GORDINI STRETCH 2 IN 1 GLOVES
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN
March 08, 2009
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5' 9" (1.75 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I have been hiking and camping for over 20 years and enjoy backpacking solo and with my kids in Scouting. I especially enjoy fall and winter backpacking and camping. My backpack and gear are older and weigh 40+ lbs (18 kg). This has limited the distances I have been able to cover while hiking. My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.gordini.com
MSRP: US$ N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 8 oz (226 g)
As can be seen from the photo above the Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch gloves are made from a combination of leather and synthetic materials, with the leather placed in areas requiring high durability on the palms and finger tips. The cuffs have a drawstring closure which helps eliminate drafts and prevents snow and rain from getting into the gloves. These gloves are brand new and are not yet listed on Gordini's website. I received the Men's Black/Black version but I assume other colors are also available. The gloves arrived attached to a hang tag which lists the shell and insulation materials and glove features. The shell of these gloves is described as "Ergotek and stretch twill fabric with genuine leather palm, fingers and thumb." The insulation is Megaloft insulation with a Hydrowick microdenier lining and Gore-Tex. A Gore-Tex tag was also attached and it describes the new 2 in 1 multi climate insulation chambers built into these gloves. The idea is that I can insert my hand in front or in back of the insulation layer depending on whether I need enhanced grip or additional insulation. I plan to try out this feature during the course of my testing.
Tags inside each glove indicate that they are "Made in China" and comprised of: "Shell: 100% Nylon; Trim: 92% Nylon, 8% Spandex; Palm: 100% Genuine Leather; Lining: 100% Polyester; Interlining: 100% Polyester; Insert: 100% Gore-tex; Padding: Polyurethane Foam." 'Gordini' is sewn into the nylon shell on the back of each index finger. 'Gore-tex' is sewn into the nylon shell on the back of each cuff. The backs of the thumbs are covered in fleece for use as a nose wipe. A hook and loop closure cuff strap provides secure fit around each wrist while the gauntlet can be tightened with one hand using a locking draw cord. Small YKK plastic clips allow the right and left glove to be attached together. The lining moves around somewhat freely and a tag inside the right hand glove provides the following explanation and warning: "Caution: When removing gloves, pull each finger off individually holding both outer glove and lining. Remove slowly. Your weather proof insert cannot be sewn to the outer glove. If removed in haste the lining may be inverted and it will be very difficult to replace." So far I have not experienced any issues with the liner in my first day of use, even though I did not follow the careful removal instructions on the Caution tag.
The 2 in 1 Stretch gloves in size large fit me well. They have a very natural, pre-curved, feel. I am able to flex my hands open and closed without the gloves being too constricting. The tips of my fingers are a little snug but this has not been a problem so far. After extensive use I will report back any issues related to this. For now, I have no problems putting on or taking off the gloves. Aesthetically, I like the design and color scheme of the gloves. The shell material appears durable but is also smooth and somewhat stretchy. The Hydrowick lining of the gloves is soft against my hands and feels very comfortable to me while the insulation is very soft and feels like fleece. I don't feel any seams and there are no other noticeable lumps in the material. I can spread my fingers easily. I observed no problems with workmanship or finish of the materials.
Overall, I am impressed with the design and fit of these gloves. They feel good on my hands and I have sufficient dexterity for performing many tasks. The gloves are very attractive and I have no reservations about wearing them on a regular basis. So far they have kept my hands as warm as any gloves I have worn. Over the next several months I will continue to evaluate how well they perform in cold and wet weather. I will also be watching to see how they hold up over time. I look forward to the testing.
This concludes my Initial Report. Please come back in two months time for the next installment of my test series. I would like to thank Gordini and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test these gloves.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Testing has taken place mainly in Southern Indiana in several local and state parks. The elevation ranged from around 750 to 932 ft (228 to 284 m). Most testing occurred in cold, winter conditions with temperatures ranging from 18 to 38 F (-8 to 3 C). Weather conditions have ranged from rain and snow to clear and breezy. I have worn these gloves while backpacking and on several hikes ranging from short strolls to longer weekend hikes. The gloves have also been used for camping trips and winter biking. In addition to these outdoor activities I have also used the gloves for everyday tasks such as shoveling snow and walking the dog as well as casual wear outside and around town.
