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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > Kombi Guide Gloves > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Kombi
courtesy of kombisnow.com

Kombi
Guide Glove

Test Series by
Ryan Christensen

Last Update - May 8, 2012

Guide
image courtesy of http://www.kombisnow.com

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
January 3, 2012
FIELD REPORT
March 6, 2012
LONG-TERM REPORT
May 8, 2012

INITIAL REPORT
January 3, 2012

Reviewer Information Backpacking Background
Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  47
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

The information below came from Kombi's website and product tags.

Kombi Guide Gloves
Manufacturer: Kombi
Manufacturer website: http://www.kombisports.com
Place of Manufacture: Indonesia
Year Manufactured: 2011
Materials:
Exterior:
Membrane:
Insulation:
Lining:

Softshell: 97% Polyester, 3% Spandex Trim & Palm: 100% leather
100% Polyurethane
100% Polyester
100% Polyester
Colors Available: Black
Black / Wheat (as shown in photo above)
Warranty:

Warranty

No Warranty Information Available on the website.

However, in response to my inquiry regarding Kombi's warranty, I received the following from Customer Service.

"Kombi will replace any glove that has a defect if it is due to a manufacturer’s defect. We just have the consumer send in the product with a Kombi Return Authorization (RA)# and we inspect the defect."

MSRP:
$85 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Listed Weight: Not Available
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Weight: Men's Large

Right
Left
Pair


4.3 oz (122 g)
4.25 oz (120 g)
8.55 oz (244 g)

Product Description:

The Kombi Guide is an insulated, waterproof, breathable glove available in men's sizes only. The shell is constructed of a softshell-like fabric. However, the full palm, index finger, finger caps, and knuckle guard is covered in leather. The gloves have short, stretchy, gauntlet cuffs, adjustable nylon webbing wrist straps, and plastic connectors to secure one glove to the other. Additionally, atop each thumb is what appears to be a microfiber-type fabric which Kombi says serves as a nose wipe. The Guide utilizes Kombi's proprietary waterproof / breathable membrane system known as WaterGuard. Like other waterproof/breathable membranes, WaterGuard is designed to allow vapor to pass from inside to the outside of the glove while preventing water from penetrating from outside in.

Guide_Gloves Inner_Cuff

The gloves I am testing are completely black in color (as shown in photos above). However, there is a version with black fabric and light tan leather available as well. The gloves each have a double row of elastic stitching around the wrist. On the right glove, just above the wrist strap on the inner edge of the wrist, there is a plastic loop. On the inner edge of the left glove, just above the wrist strap, there is a corresponding plastic clip. The clip and loop are used to secure the gloves to one another. Sewn in the seam of the outer edge of the right glove is a tag with "WaterGuard" on one side and "Waterproof/Breathable" on the other side. In the identical location on the left glove, an identical tag is sewn in the seam. The cuff of the glove extends approximately 2 in (5 cm) beyond the upper elastic. The palm of each glove is covered in leather that wraps up each finger. From the tip of the middle finger to the edge of the cuff, the men's large gloves are approximately 11.5 in (29 cm) in length.

Inside, the gloves have Kombi's Accu-Dri lining. Like the shell material, the lining feels smooth to the touch and comfortable next to the skin. There appears to be a modest amount of insulation in these gloves. I am curious to see how well the insulation protects in colder temperatures. Inside each glove, there is also a 2.25 in (5.7 cm) inner cuff (as shown in the photo above right). I presume this is to help keep both snow and cold out of the glove. Sewn in the hem of the exterior cuff of the right glove are two tags. One lists the materials used in the gloves and where they were manufactured (in both English and French). The other cuff, also in English and French, has a warning, outlined in red, which states:

CAUTION
"When removing gloves, pull each finger off individually holding both outer glove and lining. Remove slowly. Your weatherproof insert cannot be sewn to the outer glove. If removed in haste, the lining may be inverted and it will be very difficult to replace."

Sewn in the hem of the exterior cuff of the left glove is a product tag with the Kombi name, logo, and glove size stitched in blue thread on both sides of the black tag.

Initial Impression:

I was initially impressed with the feel of the softshell fabric. This material appears to be similar to that used in softshell jackets, albeit thinner. This fabric is smooth to the touch and if I were not familiar with softshells, I would not intuitively think the material would be water resistant. I really like the stretchiness of the material; this should provide nice fit without binding. I also like the leather-lined palms, finger caps, and knuckle guards.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a thorough examination. The materials appear to be first class. The workmanship appears to be high quality. I did not find any loose threads, snags, or other imperfections. Next, I tried the gloves on for size. Based on previous experience with other Kombi gloves I own, I requested to test the men's large gloves. Like my other men's large insulated gloves, the fit is just right for me and they feel nice on my hands. I can hardly wait to put these gloves to the test in the cold, wet, windy Idaho winter weather. Hopefully we will have snow nearby soon.

