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Heat 3 Smart Gloves: Great Choice for Brutally Cold Weather Conditions (Review)

Heat 3 Smart Gloves Review: Great Choice for Photography in Extremely Cold Weather Conditions.

Welcome to my Heat 3 Smart gloves review!
(Great choice for winter photographers and outdoor enthusiasts).


As a winter photographer, you need to have photography-optimized gloves. Basically, you’ll need 3 main things:

  • good grip,
  • the ability to operate a camera with no issues,
  • and stay warm while shooting out in the cold.


If you need a pair for extremely cold weather conditions, I recommend you check out Heat 3 Smart.

Here’s a quick summary before getting into details.

Heat 3 Smart Gloves Review (Summary)

  • Product: Heat 3 Smart
  • Company: The Heat Company
  • Designed For: Extreme Winter
  • Best For: Winter/Arctic Photography
  • Customer Support: Good
  • Price: Under $200
  • Rating: 4.8/5

Here’s the thing…

Originally, this product was designed for European Special Forces that offered good grip, dexterity and kept hands warm.

In the updated version, you’ll also see:

  • touchscreen compatibility,
  • genuine leather pads on the palm to keep them rugged,
  • more insulation,

Very cool.

Anyway, these use the 3 layer system which includes linen, mitten and a warmer.

(That’s why it’s very popular among photographers shooting in extremely cold weather.)

One major con is its high price tag but they certainly are well constructed and will serve you a long time.

Bottom line:

Heat 3 Smart layer system gloves are a great choice for subzero temperature, whether it’s arctic photography or any other winter sports activities.

Where to buy online? Check price and availability on:

(Note: If they are not available on Amazon, try the B&H camera store.)

Heat 3 Smart Layer System Gloves (Video Review)

This year I decided to go all-in with a YouTube channel so I also created a video review of the Heat 3 Smart layer system and why as a winter photographer you might want these Austrian gloves.

==> Click here to subscribe to my channel for more updates!

The Heat Company: A Few Words

When it comes to (heated tactical) gloves, insoles and warmers, The Heat Company is pretty popular. 

It’s not surprising given that they were in the market since 1994 and work on providing top quality for their customers.

The founders were born in the Alps and are very familiar with cold temperatures and this helped them answer the needs of outdoor enthusiasts as well as adventurous winter photographers.


When it comes to Heat 3 Smart, there are a few things you’ll love:

  • excellent materials used/well constructed,
  • breathable,
  • waterproof,
  • great tactile control and grip,
  • cold weather touchscreen gloves (i.e. won’t have to take them off),

… and, of course, these will keep your hands toasty even if it’s super cold outdoors.

Heat 3 Smart Cold Weather Touchscreen Gloves

First things first:

This product is suitable for extremely cold weather like – 40ºC. If you use warmers (there’s a special mini pocket for them), you can likely use it up to -60ºC. 

Without a doubt, for winter photographers and outdoor enthusiasts that’s amazing news.

I’ve already mentioned before that Heat 3 Smart are made of high end materials. They use goatskin palms stay soft in the cold and ensures a good grip and waterproofness.

By the way, thanks to this genuine leather you can even tie a fly.

The integrated liner, which is the primary feature of this product, a thin and elastic material that practically that ensures dexterity.

This means that you can easily manipulate small elements, be it shoelaces, tiny camera buttons, a knife lock, or a weapon trigger.

I mean, they are ideal for handling.

As you can see from the image above, the thumb and index finger tips are covered with special silver material that allows you to use touchscreen devices without taking the gloves off.

(Which is also the main difference between the Smart version and other products of the Heat 3 line.)


What makes them so light and warm?

Premium Insulation PRIMALOFT Gold.

That’s why the Heat 3 Smart is even warmer than the original Special Force version. 

Not only that but you also have a room for warmers, should you need more heat.


Hand warmers come in handy for photographers. Put them in the inner glove and it’ll last 10+ hours.

(Also, there’s a safety strap with elastic wrist band that makes sure you gloves don’t fall off.)


I’d say that the overall build quality is pretty great.

The strengths:

  • A really good protection from wind, moisture and cold,
  • A 3 layer system that successfully combines mitten, glove liner and warmer in one.

The cons:

  • High price tag,
  • You can operate a camera with mitts (understandably),
  • If glove liners aren’t warm for you, there are a lot of liner options to choose from.

In any case, these are certainly one of the best cold weather photography gloves you’ll find on the market right now.

Choosing the Right Size

To have the correct size, you need to measure the circumference of your hand (not too firm) and then follow this guide:

Heat 3 Smart: FAQs

1) How much do they cost?

They cost around $200. While these are one of the most expensive gloves on the market, they are certainly worth checking out.


Amazon prices are subject to change, so you’ll need to hit the button below to see the most current prices.

2) Does The Heat Company have a good reputation?

Yep, they certainly do.

They were on the market since 1994 and specialize in heated gloves, insoles and warmers. (Originally they produced clothing gear for military units.)

3) Which type of person should consider these? 

