Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Backpacking Basics - Protect Your Hands, Face and Head - Winter Gear

- My Winter Kit -

With the winter in full swing and with so many of my snow adventures being posted, I have been receiving a constant stream of questions concerning the gloves, hat, mask and mittens that I am often using and wearing.

In this video, I will be touching upon each of those items and what I like about them also, what I dislike. I have reviewed most of these products already so if you have specific questions that I didn’t answer in this video about one of these items, those questions are likely to have been answer in their individual reviews.


Agenda Free Link to Knit Gloves : Try on in store -

Agenda Free Link to Mittens :

Agenda Free Link to Mask : No Longer Available

Agenda Free Link to Smartwool Hat :

Video Review of Mittens :

Video Review of Hat :

Video Review of Mask :

Knit Gloves :
During 99% percent of the cold months, this is what I am wearing; these are knit gloves and they provide just enough protection to keep me warm without overheating. I find for myself this is enough for most conditions unless it is extremely windy and cold to keep me comfortable. When I need more, I generally go with the Mutant Mitts which I will talk about here in a moment.

Pros :
Knit gloves are normally very inexpensive and can often times be found in bundles; 3 pairs for $3 dollars sort of thing. If you go looking for knit gloves with a name brand on them you’ll pay more though.
Keep me just warm enough that I can wear them without getting too hot.

Cons :
Low durability - a pair usually lasts me a season or so; fingers will fall part first

Getting the right size can be difficult; even those with medium sized hands will find it hard to locate gloves that fit correctly - you don’t want material sticking up passed your fingers.

Because of the fitting issues, I would recommend trying them on before you buy; knit gloves can easily be found in most department stores.

Advice - if you have this issue, look at the kid sizes; since the gloves stretch they will fit medium size adult hands and will be less expensive.


Outdoor Research Mutant Mittens :

Pros :
Inexpensive for high quality mittens, warm, versatile, liner can be removed, waterproof.

Cons :
Bulky, heavy, and finding the right size for you can be difficult as they have been discontinued.

The good news is that OR makes a ton of variants of mittens and they can be found rather inexpensively on eBay. The FireBrand mittens are an excellent choice.
IO Merino Wool Mask (Limitless Bandana) :

IO Merino Email Address :

I’ve had this product for a very long time and I wish that it was still available because it is excellent! Easy to put on, it stays in place, it’s warm and even keeps your neck warm.

Pros :
Comfortable, warm, blocks wind,

Cons :

It was expensive for what it was.

Finding a good substitute isn’t easy during the age of covid; if you search for mask every result has to do with the virus and not with winter weather. If you search for bandana the results are the same.j

This isn’t the same as a neck gaiter or a buff and making one from merino fabric or even from a merino wool shirt might be a good option for some people.

Everyone should email IO Merino and ask that they bring back out the Limitless Bandana as there is no product like it. I’ve put their email address in the description box.


Smartwool 150 Hat/Beanie :

Pros :
Just warm enough to make me comfortable. Long enough to cover ears Good price

Cons :

Previously there were different versions of this beanie from Smartwool and some were shorter than others. To make it worse, in the past, smartwool did a terrible job of making it clear which one that you are looking at.... I put a link to what I believe are the longer versions in the description box. That isn’t an affiliate link, I’m just trying to help out. I don’t care if you buy this or anything else as it doesn’t benefit me at all.

Advice : These hats are very lightweight and because of that, I will often carry two with me just in case that one gets soaking wet while backpacking and hiking. If that does happen, I have a dry one which I can change into say when I get to camp.


100% Agenda Free :

This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.

Support TOGR through Patreon :


Support TOGR through YouTube :

1 comment:

  1. My pro tip:I have worked and recreated outdoors for over 55 years and really have run the gamut of high tech, low tech, cheap and expensive. What I've learned is there is a compromise of layered and multiple use. For gloves that handle anything and remain tough you cannot lose with purpose made ICE FISHING MITTENS with a polypropylene or wool liner glove. And you keep a spare set or two in case you dampen your first pair with Mits off. Ice fishing gloves are durable, dexterous and water and windproof. I also buy those cheap nylon neck gaiters for face, neck or balaclava use in cool weather and upgrade to a snowmobile balaclava in our Illinois subzero wind driven killers like this week! That's my two cents! Keep up the great work brother!