In addition to the activities above, I have taken several day hikes in Ohio and Wisconsin. These hikes have been 3-5 miles (5-8 km) in length with temperatures averaging 35 to 40 F (2 to 4 C). Conditions were generally clear or slightly overcast. The terrain was wooded, with a few small hills and elevations around 640 ft (195 m).
Trip One: (3 days, 2 nights) Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana
Weather: Cold (28 to 38 F / -2 to 3 C), windy and very rainy
Elevation: 750 ft (228 m)
Use: This was a Boy Scout trip and it normally would have involved lots of hiking. However, we spent much of the weekend under tarps because of the weather conditions.
Brief Comments: This was a cold, wet trip. The gloves went through some nasty weather, but they kept my hands relatively warm and definitely dry.
Trip Two: (2 days, 2 nights) Hiking and camping in Southern Indiana
Weather: Cold (18 to 35 F / -8 to 1 C) and windy (22 mph / 35 kph)
Elevation: 932 ft (284 m)
Use: This trip involved hiking on hilly terrain for several miles, and then lounging and camping out on a hill side.
Brief Comments: I wore the gloves during my entire hike and never experienced sweaty or cold hands. However my hands did get cold while sitting around camp at night.
Trip Three: (2 days, 1 night) Hiking and camping in Southern Indiana
Weather: Cold (24 F / -4 C) and snowy
Elevation: 920 ft (280 m)
Use: This trip involved bushwhacking into my campsite, and then sitting around a campfire at night. I wore the gloves during the day but switched over to mittens once I had been sitting around camp for awhile.
Brief Comments: This was a beautiful winter day. The gloves kept me warm and dry while backpacking.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As detailed in my initial report, the Gordini gloves are designed with two internal chambers. According to the manufacturer, the warm chamber is completely surrounded with insulation for maximum warmth while the grip chamber has insulation on the back side only for increased finger gripping power. In my testing of these two chambers, I noticed no difference in my ability to grab onto or maneuver objects based on which chamber my hands were in. Since grabbing an object such as a jacket zipper or turning the valve on a camp stove is accomplished with the tips of the fingers, my determination is that the limiting factor for my dexterity is based on the amount of glove material at the finger tips versus the amount of insulation surrounding my fingers and hand. I have also noticed no difference in the warmth of my hands based on which chamber I have used. My thought here is that the warmth of my hands had more to do with the amount of heat my body generated than the warmth retained in the heat chamber. Below are the results of my field testing in several key areas.
Warmth: The gloves performed well during my winter backpacking trips. They provided ample warmth and they were comfortable to wear around camp when the temperature was in the 40's F (4 C). As temperatures dropped below 40 F, the gloves kept my hands comfortable the majority of the time. Sometimes my hands became cold as I sat around camp and several times I removed the gloves to warm my hands by the fire when the temperature was 24 F (-4 C). Experiencing cold fingers is rather common for me, no matter what gloves I am wearing. When I was exerting myself while backpacking my hands stayed reasonably warm. The gloves breathe well, so that I never felt that my hands were overheating. I also never felt that my hands were getting sweaty, which I attribute to the wicking properties of the gloves. These gloves also do a nice job of blocking out the wind. This was very important when cycling, and I thought the gloves did a very nice job at keeping my hands warm while riding.
Comfort: The Gordini Stretch 2 in 1 gloves are comfortable and fit my hands well. The tapered wrist fits snugly and helps eliminate drafts of cold air on the wrists. The interior of the glove has just enough room for my hand, but if my hand were much larger it would be hard to force through the wrist opening. My hands could probably fit a larger size glove but the size large which I selected seems to work fine.
The interior has a soft polyester lining. I had no problems with rubbing or chafing from any seams. The cuff extends past the point on my wrist where I wear a watch. Because of this, it was hard for me to access my wrist watch due to the long cuff. The glove has an anatomical curve which feels very natural.
