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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > Kombi Cyclone II Gloves > Test Report by Josh Moffi

Kombi Cyclone II Gloves

Test Series

Initial Report – December 06, 2007

Field Report – February 19, 2008

Long Term Report – April 22, 2008 


Tester Information:
Gender:
Male
Height:  180cm (5 ft, 11 in)
Weight:  95 kg (210 lbs)
Email address: joshmoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, and Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Backpacking Background:
I have been backpacking since I was 3 years old, owned my first pack at the age of 4, my first tent at 9. I have backpacked in various locations New York, Vermont, Ontario, Michigan, Oregon and Alaska. Once I introduced my wife to backpacking, we expanded our
activities to anything that gets us out into the woods. I usually carry the heaviest pack in any party I hike with. I have recently started getting rid of some excessive weight from my pack. I am expanding my range of activities by to include winter backpacking and camping.

Initial Report - December 06, 2007

Product Information:

Manufacturer:

Kombi Sports

picture

Company URL:

http://www.kombiltd.com

Model:

Cyclone II Gloves

Size:

Men’s Extra Large

Colour:

Black/Black

(also available in Black/Grey Black/Bone or Black/Ribbon Pink)

Weight Category:

Heavyweight

Country of Manufacture:

United States of America

Year of Manufacture:

2007

MSRP:

N/A

Total Weight:

Listed:

Actual:

N/A

301 g

(10.6 oz)


The gloves arrived attached to a hang tag that lists all of the features of the gloves and highlights the facts that the gloves are heavyweight and have a heat pack pocket. Some of the other features on the gloves are nose wipe thumbs, adjustable wrist straps, cord lock cinch cuff closures, and removable elastic runaway leashes.

Initial Impressions:
My first impression of the gloves was wow, these things are huge, and they are serious gloves. Then I tried them on and the fit was great, they are loose enough that my hands are not compressing the fabric yet snug enough that I can still manipulate things easily, including my digital camera which can be tricky to turn on even without having heavyweight gloves on. The liners are very soft, yet the outside material of the gloves are heavy fabric, it will be interesting to see how the outer shell holds up in the bush.

Kombi rates the Cyclone II as a heavyweight glove meaning that it is good for extremely cold temperatures. The heat pack pocket is located on the back of the glove. This location seems strange to me as I am use to stuffing heat packs down into the palm of my glove. I am interested to see how well a heat pack in this location warms my hands and if any of the heat from the pack escapes due to the fact that the heat pack is located so close to the outside of the glove. But I like the idea of not having the bulk of a heat pack in the palm of my hand while I am trying to do things in the bush. Only field tests will determine how well this location will work.

Another thing which will take some getting used to is the removable runaway leashes. I still think of young children running around with their gloves on strings so they do not lose them. But I think that the runaway leashes may work well to keep me from setting the gloves down in the snow when trying to do thing like light my stove, only to pick them up, put them on and realize that yes there is snow in them. But the leashes are easy to remove and reattach, so they can be removed if the wearer prefers.

The adjustable wrist strap and cinch cuff closures help to fit the gloves tightly to my wrists and arms. I tried the gloves with my winter jacket and was surprised to find that the gloves fit easily over my cuff and lower arm.

I found no restrictions in movement once the gloves were cinched down to I tightness I found comfortable, which is pretty tight.

I will be using these gloves for all of my outdoor activities, such as camping, snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross country skiing and any other outdoor activity in very cold weather. I will be checking the gloves for durability and wear and determining what temperature ranges the gloves are good at, both with and without heat packs. I will also note if there certain activities or temperatures at which the gloves are just too warm and I am more comfortable with a lighter weight class of gloves.

For more information on how the Kombi Cyclone II Gloves perform please look for my Field Test report in about two months from the posting of this report. Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Kombi for allowing me to test these gloves.

 

Field Report  – February 19, 2008

Test Conditions:
I have worn the Kombi Cyclone II gloves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northern Ontario. The weather in this area can change quickly due to the effect of the Great Lakes. This means that I have to be prepared for extreme conditions. The camping trips on which I have used the Kombi Cyclone II gloves saw weather conditions which ranged from sunny cold days on the trails to just plain cold nights in camp. While pulling my loaded pulk and with daytime temperatures around –10C (14F) I switched from my light weight gloves over to the Cyclone II gloves because my hands were getting cold.

I have used the Kombi Cyclone II gloves during many common activities in camp from setting up camp, loading and unloading my pulk, to cooking on my wood fuelled camp stove. In February the gloves were used in temperatures down to around -20C (-4F) while just sitting around camp talking and doing nothing with my hands. I have worn the gloves while shoveling snow at home, snowshoeing, pulling my loaded pulk, setting up and tearing down camp, and just sitting around camp talking with friends after a day on the trail.


