KOMBI CYCLONE II GLOVES
TEST SERIES BY MIKE WILKIE
April 23, 2008
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foreverwild1885 at yahoo dot com
Davenport, New York (USA)
5' 8" (1.73 m)
148 lb (67.10 kg)
Hiking for me started at an early age, as I was always an avid camper and Boy Scout. Living in the Catskill Region backpacking has become serious for me over the years. I camp, hike or multi-day backpack through the Catskill or Adirondack Wilderness every weekend. As a mid-weight packer I'm always prepared and use a tent for overnighters. Being an aspirant of the Catskill 3500 Club and Adirondack 46ers, peak-bagging is now my favorite outdoor activity. During these warmer months I will climb many mountains while on multi-day treks. My long-term goals are to complete long distance thru-hikes.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Kombi Sports
Year of Manufacture: n/a
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.kombiltd.com
Listed Weight: n/a
Measured Weight: 8 oz (227 g)
Glove Size: Medium
Heavyweight - Ideal for extremely cold temperatures.
Shell Fabric:Cateye nylon.
Insulation:X-Loft; Gore-Tex insert; Kom-Tech lining.
Features:Nosewipe thumbs; stretch thumb panel; full finger wrap caps for durability; adjustable wrist strap with excess strap clip; hidden integrated heat pack pocket; cord lock cinch cuff closure; removable elastic runaway leashes
*Above details taken from the product page on kombiltd.com.
The gloves look like a warm, comfortable and heavyweight glove. The construction looks strong and the leather palms add extra durabily.
|Image courtesy of kombiltd.com|
The Kombi Cyclone II Gloves arrived in excellent condition.
When I first open the package, I initially thought that the gloves were bulky. After trying them on the bulkiness no longer mattered due to how comfortable the feel and the surprising amount of dexterity. I immediately asked my wife try them on and she was also impressed with the dexterity and comfort. I even started to use the remote for the television. Well, almost, but I was able to turn it off. My wife wasn't too happy about that one though.
These heavyweight size medium gloves are made with a black nylon outer and a Waterproof Gore-Tex liner. They are designed for skiing, snowboarding, and various winter activities. The durable palms are leather and wrap up and over the finger which I believe make up the full finger wrap caps.
The soft lining is Kom-Tech that is supposed to wick moisture. The X-Loft makes up the insulation and as stated by Kombi is a down like material. I think it almost feels like a memory foam material.
On the top of the glove above the knuckles is a small zippered pocket. This pocket is designed for chemical handwarmer placement. I sized up the pocket with a handwarmer from my pack and it was a perfect fit. Just under the zipper is the Gore-Tex logo. Kombi is written out on the top of the pointer fingers.
Under the wrists is elastic that gives enough stretch to easily slip my hand through. On the top of the wrist is the adjustable wrist strap with the convenient excess strap clip. On the right glove on the inside of the wrist is the clasp to lock the glove to the left glove's loop. This is to keep the gloves together when not in use.
The nose/goggle wipe is located on the tops of the thumbs and is a felt like material. The cord lock cinch cuff closure is a great feature to help keep out snow and is easily operated with the pull of only one hand. I found just inside the cuff are the runaway leashes. The runaway leashes are to allow the gloves to dangle from the wrists when removed from the hands. They can be removed easily to fit ones preference. I think I may end up removing them as I am starting to find them a little cumbersome.
TRYING IT OUT
Warmth, warmth and more warmth with lots of comfort.
I had the opportunity to try the Cyclone Gloves out while snowplowing via ATV. These heavyweight gloves sure are warm. The temperature was around 28 F (-2 C) and was out there for about two hours. I felt no coldness on my hands or fingers the whole time gripping the cold handle bars. Usually my right thumb is cold within minutes due to it sticking out to operate the throttle. That wasn't the case this time while wearing the Cyclones. I will be making more ATV snowplowing assessments during the Field Testing portion of this test series. There is much more snow to come with way lower temperatures and wind chill factors.
The Cyclone II Gloves will be tested thoroughly as they will receive consistent use throughout the test period. Assessments will be made during various activities such as backpacking, peak bagging to various mountain summits, snowshoeing and snowboarding.
The Kombi Gloves will also be used for other tasks such as clearing snow via ATV and any other use that the cold Upstate New York weather may force me to do.
Based on my initial wearing I don't think comfort will be an issue as they are much more comfortable than any other glove I have owned in the past. They are light, super warm, have great dexterity and the lining is cozy and comfy. The padding is nice and will give me the protection I need while hitting the slopes or climbing icy rocks to mountain summits.
I am super impressed with the construction of the Kombi Cyclone II Gloves and the initial testing. I am excited for future testing during the next four months.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Field testing in the backcountry took place at the following areas in New York State.
