Winter is coming which means there will be a lot of beautiful sights for (landscape-)photographers. A beautiful landscape can turn magical with a little snow or frozen water. Low temperatures also mean photographers have a choice: frozen fingers or tying to handle their cameras while wearing thick gloves. The second was never an option for me, I was afraid of dropping my precious camera because I couldn’t get a good grip and trying to find the right buttons was a challenge of its own because of the thick padding of my gloves. So those pretty winter photo’s always came with painful fingers. Now there is a solution: MacWat gloves. MacWet gloves were originally designed to be used in (water-)sports. MacWet’s marketing credo is: ‘all grip, no slip’, with the used materials providing excellent grip in dry or wet conditions. Besides that the gloves have an effective heat-regulating effect, keeping your hands warm but never hot and sweaty. Whiles designed for sports, these gloves are also great for photographers that need a little more comfort and warmth when it’s cold outside.
The MacWet gloves
The MacWet gloves have a long cuff that closes just above the wrist. The cuff itself has got an elastic band that closes with Velcro so you can adjust how tight they are. The cuffs are long enough to make sure the glove ends in the sleeve of your jacket, keeping you warm. The Climatec version of the gloves has got a fleece lining on the top of the glove. The fleece is thin, but isolates very well. The inside of the gloves is made of a material that looks a bit like very supple and thin suede leather, with the surface of the material feeling a bit like velvet. Because of the structure of the material it gives you a lot of grip, and because it is very thin and supple it is very comfortable and makes sure you can still feel everything you touch.
The MacWet gloves are available in a long cuff and short cuff version, with climatec (fleece) lining and a mesh version, in different colours and in 14 different sizes (from 6 to 12 cm hand-width). Check the MacWet website for more information about sizes. I’ve got the long cuff, climatec version in green for this review. The green gloves are also perfectly suitable for nature photography. Choosing one of the 14 sizes is easier than you’d think, just measure your hand across the palm of your hand. The width in centimetres is the size you need.
In daily use
The MacWet gloves are very comfortable. When you put on the gloves they don’t feel warm at all. That is because of the warmth regulating effect of the gloves, caused mainly by the material on the inside of the glove. That keeps your hands nice and warm, but prevents your hands from overheating or getting sweaty.
Because of the thin materials on the inside of the gloves you still have a lot of feeling in your hands when wearing them. That means you can still find the controls on your camera without looking. Even using the two stage (focus and release) shutter release isn’t a problem with these gloves. I never was able to do that while wearing normal gloves. As promised the gloves give you a lot of grip. The suede-like material has enough surface resistance to make sure you have a good grip on the metal, plastics and rubberized parts of your camera. I’ve tested the grip of the gloves while they were wet, and as promised they perform very well even when wet (I wouldn’t advise you to use your camera with wet gloves by the way). Because the gloves are available in many sizes I think just about everybody should be able to find the right size. Measuring your hands to find the right size is important. The gloves I got for this review were size 9.5, while my hands are just 9 cm across. That meant the gloves are a little wide around the palm of my hand and the thumb of the glove was a little long. The gloves are still very comfortable, but for the best comfort it is important you buy the right size.
MacWet may have designed these gloves for (water-) sports, but photographers will enjoy them as well. The gloves are a pleasure to wear as they keep your hand warm without giving you sweaty hands. Because the gloves are made of thin materials you still have a lot of feeling in your hands, so you can still use your camera with the gloves on. That means it is no longer necessary to accept frozen fingers when shooting in cold weather.
For more information check the website of Degreef & Partner (Dutch importer of MacWet, website in Dutch).