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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > DeFeet DuraGloves > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence

DeFeet DuraGloves
Test Series by Jamie Lawrence

Initial Report - 7th April, 2008

Field Report - 6th June, 2008

Long Term Report - 1st August, 2008

Tester Information

NAME:

Jamie Lawrence

EMAIL:

jlawrence@publictrustee.tas.gov.au

AGE:

26

LOCATION:

Hobart, Tasmania AUSTRALIA

GENDER:

M

HEIGHT:

5' 7" (1.70 m)

WEIGHT:

154 lb (70.00 kg)

I was introduced to bushwalking/tramping/hiking as a young child in Boy Scouts and through my school physical/adventure education. After leaving school, I mainly did short daywalks until recently when I have started to again re-walk some of Tasmania's key hiking routes and try walks I have yet to attempt. I mainly walk in the winter months, in Tasmania's central highlands areas. I prefer light gear, extended walks (3-5 days) in a group of 3 or shorter walks (1-3 days) walking solo. I would generally carry a base weight pack of around 8 kg-10 kg (17 lb-22 lb).


Initial Report

7th April, 2008

Product Information & Specifications

DeFeet DuraGlove

DeFeet DuraGlove

Manufacturer: DeFeet
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.defeet.com      
MSRP: US$15
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 60 g (2.5 oz)
Colour: Red
Size: M
Fabric: Coolmax Polyester (40%), Cordura Nylon (40%) & Lycra (20%)

Initial Impressions

According to the product's swing tag which was attached when it arrived "The DuraGlove by DeFeet is engineered to be the finest lightweight knit glove for cool weather warmth and all-season protection". Based on the info on the DeFeet website, the gloves are just as I expected.

At first I was very surprised by the feel of the DuraGloves. Being constructed from Cordura, I expected them to be quite stiff and think, but this is not the case. They feel very light and flexible. Also, the colour, wow! These are a great bright Red, which I really like.

The 2 key features of the DuraGlove are the Cordura construction for "extra abrasion resistance" and the "no-slip palm grip", which features the DeFeet logo.

Trying it Out

My very first thought was that the fingers on these gloves look very short compared with the rest of the glove. The first thing I did was go to the manufacturer's site to check the sizing as I ordered a Size M (Medium). This size as listed as US 8 in/Euro 20.5 cm. I remeasured my hand from the tip of my thumb across to the tip of my little finger when my hand is laying flat, and it measured 20 cm (7.8 in).

No-Slip Palm Grip

No-Slip Palm Grip


Although the sizing chart suggests I have the right size, these gloves don't appear to fit me very well. Either I have very long fingers or the design means that my knuckles are too far back in the glove, meaning the finger sections of the glove do not fit snugly into the webbing of my fingers like I would expect. Whilst this is the case if I simply put my hand into the glove, with some pulling of the glove, I can get the fingers to stretch and fit my hand. Once I have done this, the gloves feel very secure. I will be interested to see if this means that I develop holes between my fingers as I can feel the stitching is very tight.

I do like the large cuff on this glove. It makes the gloves feel very secure and fitted around my wrist and arm. The "no-slip palm grip" is very grippy without feeling uncomfortable. I can freely move my hand and fingers.

Summary

Aside from the fit around the fingers, the DuraGloves appear to be very comfortable and feel lightweight yet warm. As DeFeet claim this glove is suitable for "Multi-season, multi-use application" I will look to test the effectiveness of the DuraGlove during my autumn (fall) and winter months when backpacking, cycling and running.

This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in May for my Field Report. My thanks to Backpackgeartest.org and DeFeet for the opportunity to test this product.


Field Report

16th June, 2008

Field Locations & Conditions

I recently completed a 2 night walk in the Mt Field National Park. The first night was spent at Lake Dobson at 1,047 m (3,453 ft). This night was a rather wet and windy night. Around 7.2 mm (0.28 in) of rain fell with a night low temp of 4.2 C (39.5 F). Although I wasn't able to measure wind speeds, gusts were recorded at a nearby weather station of 24 km/h (15 mi/h). The second night of this walk was spent camped at K Col, around 1,210 m (3,970 ft) above sea level. I was not able to record temperatures at this camp, however I am sure it was below freezing as when I awoke I found the ground and nearby small tarn frozen. There was no rain or snowfall but it was very foggy and misty.

I have also spent a lot of time wearing the DuraGloves when riding my mountain bike either commuting to work or on weekends riding off road.

Performance in the Field

The DuraGloves have proved to be quite warm and very suited to backpacking activities. I have worn the gloves when ever I have found that my hands are getting cold
Sunset at K Colbut when I still need to undertake activities that need fine hand movement. I have had no problems undertaking tasks like setting up a tent or preparing a meal when walking. I find it easy to open my pack to access snacks or have a drink. In most cases I simply keep the gloves in my pocket and put them on when needed. When in camp cooking or generally playing around the palm grip makes everything feel secure in my hands. My only complaint would be that the grip at the end of the fingertips is lacking. Maybe a change to smaller dots around the fingertips would make the gloves a little more user friendly.