Indian Head Mountain Loop - The 7 mile (11.27 km) trek was challenging with almost vertical ascents up two cliffs. The summit elevation was at 3573ft (1089 m). Temperature was 20 F (-6.66 C) at the starting trailhead with many sections of trail covered with thick ice. Crampons were needed for most of the day.
Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain - This 7 mile hike climbed to two summits with an elevation of 3200 ft (975 m) on Giant Ledge and 3720 ft (1134 m) on Panther Mountain. There were heavy snow conditions with temperatures around 20 F (-6.66 C). On Panther Mountain was about 2 ft (61 cm) of accumulated snow with deep powdery snow drifts that made the ascent a bit more challenging.
Slide Mountain - Highest summit elevation in the Catskills at 4180 ft (1274 m). Temperatures at the trailhead were about 28 F (-2 C) and rapidly rose to almost 40 F (4.5 C) by mid-day. This was a beautiful mild winter day with full sun.
Snowboarding at Belleayre Mountain - Summit elevation was at 3420 ft ((1023 m) with a vertical drop of 1,404 ft (428 m). Weather conditions were mostly sunny, with a high near 20 F (-7 C). Wind chill values as low as -9 F (-23 C).
Snow tubing at Hunter Mountain. Weather temperature was around 35 F (2 C) with a snow and rain mix (cold and wet).
I have also worn the gloves while snow plowing around my residence, warehouse and farm. Temperature s varied with heavy snow at times and temperatures from 0 F (-18 C) to 35 F (2 C). Some wind chill temperatures were well below 0 F (-18 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Kombi Cyclone Gloves performed well during this portion of the testing period. At this time I have yet to ascertain anything negative about these gloves. However, since the gloves are heavy, I did find them to be a bit too warm in temperatures above 28 F (-2.25 C).
I have used the Kombi gloves consistently throughout this leg of the testing period. They were worn on short hikes behind my home once a week and on three all day mountain climbs in the Catskills. I always had them on during the times snowplowing my driveway via ATV. I lost count on how many times that was. Also the gloves were worn for one all day snowboard trip and on one day snowtubing with my family.
The Cyclone glove always kept my hands warm while snow plowing in wind chills below 0 F (-18 C). While being exposed on an ATV and having my hands on cold handle bars my hands were always the first to freeze. This is no longer the case with these gloves. There was one time when I spent more than four hours snow plowing when the tip of my throttle thumb began to get cold.
When hiking to the summit of Panther Mountain I was caught in a snow squall that was the cause for fast accumulation. While having snowshoe issue my hands became wet when taking off the gloves several times. This caused the gloves to become pretty wet inside, but surprisingly, my hands stayed warm through out the rest of my trek. I hung the gloves inside at home that night and they quickly dried by the next morning.
The Kombi Gloves acted as a great snowboard glove with excellent padding and cushioning. The high cinch cuffs were a good feature as they kept any snow from entering the gloves. The flexibility and dexterity proved worthy as it was easy to operate my snowboard bindings. I was even able to zip up my jacket once.
The time I went snow tubing the conditions were wet and slushy. The Gore-Tex insert and Kom-Tech lining proved to be water proof and warm. I was able to still enjoy the day with warm dry hands.
I have yet to use the heat pack pocket as the gloves are plenty warm enough with out using chemical heat packs. Maybe if I hike Denali I'll be able to assess this feature more efficiently. I did however check the size of the pocket and found that they will hold Heat Treat Hand warmers perfectly.
So far the Kombi Cyclone II gloves proved to be heavy duty in both toughness and thickness. Toughness for is durability and strength and thickness for its warmth. They are definitely designed for cold mountain temperatures. The leather palms and fingers are also proving to be durable as they are not showing any signs of wear. They allowed a good grip on my trekking poles, while snowshoeing and performed well as a snowboard glove.
I have nothing negative to comment on at this time.
I will continue to wear the gloves throughout the testing period as weather permits. However, as the temperatures begin to climb over the next few months the gloves will only be worn on the colder days during my mountain climbs and outdoor treks. The gloves will also continue to be used while snowplowing via ATV as I just received some snow accumulation today. We are expecting much more snowfall throughout the week here as well. When snowboarding I will also continue to test the Kombi Gloves as a downhill sport glove.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report should be completed by 4-22-08. Please check back then for further information.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Field testing in the backcountry took place at the following areas in New York State.
Balsam Mountain Loop - This hike was a 5.5 mile (9 km) round trip loop. It was a bit strenuous up the steep scramble to the summit with an elevation of 3600 ft (1098 m). The trail took me through many stream crossings and ice sheets that required crampons. The temperatures stayed just below freezing at 30 F (-1.10 C). A small snow squall hit early leaving about 1 in (2.5 cm) of snow.