Dexterity: The gloves are thick and bulky, but not any more than I would expect for a heavyweight glove. Adjusting the zippers on my clothing was sometimes tricky, while manipulating the gas valve on my backpacking stove was nearly impossible. When I anticipated a need for added dexterity and had to remove the Gordini's, I put on synthetic liners to provide some protection from the cold for my fingers. There was not enough room for the liners to fit inside the gloves and not cause the gloves to feel too tight. The gloves did allow me to adjust straps on packs and other tasks around camp. The gloves are thin enough that I was able to use my trekking poles normally while wearing them. I found that the gloves slipped in and out of the handle loops easily when I needed them to. I didn't feel as if my hands were trapped if I needed to get them out quickly. The leather fingers and palm areas gripped to the hiking poles very well and gave me good support when I needed it; ascending or descending hills. I had no issues with dexterity while shifting gears on my bicycle during winter rides.
Durability: I have had no problems with durability, despite wearing these gloves extensively during the test period. The leather palms showed no wear after several hours gripping trekking poles as well as breaking up limbs and carrying firewood. In addition, I have not seen any loose stitching or other flaws. I have washed the gloves once after accumulating several weeks of dirt and grime. Despite warnings about the inner lining pulling loose from the outer shell if the gloves are removed improperly, I have had no such problems.
Overall, I really like the Gordini Stretch 2 in 1 Gloves. I have found them to be warm and comfortable. They fit my hands well but some dexterity is sacrificed by the bulky fit. They are well made and durable. My hands have been cold at times, but that is common for me in the winter. I have found them to be good gloves for backpacking. The leather palm, Megaloft insulation, and Goretex lining also make them perfect for snow-camping. They are waterproof and breathable. I have had no moisture problems with these gloves. At temperatures above freezing, they provide good warmth during exertion, without making my hands sweaty. They are also light enough to carry in my pack without creating too much excess weight. As I continue using the gloves, I plan to evaluate their long term durability, warmth, and waterproof nature on more winter backpacking trips.
This concludes my Field Report on the Gordini Stretch 2 in 1 Gloves. Please check back in two months for further field testing results and my final report on this item. Thanks to Gordini and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The past few months provided many opportunities to further test the Gordini Stretch Gloves. During this time I have been using these gloves for day hikes, weekend backpacking trips and other outdoor activities. The details of two trips are highlighted below:
My first backpacking trip during this test phase was a weekend trip to Southern Indiana. As I started out the sky was overcast, the temperature was 31 F (-0.5 C) and it was windy. While backpacking, the gloves kept my hands comfortably warm and allowed me to grip a hiking stick with ease. After a few hours on the trail I chose a spot suitable for making camp and dropped my pack. Although I tried my hands in both glove chambers, I ultimately needed to remove the gloves in order to open the straps on my backpack and retrieve my tent and other supplies. After pitching my tent I collected as many sticks and branches as I could find for a campfire that I would build once it got dark. While breaking sticks into manageable pieces, a stick poked the palm of my right glove. I thought for sure it had ripped the leather palm. Although there was a deep impression in the leather, there was no permanent damage. As evening came, the temperature continued to drop and it began snowing. It was at this point, after sitting around camp for an hour or so that my hands began to get cold. Knowing it would take a while for my hands to warm back up again I decided this was as good a time as any to light the fire and cook dinner on my camp stove. These were two tasks I knew would require removal of the gloves. About twenty five minutes later I had a roaring fire, hot soup and very cold hands that would soon be warmed back up from the heat of the fire. While sitting by the fire I tried both glove chambers to see if my hands felt warmer in the rear chamber but I noticed no appreciable difference. Around 8:30 pm I retired into my tent and tucked the gloves into my sleeping bag. The next morning when I awoke the temperature was 18 F (-8 C). I spent a few hours around the campfire before breaking camp. Once on the trail, I backpacked for several hours before deciding where to camp the 2nd night. Daytime temperatures approached 30 F (-1 C) and the sun appeared for awhile, although the wind was quite gusty. Once again the gloves kept my hands warm while hiking and for awhile while lounging in camp.
My next trip was to a Webelos High Adventure Camp, northeast of Indianapolis. I was there because my son was on a weekend campout with the Boy Scouts. The boys and adult leaders were cabin camping and had planned to work on a new Merit Badge that weekend. When I arrived at camp around 9:00am it was sunny and breezy with a temperature of 28 F (-2 C). My hands started out warm but eventually got cold from standing around while the newer boys were instructed on the proper handling and use of pocket knives, axes, and saws. At this point I realized I had not brought a second pair of thinner gloves and I was disappointed I could not comfortably fit liner gloves underneath the Gordini Stretch gloves for those times when I needed to remove the Gordini's for additional dexterity, such as opening and using a pocketknife.
