Warm, waterproof garden gloves – really
It’s that time of year when Oregon deserves its rainy reputation. I live in a part of the world that receives approximately 45 inches of rain, and most of it comes barreling in off the Pacific Ocean in a series of winter storms.Skip to next paragraph
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In between the downpours, we experience what are locally termed “sun breaks.” But even then, the air is moist (you could say dank), all plant material is saturated, and daytime temperature highs can hover in the low 40s.
There’s plenty to do here in terms of winter gardening, from late fall-early spring pruning to incessant weeding, but working outdoors now means cold cold hands.
For the rest of you who live below Zone 8, I’m describing fall and spring conditions. So at the holiday season, when gardeners can lay out broad hints for gift ideas from family and friends, or are looking for just the right present for a fellow gardener, I would like to recommend my favorite cold- and/or wet-weather gloves.
The following is my unsolicited and unpaid-for opinion.
The great glove search
Over the years, I’ve gotten quite a glove collection, because as they get soaked — and convey the cold to my skin — I change them out for a new pair. On winter days, I can go through as many as six pairs.
Some, like my Foxgloves are comfortable but strictly for dry-weather gardening. Others, like my nitrile-coated Atlas gloves resist water — at least until the backs get wet — but are thin protection against the cold. And my thicker Bionic gloves still allow water to seep in.
Then one year at the annual Garden Writers of America symposium, I came across a booth on the display floor that featured West County gloves. They had several different kinds, but I tried on those that were touted as “waterproof.”
The fit was snug but comfortable. They were thick with insulation and more clumsy than what I was used to, but winter chores are not about refined gardening or picking up dimes with your gloves on.
When I got home I ordered a pair — not cheap, they list retail at $31.95 on the website — but I wanted to see just how waterproof they could be, and I was willing to pay more than my usual glove price to find out.
The website has a printout of a hand so I could measure exactly what size to buy. When the gloves arrived, I immediately pulled them on for a test run.