If like me, you’ve been out with your camera and your fingers got so cold that you can’t feel the shutter release, you’re probably on the hunt for some decent photography gloves.
I bought a pair of the Vallerret Markhof Pro Model Photography Gloves a couple of years ago and they’re great. I’ve worn them in some very cold spells during the UK winter.
More recently, I’ve also tested the Vallerret Women’s Nordic Photography Gloves and Vallerret Ipsoot Photography Gloves. However, with a skiing trip to the French Alps coming up, I knew that I’d need something even warmer.
Vallerret’s warmest solution is the Alta Over-Mitt Photography Glove. These can be worn by themselves or, for even more warmth, over a glove like the Vallerret Ipsoot Photography Glove.
- Read our Vallerret Markhof Pro Model Photography Gloves Review
- Read our Vallerret Women’s Nordic Photography Gloves Review
- Vallerret Ipsoot Photography Gloves Review
Big and Warm
The Alta Over-Mitts are made from goat leather and DWR (durable water repellant) laminated soft twill that is water- and wind-resistant water. On the inside, a nylon taffeta liner makes it easy to slip the Mitt over other gloves.
They are also substantial with a that long cuff goes almost half-way up my forearms. A drawstring at the end allows you to pull the cuff tight to prevent any snow from getting inside.
Of course, the clever part is that when you want to take a photograph, you can unzip the end of the Mitt to reveal your fingers. If you’re wearing Ipsoot gloves underneath, you’ll then need to flip open the finger and thumb tips to be able to feel your camera properly.
Alternatively, Vallerret also offers Primaloft/Merino Liner gloves that have touch-screen compatible tips. These keep the worst of the cold at bay while the Mitts are open and still give you the control you need.
Popper fasteners are provided to keep the FlipTech Mitt tops open, but I found them fiddly to use and just pushed the ends out of the way instead.
On A Harness
If you grew up with mittens on a piece of string that ran up your sleeve, you may feel at home with the harness that comes with the Alta Over-Mitts. However, I quickly realised that this is best worn over your jacket rather than inside. The look is more Scott of the Antarctic than winter playground.
The harness attaches to the ends of the cuffs with durable-feeling clips and wearing the harness beneath your coat would keep the cuffs snug against your wrist. However, it’s hard to remove the mitts without taking off your coat. And if you do manage to take the mitts off, they tend to migrate up your sleeves.
I mainly wore the Alta Over-Mitt Photography Gloves by themselves or with the Vallerret Primaloft/Merino Liner gloves on the snowiest, coldest days when I was in the Alps during January. Thanks to Polartec fleece and 5oz insulation, I found they kept my fingers warm in temperatures as low as -9C, with windchill making it feel much colder.
Importantly, despite handling snow, skis and wet poles all day, the Mitts didn’t let in any moisture.
Nevertheless, the liner gloves were a welcome addition when I peeled back the Mitts to use my camera. They worked especially well when I was skiing with a DJI Osmo Pocket in my hand. They kept the worst of the windchill off.
As a backpack user, it took me a little while to get used to the harness when getting on and off ski lifts. Initially, I got the backpack tangled in the harness as I swung it round to sit on the lift. However, I soon got the hang of things and it was great to know that there was no risk of losing a glove.
It’s also nice to not have the Mitts flapping around on the end of your arms when you take them off. That can be an issue with some ski gloves.
Although they are bulky, the Vallerret Alta Over-Mitt Photography Gloves do a great job of keeping your fingers warm in very cold conditions. That insulation works and mittens tend to be a better option than gloves in extreme cold.
The lowest temperature I encountered in the Alps was -9C but the windchill made it feel much lower at times. I tend to feel the cold, but my fingers were fine in the Alta Over-Mitts. I only really used the liner gloves if I wanted to use my camera for an extended period. Each time I was glad to tuck my fingers back inside the Mitt and close the zip.
I also had the Vallerret Skadi Zipper Mitt Photography Gloves with me (review coming soon) and while they were warm, they can’t match the Alta Over-Mitts for toastiness or waterproofing. Plus, provided you buy the correct size, the Alta Over-Mitts can be worn over thick gloves like the Vallerret Ipsoot in more extreme cold conditions. They’d certainly be my choice if I was heading to Iceland or the Arctic.