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Merino wool gloves question

Becky 59

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
Hello wise pilgrims, does anyone have any experience with Smartwool brand merino wool gloves? They carry a lighter-weight (150) that is 13% nylon, and a heavier (250) weight that is 100% merino wool, ostensibly with touch-pad fingertips for smart phones. Has anyone used either one recently? I'm trying to decide which to order. My last set of gloves lasted 3 years but now have holes in them. I'll be starting from SJPP on Sept 15, and expect to be near O Cerbreiro (sp?) in late October, to gauge my weather conditions.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
In my experience smartwool brand products are comfortable, warm and very temporary. I’ve had no more than a few days use out of their socks and maybe a few months out of their gloves (when worn only occasionally). I have one of their beaney hats which is a few years old, but I’d hope that to be the case.

Overpriced and low quality, in my opinion.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Your money would be better spent on a night in a pensione if it turns cold enough for gloves. During the day you can wear socks on your hands with a plastic bag to keep warm, but you'll have to carry those gloves 500 miles for maybe one day's use. I was in Sarria when there was an inch of snow, i had an Altus poncho and the shelves were long enough to protect my hands.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
To provide an alternative: I used the cheapest fleece gloves from Decathlon. They weigh in at around 25g and cost like 2€ a pair. So far i cant comment on wear, cause there is none. They dry fast. They kept my fingers comfy warm well into 0°C. The fit is not that great and they dont have smartphone fingers, but you got to make compromises somewhere.
 
Hi Becky - I can't answer your smartwool glove question but when I walked the Frances, September through mid October I had a pair of lightweight fleece gloves and was very grateful for them on many mornings. I would typically start walking around 6:30 or 7:00am and it was quite chilly until just after sunrise which at that time of year was close to 8:00am. Also grateful for a lightweight fleece cap!

Edit: To say that my post wasn't in support of fleece over smartwool - just to let you know that I found gloves to be very useful at that time of year.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello wise pilgrims, does anyone have any experience with Smartwool brand merino wool gloves? They carry a lighter-weight (150) that is 13% nylon, and a heavier (250) weight that is 100% merino wool, ostensibly with touch-pad fingertips for smart phones. Has anyone used either one recently? I'm trying to decide which to order. My last set of gloves lasted 3 years but now have holes in them. I'll be starting from SJPP on Sept 15, and expect to be near O Cerbreiro (sp?) in late October, to gauge my weather conditions.

I have a pair of lambswool gloves. I just weighed them and they weigh 34 grams. Thank you for mentioning them, because they are now on the guestroom bed ready to go in the pack. I have used them on the Primitivo in September, on the Olvidado in June, on the Vdlp in May. The one year I didn’t bring them, thinking to follow someone’s suggestion here about using socks as gloves, I regretted it. It’s not getting cold that is so much the problem, it is getting wet. In a cold rain, wool continues to insulate and my smartwool socks just didn’t provide the same warmth. I don’t know if there’s a difference between smartwool socks and smartwool merino gloves, but I am taking my lambswool gloves.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I always take gloves now. Usually I walk in early spring and my hands can get very cold. On the Camino Madrid I had a "the Camino provides" moment - in a tiny hamlet, hands freezing, socks deep inside my pack and lo! One of those little market vans pulled up and opened its doors to sell to the locals. Had gloves. Some kind of artificial stuff, very cheap, worked well enough.
I do now take lambswool gloves because they still retain warmth even when wet. Brand I think is unimportant. I have also taken waterproof gloves and they were very useful in Galicia!

Edited to add - my best gloves are possum merino! Fabulous. Pity about the lurid pink colour but the only reason I could afford them was because they were the clearance ones on sale.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
After my first camino — when I had to buy gloves in Leon and wear them most mornings to SdC — having started from SJPdP Sept. 5th and having endured incredible, scorching heat that would stay with us during the days right to Sarria…. I switched to running gloves with mitt covers. I have a few pairs, and my favourites are from Brooks (of the running shoes). Even in very cold Ontario winters, I find they are more than enough *as long as I am moving and getting blood pumped to my hands).
They are incredibly light-weight, they dry really fast… I don’t end up with cold hands that are also sweaty…
Here’s an example of a pile of selections: https://runningmagazine.ca/sections/gear/gear-of-the-week-best-winter-running-gloves/
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have a pair of $3 fleece gloves purchased from my local Dollar store and have appreciated their occasional use on my five spring Caminos. They have served me well and are still in good shape...no need for me to upgrade.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I always take gloves - sometimes 2 pairs of light ones. I've never been quite satisfied, and am still experimenting. I have walked in early spring and late fall, and needed them regularly.

I have some very light merino wool ones (Icebreaker; likely 150 weight) that are not touch-screen sensitive and they are very annoying because they are hard to get on and off, especially when my hands are cold and/or wet. I won't take them on the Camino again.

