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Gear Guy

Where can I get heated mittens?

Are there any high quality heated mittens on the market? My girlfriend suffers from Raynuad's and needs the warmest possible solution for skiing. You help is greatly appreciated! Chris Arlington, Massachusetts

A: Actually, there's a pretty good, inexpensive solution to your problem. At Cabela's, that fine purveyor of many things outdoors, you'll find what's called the Hothand Glomitt. Just $15 a pair. By themselves they're simply a decent fleece mitten. can put an air-activated heat pad inside each mitt, and get nearly a full day's warmth out of it! The heat packets are $3 for two. Everyday use might get expensive, but for occasional ski use, why not?

There are battery-powered mittens and gloves, found usually at hunting-supply stores. Cost is about $50. They work, but are bulky and not terribly effective. You might also try any gloves made with the fabric called Outlast. It's a heat-distributing material, originally used as insulation in the space program, that literally stores warmth when your hand is warm and releases it when needed. I have several Outlast gloves that I use when cycling, and I love them. I think they'd work well for Reynaud's sufferers as well. Performance, the online bike dealer, makes a pair of Outlast gloves called the Outlast Thermal Glove. They're on sale for $35, and would make a great heavy liner glove under a shell. I have a pair and they're also very warm on their own.

Still, a really good solution is on the horizon. A year ago, Polartec introduced a new fabric called Heat, which has very fine metal wires woven with fleece. When given some electricity from a few batteries, this material heats evenly and quickly. Heat now can be found in the Met5 jacket from The North Face and heated blankets from Lands' End. I don't think it will be long before it finds its way into gloves, and they'll be terrific.

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