A hiking layered glove system provides a variety of advantages, including increased comfort and functionality during outdoor activities. The multi-layered design is adaptable to various weather conditions and terrains.
The glove system is comparable to the layering system for the body. The base layer, or liner glove, is a thin, moisture-wicking glove that promotes good movement and dexterity and helps keep hands dry. The insulating layer traps heat in colder temperatures and can be windproof and water-resistant. The outer shell protects against wind, rain, and snow, ensuring functionality by maintaining warmth.
Our hands are incredibly exposed when hiking; even if we use trekking poles, they do not generate enough heat to stay warm. Our extremities, hands, feet and head quickly lose heat when the temperature drops as our bodies automatically redirect blood flow to prioritise our core and vital organs. As temperatures drop or altitude increases, keeping hands warm becomes crucial. A versatile layering system enables easy adjustments based on temperature fluctuations, offering adaptability throughout the hike.
While a single pair of gloves may suffice in certain circumstances, relying on a single "mountain glove" frequently results in discomfort. You may put them on too soon, resulting in sweaty hands, or too late, when your hands are already cold. Your hands will have lost some functionality and will take longer to warm up. I have used "waterproof" mountain gloves that became saturated with snow, which could have been dangerous (certainly, it could have caused us to leave the mountain early). Fortunately, one person in the group using the layering system had a spare pair of dry gloves. The layering system allows for customisation, which can prevent overheating while exerting oneself, but it also ensures adequate protection against changing weather and terrain.
Because each layer has a specific function, they distribute wear and tear evenly, extending your gear's life. Additionally, if you need to replace a glove, it is a more cost-effective and sustainable solution.
The system can also be customised to fit the conditions. If you expect extreme cold, you can bring a more insulating mid-layer. However, if the weather is milder but windy, you can use a mid-layer glove that blocks the wind over your liner glove or as a standalone layer.
This system is not just for hikers; trail runners can also benefit from it. They can use a thin, waterproof shell over insulating, fingerless gloves.
For ultralight hikers, the layered glove system is a godsend. You only have to swap out thin layers, not bulky, heavy gloves, and since you have control over the system you use, you can count every gram you need. This means you get the protection you need without the extra weight, making it ideal for those who want to keep their pack light and nimble on the trail.
A hiking layered glove system is a versatile and practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers adaptability, temperature regulation, moisture management, and customisable protection. This makes it a crucial gear system for a comfortable winter hiking experience.
Andy has been a keen long-distance hiker and wild camping enthusiast since he completed the Cleveland Way in 2015. Since then, he has walked thousands of trail miles all over the UK and is an active member of the Wild Camping UK community, being an admin of the largest wild camping community on Facebook. He strongly advocates for responsible wild camping and believes it is important to leave no trace when camping in the wilderness. He joined the UOG team in 2021 and works as a website developer and content creator.
A hiking layered glove system provides a variety of advantages, including increased comfort and functionality during outdoor activities. The multi-layered design is adaptable to various weather conditions and terrains. The glove system is comparable to the layering system for the body. The base layer, or liner glove, is a thin, moisture-wicking glove that promotes good movement and dexterity and helps keep hands dry.