I spent the afternoon hiking throughout the campground which encompassed 300 wooded acres. At all times the gloves kept me comfortable while moving around. On occasions when I started to heat up, I simply unzipped my jacket but I always left the gloves on my hands and never experienced sweaty palms. Later that evening I shouldered my backpack and hiked back into the woods to find a suitable spot to pitch my tent. I carried a hiking stick to keep my balance while doing several stream crossings via logs. The gloves provided ample grip on the stick. Using my headlamp I hiked until well after dark before stopping for the night. Although the temperature was dropping quickly due in part to the clear night sky, I was able to generate plenty of body heat while packing and remained warm while setting up camp. When I was ready to retire for the evening, I once again tucked the gloves in my sleeping bag. While the temperature at 6:00 am the next morning was 11 F (-12 C), my gloves were toasty warm. Unfortunately, while packing my supplies in preparation to break camp I needed to remove the gloves to tie my boot laces, undo the clips on my tent fly, secure the straps on my backpack and several other things. My hands became quite cold again and I censured myself for forgetting to bring along another pair of thin gloves.
In addition to day hikes and backpacking trips I wore these gloves while shoveling snow, sled riding and one weekend while building a snow cave for my kids. Building the snow cave provided a great opportunity to test the gloves' waterproofness. Eight inches (20 cm) of snow had fallen a few days earlier but now the daytime temperature was 42 F (5 C). The snow was perfect for packing and very wet. I stayed outdoors working on the cave for 4.5 hours. It was easy to scoop snow out of the cave while wearing these gloves. I shaped and contoured the inside of the cave as well using the gloves. Several times I got snow down the cuffs although this may have been my fault for not cinching them tight enough. When this happened I took the gloves off and shook the snow out. I had no issues with water penetrating through the Goretex lining of the gloves while I was working. My hands stayed warm throughout the building process and the only wetness I experienced was from the snow that came in through the cuffs. When I finally went indoors, I set the gloves near a heater and in no time they were dry. I am confident that the gloves would have dried out on their own given ample time.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Gordini gloves have held up remarkably well after months of use. I have found no signs of wear, cracking or discoloration. They are durable and well constructed. Whether hiking through briers in the woods or scraping the gloves against rocks and branches, their durability really showed through. They aren't showing any worn spots from all of the abrasion they have endured. The elastic pull straps and hook and loop closures are still intact and are working as they did when new. The gloves have also retained a very clean appearance as the leather and polyester are quite resistant to dirt and staining. My hands remained dry throughout all weather conditions and stayed warm for the most part although my hands got cold if I stood or sat around long enough in freezing weather.
The dexterity of the gloves is sufficient for many tasks. However, there are also many things I cannot do while wearing these gloves such as tie my boot laces, unclip the rain fly on my tent, strap / unstrap my backpack and setup and cook with my backpacking stove. My testing revealed no advantages in dexterity or warmth in switching between the grip and insulation chambers of the gloves. Wearing a pair of glove liners underneath these gloves would solve both the dexterity problem and the issue of my hands getting cold. Unfortunately, these gloves are tight enough that this solution will not work for me.
I enjoyed wearing the Gordini Stretch gloves this winter. They are warm under a wide range of cold and windy conditions down to 11 F (-12 C) and are among the most comfortable gloves I have owned. They are designed for cold rugged conditions, but work well when used for other outdoor activities. Their durability allowed me to haul firewood, climb over rocks and through thick brush with no worries of tearing them. The gloves are nicely insulated but still offer the dexterity to perform many tasks. The cuff cinch worked relatively well to keep snow out and the warmth in.
I know from my experience this winter that these gloves will have a place in my pack next year. In fact, they have earned many future seasons of use for all kinds of winter activities including backpacking, hiking, camping, skiing, sledding and shoveling snow.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my testing of the Gordini Stretch Gloves. Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Gordini for allowing me to be involved in this test series.
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman