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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > Kombi Cyclone II Gloves > Test Report by Josh Cormier
Kombi Cyclone II gloves
Tester series by Josh Cormier
Initial report: 12-Dec-07
Field report: 19-Feb-08
Long term report: 22-April-08
I joined the Boy Scouts when I was 11 and have been camping and backpacking ever since. I like to do challenging trips ranging from week long to weekend in mountainous areas. I would classify my gear as mid weight although now I am trying to move more toward lightweight. I now go backpacking at least once a year in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as monthly car camping trips with the Scouts.
Product Information: (information taken from Kombi website)
- Manufacture: Kombi
- Manufactures web site: http://www.kombiltd.com
- Item Description: Cyclone II glove
- Shell Fabric: Cateye Nylon
- Insulation: X-loft; Gore-Tex insert; Kom-Tech lining
- Nose wipe thumbs
- Stretch thumb panel
- Full finger wrap caps
- Adjustable wrist strap with excess strap clips
- Hidden integrated heat pack pocket
- Cord lock cinch cuff closure
- Removable elastic runaway leashes
- Listed Weight: N/A
- Measured Weight: 9.9 oz (281 g)
- Year of Manufacture: 2007
- MSRP: $60.00
- Item Received: 01-Dec-07
Initial Report - 12-December-07
The gloves arrived attached to a hang tag with the products description, materials, and insulating properties. There was also a Gore-Tex tag attached because there is a Gore-Tex membrane in the glove. I received the Men’s version in size large, which are rated on the hang tag as a heavyweight glove for extreme cold weather.
The gloves look exactly like what I expected from seeing the pictures on the web site. The one thing that stuck me was that the cuffs were a little shorter than I expected. I was not misled by the pictures, the cuffs seem to be standard length, but I was hoping for some longer cuffs to keep the snow out of my sleeves. During testing I will be looking to see if this is a viable concern, or a non issue.
Looking at the top of the gloves I can see the zippered hot pocket. This is supposed to be used to hold a chemical hand warmer to keep my hands extra toasty. Don’t try the put the hand warmer in the glove while the gloves are still on, I had a struggle. The finger wrap caps come up over the top of each finger and stop about and inch down from the tips. On the wrist area there is a cinch strap that can be pulled tight to keep all the warmth in the glove instead of it escaping out the back. The cinch strap is equipped with a clip to capture the tail of the strap when it gets long. The cinch strap is also fitted with elastic where it is sewn to the glove so when the strap is pulled tight there is still some give. On the back of the cuffs there are two elastic straps. One is external, which closes the cuffs down over my arms or jacket to keep the snow out. I can pull this strap with my other hand and it will tighten on its own, a very useful feature. The other strap located just inside the cuff of the glove and is much longer than the cuff cinch. This strap is to wrap around the wrist so that gloves do not get dropped when I take them off. This strap can also be removed from the gloves if I find it more annoying than useful.
When looking at the palm of the gloves, I can see that the palms and fingers are covered with supple leather, with the exception of the area at the base of the thumb. The base of the thumb is covered with Cateye Nylon which makes up the “stretch thumb panel”. I am interested to see how this area wears and waterproof it is compared to the leather palms. The material between the fingers at the base of each is pleated to provide free movement. While looking at the palms I noticed that the material on the outside of the thumbs is different. It is made of a material somewhat like crushed velvet but much shorter, which are the “Nose wipe thumbs”. There are no instructions on how to remember which one I wiped my nose on last.
Inside the gloves, my palms will be pressed against something that looks like white lamb’s wool or deep synthetic fleece. I can’t tell if this is the Kom-Tech lining that is supposed to wick away moisture since the website does not contain much more than basic information on what they offer. However the lining is soft and comfortable to my hands. The back of my hand will be brushing against what appears to be a very soft fleece material. I will be watching to see how well these materials keep my hands warm and how well they wick the moisture away from my skin. Also it will be of interest to see how long it takes to dry these gloves out if and when they do get damp or soaking wet.
Field Report - 19-Feb-08
I was able to use these gloves several times during a 3 day 2 night stay in Newport, Washington. The elevation was about 2166 ft (660 m) and the temperature ranged from 15 to 35 F (-9.43 to 1.67 C). There was several inches of snow on the ground and it snowed on and off the entire trip. I was visiting some friends up there for a wedding so I was sleeping inside a nice warm house. However, every time I went outside my gloves went with me.
The other place I got a chance to do some testing of these gloves was snowboarding at some of California’s Northern Tahoe resorts. The temperature ranged from 4 to 40 F (-15 to 4 C). The weather at one resort was sunny and clear, at the other it was windy and snowing all day.
I wore the gloves every time I stepped out of a building in Newport. It was not extremely cold but there was snow on the ground and it snowed a few times. The gloves were comfortable and kept my hands warm when I wore them. The soft lining did not make or pull off any hangnails, which is a common occurrence when I put my hands into gloves in cold weather. I used the gloves in a snowball fight that lasted for over an hour and the gloves kept my hands dry.
I did get some snow down the cuffs of the gloves but it was stopped by the wrist cinch strap before it got into the hand area. There was some moisture inside the gloves from my sweaty hands as well as the snow that had gotten in the cuffs. When I was done I laid the gloves out in a room temperature area of the house to dry out and found that they were dry inside and out by morning. I was also able to put these gloves to work as I shoveled snow off of a walkway. The leather palms gave me a good grip on the fiberglass shaft and working was comfortable with no seams pushing into my hands.
