Winter is an incredible season for photography. But as any photographer knows, it doesn’t take long for our hands to start feeling cold. Meet the Skadi LRS, a new photography mitt from Vallerret that is here for the rescue. In this review, I share my thoughts on the new Skadi LRS, talk about who this glove is for, and whether you should buy it.
- Introducing the Skadi LRS
- How Warm is Skadi LRS?
- Skadi vs Other Vallerret Gloves
- Who is Skadi LRS For
- Vallerret Skadi LRS – The Verdict
- Final Thoughts
Before we begin, an important disclaimer. This review is not endorsed or sponsored by Vallerret, and they had no say in its content. That said, they did send me a pre-release Skadi sample to test for free. So there could be some discrepancies with the final launch version.
Also, some of the links in this review are my affiliate links. My goal is not to convince you to buy anything but to provide an honest overview of the product. However, should you choose to, I might get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Introducing the Skadi LRS
Skadi LRS is a recent release from Vallerret, a Norwegian company widely known in the photographers’ community. Inspired by Lukas Riedl’s artistic vision (LRS stands for Lukas Riedl Signature), it “empowers you to unleash your creativity like never before”.
At least that’s what the company claims. And while Vallerret is usually recognized for its outstanding lineup of photography gloves, Skadi LRS is slightly different. It’s a mitten.
A mitten, I should add, designed specifically for photographers — not something you hear too often. That said, it’s not an entirely new concept for Vallerret. Rather, Skadi LRS is a thoughtful refresh of the Skadi Zipper Mitt PSP model launched a few years back.
What I like about Vallerret is that they keep innovating, experimenting, and constantly enhancing their already fantastic offerings. In that spirit, the new Skadi LRS keeps all the great features of its predecessor yet tops it up with a variety of upgrades and improvements across the board.
At its core, Vallerret Skadi LRS is a 2-in-1 package — a thin liner glove combined with an outer shell mitten. You can wear them separately or together, so it’s a flexible setup that works well in different temperatures and conditions.
The mitt comes equipped with a zipper that opens it up to expose the inner glove. Together with the Vallerret signature flip-open cap on the thumb, this allows for easy access to fingers if you need to operate the camera dials or do any other tasks that require dexterity.
All in all, it’s a cool idea and as a long-time Vallerret fan, I was hugely excited to try it. In the next sections, I will dive deeper into every aspect of the Skadi LRS photography glove. If you’re in a hurry, feel free to scroll to the bottom for the final verdict and the main takeaways.
Skadi LRS Key Stats and Features
|Model name||Skadi Zipper Mitt LRS|
|Materials||PU Faux Leather|
Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™
Laminated Durable Water Repellent (DWR)
2-ply DWR Suede
|Insulation layer||Primaloft Mid-Layer Insulation|
|Main features||Versatile 2-in-1 liner glove and outer mitten|
Zipper and FlipTech finger caps with magnets
All-leather nonslip grip
Gauntlet under-cuff with wrist strap
SD card pocket with a tripod key
Carabiner clip buckle
|Warmth rating||Deep winter|
|Price||€124.95 / $119.95|
The Look and Feel
If there is something I can universally praise about all Vallerret products, it’s their design. All their gloves are absolute eye-pleasers and the Skadi are no exception. Despite the size, they look stylish, elegant, and modern.
The materials are top-notch, as expected from Vallerret. The inner liner glove is all Polartec Power Stretch Pro giving it a sleek posh look. The outer mitt is mostly water-resistant Laminated DWR with a leather inset on the inside for better grip and a suede thumb cover.
If you already own any Vallerret gloves, this would probably all sound familiar. With this update, the company brings Skadi more in line with its other recent offerings. It’s a tried and tested formula and it still works perfectly well.
There are a couple of changes, however. One of my complaints about the Markholf Pro V3 model was the choice of suede for the thumb. It was a bit too coarse and rough to my taste. With Skadi, Vallerret seems to have addressed it. The suede here is smoother and nicer overall.
But the most notable difference is leather. While previously Vallerret had always preferred genuine goat leather, with Skadi LRS they are moving to faux leather instead. Although that’s more animal-friendly, I expect some people to be upset seeing this in a premium product.
In practical terms, artificial leather is generally known to be less durable than real one. So far, I’ve been using Skadi for a couple of months and haven’t seen any major issues. But how well they hold up over time remains to be seen.
Comfort and Usability
Vallerret has been making gloves for years now so it comes as little surprise that Skadi LRS are extremely comfortable to wear. They’re easy to put on and off, fit snugly, and just feel great on your hands.
But as always, Vallerret tried to make them not only comfortable but also practical. A lot of thought and consideration went into every aspect of this glove, something you immediately notice when you start using it.
The liner and the outer mitt are fully separable from one another. This means you can wear them together or individually depending on the conditions. Thanks to convenient storm leash straps you can pull the outer mitts off if needed without ever losing them.
This is extremely handy when you want something done quickly. Take off the mitt, let it hang on the leash until you’re finished, then pull it back on. Honestly, every mitt should have this!
