I found my photography gloves again!

I made a discovery today that made my day!

Quite a few years ago I was in an outdoor “disposals” store in the suburbs, and bought some neat fleece gloves. Finger-less gloves, with a fold-over mitten flap:

Made by Torpeako, these have been GREAT for photography in cold weather. I can poke a finger or two out to operate the camera buttons, and then pull them back into the warmth. The mitten flap is held to the back of the hand with a small patch of velcro. These have been with me to both polar regions, and I haven’t really been concerned with the cold. Actually, when it gets very cold I put on a pair of thin gloves underneath to help:

So far this has been fine down to around -20C (not that we get that cold in the Antarctic summer, but last December in northern Norway it did get “quite cold”).
But I haven’t been able to find more of these gloves. I’m often asked what gloves to use for photography in cold weather (especially by participants in my Antarctic and Arctic photo workshops) but my answer has had to be “ones like this, but I don’t know where to get them any more”. The store I bought mine from closed years ago, and in any case Torpeako have changed their designs. They do have a similar model they market to fishermen, but the design of the thumb isn’t the same. In the last year I’ve asked most outdoor clothing supply stores around Melbourne, and while some people remember having them in the past, no-one’s been able to point me to current suppliers.
This all changed today, when I happened to be walking through Melbourne’s CBD and dropped in on Pinnacle Outdoors in Little Bourke St (near Hardware Lane). Having looked at some camping gear I was about to leave but asked the staff about the gloves just in case they had useful advice. With a grin they stepped behind the counter and picked a pair of gloves off the shelf!

The palm patch is for extra grip. They’re the KAOS “Hunter” model, and they’re even made in Melbourne. They cost AU$25/pair, and are available in four sizes. I bought the XL size, and will be testing them out over this winter. But having tested them out at home today and with my previous experience with my other gloves, I’m very happy with them so far! Apart from anything else it’s nice to have a backup pair in case something happens to my other gloves.

If you’re after these gloves, don’t hesitate to give the nice folks at Pinnacle a call (+61 3 9642 2955). They did say they’re happy to process credit cards over the phone and post gloves out. I do have the email address of the store’s owner, but won’t list it here.
Incidentally, I’m hoping that the new Dots Gloves D430 gloves will make good inner gloves with these for my next Antarctic trip: they will allow me to use my iPhone in the field without having to de-glove entirely. Not that I’ll be using it as a phone, but I do use some of the apps even when away from phone networks!

10 Comments:

  1. Awesome! I’m off to Pinnacle!

  2. David, the link for the Melbourne manufacturer doesn’t seem to be working… be careful if you Google KAOS hunter too!!! Will give them a call tomorrow…

  3. Googling for “KAOS hunter gloves” would be better than leaving the “gloves” out of the search…
    The link works for me. (?)

  4. In the last week KAOS updated their website, so I’ve updated the link.

  5. I dropped in on Pinnacle again today (I was going to get another pair of gloves on behalf of one of my overseas workshop participants) only to find that they ran out of stock this morning.
    Strangely enough, they’ve had a sudden run on these gloves in the last week. Oh the power of the Internet!

    They’re expecting more stock in another week or so, so make sure you give them a call before you head in to the shop…

  6. Hi David, where I come from (Dolomites, Northen Italy) they are as common as bread, everyone who does ski touring or Cross-country skiing has a pair and many people wear them in winter, just remind me to get a couple of pairs for you next time I’ll go home!
    lui

  7. Thanks for the post. I just ordered a couple of pairs from their website.

    Steve

  8. Hi David,

    When I looked on the KAOS website, I didn’t see the full finger coverage of the gloves, minus the mitten part. In your photos, are you wearing any gloves underneath? Or are those fingers indeed part of the Hunter glove? I just want to make sure before I order them for my dad for Christmas. I’m deciding between these and http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/blog/quick-video-review-of-the-aquatech-sensory-gloves-2122

    Aquatech Sensory Gloves. I would love your input. Thanks 🙂

  9. Yes I’m wearing thin polypropylene knitted gloves there. They’re quite cheap at outdoor stores, and I chose ones that don’t have awkward seams in places that would inhibit the sensitivity of my “shutter finger”. I’m also experimenting with new inners which allow me to access the iPhone screen, but the jury’s still out on those.

    I’m just back from leading a photography expedition to Antarctica, and some of the participants were using the Aquatech gloves. Some said they weren’t good when they got wet, while some reported no such problem (I think those guys were using inners with them). So I’m not sure whether to recommend them or not.
    Incidentally, it only got cold enough on this trip for me to have to use the inner gloves with these KAOS gloves once or twice.

  10. One thing I did notice during this trip was that the fold-away thumb comes back at a different angle than my previous gloves.
    I’m a left-eyed photographer, and I often found that the folded back thumb was trying to poke into my right eye. The jury’s still out as to how serious an issue this is though.
    Not something the designers probably thought much about…

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