On my second day at Outdoor Retailer, I happened to walk past a booth with a sign that said “Texting Gloves”. I know that you’re thinking. Seriously? Yes, at face value, that might sound kind of silly. But I had already seen Anti-Monkey Butt, Poo-Pourri, and Cat Crap, so it didn’t sound that silly to me. Anyway, I stopped to have a look, and two very polite young women introduced me to Wristies.

So what are Wristies? A simple but effective product for keeping your hands and wrists warm while still allowing full use of your fingers. How simple? Well, they were designed by a rather clever and motivated ten year old that didn’t like having cold hands. KK Gregory came up with the idea when she was a child, and is now back at the company she started, and enthusiastic as ever. With good reason too. Wristies are made in the USA, which means folks in Rollinsford, New Hampshire have jobs because of Wristies. This is good. It also means that they’re not made overseas, which is also good.* They’re made from Polartec, which is great. That means they’re strong, yet light weight, will retain body heat, and repel water. The interior is warm and soft fleece, while the shell has a smooth finish. All the sewing and seams are nicely finished, with the thumbhole well-placed, and the material in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger sized just right to provide warmth up to the knuckle area without too much bulk. While the texting angle is nice, they’re actually great for anyone looking to keep their hands and wrists warm, while still enjoying the appeal of naked fingers. I tested them typing, (this post) fiddling with the radio while driving, gripping the bars on both a road and BMX bike, and even working a target pistol. They seem to work great on their own, or as a base layer under gloves when warmth is more important than tactile feel.

Given that I probably have another two months of snowy weather ahead of me, I’ll continue to put them through their paces, and will report back on long term durability. In the meantime, this is one product that I can heartily recommend. It does what it promises, doesn’t cost much, and is American made. The only downside I found over several days of wearing them was that they weren’t too compatible with one of my long sleeve work shirts, but that was resolved by unbuttoning the sleeves at the wrists. Not necessarily a fault with the product, there just wasn’t room under the sleeve for them, and I didn’t want to stretch them over.

After several tries at photographing them, we finally gave up. Feet, tattoos, cats, and chihuahuas seemed to magically appear in our photos. So the image below, which is copyrighted by Wristies, will have to suffice. Please visit the Wristies website for more details on sizes, colors, and pricing.

*While I am not opposed to international commerce, I see no reason to manufacture certain items overseas just to save a few bucks. Having worked in the transport industry, I have a tendency to give more thought to the trucks and trains that deliver containers to the port, the crane that lift the containers onto the ship, and the ship that spends weeks on the ocean before that container arrives on our shores, only to have the product spend some more in transport. Sure, I may be off on a slight tangent here, but the point is that all those transport costs add up not just to expenses, but they take an environmental toll. So props to KK for taking the high road, which is actually less expensive for all of us in the long run.

This post and related comments can also be found on Twospoke.com

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