Test Results:
I have worn these gloves for about an hour a day over the two months and I have come to really enjoy them. I know that they will keep my hands warm just standing around even at temperatures down to around -20C (-4F) and they still allow enough control to do chores around camp. I have found that they fit my hands well and there are no areas of constriction.

Now that I have used the Cyclone II gloves I have realized that I can do most things with the gloves on but it is usually faster to pull them off. Whether or not I take the gloves off becomes a decision between keeping my hands warm or getting the job done fast. If I do pull the gloves off I often let them hang from the runaway leashes while I perform the task. The runaway leashes are a great feature that I have come to appreciate. I get a lot of use out of the leashes for tasks that are not close to ground level. However when working close to the ground with gloves hanging from the runaway leashes I usually end up dragging the glove around in the snow resulting in snow getting inside the gloves. So when working close to the ground I tend to take the gloves off and place them down in such a way that they do not get snow in them. The runaway leashes are very easy to take off and put on if I do not want them attached. The material the runaway leashes are made of seems thin but after two months of wear it there is no visible stretching.

The nose wipe is another feature that the gloves have. I have used the wipes a lot and they work well. The nose wipes dry fairly quickly regardless of how cold it is out and so far I have not had them ice up. The fabric the wipes are made of is soft but with extended use I have found that my nose does chafe. Yet I think that this is more a factor of repeated wiping and not a matter of the material.

The heat packet pockets, while a great idea, do not work well. I found there was a large difference between putting a heat pack inside the gloves compared to putting a pack in the heat pack pocket. I think that this is due to the fact that the pocket is on the outside of the glove’s insulation and the outer fabric of the pocket is thin. This results in a large heat loss compared to putting the pocket inside the glove where it is inside the insulation. I did not find the glove any tighter or restrictive when using a heat packet in either location. I could not manage to fit a heat packet into the pocket with the gloves on, because I did not have enough dexterity.

The wrist strap is a 3 cm (1 ") wide nylon webbing with a rubber pull on the end for ease of use. The strap does not need to be pulled down very much in order to tighten down the wrists. I did find that if tightened down too much then the insulation in the back of the wrist area of the gloves would be compressed. But I have found that the wrist straps do not need to be very tight to keep the gloves in place if the cuff closures are pulled tight to keep snow out of the gloves. The cuff closures are very effective at keeping snow out of the gloves and at helping keep the gloves in place.  Both the wrist straps and the cuff cinches are easy to
operate with the gloves on. There was enough room in the cuffs that I could easily get the glove over the cuffs of my winter jacket.

No matter what the temperature, the fabrics of the gloves did not soak up moisture from the outside. The gloves did seem to hold moisture from my hands. This was an issue first thing in the morning after I had worn the gloves on the trail all day the previous day, the gloves would be frozen. I rectified this by putting the gloves in my sleeping bag over night to help dry them out; by the morning the inside of the gloves would be dry.

After two months of wear the majority of the fabrics the gloves are made of show no signs of wear. However the leather of the palms is showing heavy wear. The leather is still supple and is not cracking. I think that the wear is due to the thin, soft leather used.

Things I Like:
Warmth, these gloves provide a lot of warmth for the weight. The nose wipes work well and mean that the wearer does not have to fish out a tissue while hiking or skiing. The cuff cinches are both easy to use and work well at keeping snow out of the gloves and keeping the glove on.

Things I Do Not Like:
The heat pack pockets, a great idea that does not work due to the lack of insulation on the outside of the pocket. The length of the runaway leashes, they are just too long when working near the ground the gloves drag in the snow.

Over All:
I really like these gloves. I find that the positives out weigh the few down sides. The Cyclone II gloves are warm and comfortable for most activities at the temperatures experienced.

Continued Testing:
I am hoping that I will be able to get these gloves out in temperatures below the -20C (-4F) that they have been used in so far. But the winter has been a warm one and so far we have not seen these temperatures this year. I will also be paying attention to how much more the leather palms wear down. I will also try to tie a knot into the runaway leashes to shorten them some to see if this helps keep the gloves out of the snow.

Long Term Report - April 22, 2007

Testing Conditions:

I continued to wear the Kombi Cyclone II glovesin Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Northern Ontario. Unfortunately since my Field Report the weather has continued to be warm, thus limiting the amount that the gloves could be comfortably worn. I have worn the gloves for approximately twenty more hours over five days, since my field report giving me about 90 hours in the Cyclone II gloves. The temperatures since my Field Report have been between -10 and 0 C (14 and 32 F)  meaning that the lowest temperatures that the Kombi Cyclone II gloves saw during the test was about -20 C (-4 F) which occurred during my field testing  The Kombi Cyclone II gloves were worn in conditions ranging from sunny to overcast and snowing. 

