The Heat Company was started in the Austrian Alps, a location known for chilly temperatures, in 1994. Today it produces a range of gloves, warmers and insoles designed to keep outdoor enthusiasts warm. The company recommends a layering approach for achieving warm hands, and offers an extensive array of gloves and mittens to suit different conditions. Its Heat 2 Softshell gloves combine fingerless gloves and mittens with a flip-top to keep your fingers warm when you’re not using your camera.

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The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves at a glance:

  • £61.20
  • Fingerless glove and mitten in one
  • Goatskin palm
  • Thinsulate insulation
  • Inside handwarmer pocket
The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves with flip-top closed.

Both gloves closed up. Here you can easily see the circular magnets that hold the filp tops open. Credit: Angela Nicholson

As you’d expect, the Heat 2 Softshell gloves are made from wind- and water-repellent material, with a goatskin palm, and they’re lined with soft, cosy fleece that’s very welcoming on your hands when you pull them on. They are designed for ‘transition’ seasons, and after wearing them, I’d say that translates to all but the most extreme winter days in the UK.

A pocket inside the mitten tops can also hold a hand warmer (available from The Heat Company) to add extra heat when the mercury drops. That’s a great idea because it means the heat is there for your fingers after they’ve been exposed to the elements.

The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves with flip-top open

The gloves with their flip-tops opened for use with a camera. Credit: Angela Nicholson

Thanks to a long, knitted cuff, the Heat 2 gloves keep your wrists warm, but I find this needs to be pulled firmly up under my coat sleeves. Otherwise, the gloves slip down over my hands. This slippage is more of an issue when the mitten caps are pulled over my fingers because they extend too far beyond my fingertips, reducing my dexterity.

Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves key features:

  • Magnets:  Magnets hold back the mitten top and thumb cover
  • Pull loops:  Loops between the fingers make the glove easy to pull off
  • Wind and water-repellent:  The wind and water-repellant fabric protects your hands
  • Three sizes:  The Heat 2 Softshell gloves are available in 3 sizes, 7, 9 and 10

A flip-back top on the glove’s thumbs means you can also get your thumbs directly onto your camera. This cap is held in place by Velcro, so you can’t just wriggle your thumbs out, you have to peel back the caps. This is fiddly with the mitten caps in place, but it only takes a second when your fingers are free.

The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves in use

The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves in use. Credit: Angela Nicholson

Helpfully, there are magnets to hold the mitten and thumb caps out of the way while you use your camera. These are more effective than the magnets on Vallerret photography gloves.

Fingerless gloves can be awkward to remove, but thanks to loops between the fingers of the Heat 2 Softshell gloves, you can pull them off in a jiffy.

The Heat Company liner gloves

The Heat Company offers a range of nine liner gloves that can be worn under the Heat 2 Softshell gloves, if the conditions demand it. The Merino Liner Light tubes (£26.10) make a good choice because they don’t cover your fingers or thumbs, but have a handwarmer pocket on their back.

The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves in use, opened

Loops between the fingers make the gloves easier to remove. Credit: Angela Nicholson

The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell Gloves: Our Verdict

The Heat Company’s Heat 2 Softshell Gloves offer an excellent combination of a fingerless glove and mitten, with the internal handwarmer pocket helping to make them ideal for photographers braving cooler conditions. The gloves’ design means it’s easy to switch between protecting your full hand and freeing your fingers and thumbs to operate your camera while magnets keep the flip-top covers out of the way.

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4.5 stars

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