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Fw: INITAL REPORT:O R Packcloth Gaiters:Graham

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  • graham blamey
    ... http://tinyurl.com/2w7pe ... a ... in ... a ... spend ... say ... my ... in ... mean ... a ... (whatever ... and ... the ... comfortable ... and ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2004
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      > Here is my Initial Report for the Outdoor Research Packcloth Gaiters. An
      > HTML copy, with photos, is in the test folder at :
      http://tinyurl.com/2w7pe
      >
      > Personal Information
      >
      > Name : Graham Blamey
      > Age : 59
      > Height : 1.82 m (6' 0")
      > Weight : 75 kg (165 lb)
      > Email : gg@...
      > County : Essex
      > Country : UK
      >
      > Additional product related information
      >
      > Boot/shoe size : UK 10, US 10.5, EU 44
      > Inside leg measurement : 84 cm (33")
      >
      > Backpacking background
      >
      > I first went camping at about age five and have been camping, on and off,
      > ever since. I started serious walking about 21 years ago and backpacking
      a
      > few years later. I have backpacked, with my wife Ginny, mainly in Europe
      > and the UK. We have spent three weeks of each year for the last six years,
      > backpacking on variations of the GR11, a long-distance, high-level route
      > that follows the spine of the French/Spanish Pyrenees. We are fortunate
      in
      > living in an area surrounded by countryside and are able to walk daily on
      a
      > network of public Rights of Way that exist in the UK. We additionally
      spend
      > at least one day a week on long day-walks in different areas within a two
      > hours' drive of our home. We take a number of three- to four-day
      > backpacking trips throughout the year and take part in several night and
      > weekend orienteering events. Our backpacking style, although essentially
      > traditional (mid-weight backpacks, Therm-a-rests, tent etc.) is getting
      > increasingly lighter as we explore the possibilities brought about by new
      > materials and designs.
      >
      > Product Information
      >
      > Manufacturer : Outdoor Research
      > Manufacturer's website : www.orgear.com
      > Sizes : S / M / L / XL
      > Weight : 199 g (7 oz) per pair (not stated what size)
      > Material : 400 denier Nylon Packcloth
      >
      > Colours : Black, Black / Purple, Blue / Black
      > MSRP : $ 35.00
      >
      > The following is taken from the manufacturers website :
      >
      > Strap and buckle top closure
      > 50 mm (1") wide Velcro front closure
      > Packcloth leg section
      > Grommeted instep lace anchor
      > Hook and snap
      > Elastic bottom edge
      > Nylon instep lace
      > Coated packcloth foot section
      >
      > There are a couple of illustrations of the gaiter and quite a lot of
      > additional information on the website and in summarising it below, I can
      say
      > that it covers features of the gaiter material and construction that OR
      > suggest will be advantageous to the wearer. I stress that these are not
      my
      > opinions yet, these have still to be formed. (Manufacturers comments are
      in
      > inverted commas).
      > In addition to packcloth being 'highly vapor permeable' (I take this to
      mean
      > breathable but it probably also refers to it not being waterproof),
      > packcloth gaiters are 'lighter than Cordura'. They are also lighter than
      a
      > similar version by OR in Gore-tex by 28 g (1 oz). They are also 'more
      > stuffable' and 'durable enough for typical backpacking and hiking'
      (whatever
      > that is :). The lower section of the gaiter is coated (but it doesn't say
      > with what or whether it's re-proofable) and this should provide 'water
      > resistance' for the part of the gaiter that covers the boot. The 'offset
      > overlapping front closure' is 'easier and faster' to use and 'won't break,
      > freeze or jam like a zipper', it's also an 'excellent seal against snow
      and
      > water'. The use of a narrower Velcro in the front closure necessitates
      the
      > use of a snap (fastener) at the bottom of the Velcro strip and there is a
      > heavy-duty hook for fixing the front of the gaiter to the boot laces. The
      > top strap and buckle closure has 'a very low profile' to make it
      comfortable
      > when wearing with shorts, is 'easy to open and close' and 'never slips'.
      > Finally, the elastic bottom edge 'can accommodate a wide range of boots'
      and
      > allows the instep cord to be permanently tied, once sized to fit the boots
      > it will be used on.
      >
      > Reasons to wear gaiters !!!
      >
      > Gaiters come in a number of different grades and designs and are worn for
      > differing reasons. Top of the range would be heavy Gore-tex
      Mountaineering
      > ones. These usually have a heavy rubber rand at the bottom, which
      stretches
      > around the boot and forms an almost water- and snow-tight seal. These
      turn
      > a pair of boots into virtually knee length waterproof boots; great at what
      > they do, but heavy and sometimes so hard to get on and off, a lot of
      people
      > leave them on their boots permanently. Next down the scale would be heavy
      > Gore-tex, Sympatex or similar gaiters, but without the rubber boot rand.
      > These are good for all but the most extreme mountaineering. For general
      > walking where extremes are not going to be encountered, gaiters of a
      lighter
      > nylon or similar material are usually adequate, either treated or coated
      > with a waterproofing agent. In a class of their own are heavy unproofed
      > gaiters used for bramble- or scrub-bashing in dry conditions. My
      experience
      > is that people either love gaiters or hate them. Some of the reasons I
      wear
      > gaiters can be seen below.