Without a doubt, it’s for adventurous cold weather photographers, who need to keep their hands warm and the tactile control to operate a camera.

I’ll say more…

These mittens can be used for almost any type of winter activity:

  • arctic photography,
  • skiing/snowboarding,
  • mountain training,
  • alpine tours and expeditions,
  • gun shooting,

… just to name a few.

4) How cold of temperature can these gloves survive?

They certainly work for subzero temperatures. Generally, you should be fine shooting in -40ºC. With HEAT warmers, they can survive up to -60ºC.

However, keep in mind that everyone is different and everyone handles cold differently. What’s fine for me, might be a disaster for you.

5) What happens if these rip? How durable are they?

It’d suck if $200 ripped quickly, right?

Well, they are made of pretty great quality, so they won’t be easy to rip. Based on the experience of many photographers, these gloves for sure will serve you for a long time (minimum 2-3 years). 

6) Can you hold small cameras with Heat 3 Smart?

You should be fine if you use the glove liners, not mittens. Even small details usually work with the liners (camera dials might be a bit more difficult but still possible as you saw from my video review using a compact Canon M50 camera).

7) Heat 3 Special Force vs. Heat 3 Smart gloves?

While these 2 models are similar there are a few significant differences. 

The Heat 3 Smart model:

  • works with all touchscreen devices,
  • has more goatskin and ensures better grip,
  • has more insulation and so is warmer.

Basically it’s an upgraded version of the Special Force Austrian gloves.

8) Heat 3 Smart vs Vallerret Ipsoot photography gloves?

Well, a lot of you have been asking what’s better between Heat 3 and Ipsoot camera gloves. While we can go on and on about the various features both products have, we wouldn’t reach one solid conclusion on which is the best. Because after all, it’s up to your own personal preference.

However, there’s one thing that these two pairs have in common, and I think we can all agree to this.  They are both great for temperatures below zero.

(Although, I gotta point out, Vallerret’s Skadi Zipper Mitt model is more similar to Heat 3 Smart, especially design-wise.)

Now, I’d like to get on with the main differences between these two items.

  • Style

Heat 3 Smart has a very unique design. For the most part it looks like a mitten from the outside. But when you unzip its upper portion, it reveals a thinner glove liner inside, allowing you full hand mobility.

Ipsoot’s design on the other hand is pretty straightforward. It screams “these are gloves”. This pair looks bulkier than rivals, but it’s still lightweight which is a really good thing.

  • Dexterity

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Heat 3 Smart has an advantage when it comes to dexterity. After lifting up the mitten, it reveals a thin glove liner. This makes it so much easier to interact with your camera. Even pressing small buttons is no longer a problem. You can do that even with Heat 3 Smart on.

On the other hand, Ipsoot model doesn’t offer that level of dexterity. But, they did quite well making up for it by having flipping finger caps. This allows you to expose the tips of your index and thumb so you can still control camera dials and buttons even with the gloves on.

  • Level of Warmth

Before anything else, I’d like to emphasize this again that both products are amazing for sub-zero weather. However, there is a noticeable difference as to the degree of warmth it can offer you.

Heat 3 Smart is super warm when used as mittens. However, when you use it as gloves (which is mostly the case for photographers like you), it will be less warmer than it originally is.

On the contrary, Vallerret Ipsoot can give you uniform level for several hours. Though you will be exposing bare parts of your fingers to the cold, it won’t matter that much since 98% of your hands are still covered by the entire glove itself.

  • Accessibility and Touchscreen Interaction

Heat 3 Smart has a very well thought of design. It even comes with special fabric compatible for touchscreen interaction. The forefinger and thumb part has it. Because of this, you no longer need to take off the entire gloves to be able to use your smartphones or use your camera’s touchscreen.

With Vallerret Ipsoot photography gloves, this isn’t really a problem. Remember I mentioned you will be exposing your bare fingers to the cold because of the flip caps? Well, that does the trick. You can simply interact with any touchscreen device using those exposed fingertips.

So now that I’ve laid down their differences, it’s up to you to decide which one suits your style and needs.

9) Would you recommend buying them online?

Definitely. Also, I think this is the only way you can get them. (Don’t take my word for it though).

Check price and availability on:

(Note: If they are not available on Amazon, try the B&H camera store.)

Heat 3 Smart Gloves for Extreme Winter

Truth is:

Heat 3 Smart are one of the best gloves for photography in extreme winter conditions.

If you’re a photographer as well as outdoor enthusiast, then you’ll certainly enjoy this product.

I know that paying nearly $200 for a pair of gloves is too much for some, but this is the case where you should make sure you stay warm and healthy if you like shooting out in the cold often. (Alternatively, you can consider the Vallerret Ipsoot gloves which cost less than $120.)

In any case, these are:

  • pretty stylish,
  • comfortable and functional,
  • have the necessary features that’ll help you use your camera.

What else can you ask for?

Bottom line:

Heat 3 Smart layer system gloves are one of the best ones on the market today. 

Heat 3 Smart Gloves Review: Thoughts?

Now, I’d like to hear from YOU:

Any concerns? Questions? Suggestions?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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