I like wearing fleece gloves for winter hiking because they’re inexpensive, they are warm, and quite breathable. The problem is that snow tends to stick to them and they wet out when the warmth from my hands melts it. While I am very careful to brush off any snow that gets on them, it’s a loosing battle, and I end up bringing multiple pairs along so I can switch them out during the day.
But what if you could make fleece gloves, hats, fleece sweaters and jackets waterproof? That would be a game changer in so many ways because it would reduce your dependence on expensive soft shell apparel. It would also increase your safety margin on long winter hikes or backpacking trips since the fleece insulation you wear would stay dryer, longer, and be easier to dry because it isn’t soaked through.
Nikwax Polar Proof is a milky white liquid that you add to water and wash into your fleece gloves and garments. You can add it in a top or front loading washing machine or wash it in by hand. When finished, dry your garments by hanging them or or drying them in a drier.
Here are a few tips to get the best results when Polar Proofing fleece gloves:
- Polar Proof works best with gloves that are 100% fleece without leather or faux leather fingertips or palm grips. The gloves should be new, not have any holes in them, and be free of wear or thin spots.
- Wash your fleece gloves, hats, or garments before you Polar Proof them using a gentle detergent like Woolite or Nikwax Techwash that doesn’t leave a residual coating on your garments.
- When waterproofing fleece gloves, be sure to clean out any residual lint in the fingertips by turning your gloves inside out and removing it. Turn them right side out before you Polar Proof them.
Polar Proof works great on fleece gloves and will keep the outside of your gloves from getting wet even if they come in contact with snow or water. Any snow you do get on your gloves will gradually drop off, leaving the exterior of your gloves clean. The same holds for water and rain, which will bead and run off the surface. Some residual drops may still be trapped on the fleece surface, but they won’t soak through, and can be easily shaken or brushed off.
When you Polar Proof a pair of fleece gloves, both the inside and the outside of your gloves receives the protective coating. This is worth noting because it prevents liquid moisture from wetting out the fleece sandwiched in between which would be quite difficult to dry using body heat alone. This is good on multi-day hikes because it means you can dry your gloves out at night more easily in your sleeping bag or turn them inside out to dry while you are hiking.
That’s a game changer as far as I’m considered because it means I need to carry fewer pairs of fleece gloves on long hikes and because they become far easier to dry while retaining their warmth.
Disclaimer: Philip Werner received a free sample of Polar Proof from Nikwax but was under no obligation to review the product.
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