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Photo Gloves Review: Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 and Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

One of the reasons why I can write a blog even in winter is that my fingers finally stopped getting frostbites this year...

Photography of snow drifts on beautiful mountains with a mountain cottage on top and a snow-covered path leading to it

Velky Ostry (1293m), Czech Republic - Sony A7 IV, Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6, ISO100, 1/10s, f/10 (composed of two shots), VFFOTO magnetic UV GS 67mm


The days when I warmed gloves for girls on the mountains seem to be irretrievably gone, and in the last few years, my fingertips on my hands start to freeze pretty quickly as soon as the temperatures drop slightly below zero...


Classic, as long as I am walking, everything is fine, but as soon as I take off my gloves to set up the camera, a few gusts of icy wind are enough, and soon I am tucking my hands into the warmest places on my body (I deliberately don't specify that place, eh).


If this sounds familiar to you, I think this article might help you a bit.


I have tried several gloves... LEVELs I use for snowboarding, winter FOXs for biking, DAKINEs... all great until you have to take them off for camera set ups and immediately all the warmth is gone...


Last two winters I spent in windproof mittens from "Decathlon" with the flip-back design, allowing me to expose both fingers and thumb for easier handling.

They were great, but already at temperatures around -5ºC I could just go and break off my frozen fingers... well, I would rather focus on compositions than than worrying about someone seeing me tuck my hands between my legs for warmth during sunrise...

Photography of a solitary frosty tree as the main motif on a snow-covered plain with the rising sun in the background.

Velky Ostry (1293m), Czech Republic - Sony A7 IV, Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6, ISO250, 1/100s, f/4.5, VFFOTO magnetic UV GS 67mm


Fortunately, another long search for better gloves finally cuts through a discussion with a frostbite specialist @filiphrebenda (sorry buddy, I couldn't resist xD)...


And so I found Vallerret, a Norwegian brand focused specifically on photo gloves... beautifully crafted... by photographers for photographers... what more could one wish for...


Vallerret Markhof Pro V3


Excited that I may have finally hit the "jackpot", I got two pairs right away... the "finger" gloves Markhof Pro V3 and the icebreakers Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP... and I haven't spared either pair since December 2021... not at all...

The "Markhof" gloves are designed for "Mid Winter", which unfortunately means temperatures licking zero for me... so I didn't bother with lighter gloves, because when a miracle happens and it's warm (we'll see through all the global warming... but like this year, when spring was in February and snow only held on the highest peaks), I just take them off, problem solved...

Close-up shot of Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 photography gloves and Sony A7IV, with snow drifts and frosty trees in the background.

And now a few "features":

  • the absolute top is the 100% Merino lining... I managed to get them wet in brutal freezing showers and even though I soaked them, I was still warm thanks to the properties of the wool! Merino for everyone!

  • Flip-Tech fingertips, allowing you to expose your thumb and index fingers, with the possibility to fix the flipped part with magnets on the back of the glove. This is a fantastic system, as when you have to take your fingers out for handling the camera or small accessories, only two phalanges go out and the rest of the hand is beautifully kept warm.

  • Thinsulate insulation (C100/C70)

  • Velour wipe for your noses and lenses - or rather just for those lenses... well, when you don't forget and don't wipe your nose into it (yes... personal experience...)

  • anti-slip surface printed on the underside of the glove, which is absolutely awesome, because camera, tripod, lens cap... nothing really slips!

  • Pocket for a condom and memory card... or rather for anything small needed... cloth etc...

Product photography of Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 gloves on a white background ready for review and testing.

That's the main features of the "Markhofs" in a nutshell...

Overall, I'm absolutely thrilled with them and in the lower mountains, I pull them out almost exclusively... there were a few situations when I regretted not having the Skadi in my backpack even in the lower mountains, but they were associated with such a "great" weather that I actually scolded myself for even going out to shoot...


Their "limit" (this is very subjective, though) manifests around -7ºC, when during longer shoots, I occasionally have to pull my fingers into a fist and warm them up against each other in the palm part. However, even so, I can endure from sunrise to sunset outside, even without the opportunity to go to a pub to warm up.


It's hard to find negatives, first-class materials chosen by people who themselves use gloves in extreme conditions, great seams and workmanship... I would probably just appreciate slightly stronger magnets, as they once disconnected when catching the drone and the returning thumb cover got caught in the propellers, which you don't really want... However, the propellers didn't cut through the goat leather and the drone also survived without any damage...


Vallerret Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP


Now let's take a look at the Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP - the frost crushers when things really get tough...


Gloves two in one... or as Ivan Trojan would say in One Hand Can't Clap... "it's gloves on gloves..." simply photo gloves for everyone who, despite the worst conditions, are still drawn outside...

Product photograph of Vallerret Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP gloves on a white background, including inner gloves ready for review and testing.

Here I really don't care about the outside conditions because:

  • the inner glove is made of Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™ - a super lightweight, warming material, flexible in all directions, resistant to abrasion and excellently breathable

  • Zipper and FlipTech finger caps with magnets - fantastic combo... all the time fingers can warm each other like traditional mittens, but as soon as you need to manipulate the camera, just unzip the outer glove for a moment, Flip the thumb and suddenly you have all fingers outside for any manipulation... however, still protected by the Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™ inner glove... I just love this...

  • goat leather in combination with layered kepr and two-layer DWR suede prevent water penetration and protect perfectly against wind

  • anti-slip surface printed on the underside of the glove, which is absolutely great because the camera, tripod, nothing really slips

  • pocket for memory cards, rag etc...

Photograph of Vallerret Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP gloves ready for testing and review.

No, I don't use them as often as the "Markhofs", but that's because the fingered Markhof Pro V3 are surprisingly versatile and they take a lot... really a lot... however, when I go to higher mountains, temperatures fall deeply below zero all day, or perhaps I stay overnight (tent/car), I always go with Skadi...


In reality, my hands chilled in Skadi only once, at perceived -21ºC, when I waited from sunrise to sunset, the whole day was extremely windy and the pub was closed... but then I was completely frozen like a popsicle anyway...


I hope this will help you a bit, and you won't have to sit with your hands between your legs, feeling like your nails are falling off anymore...

Until next time!


MS



GEAR:

Camera: Sony A7 IV

Drone: Mavic Air 2s

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