The other day I was reminded of how important it is to wear insulated gloves during the winter, and how Thinsulate™ insulation is something to look for when choosing winter gloves.
Not only from a comfort standpoint, but from a preparedness point of view, insulated winter gloves (e.g. with Thinsulate™) of varying purposes and degrees of insulation is an important ‘must have’ for those who live in winter climates.
Here’s some information about Thinsulate™ insulation…
First, a brief story from the original posting a few years ago…
I decided to go over to my travel trailer to remove the TV that was mounted to a wall bracket and bring it back to the house. I figured that the little project would only take about 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes in the cold (temps below freezing) while using my exposed (non-gloved) fingers to manage a few hand-tools and work a few screws, I began to experience that partial numbness that begins to occur when your hands get really cold. It’s actually quite amazing how debilitating the cold can be with regards to using your hands and fingers to perform tasks. I managed to finish the job without going back to get some gloves, but it reminded me of the importance to have a variety of winter gloves for the various winter tasks that you may encounter!
As you know, there are lots of winter glove styles of varying designs available to us. With regards to insulation from the cold, 3M™ Thinsulate™ is considered one of the best for things like gloves, hats, boots, etc., to keep warm.
I have a number of various winter gloves with Thinsulate™ insulation in them, but I wondered exactly what it was that makes it what it is, while also knowing that there are different ‘weight’ ratings for this stuff. Here’s what I found out…
What is Thinsulate™?
The unique microfibers (very fine fibers) that make up Thinsulate™ insulation work by trapping air molecules within them. The more air that a material traps in a given space‚ the better it insulates you from the cold outside air. Because the fibers in Thinsulate™ insulation are finer than the fibers used in most other synthetic or natural insulation‚ they trap more air in less space‚ which makes Thinsulate™ insulation a better insulator versus the space required to get the job done. It is breathable, moisture-resistant, and washable.
The fibers used to create Thinsulate™ gloves are approximately 0.00059 inches (15 micrometers) thick, which is five times thinner than traditional polyester fibers.
Recommended Weight of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Hats & Gloves
Grams per square meter of insulation
40 gram for high activity levels or cool conditions
70 gram for moderate activity levels or cold conditions
100 gram for light activity levels or very cold conditions
150 gram for very light activity levels or extremely cold conditions
In summary, you might want to consider a variety of winter gloves with insulation so that you can perform tasks or be outside in the cold without numbing your hands and fingers!
Because insulation like Thinsulate™ is so thin, they can make gloves (40-gram) which are useful for doing finer detail work with your fingers. I have also found that 100-gram Thinsulate™ gloves are heavy enough for most of the worst-case cold temperatures – although I do have a pair of 150-gram for ‘just in case’ during those ‘really really cold’ days…
Note: ALWAYS keep an extra pair of insulated winter gloves and an insulated hat in your vehicle during the winter!
Note: Gloves with a Goretex (or similar breathing waterproof membrane) layer are even better when combined with Thinsulate™ insulation – to keep it dry.
Note: Since your hands are at the ends of your limbs, this limits circulation and makes the fingers prone to frostbite. Wearing insulated gloves helps reduce this!