A few years ago I bought a new pair of winter cycling gloves and the first time I used them they kept my hands warm for over three hours on a dreary 25 degree day. The next day it had warmed up to around 30 degrees so I wore the same pair of gloves again—but this time I had to turn around and head home after just three miles because my hands were freezing. On the way home I was trying to figure out what the problem was, then it dawned on me that the gloves had not completely dried out from the ride the day before. When I put my hands into the gloves on the second ride they felt dry, but there must have been a good deal of moisture in-between the liner and the outer shell of the glove, and after just 15 or 20 minutes in the cold that moisture had turned into ice.
Many winter cyclists, runners and skiers leave their wet gloves sitting on top of the heat register in the floor to dry out—and this is certainly a lot faster than just leaving them on a table to dry. However, forced air has a tendency to not only dry gloves, but shrink them as well. If you exercise outdoors in the winter your gloves are going to get wet inside and a boot and glove dryer will make your life a lot easier. While some dryers work by blowing warm air into your gloves or boots, I like the convection dyers the best—they have a heating element at the bottom of the dryer and through thermal convection (hot air rising) warm air is drawn into your boots or gloves. Thermal convection dryers are a bit slower that those with blowers, but they are a lot more energy-efficient and won’t shrink your gloves. In addition, thermal convection dryers are a lot cheaper to run and they are also completely silent.
Thermal convection boot and glove dryers all have long tubes so yo can put your gloves or boots over them as they dry. Most of the time my gloves are totally dry within six to eight hours. Many of these dryers also have a “drip tray” that will catch any water, snow or ice that falls off the outside of your gloves or boots as they dry.
The boot and glove dryer I use was manufactured by Pacific Outdoors, but this product is no longer available. However, at least two other companies sell nearly identical models. I do not normally give direct links to products on Amazon.com, but since the brand I use is not available I will. The PEET Dryer M97-FSB Original 2-Shoe Electric Dryer retails for $45, but Amazon.com has it for $34. The MaxxDry SD Boot, Shoe and Glove Dryer has a retail price of $40, but Amazon.com is selling it for $29. Please read the customer reviews before ordering either of these dryers (since I have not tried either of these products I can’t recommend one brand over the other).