Another highly practical feature is the touch-sensitive coating on both the index finger and the thumb of the inner glove. It isn’t 100% perfect but works well enough for you to check the phone or, say, operate a drone.
The cuff has been extended for extra warmth and comes equipped with a strap to adjust its width. The zippers are all sealed to keep away cold air and moisture. There is a leather inset where you hold the camera for better grip.
The list goes on. All in all, when it comes to usability, there isn’t much to complain about. The new Skadi LRS feel homely yet reliable at the same time. It’s a lovely pair of gloves that I enjoy wearing for all sorts of activities.
The big question is of course how convenient Skadi LRS are for photographers. After all, these are first and foremost photography mittens and need to be well-suited for that purpose.
The main photography feature of the Skadi is the zipper on the upper edge of the mitt. When open, it exposes the fingers allowing you to operate the camera as if only wearing the inner liner. As a nice touch, there is a snap fastener on the side to hold the open section in place.
The thumb is accessible via Vallerret’s signature FlipTech finger cap. The tip of the finger pulls open revealing the thumb and is then kept out of the way by a pair of magnets.
Together, these give you enough dexterity to handle camera controls and deal with other tasks without taking the mitt off. It’s a smart and well-thought-out design that generally functions pretty well balancing out the overall bulkiness of the glove.
But as with any compromise, it’s not entirely flawless. There’s a bit of a learning curve for Skadi — expect to spend a few hours getting accustomed to them. There will certainly be cases initially when you’ll be tempted to take them off and use your bare hands instead.
I also found the zippers to be a tad fiddly sometimes. Occasionally the mitt crumples as you try to close it, preventing the zipper from going any further. You can fix it by applying a little counter-pressure with your hand, but it requires some practice.
Apart from that, Vallerret did a reasonably good job making Skadi LRS as easy to use as possible. As I said, they do take a little getting used to. But personally, I’d argue that sacrificing some convenience in exchange for extra warmth is a deal worth taking.
Additional Little Perks
Over the years, Vallerret has developed its own unique style. And so there are a few small but quite handy perks that you will find on almost every photography glove they produce. Skadi LRS is no exception, so let’s quickly go through them.
Water resistance. Skadi LRS utilize water-resistant materials that can withstand snow and rain for a while. That said, they aren’t fully waterproof. When exposed to moisture for a long time, they will eventually get damp and uncomfortable.
Side pockets. On the outer surface of each mitt, there is a small zipped pocket where you can keep anything you might want quick access to. That includes spare memory cards, lens wipes, keys, tickets, credit cards, coins, or even hand warmers.
Tripod key. In the side pocket of the right mitt, you will find a tripod key in the shape of Vallerret’s logo. Ever used a coin to unscrew the tripod plate? That’s exactly what this is for.
A carabiner. Skadi LRS come with a small carabiner that allows you to clip the mitts together and attach them to the belt, bag strap, or anywhere else. I haven’t used it much so far, but can see it being practical sometimes.
How Warm is Skadi LRS?
Vallerret rates Skadi LRS as a deep winter photography glove. In their own words, these are “heavily insulated gloves best suited for photo sessions in very cold temperatures and deep snow”.
This puts Skadi LRS firmly on the warmer side of the scale, right along the Tinden photography glove. In my testing, I actually found them to be warmer than Tinden. The difference is subtle at first but becomes more noticeable the longer you wear them.
A huge benefit of Skadi when compared to other gloves is that your skin is rarely directly exposed to the cold. Even with the outer mitt fully open, the hand is still protected by the liner. This preserves body heat allowing your hands to stay comfortable longer.
That is not the case with other Vallerret photography gloves. As awesome as flipping finger caps are, your fingertips will eventually get cold, especially if you’re actively shooting. And once that happens, it is very hard to heat them again.
This makes Skadi the warmest of all Vallerret gloves that I have ever tried. Exactly how warm they are, is somewhat hard to tell, however. The same numeric temperature might feel vastly different depending on the wind, humidity, and a variety of other factors.
If I had to give a rough estimate, you’ll probably be ok with Skadi for up to -10-12°C. Anything lower and your mileage may vary. What I can say for certain is that if I’m heading somewhere cold or anticipate staying outside for long, I’ll pick Skadi over any other model.
Skadi vs Other Vallerret Gloves
Now that we’ve gone through the main characteristics of the Skadi LRS, let’s briefly compare them to a couple of other photography gloves from Vallerret. Hopefully, this will make it easier to pick the right model for your specific needs.
Skadi LRS vs Markhof Pro V3
Markhof Pro V3 is Vallerret’s staple product, their top-selling photography glove, and a long-time fans’ favorite. But while it seems reasonable to see how it stacks up against the Skadi, the truth is, these two models play in totally different leagues.
Markhof Pro V3 is a versatile “Take Everywhere” photography glove that works well in a variety of scenarios. It’s stylish and sleek and I like using it as my go-to everyday glove even when I’m not shooting.
