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Repost: OR Salewa Protection WS Gloves - André

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  • André Corterier
    Salewa Protection WS Gloves Owner Review by André Corterier Personal Biographical Information: Name: André Corterier Gender: M Age: 32 Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2004
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      Salewa Protection WS Gloves
      Owner Review by André Corterier

      Personal Biographical Information:

      Name: André Corterier
      Gender: M
      Age: 32
      Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
      Weight: 78 kg (172 lb)
      Email: andreDOTcorterierATfreenetDOTde
      Home: Bonn, Germany
      DATE: 2004-10-13

      Backpacking Background:

      I began backpacking in my late teens using Europe's "InterRail"-
      System – weight hardly mattered, as we were on trains a lot. I
      usually traveled through southern Europe during summer, for about
      three weeks at a time, moving from campsites (often without tent) to
      youth hostels etc. I recently rediscovered backpacking and have
      started out slowly – single-day 15 mile (24 km) jaunts by myself or
      even shorter hikes (pushing a stroller uphill through the woods). I
      am getting started on longer hikes, as a lightweight packer. My gear
      is either old or really new – nothing in between.

      ITEM: Protection WS Gloves
      Year of manufacture: 2003
      Year of purchase: 2003
      Manufacturer: Salewa
      URL: http://www.salewa.com/
      MSRP: 39.95 EUR

      listed weight: none given
      measured weight: 50 g (1.76 oz) (for the pair) (size XXL)

      First Impression:
      These are slim, lightweight finger gloves. They're black, though
      Salewa offers them in other colours, also. The "WS" stands for
      Windstopper, which is a windproof (though not waterproof) membrane
      incorporated in the gloves. Apparently, not making the gloves
      waterproof allows them to be much more breathable than waterproof
      membranes. As I was looking primarily for gloves which I could wear
      when bicycling to work on cold winter mornings, this seemed like a
      good idea. The outer surface has a soft, slightly fuzzy texture,
      which I assume means that the membrane is located just beneath it. On
      the inside, the gloves have a soft, extremely thin lining. They
      stretch a little. Both gloves had three tags on the inside. One
      said "100% polyester", another tag gave the size, and a third had
      what I take to be a quality control number on it. There were also two
      small black tags on the outside of each glove, saying "Salewa"
      and "Windstopper", respectively. This made for ten tags total, which
      I found to be a bit excessive (so I excised them).

      Field Use:
      I've worn these gloves mostly (daily, in the colder third of the
      year) for the purpose I had originally intended them for: bicycling.
      I have found the Windstopper membrane to make an astonishingly large
      difference, when taking into account that these gloves have no
      dedicated insulation layer. Even when cycling quickly (a little over
      30 or so km/h - call it 20 mph) through sub-freezing wind, the gloves
      insulate well from wind chill. As I generate a good bit of heat when
      doing so, this was enough so my hands didn't feel cold.
      I guess it bears bearing in mind, however, that windproof, not
      waterproof, really is a big difference. I was surprised how quickly
      the gloves and my hands were soaking wet when bicycling through rain.
      This also led to my hands quickly feeling cold. I guess this is
      because with the gloves soaked, there is a heat conducting layer of
      water between my hands on the inside of the glove and its outside,
      the latter experiencing wind chill.
      The gloves do not dry out as quickly as I had expected, based on my
      experience with other high-tech fabrics. I guess the membrane is a
      hindrance in this regard. The fuzzy surface texture air dried quickly
      enough, but the inside was still quite moist and beginning to smell
      after a night. So I turned the gloves inside out entirely and let
      them air dry some more. Interestingly enough, when they felt dry
      after that and I turned them around again, the fuzzy side felt just a
      wee bit moist again. I guess water has a tendency to spread out in
      them. Next time I'll dry the inside first (should take care of the
      smell). Machine washing them was not a problem. I assume that wearing
      them until they are dry would be much faster, as body heat would
      drive out the moisture (at least this has been my experience with
      polyester clothes).
      My hiking experience with these, while logging fewer total hours than
      on my bicycle, has born out these findings entirely. By effectively
      stopping wind chill, they've prevented my hands from becoming cold in
      sub-freezing temps, even though I used to find that - possibly due to
      shoulder straps - my hands quickly got cold in the colder third of
      the year when hiking. They're phenomenal when coldness is almost
      entirely due to wind chill, but even on windless cold days I've found
      them to make a large difference. When I put them on only after I've
      realized that my hands have become cold already, I note that my hands
      do not warm back up inside them - it takes some vigorous swinging of
      the arms to achieve that. That may be more an effect of my
      circulation (or lack thereof) than the gloves. I have also found rain
      to be much less a problem when hiking, compared to bicycling. On my
      bicycle, my hands are at the front of my aerobars and therefore the
      most exposed part of my body, being pelted with rain. When hiking,
      most rainfall pours off my sleeves and never encounters my
      hands/gloves. They are also able to shed a few drops of water before
      being soaked, which means that in the few instances in which I've
      hiked in rain (up to two hours in gentle rain) I've not had a problem
      with my hands feeling either wet or cold. I have not tried the gloves
      with walking poles in the rain.

      Comfort:
      I find these gloves to be quite comfortable. The thin lining is soft
      (and being soft appears to be its sole purpose), which together with
      the fact that these gloves stretch makes for a good feel. When hiking
      in windy situations, where the wind becomes uncomfortable, I quickly
      put these gloves on and find that they make all the difference. One
      of the reasons I chose finger gloves is that I wanted to be able to
      do things with them requiring a modicum of manual dexterity even with
      the gloves on. Of course, mittens provide much more warmth per weight
      by not separating the fingers and, admittedly, I take the gloves off
      for most finicky things to do. Yet, if and when I decide to leave
      them on, tasks like locking my bicycle or taking out my keys (even
      locating the correct one for the door in question) is easy enough.

      Durability:
      I have never done any serious work in these gloves - either I walk
      (and I do not use walking poles), or I ride my bicycle. This means
      that the gloves have yet to experience anything rougher than grabbing
      aerobars or pulling on a zipper. They still look like new (minus the
      tags), which I appreciate, but that may not be saying much.

      Side Notes:
      The gloves vanish in my jacket's pockets. I do not roll them up, and
      thus they feel like a thick, cozy lining when I put my hands in my
      jacket pockets. They roll up to the size of a candy bar (each).

      Summary:
      Good protection from wind and cold in not quite arctic temperatures.
      Comfy. No good against rain.
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