The fit of the gloves continues to be a bit of an issue for me. As identified in my Initial Report, the fingers in the gloves seemed very short. This has remained an issue as the gloves have not seemed to have stretched or changed their shape. This is however a good thing as I would not want the gloves to stretch or change shape as this might make them far less comfortable. Whilst I can't just slide my hands in, rather I need to stretch the fingers all the way down to the webbing of my hands. However once I have done this, the gloves feel secure and tight.

Most of my testing of the DuraGloves has been when riding my mountain bike. I regularly commute to my office in the city centre via a cycle-way, which is a purpose built concrete cycling path for commuters. It is around 10 km (6.2 mi) one way. I find I prefer to wear the DuraGloves rather than my normal cycling gloves as they are more comfortable. I have been very impressed with how the gloves breathe, as I have never had issues with my hands feeling too hot or becoming sweaty. I find that I have plenty of grip and have no hassles using my brakes or changing gears. As a bonus, the bright red colour of the gloves I feel that it makes my hands more visible when I make signals to traffic.

After a backpacking trip or a few rides, I find the gloves start to get a bit dirty, particularly around the fingertips. I simply throw the gloves into the washing machine and they come out looking like new. I have seen no evidence of pulled threads or elastic breaking in the cuffs. The gloves continue to feel very comfortable and soft, and do not appear to have lost their shape.

Summary

Generally I have been very impressed with the DuraGloves. I find them very suitable for backpacking and cycling in cool conditions. The addition of Cordura appears to have significantly increased the strength of the gloves and make them more resistant to wear and tear. This concludes my Field Report. Again thank you to DeFeet and backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to test these quality gloves.


Long Term Report

1st August, 2008

Field Locations & Conditions

To complete my testing of the DuraGloves I have continued to wear them cycling as well as a recent walk to Mt Rufus in the Lake St Clair National Park. The weather for this walk was bright and sunny, with little or no wind. Our overnight camp was at 1,035 m (3,396 ft) with a low temp recorded of -6 C (21 F) and a high of 10 C (50 F) during the day. There was no snow fall or rain.

Performance in the Field

The DuraGloves have continued to perform well as a lightweight glove that I can use in cool temperatures. During the Mt Rufus walk I used the DuraGloves when I noticed that my fingers were starting to get a bit cold. As the gloves a nice and small, I simply kept them in my pocket and when ever I need them I could just pull them out and put them on without the need to stop walking and cool down further. This was also true when I noticed I was getting too hot, I could quickly and easily pull the gloves off and return them to my pocket. I have to adjust the fit slightly as has been an ongoing issue and previously highlighted during testing.
Melting Snow
I have continued to find that the best feature of this product is the No-Slip palm grip makes items in my hands feel very secure and easy to grip. As I am now in the middle of our winter, melting snow helps keep my pack light by not having to carry water. On this recent trip I had no issues using the pump and control valve on my liquid fuel stove which are very small and found that I was able to hold onto hot pots when making very quick movements (eg lifting a pot off the stove to the ground) without feeling the heat or appearing to do any damage to the gloves.

The other feature of the DuraGloves that I have found is great is the construction containing Cordura. I have found that they do make the gloves a lot more durable. Although slightly annoying, I have discovered that the gloves have a bad habit of sticking to my gaitors, which have a large section of hook & loop closure at the front. The surprise from all this annoyance is that the weave of the gloves has not started to fray or become 'fluffy' like a similar pair of polypropaline gloves I own. I can see no evidence of pilling or broken fibers in the gloves and I attribute this to the addition of Cordura.

I have also continued to find that the DuraGloves breathe very well. This was even more evident when walking in the very cool conditions of Mt Rufus. When my hands did start to get too hot I was always surprised to remove the gloves to discover my hands were dry and not sweaty. Given everything was cold or frozen I felt this was very handy to prevent items freezing in my hands, such as tent pegs.

I have also continued to prefer to wear the DuraGloves when cycling. I find they are warmer than my usual cycling gloves. I was recently riding home when I hit a patch of frost on a track and the resulting sudden stop saw me hit the ground very hard indeed. I was wearing the DuraGloves at the time and they saved me from what would have been some very nasty grazes on my hands. Whilst the gloves got dirty, they were not damaged at all, which I again attribute to the Cordura construction.

Summary


Over the test period I have found the DeFeet DuraGloves are able to meet the manufacturer's claim of being "the finest lightweight knit glove for cool weather warmth and all-season protection". The gloves are comfortable, warm and able to cope with the ruff and tumble of the backcountry. I like the key features of the Coolmax/Cordura construction and the handy no-slip palm grip. I have previously identified the fit around the fingers as being not perfect but this has proven to be a minor issue. Whilst I might not go as far as saying they are the 'finest' gloves, they are certianly very good.

This concludes my test series of the DeFeet DuraGloves. My final thanks to DeFeet and www.backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to test these quality gloves.


Read more reviews of DeFeet gear
Read more gear reviews by Jamie Lawrence

Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > DeFeet DuraGloves > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence



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