Initial Pros:

Initial Cons:

  • Lightweight
  • Stretchy material
  • Leather-lined palms, finger caps, and knuckle guards
  • none

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FIELD REPORT
March 6, 2012

Summary:

During this phase of the test series, I wore the gloves on an overnight car camping (cabin) trip and five overnight cross-country ski outings. I also wore the gloves a couple of times to shovel snow.

Pros Thus Far Cons Thus Far
  • Lightweight
  • Stretchy material
  • Leather-lined palms, finger caps, and knuckle guards
  • None

Guides_Atop_Pack

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

During this phase of the test series, I went on one overnight car camping (cabin) outing to Star Valley Ranch Resort just outside of Thayne, Wyoming. Star Valley Ranch is approximately 17 mi (27 km) south of Jackson, Wyoming at an elevation of 6,253 feet (1,906 m) above sea level. The high temperature was 24 F (-4 C) and the low was -2 F (-19 C) with winds of 8 mph (13 kph).

I also went on five overnight ski trips in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). On each trip, my buddy and I skied in after work, starting between 7:30 pm and 8:30 p.m. MST. In the mornings, we started skiing out about 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. MST. The temperature ranged from -5 F (-21 C) to the upper 20s (-2 C) on these outings. Winds were generally calm. However there were occasions when winds ranged between 2 and 22 mph (8 - 35 kph).

Although limited this year, I had the opportunity to wear the gloves twice to shovel snow during February.

Donning_Guide

Observations:

Thus far, the gloves have performed well. They have kept my hands warm and have kept the moisture out. The reality is that with the exception of sledding on the car camping (cabin) trip, and one of the ski trips, the gloves have been so warm that I have had to take them off after skiing about half way in to or back from the warming hut. Even then, the gloves were quite wet inside. At this point, I question the "breathability" of Kombi's proprietary WaterGuard waterproof / breathable membrane system. This may be attributed to the unusually mild winter we have had this year; both in terms of warmer temperatures and lack of an average snow fall. It is my opinion these gloves are designed to be worn in cold weather, which we have not had much of this winter. The gloves did dry overnight next to the wood burning stove.

Although I do not have overly large hands, after wearing the gloves for more than fourteen days, I believe I should have requested XL gloves to test. The gloves fit my hands, but donning and doffing seems more difficult than it should be; especially when the gloves are wet inside from perspiration. When wet from sweat, the liner tends to stick to my hands. Taking the gloves off becomes even more difficult with a glove on one hand trying to doff the other, while keeping the lining in its place. Guides_Clear_Morning

I have not needed to cinch the adjustable wrist straps, as the gloves fit somewhat snugly. The nose wipe material on the thumbs has come in handy to wipe the sweat from my forehead. The leather-lined palms and finger tips have held up nicely; especially with the abrasion from gripping ski poles and the pole straps constantly wrapped around the gloves while skiing, and shoveling snow. The gauntlet cuffs have done a fine job keeping the snow on the outside of the gloves, even when I fell a couple of times in deep powder.

There are no loose threads, seams, or other visible issues to note at this time.

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LONG TERM REPORT
May 8, 2012

Summary:

During this phase of the test series, due to the unusually mild winter, I only wore the gloves on a day ski trip and one time to clear the snow from my drive and walkways.

Final Pros Final Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Stretchy material
  • Leather-lined palms, finger caps, and knuckle guards
  • Breathability

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

Due to the unusually mild winter we had this year, I only wore the gloves two more times during the final phase of the test. One of the times was on a quick day trip cross-country skiing in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area. The second was during a rare snowfall in the Snake River valley this year: I wore the gloves to cleared the snow from my drive and walkways.

Observations:

On the ski trip, I wore the gloves as we began skiing in the morning. I like the grip the leather palm affords me. However, after about thirty minutes or so, the gloves were just too warm for me. The rest of the 5 mi (8 km) trip I went without gloves.

The Kombi Guide gloves have performed very well during the entire test series. Unfortunately, due to the mild winter temperatures, many times the gloves were just too warm to wear. On the occasional cold day we had, the gloves kept my hands warm. There was still an issue with them wetting-out inside during highly aerobic activity (cross-country skiing). I still feel the gloves do not allow water vapor to escape to the outside as well as other gloves I own.

Like other cold-weather gloves I own, these gloves are a bit bulky making fine motor skill activities such as pulling a zipper, adjusting ski bindings, etc. a bit difficult. Nevertheless, I did not find them any more difficult to maneuver in than other like gloves. I have come to expect such from highly insulative gloves.

Although use was limited during this final phase, they did see quite a bit of use over the test series. The gloves remain in great shape. I see no loose threads, seams, or other visible issues to note. They have held up well. All in all, I like the gloves and will wear them on many more cold days in the future.

his concludes my Test Series on the Kombi Guide gloves. Thanks to Kombi and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test these gloves.

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