21st century, cutting edge technology comes to the aid of the skier looking for new ways to keep their hands and feet snug but still provide full control.
If you’ve ever been skiing then you know one of the big problems all skiers face is keeping warm. It’s true that good ski clothing has been around for years and even the skier booking a last minute ski holiday should have no problem buying a set of ski clothes that will keep them warm and dry as they hurtle down the slopes. But one of the seemingly eternal problems seems to be keeping your extremities, and specifically your hands and feet, warm, dry and comfortable while still allowing you total control and freedom of movement.
Protect your Head from Knocks and Cold
Just as we expect a motorcyclist to wear a crash helmet, so more skiers are wearing ski helmets to protect them if (and when) they tumble. A good helmet will not only keep you safe, but also provide excellent insulation from the cold. So, whether you booked your ski vacation months ago or are planning a last minute ski holiday, take the time to get a good ski helmet – it’s a great investment!
Fingers and Toes
You head out to the ski slopes, well wrapped and insulated with a good jacket and trousers, ski gloves and boots. But after a few hours of skiing your feet and fingers get really cold, despite the gloves and boots. And if your hands or feet are cold then, no matter how well wrapped up you are, the rest of your body also feels chilly.
Heated Gloves and Boots
Until recently, heated boots and gloves had three limitations: bulky battery packs, long recharge time and quickly lost charge.
Modern technology has made it possible to produce small, lightweight power packs that recharge in a relatively short time and last for hours – some even for an entire day.
All boot heating systems have the same basic design – a heating unit is located just beneath the ball of the foot and the toes and is connected to a battery pack that is connected to the top rear of the boot. The size of the battery pack varies according to the length of heating time required, so check to be sure that your ski pants fit over the pack.
Battery technologies differ, with the smallest batteries being lithium ion batteries. All batteries have an adjustable thermostat and some even have a remote control so you don’t have to alter your boot temperature without stopping or pulling up the ski pant leg.
If you’re a regular skier, consider getting custom made ski boots as these will also significantly increase thermal insulation and aid circulation. Ask the supplier to install heating units because this is a lot easier than installing them yourself.
If you’re on a last minute ski holiday and buy heating units for your old boots, most shops will agree to install the units for free or a small fee.
Heated gloves are purchased as a complete, unified package. Usually available as 5 fingered gloves or mittens, designs and materials vary – as do prices. They are battery operated, usually Li-ion, with outputs of 3.7 volts (lasts from 3 to 4 hours) to 7 volts (can last up to 8 hours). The majority also include a thermostat to regulate heat levels and include other important characteristics such as waterproofing and wind resistance.
NOTE: not all heated gloves can be washed. Check if they can be washed and if there are any special instructions when buying.
There you have it! To fully enjoy your ski trip , you have to stay warm. So take the time to kit up with everything you need before you go – even if it’s a last minute ski holiday!