November 15, 2018
At first glance, it might seem a bit ridiculous. Perhaps even a bit of an overkill. Photography gloves the size of oven mitts? Sure, it may seem absurd but bear with us! The Altas were designed to go over all of our photography gloves to be used as a giant coat. A glove for your glove. It provides insulation and warmth in the harshest of environments.
We know the gloves look big compared to our normal photography gloves but don’t worry, we’ve made them large intentionally and hopefully after reading this blog post, these bad boys will become your new best friend in Arctic temperatures.
Back before they were glove extraordinaire, founders Carl and Stine were spending their winter seasons working with sled dogs in the Arctic. They even had the privilege to train and race dogs who were heading to the great annual Iditarod race in Alaska.
Although it was a truly amazing experience, they quickly received a crash course in the fundamentals of keeping warm in the Arctic.
The first thing they learned was that layering was key. Having multiple layers trap heat better than one big warm layer and allow you to adjust your clothing as the temperature fluctuates.
Naturally, when you are training sled dogs to race 1000 miles, you are required to spend many long, cold hours behind the sled to make sure the dogs are fit and ready for such a big task. The musher is tasked with standing behind the sled in -20C degrees or colder with windchill which requires a good deal of stamina and a hearty pair of durable, warm gloves.
Big bulky gloves are good for dog mushing but mushers still need to balance bulk with functionality as they are often required to untangle a dog or provide immediate assistance which requires complete dexterity. Normally, mushers wear gloves with which they can attend to their dogs and equipment with full dexterity and then on top of that glove, they wear and over-mitt: a mitten they put on when they stand still on the sled as a “sleeping bag layer” with zero dexter. Great for warmth, not great for functionality.
When a problem arises or when the musher needs to use their hands, they use a brilliant and practical trick: the harness hack. Mushers never need to keep track of or look for their over-mitts because they wear a glove harness for the over-mitt. This allows them to drop their over-mitts in a second and run to attend to their dog without having to worry about losing their gloves. A bulletproof glove layer that never got in the way.
The over-mitt design was a complete game changer in the Arctic when mushing dogs and Carl and Stine took the concept and developed it into a photography glove design. In the Arctic, Photographers and dog mushers have one thing in common: They have periods of time when they need dexterity in their gloves and other periods of time where dexterity isn't needed and the most important thing is staying warm. The Alta Over-Mitt solves this problem and gives photographers the best of both worlds. Gloves that keep you warm in the harshest of conditions but also all you to take them off and drop them in a second when you need to operate your camera.
Just like not one jacket will keep you warm enough in the Arctic, neither will one pair of gloves. You should layer up your hands just as you would the rest of our body. As a photographer, your fingers are an important asset so don’t neglect them and invest in a layering system that works. These gloves are the perfect addition to photographers shooting the stars or the Northern Lights where standing in the bitter cold for long periods of time is essential. Try them out, you won't regret it!
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