Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch Gloves
Test Series by Raymond Estrella
March 15, 2009
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Orange County, California, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
Manufacturer: Gordini Inc
Web site: www.gordini.com
Product: 2 in 1 Stretch gloves
Size: Large (also available in
Year manufactured: 2008
Actual weight: 7.7 oz (218 g)
The Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch gloves (hereafter referred to as the gloves) are a multi-use glove. They are apparently a new model and the manufacturer has no information about them on their web site at the time of this writing.
The outer shell of the gloves is made of "Ergotek" and stretch twill fabric. This is where the "Stretch" comes from in the name. I can find no information about Ergotek on the hang tag or the web site. The palms and bottoms of the fingers are covered with "genuine leather", from what animal they do not say. The leather is very soft and at this stage quite grippy. The leather rolls over the top of the index and middle fingers to make it easier to pick things up when wearing the gloves.
The outer shell has a 3.5 in (8.9 cm) gauntlet with a draw cord that cinches it down. The cord locks are tethered so as to allow one handed tightening.
The gloves can be tightened at the wrists by means of nylon straps that run through a nylon buckle and attach with a hook and loop closure.
The back of the thumbs have been covered with some very soft micro-fleece to use as a nose wipe.
The fingers have been sewn with some pre-curve in them. A placket has been added over the knuckle on three fingers to add to the maneuverability without binding when flexing. Unfortunately even though I have the extra large size my knuckle sits well short of the hinge point as seen to the right. Even with my hand jammed as tightly into the glove as I can the web of my thumb, index and middle fingers do not touch the web of the gloves. I could use a little more length in the 2 in 1 Stretch glove's fingers.
A little YKK quick-clip buckle allows the gloves to be attached to each other to help keep them from getting separated. (I need these for my socks…)
This glove gets its waterproof ability from a Gore-Tex lining as many of my gloves in the past have. But this one is different in a way that gives it the "2-1" part of its name.
As can be seen in my white-board drawing above, the lining is actually a double pocket. The black represents the shell of the gloves. The lining, represented in red, is made of "Hydrowick" microdenier fleece with the Gore-Tex layer bonded to it in some way. Inside the liner is an envelope of the Hydrowick microdenier fleece filled with "Megaloft" insulation. The whole works are referred to as the "2 in 1 multi climate insulation chambers".
The center insulation layer has a pull tab to assist with donning the glove. It says "Warm" on one side and "Grip" on the other, as seen in the picture below. Depending on what side I can read as I am putting the glove on changes the style of use. When putting the glove on holding the tab and reading "Grip", my hand will slide into the glove with my palm closest to the leather section. This will allow me to have more tactile feedback through the glove as there are fewer layers between me and whatever I am holding. This should give more gripping power, hence the name. The envelope of Megaloft insulation will be on the back of my hand in this position.
When sliding my hand in while reading the "Warm" side of the pull tab my palm will slide over the Megaloft insulation layer. There is still some insulation built in to the top of the glove and by putting the changeable layer of insulation between my hand and the leather it makes sense that they can claim it will be warmer. (How is that for avoiding projection?)
The entire liner/insulation system will pull out of the outer shell. A tag in the right hand glove warns not to let this happen as it will be very hard to get it back in place once removed. Of course I had to try it (carefully) to see how it stays in. There seems to be some kind of very small hook surface on the inside of the shell that grips the fleece. I can feel and faintly hear the tearing as it separates.
Another tag inside the right glove has all the materials listed and place of manufacture (China, of course). It says that the padding is polyurethane foam. I expect that this is on the top of the glove, and the palm providing insulation when in Warm mode and some cushioning in Grip mode.
It will prove interesting to see if this idea works in the field or if it just proves to be a gimmick. That is what we test for though. So while this report is, "Stick a fork in it done", come back in a couple months to see how the 2 in 1 Stretch gloves do in my mountains, won't you? My thanks to Gordini and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to find out.
Quick & Dirty, Nitty Gritty
While quite waterproof, and warm in the Warm configuration, the Grip configuration falls short for my use as a backpacking glove. The durability seems to be questionable too. Find out the details by reading on.
The gloves have seen a lot use in Minnesota for the harshest winter I have seen there. I have worn them in freezing rain, winter mix and snow including two blizzards and three storms. With lots and lots of wind! Temperatures were as low as -28 F (-34 C) with wind chills to -50 F (-46 C). (What is this global warming they talk about…?)
I took them on a ski trip to Mountain High in California. The temps were just below freezing, warming up during the day.
Jenn and I celebrated New Years Eve by spending the night in Round Valley in Mount San Jacinto State Park. We snowshoed 6 miles (10 km) and stayed at an elevation of 9100 ft (2775 m) on 5 ft (1.5 m) of snow pack. The temps ran from 40 to 22 F (4 to -6 C). Thankfully there was no wind to speak of.
I am a bit torn in my feelings about the Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch gloves. As a ski glove, or winter use glove they are just fine. As good as any glove I have used. They keep my hands warm and I suppose that is what winter gloves are suppose to do.