The Kombi Cyclone II gloves were worn for all in-camp activities including cutting wood for a wood fueled camp stove, setting up and tearing down camp, morning meals and trail prep as well as just sitting around camp and socializing. I wore the gloves while on the trail pulling my pulk on extended camping trips, on snowshoe day trips and shoveling the driveway.

Performance in the Field:

The gloves continued to perform well during the period of Long Term Report. I did not notice any compression of the insulation material or a reduction in the warmth of the gloves. The materials of the gloves still show virtually no wear with the exception of the leather palms. The wear of the leather mostly occurred during the period of Field Report. While out on my last camping trip I was wearing the gloves while performing evening chores in camp when I realized that the wear on the gloves probably came as a result of my using a wood fueled camping stove. The wear of the leather could have been caused by the stubs of side branches digging into the palms while I was breaking up firewood. The leather was not punctured at all and has not really increased since my Field Report. I am very happy with the performance of the materials used in the Kombi Cyclone II gloves.

During my last extended camping trip I decided to remove the runaway leashes to determine how easy the were to remove and reattach, as well as seeing if there was any changes with the performance of the Kombi Cyclone II gloves. I found the leashes very easy to remove and reattach when I was not wearing the gloves. This is irrelevant as the glove has to be removed as it is almost impossible to remove the leashes while wearing the gloves.  While wearing the gloves without the leashes I found that this was actually the way I preferred to wear them. I found it easier not having to put the leashes on before the gloves when I had taken the gloves off for jobs that required bare hands. I also found that I liked not having the extra materials hanging from my wrists.

The temperatures since the Field Report have not been cold enough to necessitate the using of heat packs.  

The nose wipe of the Kombi Cyclone II gloves have also continued to perform well and have not shown any sign of wear. I have gotten a lot of use out of the nose wipes and this is a feature I will look for in future heavy weight gloves that I purchase.

During warmer temperatures I left the wrist cuff cinches open and cinched down the wrist straps. This worked well to allow for some heat to escape but I still found that above about -10 C (14 F) the Kombi Cyclone II gloves were still too warm to be comfortable. During my last trip I realized that I had lost one of the excess strap clips for the wrist straps. I continued to wear the one glove without the clip to hold the excess strap in place. I found no difference between the glove with the clip and the one without it. The excess strap clip attaches to the wrist strap with a 'C' form on the back of the clip. It is possible that the strap was squished down while in my pack and slipped though the opening on the back of the clip. I searched all my gear and could not find the clip anywhere. As I said I do not feel that this clip has affected the performance of the wrist straps at all.

Summary:

I found that the Kombi Cyclone II gloves exceeded my expectations. I found them to be warm and comfortable at temperatures down to -20 C (-4 F) but at temperatures above -10 C (14 F) the gloves were too warm to be worn comfortably. I did find that they retained moisture and would freeze over night. I found this problem was solved by simply taking them in the sleeping bag with me. I feel that this moisture in the gloves came from my hands as I saw no indication of moisture absorption while working in wet snow. I found that the materials of Kombi Cyclone II gloves held up well under normal use. I found that there was a large amount of heat loss through the back of the heat packet pockets when a heat pack was used, but the gloves heated up quickly if the heat packs were put into the gloves against the palm of my hand. The cuff cinch worked well to keep snow out and the gloves in place. I found that the wrist strap worked well at keeping the gloves in place when I had the cuff cinches open. 

Things I Like:
My favourite feature of the Kombi Cyclone II glove is still the warmth to weight ratio. I found these gloves very warm and worth the weight in the pack. I like the cuff cinches as for the fact that they kept the gloves in place as well as keeping the warmth in and the snow out. I found the nose wipes very handy.

Things I Do Not Like:
Even though I did not use the heat pack pockets I would still list this a big disappointment for me. I grew up putting heat packs into the palms of my gloves and was excited about not having them in between my hands and my hiking poles. The length of the runaway leashes, they are just too long when working near the ground the gloves drag in the snow, but they are very easy to remove and if one desires they can easily be reattached.

Continued use:

I know from my experience this winter that the Kombi Cyclone II gloves will have a place in my pack next year. I plan on saving these gloves specifically for winter camping, so that I will be know that I have a pair of gloves that will perform well regardless of the conditions thrown at them.

This concludes my testing of the Kombi Cyclone II Gloves. Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Kombi for allowing me to be involved in this test series.

Josh Moffi



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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > Kombi Cyclone II Gloves > Test Report by Josh Moffi



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