MANZELLA POWER STRETCH® GLOVES
BY STEPHEN CHASE
March 27, 2008
Ashtabula, Ohio, United States
6' 2" (1.88 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
I started backpacking almost 20 years ago. Today, I backpack mainly in the Midwest, spending a lot of time in the Allegheny National Forest.
I spend a great deal of time sea kayaking, mountaineering, biking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing. All of these require some backpacking.
I spend an average of 3-4 nights per month outdoors. In winter, I typically day hike, either snow shoeing or cross country skiing.
I am a mid-weight backpacker; I minimize pack weight, but like some luxuries.
I do a lot outdoors and expect a lot of performance out of my gear.
MANZELLA POWER STRETCH GLOVES
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http:\\www.manzella.com
MSRP: $25.00 USD
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (43 g) per pair size L/XL
Description from Manzella website
Control Dot® Palms. - Provides outstanding grip.
Hand Hugging 4-Way Stretch Fabric.
Light Weight Insulation with Wind Resistant Outer Surface. - Material allows for a snug fit. Hands stay warm in windy conditions.
Lightweight/Breathable. - Wear alone or under a shell for extreme conditions.
These are lightweight fleece gloves that can be used alone or as a liner. The fleece material on the body of the glove is smooth and stretchy. The cuff material is double thickness with a more typical Polartec-like texture. The cuff has a strip of suede like material located along the palm side of each glove. This tab is perfectly located to be a grab point for pulling the gloves on. Each glove has a small plastic ring attached at a seam by a piece of vinyl. The gloves come with a small plastic clip, that is used in conjunction with the rings to attach the gloves together. The palms and palm side of the fingers are completely covered with little plastic dots.
My hand measurements are as follows;
From the base of my palm to the tip of my index finger is: 7.75 inches (19.7 cm)
Knuckle circumference is: 9 inches (23 cm)
My glove size is L/XL
I have worn these gloves in temperatures ranging from -20 F (-29 C) to 40 F (4 C) and in all weather conditions, rain, snow and sun. I have used these gloves in the damp winters of the Midwest and recently used them during a climb in the dry cold air of Alaska.
I find that these gloves work well as both a base layer or worn alone in warmer conditions. Typically, I start the day off with these gloves under a shell glove, as conditions improve I simply remove the shell. As temperatures rise above 15 F (-9 C) or so, I wear them as a single layer.
The gloves performance as a single layer is outstanding. This is based on two design factors, the first being the snug fit, and the second being the 'gripper' dots.
The stretchy fabric is great for getting a good fit. The glove fits very snug on my hands leaving me with great dexterity. Tasks such as adjusting snowshoe bindings, lighting stoves, sliding tent poles into their sleeves, assembling water filters, etc., I now accomplish while wearing this snug fitting gloves. I routinely wear these gloves around town and have had no problems picking up car keys or getting change out of my pockets, etc.
The grip provided by the little dots on the palm is substantial. I have found that the additional grip provided by the dots reduces hand fatigue when gripping items. I have found that gripping an ice axe, ski pole, etc., securely requires much less force than with smooth palmed gloves. This additional grip is especially handy when putting tent poles in place and when cooking. When cooking, I find the secure grip offered by these gloves an added margin of safety.
I found that these gloves kept my hands warm in both the dry air of Alaska and the damp cold of the Midwest. In Alaska the gloves' fabric absorbed little if any moisture, even sweat didn't seem to dampen the gloves fabric. I find a better test of a gloves' fabric performance is the damp cold winters in the Midwest. It was here, that these gloves absorbed some moisture, both from the wet snow conditions and from sweat. Although the gloves became damp throughout the course of a days' outing, they still kept my hands from getting cold. Drying the gloves in the field proved very simple, I simply slip the gloves into my sleeping bag at night and in the morning they are warm and dry.
These gloves require little care over the course of a season. The occasional cleaning is all that has been required by me.When needed, I launder them in an upright washing machine with a little liquid laundry detergent. Once thoroughly rinsed, I hang them to air dry. The same basic method I use to launder all my polypropylene clothing.
In several years of wearing these gloves, I have had only one problem. In Alaska, I had the stitching break along the index finger of one glove leaving a small split. This minor inconvenience was easily repaired with needle and thread in five minutes. I simply turned the gloves inside out and stitched the gap closed.
I have worn this model of glove for several years. In fact, I have worn out one pair. They are a versatile start to any glove system.
THINGS I LIKE
Snug fit gives good dexterity
Gripper dots ensures a positive grip
Multi-purpose, doubles as a liner or lightweight glove
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Stitching is a little weak
Sincerely, Stephen Chase
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Stephen Chase