As a Hand in a Glove, Yes it Does
pop quiz: a lovely sound from the legend that shines brightest
We went to the Ski Show at Battersea last year and came across Kymira. The chap on the stand encouraged me to put my hand under his microscope with and without a square of Kymira fabric draped over it. Without doubt, with Kymira draped over my hand it appeared that my blood was circulating around my fingers much faster.
Wearing kymira gloves, I was told, would mean that my hands would be warmer when skiing. Being someone who has to listen to me constantly moaning about cold hands, Andrew suggested I buy some: So I did.
The Kymira gloves are thin and more or a liner than a glove. As I normally wear a pair of silk liners with my Dakine Primaloft mittens, I surmised it would simply be a swap of silk for Kymira.
Their first outing was our first ski trip of the season to Mayrhofen in November/December. It was cold, I mean really cold; minus 19C was pretty normal.
Putting the Kymira gloves on, they initially feel cold. Starting with warm hands and putting my mittens on, this wasn't obviously a problem. Later in the day, I took my mittens off to take photos. The close fit of the Kymira gloves and the 'electronic touch pads' on the finger ends meant is was very easy to take photos with the gloves on. However, the Kymira gloves seemed to go cold very quickly, and consequently, so did my hands. It then seemed to take an age after I'd put my mittens back on to get my hands warm again.
Later in the week I decided to do an experiment; one Kymira liner, one silk. Most of the day, I didn't notice any difference. The difference came when, on a bright and sunny, but still cold, day we stopped at a picnic bench for an al fresco coffee. I took both my mittens and gloves off. Putting them back on (warm hands from the coffee cup) and the Kymira glove felt freezing and seemed to suck the warmth out of my whole arm!
Not so cold, but snowing - a lot! The thing about snow is that it is frozen water, and when it thaws it is water, which is wet! My mittens are pretty waterproof (Gortex membrane) so, not a problem; until I take my mittens off.
Under my experimental conditions; one Kymira glove, one silk, when I got damp gloves, I got cold damp hands. The Kymira glove did repel more snow/water than the silk one. Consequently my Kymira gloved hand didn't get so damp/wet and, therefore, not as cold. The Kymira also dried a lot quicker than silk.
What, I think, the Infra Red Science Bit Means
Touch means we can tell the difference between the temperatures of things we contact, but not all things you’d expect to be the same temperature; because they are, say, in the same room, feel the same.
This is because the temperature we feel relies on the heat capacity of the item and the rate heat is conducted or convected from its surface.
The ability of a solid to conduct heat is related to the density of the material. Heat conduction depends on structure; the capability of atoms to move within the material and pass on their energy to other atoms.
Particles in liquids and gases can easily move around. Convection occurs when particles with different heat energy are mixed together and the particles exchange places and transfer heat energy.
Fleece is not a dense cloth. Most of its volume is occupied by air, a gas. When touched, it warms up quickly by convection to the temperature of the skin and feels warm.
Kymira is a dense cloth. It has a solid like structure that requires quite a lot of conduction energy to pass to it from your body before it feels warm.
Kymira Inner Gloves Review Summary and Conclusions
- After about five weeks of wear, I don't have long fingernails but, there is a hole in the end of the thumb of one glove and the ends of several fingers are showing signs of wear; fraying - see image.
- The silicon microdots have mostly come off the palms and fingers - see image.
- The Kymira gloves fit me very well.
- The electronic finger tabs work well.
- The gloves feel cold when you put them on and initially seem to drain heat from your fingers.
- Kymira’s main selling point is speedier recovery; as fingers/hands don’t really need to recover, I’m not sure of the benefits.
- Kymira gloves are a premium priced pair of glove liners (I paid £35). I don’t believe they are any better that silk or polyester ones I’ve worn before. As I generally pay between £10 and £15 for glove liners, I don’t believe Kymira gloves represent value for money.
- If the Kymira team are serious about these gloves being suitable for the ski market, they need to do more to convince me of the 'cold' science and design them to be more robust.
NOTE on Kymira Customer Service
I have contacted the Kymira team about my gloves and they immediately offered me my money back and asked me to return the gloves so that they could consult with their manufacturers about my issues. If they improve the gloves, you never know, they might be good for skiing! Watch this space!
pop trivia: Neil Diamond was making ‘Beautiful Noise’ in 1976; one of three singles from an album by the same name.
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