Fingerless mittens and gloves are very popular these days, due to the many things that are difficult or impossible to do while wearing mittens or gloves. Fingerless gloves have been around for a long time. I remember using them when playing in a marching band when I was in high school. Fingerless mittens make it easier to deal with keys, steering wheels, hooks for dog leashes, coat buttons, and zippers, and a number of other practical things. Now that technology is widespread, fingerless gloves or mittens are almost a necessity if one wants to use a phone, iPod/iPad, or tablet that depends on touch technology.
I bought a pair of fingerless mittens a few weeks ago, thinking that they would keep my hands warm both when the finger portion was open and when it was closed. I often ride a bicycle to work, and I hoped that it would be useful to have a pair of mittens with which I could cover my fingers when I was riding and expose them when I needed to lock the bicycle and unlock the school doors. Useful, yes. Warm, no.
The pair of mittens I bought is very thick and warm in the part that goes on the hand. The cover is of the same material and is just as thick. With the finger part open, the cover buttons to the back of the hand part. But when covering the fingers, the edge of the cover creeps open and lets cold air in. What looks like a nice, cozy, completely warm pair of mittens is actually a pair of mittens that keeps the palm warm and still lets the fingers be cold.
Then there is the thumb hole. Yes, the mittens have a hole at the end of the thumb. There is no way to close this hole, so even with the tip pulled over the end of the thumb, cold air blows in. It is knit with a double layer of two different kinds of yarn, so sometimes it is difficult to get the thumb into the glove at all. Once it is inserted in the right place, between the knitted portions, the thumb is cold.
This week I have been driving the car to school. These gloves are a lot more pleasant to wear in a car than they are on a bicycle. I can understand how they would be very convenient for those whose time outside is limited to walking to their car. However, I would not recommend fingerless mittens or gloves, even with a finger cover, for anyone who plans to spend any time at all actually outside. They would be especially inconvenient for snow shoveling or building snowmen. Unless you plan to wear your fingerless mittens or gloves only to and from a warm form of transportation, I would suggest forgoing them and buying a pair of real, solid mittens or gloves.