Friday, March 26, 2010


 Will Glacier Gloves finally win us over from pogies?

Gloves vs. pogies. Like so many similar debates (paper vs. plastic, cloth vs. disposable), it probably comes down to personal preference.
The other day, we tested gloves and pogies on a 15-mile paddle. Water temperature: 36 degrees. Air temperature: 40 degrees. Winds: 5 to 10 knots.
We gave gloves their best shot, using Glacier Glove's neoprene Premium Paddling Gloves. We've tried a lot of other gloves, and we've found most to be too thick and inflexible to allow us to use our fingers for much of anything. By contrast, we were impressed by the amount of dexterity we had with these gloves. We were able to put on our spray skirts, take photos, raft up and hold each other's decklines, and even push the tiny toggle on the camera that switches between still shots and movies.
Alec's hands stayed comfortable and warm, even when they didn't stay dry. Sharon's didn't stay as warm; for her, there's no substitute for pogies, which allow the fingers to warm each other. (The obvious downside to pogies, however, is that they leave you with no hand protection during a rescue--a serious problem--or even while taking photos or eating lunch.)
These were, by far, the best gloves we have tried. They are flexible and fit well. (We're also fans of Glacier Glove's neoprene 3/4 dome hat and full dome hood. The latter keeps your neck warm in addition to your head--a definite advantage in seriously cold weather!)

Can a low-frequency horn be heard further than a high-frequency whistle?

On a recent trip to West Marine, we came across this funny-looking low-frequency marine horn. We thought its sound might travel further than the sound of our ordinary marine whistle. So we tested them in the harbor--Alec with the horn, Sharon with the whistle--moving incrementally away from each other.
There are a couple of problems with this experiment, of course. We didn't control for different lung capacity, different hearing ability, or the minimal effect of the light wind in the harbor. Nonetheless, we were able to hear the sound of the marine whistle a little bit further than the marine horn. 
The horn is also much larger than the whistle--too large to stow in a PFD pocket. After today, it may not see much more of Lake Michigan.


John F - U.S.A. said...

The Glacier Gloves are by far the best gloves that I have tried. I believe that I own every single type of NRS glove, and dislike each of them, some more intensely than others. I initially thought the NRS mystery glove + pogies would be the perfect combo, but the stitching seems to blow out after a single long paddle.

I recently switched to the glacier gloves, and love them. I have shown them to the 'local' shops, hoping they catch on. I even gave a pair to Keith, another ardent pogie fan; so far he is resistant.

RussJ said...

I too had bad experiences with the seams falling apart on NRS gloves.

I've been using Glacier Gloves for 3 years now. I average 2 pair each season as they do wear through at the point where the paddle rotates in my non-control hand. They also become damaged from abrasion quite easily. Small repairs are easily made with aqua-seal.

Despite their "tenderness", they still function the best of all I have tried.

Shopping around will get one a good price too-

Paddling Otaku said...

I own those Glacier Gloves and loved them in the store and hated them in practice. While I found I was able to do some things with my hands, I found that once they were wet on the inside they were very difficult to dry out in the field (ie. multiday trips) and equally once they were wet they were almost impossible to put on. maybe I bought them too small. I am a pogie wearer.


bpfamily said...

P.O., I agree that the glacier gloves ( especially with the fleece lining) take forever to dry out. I was wondering if that would be a problem over time, with mildew developing. I don't know the answer yet.
I was surprised with how easy it was to get the gloves I used on and off even when wet. Maybe it is a question of size. I know that the NRS gloves I tried before were impossible.