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  Wool, what's worked for me
  Posted by: guideboatguy on Nov-20-12 1:32 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Nov-20-12 1:42 PM EST --

I sometimes wear cheap wool gloves inside a wind-shell mitten. In that situation, the wool is definitely not "fragile", as the gloves are holding up far better than the mittens. I first tried this combination on a cold, rainy day, when my new, thick neoprene gloves, which were SUPPOSED to be amazingly warm, turned out to be awful, seeming to be almost as cold as no gloves at all. In desperation I put on the cheap wool gloves and wind-shell mitts, and because it was raining quite hard, they were soaking wet in a matter of a few minutes, but my hands rapidly got warm in spite of being wet. I can think of NO other situation where it has been possible for my terribly cold-prone hands to go from painfully numb to toasty warm without any need to make them dry first, and without any additional heat source (like putting my hands inside my shirt to warm them with body heat prior to putting on better mittens). My hands have always been prone to getting very cold at the slightest excuse, so for them to become warm in that soaking-wet situation is totally amazing. Wool is amazing!! All you need is to have a wind-proof shell over the top.

I won't say this would be best for the average kayaker, but I can say that the material is tough enough when under shell layer, and that a shell layer also provides the wind protection you want. Also, the few models of neoprene paddling gloves I've used leak through the seams every bit as rapidly as non-waterproof gloves, so "waterproof" hardly seems to be an issue for comparison.

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