple truisms exist to help keep things simple.
- Thicker gloves are almost always warmer than thin ones, and mitts are usually warmer still
- Having a thin pair and a thick pair with you is a good combination
- Accidents happen and conditions can change rapidly, so you can never have too many gloves (even if you end up not using some pairs on the day)