Through all the uses of the gloves during this test period there is one thing that has caught my attention the most. When I pull the glove skirt down over my sleeves and cinch it tight it always crumples up and opens a place between my sleeve and my glove. I played with this some and the only way I could keep them overlapping was to pull my sleeve past my wrist then use the wrist cinch to hold it in place. This worked for a while but being active, my sleeve and glove skirt kept separating. Adding an extra four inches of skirt fabric would make this a non issue and I believe make the gloves more valuable. I had this separation issue anytime I was being active whether snowboarding, throwing snow balls, shoveling, or digging around in the snow. This was most noticeable when I reached into a pile of snow or fell into a pile of snow resulting in some snow down the cuffs.
I did get a chance to use the pockets on top of the gloves designed to put chemical hand warmers in. I was snowboarding and it was getting cold. I took off my glove and placed the newly opened hand warmer inside the pocket then placed the glove back on my hand. The warmer formed a small lump on the back of my hand but was not uncomfortable. The hand warmer did warm my hand up but soon my hands were cold again and I assumed that I had an old hand warmer that did not last as long as it should. When I got back to the cabin I took the hand warmer out of my glove and was surprised to find that it was very warm. Looking back I’m thinking that the hand warmer was not getting enough air to keep the cycle going and so tapered off. Next time I will leave the zippered pocket open part way and see if that helps.
I found the wrist straps to be very handy. Several times I took my gloves off to do something with my hands and was able to let the gloves hang by these straps instead of tucking them under my arm as I usually do, giving me more mobility.
The leather palms and thumb stretch panel held up well to use. I grabbed the sharp edge of my snowboard to carry it to and from the lift line several times and the palms show no sign of wear. I was also wary about the thumb stretch panel soaking up water or allowing water to wick through the threads and get my hands wet. However, this was not the case and my hands stayed warm and dry.
Over all I’m impressed with the design and fit of theses gloves. Beside the extra four inches of skirt length that would be ideal, I have no other complaints
Long Term Report – 22-April-08
I was able to use these gloves on a 3 day 2 night stay in Pinecrest, California. The elevation was about 5000 ft (1524 m) and the temperature ranged from 15 to 35 F (-9.43 to 1.67 C). There was 3-4 feet of snow on the ground and it snowed on and off the entire trip. I built and slept in a snow cave for one night but had a building nearby that I was able to dry my gear out in if need be.
The other place I got a chance to do some testing of these gloves was snowboarding at one of California’s Southern Tahoe resorts. The temperature ranged from 30 to 50 F (1.11 to 10 C). The weather was sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky.
I wore these gloves in Pinecrest while I has piling up snow, and digging out my snow cave. It was easy to use the shovel or scoop snow out with my hands while wearing these gloves. Every now and then I would get snow down the cuffs. When that happened I would take the gloves off and shake the snow out. As long as I did not leave the snow in the cuff to melt, the gloves tended to stay dry. I did not have any issues with water coming through outer fabric or leather palm of the glove while I was working. My hands stayed warm and pretty dry through out the building process. When I went inside the nearby building, I set my gloves out by the heater to dry and moisture that my hands had built up inside.
I also wore these gloves on a one day ski trip to Donner Ski Ranch. The weather was incredible; it was one of those ski days where all you need is a t-shirt and shorts. I wore the gloves all day and found that while they kept the snow and mush out, they also kept the moisture in. My hands were sweating all day long and the inside of the gloves became damp with sweat from my hands. I opened the top heat pocket hoping to let out some heat and moisture but it did not help much. However these gloves are rated for cold weather not warm, so I am not using the above performance to rate the gloves. I am simply including it as one of my experiences.
The gloves have performed well over all and will accompany me on my other cold outdoor adventures. The gloves have held up well to the use I have put them through and have much use left in them. Below you will find the answers to the questions that I have considered throughout this test.
Do the gloves hold up well to use?
- Yes the gloves have held up well to the use I have put them through
Do the leather palms stay solid, or do they start to soak in the water and stretch?
- The leather palms have stayed supple and water resistant; I have had no stretching issues.
Do the seams let water in over time?
- While I did not immerse my hands in water,I did not encounter any situations where the seams let water wick into the gloves.
Do the gloves keep melting snow and ice out?
- If snow gets into the cuff gets stopped by the wrist cinch but, it can melt and run down into the glove.
Do the cuffs keep snow and melting ice out?
- I had issues with snow going down my cuffs for the entire testing period.
Do the draw cords and closures stay in place or become loose over time?
- They all stayed snug where I adjusted them during my use
Do all the seams stay sealed?
Does the stitching show premature signs of wear?
-No, the stitching shows little to no signs of wear.
Does the pocket zipper stay closed?
Does the pocket zipper/flap keep out snow and water?
-Yes, when closed this keeps the elements out.
Do the gloves keep my fingers warm?
- They do a fair job of keeping my hands warm and dry in most situations
Does the glove material block the wind?
- Yes it does stop the wind from pulling heat away from your hands
Do the glove materials allow moisture from my hands to escape, or do they become
- They do let some moisture out, but not as much as I would like
Are the gloves comfortable to wear?
- Yes, very comfortable
How hard/easy is it to dry out the gloves once they get wet?
- They are fairly easy to dry out just prop them open and lay them facing a heat source
Ease of Use:
Do the glove liners stay in the gloves when I pull my hands out?
Are the gloves easy to put on, and adjust with one hand?
- Yes, they slip on nicely and the cinches can be worked with one hand
Can I pull the glove cuffs over my jacket with the gloves on?
Is the heat pocket easy to open and close with the gloves on?
Can I perform some tasks with the gloves on?
- Yes, although small tasks that require fine dexterity require removing the gloves
Is it difficult to clean the gloves?
- I have not had to clean the inside or outside of the gloves as of yet
This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to Kombi and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test this item.
Read more gear reviews by Josh Cormier
Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > Kombi Cyclone II Gloves > Test Report by Josh Cormier