It’s a great all-rounder well-suited for spring, autumn, and those milder winter days when the temperature doesn’t go much below zero. But its largest drawback is that Markhof Pro V3 doesn’t cope well with truly harsh weather and freezing colds.
That’s where the Skadi LRS come in. Engineered to withstand those subzero temperatures, they fill the niche that Markhof Pro V3 just cannot cover. In simplest terms, Skadi LRS is a much bulkier but also significantly warmer photography glove.
So when deciding which one to get, ask yourself what conditions you will most likely face. If you’re often out and about when it’s properly frosty, go for Skadi LRS. But if you’re an occasional shooter, Markhof Pro V3 might be a better option.
I have talked about the Markholf Pro V3 photography glove at length in this review. You are welcome to check it out if interested.
Skadi LRS vs Tinden
Tinden is Vallerret’s heavy-duty photography glove designed to shield you against the elements during the coldest days of the season. As such, it is much closer to Skadi LRS in terms of performance and comfort.
Indeed, in my testing, I found the two to be closely matched. Skadi LRS is slightly warmer in my opinion, so for ultimate protection, that’s the glove I would pick. But otherwise, it largely boils down to personal preference.
Essentially, you are choosing between the glove and the mitten. Skadi LRS are a tad bulkier and somewhat more restrictive in how quickly you can do certain things. The Tinden are more convenient in many situations, but that comes at the expense of them being a little colder.
Honestly, I would be hard-pressed to give a definitive recommendation here. I love and use them both and think that both would be excellent choices that you’ll be extremely happy with. If you’re still unsure, check out my detailed review of the Tinden photography gloves.
Who is Skadi LRS For
At $119.95, Skadi LRS aren’t exactly cheap. So you might be wondering who are they for and whether you should invest in them. While ultimately that’s for you to decide, here are some categories of people who I think will like these gloves and benefit from having them.
Anybody who is serious about winter photography and is often shooting in harsh and unfriendly weather. Skadi are the warmest gloves in the Vallerret lineup. If you need that ultimate protection, they will serve you well.
Those landscape photographers who prefer to stay in the same place waiting for the perfect conditions to happen. When you don’t move much, it doesn’t take long for the cold to start creeping in. Even when the temperature isn’t crazy low.
Drone pilots. Skadi LRS are awesome for drone owners. With other photography gloves, your fingertips would be exposed during the flight as you operate the controller. And believe me, in cooler temperatures, they start going numb really fast.
With Skadi, there is a liner glove to protect your fingers. It might not sound like much, but surprisingly, makes a whole lot of difference. So for flying a drone, this is undoubtedly the glove I would pick.
Finally, everyone who generally tends to suffer from the cold. People are different and some need better insulation to stay comfortable. If you’re someone who likes to photograph winter but has difficulties keeping your hands warm, Skadi LRS might be a good choice.
Vallerret Skadi LRS – The Verdict
Vallerret has long since established itself as one of the leading manufacturers of photography gloves. Following the launch of its first glove on Kickstarter back in 2015, the company has been continuously working to enhance and expand its product line.
Skadi LRS is yet another step in that direction. In that sense, it is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary product. Vallerret took the already great glove, listened to all the feedback, and carefully improved its every feature.
The result is a high-quality premium photography glove that will make its owners extremely happy. Skadi LRS are visually impeccable, pleasant to wear, meticulously thought-through, and — most importantly — let you conveniently operate your camera.
In other words, it’s a glove that encapsulates everything we’ve come to expect from Vallerret and does it incredibly well.
While certain aspects such as long-term durability are yet to be fully tested, at the moment I have no issue recommending Skadi LRS as a well-rounded and robust photography glove for your winter photography adventures.
That said, you shouldn’t view it as a single right answer for every situation. Skadi LRS are designed for harsh winter conditions and subzero temperatures. That’s when they truly shine. As such, they might not be the best choice for milder climates or during the shoulder seasons.
As any photographer knows all too well, capturing a perfect image is never easy. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that can help to make this task easier. Finding the right ones is part of what it means to be successful in the craft.
With the Skadi LRS, we now have another tool in our winter photography arsenal. One that will hopefully allow us to head out more frequently, be more efficient, and keep doing what we love while staying warm and comfortable.
If you enjoy winter photography and often find yourself in the cold, give them a try. They might just be the gloves for you. And if you have a friend who’s into photography, Skadi LRS will make for a very nice holiday present.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this review and got something valuable out of it. If so, do me a favor and share it with your friends and on social media. I will also be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Just leave them in the comments below.
Finally, I invite you to read other reviews and articles on my blog. Here are just some of my recommendations that I think you might find interesting:
- Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 Photography Glove Review
- Vallerret Tinden Review: A Perfect Glove for the Colder Days
- 7 Tips for Winter Landscape Photography
- Beautiful Places to Enjoy Winter in the Southern Black Forest
- Best Landscape Photography Locations in Patagonia
- Photography Guide to Scotland: How to Get Amazing Images
- A Winter Dream: How to Visit Ravennaschlucht Christmas Market
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