A graduate student from Loughborough University in Britain has launched innovative running gloves with built-in climate control. His patented invention is a unique mesh that enables instant temperature regulation and moisture wicking.
The gloves called FLUX are also touch-screen compatible and pack down as small as a tangerine, weighing less than six grams each, the university said in a statement. A sports technologist and keen runner, Ross Weir experimented with several glove prototypes, including electrically heated gloves, before establishing his simple yet innovative solution.
The insulation and exposure of the hand can be easily controlled by placing an air permeable mesh on the palm and opening and closing the fist. When held in a fist, the mesh is unexposed and the hand is well insulated. When the hand is open the mesh becomes fully exposed, releasing heat and moisture away from the palm.
"Before becoming too chilled, the hand can be closed again, maintaining thermal comfort and continuing to act as an efficient radiator of body heat throughout the run," Ross said. Getting the balance right with our hands is particularly difficult for runners and many other outdoor sport enthusiasts.
Cold exposure rapidly shuts down warm blood flow to the extremities, resulting in painful or numb fingers. Too much insulation, however, and hands will quickly overheat and get sweaty.