I have some Smartwool gloves 100% Merino, probably a 250 weight, that are quite nice. I haven't worn them on the Camino yet, but will probably take them next time. However, I have recently been looking at some waterproof gloves.
 

morgus

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2014)
Hello wise pilgrims, does anyone have any experience with Smartwool brand merino wool gloves? They carry a lighter-weight (150) that is 13% nylon, and a heavier (250) weight that is 100% merino wool, ostensibly with touch-pad fingertips for smart phones. Has anyone used either one recently? I'm trying to decide which to order. My last set of gloves lasted 3 years but now have holes in them. I'll be starting from SJPP on Sept 15, and expect to be near O Cerbreiro (sp?) in late October, to gauge my weather conditions.
I used them on the AT this year and next week on the camino. I have other gloves from hyper light. But like these when I am walking around and or sitting in a cold church
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
It depends on when you walk I believe. I walk close to winter and in Galicia it can get pretty cold and of course wet. I bought a pair of "water resistant gloves" that have kept me extremely comfortable. I have been caught in some pretty good storms. When that happens I just pull my altus poncho sleeves over my hands and gloves and keep walking. Never a problem. In moderate and light rain the water resistance works fine. I payed about 6Euros for them and they look brand new.
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Hi Becky - I can't answer your smartwool glove question but when I walked the Frances, September through mid October I had a pair of lightweight fleece gloves and was very grateful for them on many mornings. I would typically start walking around 6:30 or 7:00am and it was quite chilly until just after sunrise which at that time of year was close to 8:00am. Also grateful for a lightweight fleece cap!

Edit: To say that my post wasn't in support of fleece over smartwool - just to let you know that I found gloves to be very useful at that time of year.
Exactly— I used a pair of cheap and lightweight fleece gloves on the Camino and found that they kept me warm for the first hour or so of each morning.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
For non winter use when things turn a bit chilly, I have long preferred Polartec powerstretch type gloves. They are tough, light, and provide a nice level of both breathability and insulation to the hands. I have had my North Face model for years.

Recently I started looking for a replacement for when those gloves are gone because North Face discontinued the model I use. I ordered the men's version of the glove, and it seems to be a good performer, plus the price is great for this type of glove. And the touch screen usability appears to work perfectly well. . . my North Face gloves didn't have that feature.

 
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Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
You can easily make your favoutite gloves touch screen friendly . On all fingers or just the indexes if you want . It only takes a few moments with a needlr and ' Conductive thread ' available on line just about anywhere . Sew a few stiches through the chosen tip making sure the thread can make contact with your skin once worn . Easy , cheap and saves you money .
 

K_Lynn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello wise pilgrims, does anyone have any experience with Smartwool brand merino wool gloves? They carry a lighter-weight (150) that is 13% nylon, and a heavier (250) weight that is 100% merino wool, ostensibly with touch-pad fingertips for smart phones. Has anyone used either one recently? I'm trying to decide which to order. My last set of gloves lasted 3 years but now have holes in them. I'll be starting from SJPP on Sept 15, and expect to be near O Cerbreiro (sp?) in late October, to gauge my weather conditions.
I start walking September 1. I picked up a pair of Icebreaker merino glove liners as they are virtually weightless (21 grams) but will provide a bit of protection from the cold.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino inglés October 2016
Camino Primitivo May 2017
Camino Portugues Central October 2017
I designed and now wear these merino camino liner gloves with another solution for touch screen because I experienced that the more technical solutions stop working after the gloves have been washed a few times (and because I cannot have enough scallop shells on my gear)... They are 96 % merino wool and 4 % spandex and weigh 27-38 grams a pair
merino-liner-handsker-uldvanter-uldhandsker-camino-merinoliners.jpg merino-liner-handsker-uldvanter-uldhandsker-camino-merinoliners-touch-smartphone.jpg merino-liner-handsker-uldvanter-uldhandsker-camino-merinoliners-touch-smartphone-musling-camin...jpg
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I designed and now wear these merino camino liner gloves with another solution for touch screen because I experienced that the more technical solutions stop walking after the gloves have been washed a few times (and because I cannot have enough scallop shells on my gear)... They are 96 % merino wool and 4 % spandex and weigh 27-38 grams a pair
View attachment 107407 View attachment 107408 View attachment 107409
Well you can’t leave us waiting …

where can we buy these splendid gloves?
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2019) Camino Portuguese (2016) - debating one more (2024)
Hello wise pilgrims, does anyone have any experience with Smartwool brand merino wool gloves? They carry a lighter-weight (150) that is 13% nylon, and a heavier (250) weight that is 100% merino wool, ostensibly with touch-pad fingertips for smart phones. Has anyone used either one recently? I'm trying to decide which to order. My last set of gloves lasted 3 years but now have holes in them. I'll be starting from SJPP on Sept 15, and expect to be near O Cerbreiro (sp?) in late October, to gauge my weather conditions.
Hi Becky, in 2019 by mid-October, it was snowing in the mountains and the mornings were around zero degrees, with lots of ground fog, so everything gets damp very quickly. In Astorga, at the best pilgrim store, Deportes Huracan the owner suggested "Extremities" water-wicking gloves. They're super light and cosy. They have a huge range to choose from https://www.terra-nova.co.uk/gloves-mitts/touchscreen-gloves-and-mitts/
All the best.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
:) I have them here avilable for uinternational shipping. But I can only ship as a letter which means rather long delivery times and no tracking. You are very welcome:) https://www.caminolife.com/shop/
Thanks. They look lovely, but even though I’m widely regarded as having more money than sense, they’re too expensive for me!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino inglés October 2016
Camino Primitivo May 2017
Camino Portugues Central October 2017
Thanks. They look lovely, but even though I’m widely regarded as having more money thanks sense, they’re too expensive for me!
OMG the price is somehow wrong!!! Correct price is 37 usd including shipping. So embarrasing! I have corrected the price now. They are still not cheap, but that is because we wanted high quality mulesing free merino. Best regards Marie
 

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