      >
      > Product as received
      >
      > Size : Large
      > Weight : 190 g (6.7 oz)
      > Length : (Measured vertically along rear of gaiter) 46.5 cm (18.25")
      > Circumference : (Measured around top of gaiter) 44 cm (17.3")
      > Colour : Black
      > Initial impressions
      >
      > The gaiters arrived in a sealed, plastic envelope which had survived the
      > journey admirably, despite being covered in rainwater. My first
      impression
      > on taking the package from my postmen was that this couldn't be the
      gaiters,
      > the package was too light. The OR label on the front confirmed that it
      was.
      > Carefully slitting the package open revealed the gaiters, fixed to the
      sort
      > of illustrated card that would be used to display the product in a store
      > display stand. Also enclosed was an invoice from OR stamped 'Sample
      only'.
      > (Fortunately this was stated on the Customs declaration on the outside of
      > the package as 'Gift', thus saving me having to pay Customs duty).
      >
      > Closer inspection and weighing revealed that the gaiters are light
      (lighter
      > than stated for a change :), they are also well made and there doesn't
      > appear to be any loose threads or mis-placed stitches. All the fittings;
      > the Velcro, the elastic, the stud fastener, the top strap, the lace
      eyelets,
      > and the front hook, appear to be of reasonable and robust quality, but
      time
      > will tell. The material looks durable enough but, interestingly, isn't
      > stiff like I'd expect; it's quite soft and pliable whereas some gaiters
      I've
      > had are so stiff they'd stand up on their own with no support. It will be
      > interesting to see if this softness affects the durability and whether or
      > not they slip down my legs without being over-tightened at the top.
      >
      > It's possible to discern, on the inside but not the outside, the
      difference
      > between the coated and un-coated parts of the gaiters. The un-coated leg
      > section has a semi-matt finish, while the coated, boot section, has a
      > definite glossy appearance. A label on the inside tells me that the
      gaiters
      > are made from; '100% Nylon' and '100% Urethane coated nylon'. Also on the
      > label are care symbols and the words 'Made in China'. Because this coated
      > section is (indeed, has to be) in the area that will probably take the
      most
      > wear and abrasion from its contact with my boots, it will be interesting
      to
      > see how this fares over time (I have had gaiters where whole sections of
      > coating peel off over a relatively short period!). The gaiters are
      'handed'
      > in that they are a pair and not simply two identical gaiters. The OR logo
      > appears on the outer side of each, the Velcro wraps to the outside on each
      > and the top straps fasten to the outer side on each. This may or may not
      > make any difference but it will ensure that it's easy to put the same
      gaiter
      > on the same leg every time.
      >
      > All in all, the general appearance of the gaiters, while plain and without
      > any frills or gimmicks, is good, well made and not 'skimped'. My one
      concern
      > (and it appears to me to be something of an afterthought) is the lace that
      > fastens the gaiter under the instep. This is, basically, a piece of lace,
      > nowhere near long enough to fasten doubled. The only way I can see of
      doing
      > it is to tie it, singly, to the eyelet on either side. Before I've even
      had
      > a chance to wear them I'm thinking 'Better carry a spare couple of laces'.
      > It just doesn't seem to match all the other, apparently, well-thought-out
      > details of the gaiters.
      >
      > Field Testing
      > As we go into winter here in the UK and the first phase of testing the OR
      > gaiters, we can look forward to wet, windy, cold weather - or wet, windy,
      > mild weather - or any possible combination. Weather in the UK
      (especially
      > at the moment) is notoriously unpredictable. Last winter was very wet but
      > not especially cold, we only had snow on a couple of occasions. We can get
      > prolonged periods of rain (the ground is very wet and muddy at this time),
      > followed by periods of clear, cold, frosty weather with temperatures
      > hovering around 0 C (32 F) and below (we've had a few minimum overnight
      > temperatures of -4 C (25 F) so far this winter). All of this applies to
      the
      > south-east UK where I live, winter can be quite different and very hostile
      > in other parts of the UK, particularly the upland areas and the Scottish
      > Highlands or the Welsh mountains.
      >
      > I shall initially use the OR gaiters on day-walks, at least once or twice
      a
      > week. In addition, I have several short (3-5 day) trips planned in
      various
      > locations in the UK. It will be interesting to see whether the gaiters
      can
      > deal with regular exposure to the wet and mud that is common to UK winter
      > walking. Do they fit well, not only around my boots, but around my legs?
      > Are they the right length for me? Are they comfortable? Can I wear them
      > all day with no discomfort? How well will they stand up to the stresses
      and
      > strains and rough handling that are par for the course when backpacking?
      > How easy (or not) are they to put on and take off? How water repellent is
      > the untreated packcloth and the coated foot section? How easy are they to
      > wash after a day walking in sticky mud and how long do they take to dry?
      >
      >
      > My thanks to BackpackGearTest and Outdoor Research for the opportunity to
      > test this product
      >
      >
      >
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