People who work in extremely cold climates on the warmest gear for the freezing cold, including an Alaskan dogsledder’s mukluks to a lifelong skier’s electric socks.
The Rubber Gloves an Ice Sculptor Uses to Keep His Fingers From Freezing
Made with a special blend of polyurethane that can withstand temperatures as low as 76 degrees below zero, these insulated rubber gloves from Japanese manufacturer Dia Rubber Co. are a favorite of New York sculptor Bill Bywater, who has been carving ice for over 30 years. “It’s key to keep dry when you’re trying to keep warm, and that’s especially difficult when ice chips are melting all over you during demonstrations,” he says. The zipper keeps these gloves tight at the wrists, so cold air stays out, and they have a textured grip, excellent for working on slippery sculptures. “Plus, the fleece lining slides out so it can be rinsed and dried thoroughly. I’ve been using them for 20 years, and there is nothing better for days when it’s wet and cold and you have to carve ice. Or, you know, bring out the garbage.”
And the Everlane Jacket a Different Ice Sculptor Wears for Performances
The Silk Liners a Finnish Outdoor Guide Uses to Keep Her Breasts Warm
Initially made for breastfeeding mothers, these can keep the area warm even if they get wet — merino wool is extremely absorbent. “When your breasts get cold in extreme weather, it’s extremely painful. Ruskovilla, a Finnish company, has silk-lined breast warmers that you can put under your top to help prevent that,” says Miia Vatka, ski instructor and co-owner of Lost Fox Guiding.
The Balaclava a Ship’s Captain Uses to Prevent Windburn in Boston Harbor
“We’re occasionally facing winds over 50 knots, so it’s important that all our skin is covered. This one has a comfortable feel and is easy to put on in a hurry. If you don’t wear one, you will start to look like an old alcoholic skier. It’s a real aging preventative,” says Ryan Lee Hatch, captain of the Gateway Endeavor.
The Icelandic Jacket a Northern Lights Tour Guide Layers Over Her Fleece
“This is the down-filled, Icelandic-made top jacket our whole team wears during tours. Underneath, we wear a fleece and a woolen or synthetic base layer — never cotton, as that absorbs your sweat and can freeze,” says Sigurlaug Lydía Geirsdóttir, a guide with Reykjavik Excursions.
The Electric Socks a Former Competitive Skier Slips on for Below-Zero Runs
“I skied 100 days at Aspen Snowmass last year, and I grew to really like heated socks. These are battery-charged and have three heat settings. (Heat lasts up to 14 hours per charge and is regulated via Bluetooth on a smartphone.) They are machine washable, thankfully, but definitely don’t put them in the dryer,” says Xanthe Demas, PR at Aspen Skiing Company.
The Mukluks an Alaskan Dogsledder Wears on the Iditarod
“As a long-distance racer, I often spend days out on the trail in some of Alaska’s toughest conditions. I wear these frequently at 35 degrees below zero with some toe warmers thrown in, and my feet stay warm and safe from frostbite. Plus, they are very lightweight — which is important, as I run a lot to help the dogs keep moving,” says Travis Beals, owner of Turning Heads Kennel.
The Machine a Golf-Course Manager Uses to Pre-Warm Her Gloves (and Hats and Socks)
“We have an outdoor driving range that is open year-round. And the ball-pickers drive around in a golf cart right on the Hudson River. So when it’s very cold, we bring out our electric boot-and-glove dryer. We use it to pre-warm our socks and gloves and hats so everyone is toasty on the course,” says Tasha Edmead, assistant general manager at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers. The device is also capable of suctioning sweat and odor out of shoes and gloves.
*This article appears in the January 20, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
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