For years we’ve lamented the lack of fashionable choices for Raynaud’s sufferers who want warm fingers in the dead of winter. Most options force us to wear thick, stiff bulky gloves and mittens that look like they were made for ski bunnies.
This year we’ve discovered new options that offer Frosties stylish gloves and mittens that you’d select first for their beautiful, colorful designs – the unexpected warmth is a real surprise!
We were contacted by the owners of Sweater Chalet, a web site offering wonderful woolen sweaters, scarves, hats and accessories by high-quality brands you’d recognize, like Dale of Norway (love, love, love their gorgeous sweaters!). Their merchandise line also includes gloves and mittens made by Öjbro Vantfabrik of Sweden. Not a brand I know, but now won’t forget! They are made by a husband and wife team in Sweden – Åse creates the designs, and her partner Ted brings them to life in production. Sweater Chalet is working with the founders to introduce the brand in the U.S.
You’ll love their slogan displayed on each product: ”Varning Varma Vantar”. Translation: “Warning: Warm Mittens.” Sweater Chalet contacted us after many of their customers with Raynaud’s found comfort in these gloves and mittens, and wanted to give us the opportunity to spread the warmth.
The reason? The manufacturing process provides four layers of insulation: The outer layer is 100% merino wool, known for its temperature-regulating features and moisture management, and a staple for many Frosties. Under the wool is an insulating layer of fiberfill (also very cushy!). The third layer is additional insulation of laminated Thinsulate (need we say more?). Finally there’s an inner Tricot lining. You might think with all of these layers that the gloves are thick and heavy, but just the opposite – they are light as a cloud and quite flexible. The gloves offer a good deal of dexterity for such a well-insulated design.
When the products arrived, I was impressed by how beautiful and comfortable the gloves and mittens are. When you place your hands inside, it’s like your favorite blanket, and you don’t want to take them off!
The temperatures were too warm for testing in Connecticut, but within the week I traveled on vacation to New Hampshire (I know, what kind of Frostie vacations in NH in the winter? But I love X-Country skiing…), so there were several occasions that provided good test conditions.
First I tried the gloves on some dog walks when it was in the high-teens/low 20’s. We get hurricane-level windstorms on top of the mountain, and I was surprised that the gloves created a sufficient barrier against the wind. My hands were quite comfortable, except for one longer walk when I could feel a little pinch of cold, but not too uncomfortable. I also wore the gloves later in the day on some errands. Again, it was in the low 20’s and teens, and they did a good job of protecting me from the cold.
The next day it was even colder – registering at 5 degrees and a wind chill of -14 degrees (brrr!). Needless to say I remained indoors as much as possible, but did need to handle one dog walk while my husband went to the store. It again was quite windy, but not storm level winds this time. I used the mittens for a moderately long dog walk, and again, my hands were just fine against the conditions (can’t say the same for my nose!). Later that evening the temperature was in the single digits, and again, the mittens did a good job of keeping my easily frozen fingers comfortably warm.
A couple of negatives, but not major issues: The wool is slick to the touch, so grasping a door knob or a steering wheel can be challenging. Also, the mittens fit fine, but the fingers on the gloves were a bit long. Not sure if it’s a sizing issue, as the hand measurement is a good fit, just the length of the fingers. However, it doesn’t take away from the dexterity of the glove and isn’t uncomfortable, as I’ve experienced in some gloves where this was an issue.
Update January 2018: Great news – both the mittens and gloves are now available with suede! The full palm of the mitten is suede for a better grip on door knobs and steering wheels. The gloves have suede on the thumb and inner fingers making them touch screen compatible! You’ll find these new items on the top of the product page.
The bonus extra is in the packaging. The products arrived in the middle of February in a beautifully assembled package that felt like a Valentine’s present, including a hand-written card from Sweater Chalet’s owners, a big bow and gorgeous gift wrap. They call it the “Birthday Experience” – really made me feel special. So be prepared to feel loved when you order!
Special Offer for Raynaud’s Members
Offer Code: R10
There are endless multi-color designs of both the gloves and mittens at Sweater Chalet, and the only way to describe them is wearable art. Each design tells a story based on Swedish locations, symbols, legendary animals, folklore, and cultural traditions.
The gloves and mittens each sell for $79.95, an incredible price for these high-quality, unique accessories that will enhance every coat in your winter wardrobe. But the deal is even better for Frosties: As a proud sponsor of the Raynaud’s Association, Sweater Chalet is offering our members a 10% discount on all gloves, mittens and other accessories available on their site.
To qualify, simply enter the discount code R10 during checkout and click the “REDEEM” button.
It’s hard to believe that products so beautiful can be this warm and functional. We’re glad the Öjbro brand is now being made available in the U.S., and hope their lovely, unique designs bring a warm smile to your face and fingers!
4344 Latin Lane
Columbus OH 43220
Phone: (614) 684-8401