Sunday, January 13, 2013

Product Review: Freehands Gloves

Photos by Greg Mullin.
Our thermometer read 33 degrees when we decided to take a walk in our neighborhood this afternoon. It was the ideal opportunity to field test my new Freehands gloves. Promoted to outdoor photographers who want access to camera buttons and controls without having to remove their gloves, the marketing copy reads, “these gloves have been made flexible by adding reinforced fold-back thumb and index finger tips that will permit you to use your phone or text. The magnetically secured fold-back tips will give you easy access to using your phone's functions.” They sounded like outdoor sketching gloves to me, so I grabbed a pair when they went on sale at B&H Photo shortly after Christmas.
1/13/13 Kaweco cartridge ink, Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

When I first got them, I saw right away that the opening to the index finger needed to be made longer so that my finger would make better contact with the pen. It was easy to cut a few seam stitches and then sew them back up to keep the Thinsulate lining from being exposed. Today as I tried to sketch the Maple Leaf water tower, I realized that the thumb opening would have to be cut down further, too. Other than my exposed thumb and forefinger, the rest of my hands stayed warm in the well-insulated gloves. But even in my down jacket, I got cold quickly. With fond memories of sketching the tower last May on a sunny morning while sipping a joe outside Cloud City Coffee, I didn’t feel bad abandoning this sloppy sketch after five chilly minutes.
I’m going to cut down that thumb opening, and then the gloves will work out great. But I think I’ll wait for the temperature to get up into the balmy 40s before I take them out for another field test.

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