Blackhead Mountain Loop - This 4.5 mile (7.25 km) loop was a moderate hike. The weather was cold at 25 F (-4 C). Summit elevation was 3940 ft (1200 m). On the descent there was deep powdery snow almost knee deep. There was some ice on the trail that I was able to skirt around.
Slide Mountain - Again I hiked the highest summit elevation in the Catskills at 4180 ft (1274 m). Temperatures at the trailhead were about 40 F (4.5 C). It was a beautiful early spring morning with a bright sun on us during the way up. The trail near the top was covered with ice sheets that required crampons for about 1500 ft (457 m). The temperatures on the summit were much cooler around 32 F (0 C). Clouds then began to roll in and I didn't see the sun until we were back at the trailhead.
Snowboarding at Belleayre Mountain - Summit elevation was at 3420 ft ((1023 m) with a vertical drop of 1,404 ft (428 m). The Kombi gloves were used at this location many days with conditions widely ranging from sunny mild winter days to extremely cold snowy days.
The gloves were worn when I went on short 2 mile (3.25 km) snowshoe hikes many mornings during the week. These morning hikes took place in the forest behind my house. This trek is mostly uphill/downhill on rocky terrain. It is a moderate ascend to an elevation of 2000 ft (610 m).
I have also worn the gloves while snow plowing around my residence, warehouse and farm. Temperatures and weather conditions varied with heavy snow at times and temperatures from 0 F (-18 C) to 35 F (2 C). Some wind chill temperatures were well below 0 F (-18 C).
The Kombi Cyclone II Gloves have been used consistently throughout this leg of the testing period. Above are 5 logged days when the gloves have been used in the field hiking and they were use for 6 days when snowboarding. The gloves have also been used for at least 10 days while clearing snow from my properties and about 10 days on my short morning snowshoe hikes behind my home.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Kombi Cyclone Gloves performed wonderfully during this last leg of this test series. My hands were consistently warm and dry throughout and during all weather conditions. I actually found the gloves to be a bit much when temperatures raised over 35 F (1.7 C).
There have been no major signs of wear or tear as I found them to be durable and well constructed. The leather on the palms and fingers are showing minor surface cracks. This is not having any negative effects on the gloves as the cracks are only on the surface. I feel this is normal of leather from the constant opening and closing of my hands.
The loft is still in shape and super comfy. I still find the dexterity of the gloves to be amazing since I have been able to complete many tasks without having to take the gloves off. The gloves looks can be deceiving because of the thickness, but surprisingly I fastened and adjusted my snowshoes while wearing them.
I did however find the Cyclone Gloves to be too warm for temperatures above 35 F (1.7 C). When snowboarding above these temperatures I would take the gloves off for the entire ride to the top on the chairlift. When hiking and snowshoeing I would remove the gloves several times just so my hands could cool down.
When scraping the gloves against rocks and branches their durability really showed through. They aren't showing and worn spots or tread pulls from all of the abrasion they have endured. All of the elastic pull straps and hook and loop closures are still intact and are working as they did when new.
I still didn't find a need for chemical hand warmers to properly assert the hand warmer pockets. However they pockets did come in handy when stashing money and a credit card while snowboarding. The zippers on the pockets are running smoothly and snag free.
My only complaint about these Kombi Gloves is about the clasp and looped string that attaches the gloves together when not in use. The looped string on the left glove is too soft for the small hard clasp on the right glove to clip onto. I may add a tiny ring on the string to make the clasp clip on easier.
The Kombi Cyclone Gloves are the most comfortable gloves I have owned yet. They are designed for extreme cold mountainous conditions, but work well when used for other outdoor activities. Their durability will allowed me to climb over rock and through thick brush with no worries of tearing them. The cushioning and loft was thick and nicely padded for snowboarding down the slopes, but still offered much dexterity to perform many tasks with the use of my hands.
Aside from the difficulties of clipping the gloves together when not in use and them being to warm for temperatures over 35 F (1.7 C) I have no other complaints. These few flaws are quickly forgotten when they are on my hands and in use.
Warmth on frigid hikes
Comfort with the thick padding and loft
Complete dexterity when performing tasks with my hands
The looped string on one glove that attaches the other glove together is too soft.
The gloves can be a bit much with temperatures above 35 F (1.7 C).
I will continue to wear the Kombi Cyclone II Gloves for as long as they last or until I find a better pair. These gloves will always be worn when plowing snow on my properties via ATV and when snowshoeing on my winter treks. Next year when the ski slopes reopen I will surely be wearing these gloves. My old snowboard gloves are now retired.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
When winter hiking or snowshoeing I will carry a lighter pair of gloves in my pack in case of rising temperature and the Cyclone Glove become too much. I am happy I was chosen to test such a great pair of gloves that performed better than expected.
This concludes my test report and review of the Kombi Cyclone II Gloves.
Read more gear reviews by Mike Wilkie