October 13, 2020

Let’s be honest: Bird Photography in winter is not for the faint of heart. Bird and wildlife photographers who stake out their position and patiently wait for the shot for hours on end surely are some of the hardiest photographers in the game but those who are willing to wait it out are usually rewarded with images that not every photographer can get.

Like any winter photography, the key to enjoying bird and wildlife photography in the winter is dressing appropriately and staying warm. We have an in-depth article here on how to layer for winter photography as well as this cheeky video from our Co-Founder Carl. 

When it comes to your hands, you need to think about keeping them warm the same way you would think about keeping your core warm. Layers layers layers! The more insulating layers you have, the warmer your hands will be. 

The trade-off, of course, is getting a glove that is well insulated that still allows you to use your dials and buttons as well use your binoculars without having to take the gloves off and thus, lose all of your hard-earned heat. 

When choosing gloves for bird photography, we always encourage our birders to think about two variables:

 1. What conditions do you normally shoot in 

It’s safe to assume that most bird photographers are going to be sitting still for the majority of their shoot so you’re likely going to want a warm glove since your body will not be working up a sweat and keeping you warm while waiting for the birds. Next, you need to think about what conditions you normally shoot in. Will you be sitting in the snow? Do you live in a place where winter is all about endless rain? Are you battling winds? All of these factors contribute to how warm your gloves need to be. The more harsh conditions you face, the warmer the glove should be. 

 2. How many layers of clothing are you going to wear? 

A good rule of thumb is to mirror how many layers of clothing you wear. If you are bundled up in a base layer, a few mid-layers and waterproof outer layer, you'll likely need maximum warmth on your hands too. If you're dressed to go skin up a mountain (i.e. a base layer and windbreaker) you probably don't need our most insulated glove model.   

The Best Gloves for Bird Photography:

The Markhof Pro 2.0 with the PowerStretch Pro Liner

This Markhof Pro 2.0 is our go-to everyday glove. It will serve you well in your wildlife photography but also is a great all-rounder glove to keep in your winter kit no matter what you’re shooting. 

The Markhof Pro 2.0 is insulated with a 100% merino wool inner in addition to Thinsulate insulation. The FlipTech on the fingers allows for quick and easy access to your camera. If you want a glove that has a low profile and a great camera feel whilst still being warm, this is the glove for you. 

We recommend pairing it with our PowerStretch Pro Liners for days when it’s just that little bit too cold. The liners are designed to fit snugly under any of our photography gloves and will provide you with an extra layer of warmth. The liners are touch screen compatible which means pairing the Markhof with the liner means you won’t risk exposing any skin without compromising on usability. 

markhof pro model photography glove

Ipsoot / Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP

For photographers who routinely shoot in cold conditions for long periods of time the Ipsoot or the Skadi Zipper Mitt is your best bet. Both of these gloves are rated for Deep Winter which means they are heavily insulated and designed with high performing materials that shields you from the elements. Which glove you choose depends on your preference. 

The Ipsoot in our warmest five-finger glove. It’s insulated with a 100% merino wool inner and extra Thinsulate insulation for maximum warmth. The FlipTech on the fingers overlaps to help keep out cold air and snow and the outer materials made from premium goat leather and 2-ply twill help protect you from wind and rain. If you are extra prone to cold hands, you can also pair the Ipsoot with the PowerStretch Pro Liner to ensure you have maximum warmth without exposing any skin.

For those who prefer a mitt over a glove, the Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP is a great choice. The Skadi is also rated for Deep Winter but the difference comes in the functionality. The Skadi unzips at the top of the fingers to allow you to expose one finger of all four, depending on how much dexterity you need. This mitt comes with an included PowerStretch Pro Liner so you can avoid exposing any skin altogether. The Skadis is great for photographers who find they have more warmth when the fingers are all kept together inside the mitt. 

If you have any questions at all about how our gloves might help keep you warm during your winter birding, just drop us a line. We are always happy to help or just simply have a chat. Happy birding! 

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