For all the cold weather use in Minnesota I wore them with the center insulation pad in the Warm position. The gloves worked very well for digging my garage out after blizzards and storms and shoveling snow from walkways helping out my elderly neighbors.
When taking them backpacking I would wear them in this configuration also at night when I am just sitting in the cold with nothing to do.
But as the point of the 2 in 1 gloves is the ability to use them with the center insulation pad in the Grip position to allow more control and tactile feedback I wanted to focus on this aspect. And to be quite frank they fell on their face in this.
I first tried them to break-in a new pistol. The temperature was 30 F with moderate winds quartering into me from the the front. I figured maybe the gloves in the Grip configuration would allow me to feel the trigger enough to keep my hand from freezing while I shot. No go. While I could fit it in the trigger guard I could not feel the pull well enough to shoot with them on. OK, they are not shooting gloves.
So I took them backpacking. When I am hiking I tend to be pretty warm due to a slightly higher-than-normal body temp and the activity level that I am at due to the elevation gain that usually is a part of my hiking locations.
I used them in the grip position to hike, using trekking poles. While I did have good contact with the pole grips I was immediately too warm in the gloves. My hands started sweating within a half mile of leaving the trailhead and the Gordinis went in the backpack, replaced by some thin Powerstretch gloves.
Once in camp the activity level drops and I tend to cool down quickly as I level out a pad for the tent and unload everything from my backpack. I put on the 2 in 1 gloves in the Grip configuration again. They kept my hands warm quite well but did not have enough grip and tactile feedback to use to put my tent together. They are just too loose to allow fine manipulation of the tent pieces or, later, the stove and cook gear. Again the Powerstretch gloves came out to replace them.
Another problem is the durability of the gloves. During some of the limited time I wore them in the mountains I had to grab a pine branch as I ducked under it due to the trail being elevated by snow 4 ft (1.2 m) above its normal location. As I grabbed the branch I felt and heard a "poink" as a small sharp point left by a broken twig punctured the glove. As I got past I looked at my hand hoping that it did not leave too big a hole in the glove. Instead of a hole, big or small, I found a large tear at the base of the thumb. It just peeled the material away from the point of the puncture.
This kind of abuse is common for me in the field. Winter sees a lot more bushwhacking for me than 3-season as I rely on line of site or GPS more than trails that are invisible under the snow. And I have seen many holes in gloves over the years. But I have never seen a tear like this from such an insignificant prick. I am going to put some McNett's Tenacious Tape on it to keep any moisture from being allowed past the hole.
On the plus side the gloves have proven to be quite waterproof. I have not seen any moisture get inside of the gloves. And as some use was in rain/sleet mix they got much wetter than I will normally get my hiking gloves.
I always carry a warm glove with me to use at night or in very cold conditions along with a lighter glove for use in camp and hiking while I am hot. I am going to use the Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch gloves as the night-time glove for the rest of the testing. The Grip configuration is just not usable to me. At this point I look at it as more of a marketing gimmick than a useful backpacking tool.
I wore them on an overnight trip to San Jacinto State Park chasing storms. (They got stuck on the other side of the mountain though.) I stayed in Round Valley with a side trip to Tamarack. The temperature got down to 20 F (-7 C) and there was a lot of wind.
A couple weeks later I succeeded in finding a storm in the same park. This time I stayed in Tamarack at 9120 ft (2775 m) elevation where is dumped on me as I set up my tent stopping 10 minutes after I got everything inside. It started back up again at 11:00 PM. I was on five to six ft (2 m) of snow when I made camp. The temperature was 22 F when I stopped, 19 F when I made dinner and 17 F at 9:30 PM, the last time I looked at it. (-6, -7, & -8 C) There was a lot of wind in the early morning hours. I hiked 7 mi (11 km) all on snowshoes.
Next I used them on a solo overnight trip on Vivian Creek Trail to High Creek Camp in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. This 10 mile (16 km) round trip saw temps down to 16 F (-9 C) at 9200 ft (2800 m) elevation. I was on a lot of snow, probably in excess of 7 ft (2 m) base.
And lastly I used them on an overnight snow camping trip in Minnesota. I stayed in a clearing near the river bottom by the Red River outside of Moorhead. It got down to 12 F (-11 C) and the humidity averaged 64%.
Non-backpacking duty included a lot of use in Minnesota shoveling snow and such. Temps were as low as -20 F (-29 C).
The Gordini 2 in 1 Stretch gloves have worked fine as a warm in-camp glove. I did not hike in them as they are too warm for me while I am on the move. All use during the Long Term phase was done with the inner layer in the Warm position. I have only used them while hanging out once my tent was set-up as they do not provide the dexterity needed to do anything that requires touch. So really they are not a two-in-one as far as I am concerned.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
There have been no further problems with durability. I taped the tear that they received the first month and have not done anything strenuous enough with them to harm them more.
All my trips were in cold enough weather that I did not need to worry about getting wet from melting snow, but I suppose the Gore-Tex liner has worked as I have never felt any moisture make it inside.
I am going to keep these gloves in Minnesota now that the test is over. They work fine for the very cold temperatures there. My thanks to Gordini and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to use the 2 in 1 gloves.
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