With a lot of snow starting us off in 2022 , and as cold, wet and slushy weather takes a firm hold, one of the most common discussion topics has started up again—what’s the right glove for winter wheeling?
Is there a pair of gloves that keeps hands warm, dry AND have good grip for wheelchair users? Here’s what we heard from peers in BC, and some from peers in other snowy climates!
Jess Vliegenthart, Kamloops
“I usually have two pairs of these on the go. When one gets wet, I swap to the other pair and vice versa. Super wet snow is a huge pain.”
Lillehammer XC Gloves from MEC $70
Amanda Pinheiro, Vancouver
“These have leather on the palm side and give good grip when wheeling in the rain. But the waterproofing does not last and eventually, it will get wet. But it depends how often you’re using it in the wet rain. Its good for snow, but not the warmest. I like that the gloves are actually not that thick, so when I’m getting into the car, I still feel like I have dexterity and can take apart my chair.”
Scott Heron, Victoria
“The gloves I love to use are a military/tactical glove. They provide good grip and protection for the knuckles as you pass through doorways etc. I swap between pairs when they get wet.”
Tactical Outdoor Gloves from David Outwear, US$49.95, available at a discount at many online retailers including Amazon.
Dave Gillespie, SCI peer in Utah
Dave uses these long-wearing, waterproof, warm and grippy cross country ski gloves. These are seamlessly bonded, and made of a 4-layer, breathable material construction. They’re windproof and waterproof gloves with non-slip and abrasion-resistant palms. *These gloves are produced by Austrian company KOMPERDELL, but we could not find a North American distributor with stock at time of writing.
Freeride Light Gloves £119.95
Kyle Gieni, Vancouver
“I use Holmes on Homes work gloves from Costco. They sell thin gloves in the summer and thick gloves in the winter. Great grip on these!”
Holmes on Holmes Work Gloves $24.99 for 3 pairs
Kierstynn Decker Au, Chicago
This glove by Care+Wear is water resistant, more quad friendly and tested in Chicago winters.
Care+Wear Mobility Gloves $50.00
Here are some effective hacks to keep your hands warm and dry.
Specialized technical gloves for wheeling are expensive and can be hard to find, so many peers have found practical ways to keep their hands warm and dry with easily available, low-cost options.
“My husband, Jeff says a dive buddy of his uses fleece gloves, with dishwashing gloves on top for winter SCUBA diving. For wheelies, we could add a thin outer grippy glove that can get wet. I experimented with a glove liner, vinyl surgical gloves and outer grippy work gloves, and I am dry and warm!” ~ Shira Stanfield, Vancouver
“I buy multiple pairs of cold weather Mechanix style work gloves either with nitrile palms or nubuck palms (better for grip on cold, snowy pushrims), sprayed with waterproofing. They’re about $30 at Canadian Tire, Rona or Home Hardware.” ~ Jocelyn Maffin, Nanaimo
“I have one pair that I wear when I walk the dogs but after about 20min in this slush they’re soaked. Then I pull out the second pair to get all the snow off my tires. Once home I throw them in the dryer and prep them for the next outing.” ~ Tara Llanes, North Vancouver
For an interesting discussion of winter wheeling glove needs, check out Erik Kondo’s article, The Winter Glove Solution for Wheelchair Users
Wondering about new places to go winter wheeling? Check out these resources:
SCI BC staff favourite locations for winter wheeling
SCI BC List of Accessible Paths and Trails in BC