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TEST CALL: Serious Gloves

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  • nwcurt
    Heading into something a little more serious than your typical snowball fight this winter? You might want a big-league pair of gloves that are up to the task.
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 3, 2008
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      Heading into something a little more serious than your typical
      snowball fight this winter? You might want a big-league pair of gloves
      that are up to the task. BGT and Outdoor Research are happy to
      announce the Zenith Gloves for testing.

      The details:
      Outdoor Research Zenith Gloves
      http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/zenith_gloves.html
      US Shipping included
      Newbie limit applies
      Curt is the Moderator

      Please include the word "Zenith" in your test application. Test will
      close at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, November 11th.

      You have plenty of time before then, so go vote tomorrow!
    • thebootfitters
      DATE: November 5, 2008 TIME: 01:30 PST Please accept my application to test the Outdoor Research Zenith Gloves. I have read Chapter Five of the
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 5, 2008
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        DATE: November 5, 2008
        TIME: 01:30 PST

        Please accept my application to test the Outdoor Research Zenith
        Gloves. I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival
        Guide, version 0609 (most recently on October 1, 2008), and I will
        follow all requirements and deadlines. My signed tester agreement is
        on file.


        TESTER BIO
        -----------

        NAME: Christopher Nicolai
        EMAIL: thebootfitters at yahoo dot com
        AGE: 33
        LOCATION: Seattle, Washington & Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
        GENDER: M
        HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
        WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)


        Backpacking Background:
        I have been backpacking for 10+ years in locales from Chile to Alaska.
        I have experienced temps from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38 C), heavy
        precipitation in virtually all forms, and winds exceeding 75 mph (120
        km/h) - in everything from desert to rainforest to glaciated peaks.

        Most of my trips are 1-4 nights climbing/backpacking <15 miles/day
        (<24km/day) in the Pacific Northwest mountains or canoeing in Northern
        Minnesota. I prefer to pack a tarp and minimal gear (<20 lbs / <9 kg)
        for backpacking, but may carry twice that on alpine climbs or winter
        trips to accommodate suitable gear and shelter.



        SUMMARY
        -----------------
        I have several pairs of gloves in my quiver, but I do not have a
        reliably waterproof shell glove. This glove appears as though it could
        meet most of my winter glove needs, given its apparently durable
        construction and versatile shell/liner system. This glove seems like
        it would be up to the task of heavy usage while skiing, trekking,
        climbing and mountaineering this coming winter. And I'd like to be one
        of the few selected to take it to task!


        FIELD INFORMATION
        ------------------
        I intend to test these gloves during the anticipated outings listed
        below. Temperatures may range anywhere from -50 F (-46 C) to above the
        freezing point and at elevations ranging anywhere from just a few
        hundred feet (or meters) above sea level in northern Minnesota to over
        10,000 ft (6,100 M). I am likely to encounter some form of
        precipitation during most outings.

        I will likely be using either the softshell liners, the shells, or the
        two in combination for virtually the entire time of the outings
        described below – unless colder temperatures prompt me to wear warmer
        mittens. I will also plan to bring chemical handwarmers on most of
        these trips – primarily for emergencies, but I won't be afraid to use
        them for comfort on occasion in conjunction with the gloves to see how
        they work together.

        Anticipated Outings:
        * Multiple day-trips hiking/snowshoeing up peaks or on trails in the
        Cascade or Olympic mountain ranges of Washington state
        * At least two day-trips ice-climbing in Minnesota (will plan to use
        the gloves in conjunction with my new ice-tools while climbing water
        ice)
        * At least one cold-weather rock climbing trip at a crag in either
        Minnesota or Washington (will plan to test how well the gloves grip the
        rock)
        * At least one overnight snowshoe trip in the Cascade or Olympic
        mountain ranges of Washington state
        * At least one multi-day snowshoe trip in the Boundary Waters of
        Northern Minnesota
        * At least one multi-day attempt to summit Mount Rainier (or other
        significant Cascade volcano) – weather permitting. (I didn't get a
        winter attempt on a big volcano last year, so I'm really hoping I can
        make it happen this year.)
        * At least three backcountry ski trips in the Pacific Northwest (and a
        possible trip to the Chugach Range in Alaska)
        * At least a three days of skiing inbounds in Minnesota (for downhill,
        there really isn't any other kind in Minnesota!)
        * At least eight days of skiing inbounds in the Pacific Northwest. (I
        picked up a season pass this year, so I'll be motivated to get my
        money's worth!)
        * I'll also plan to wear the gloves around town – while walking to/from
        the bus or while driving (before the car is warmed up) in Minnesota.


        TEST STRATEGY
        ---------------------------
        My primary concerns with gloves are perceived warmth, dexterity, fit,
        and durability. Below are aspects of the gloves for which I would
        specifically note or test the performance.

        1) Quality of construction -- Noting the consistency of stitching,
        loose threads, etc.

        2) Durability – Can the lightweight "Ventia" shell withstand lots of
        handling snow shovels, ice-tools, ski poles, encounters with trees,
        rock and ice, etc.? Will the high-use areas like the finger tips wear
        through from heavy use? Will the "action" seams (such as between the
        opposable thumb and the rest of the hand) hold up to a lot of gripping
        and stretching? Will the cinch straps break or rip easily out of their
        holes? Will the softshell fabric of the liner gloves pill? Are the
        liner gloves also durable enough to be used without the shells? How do
        the gloves withstand laundering (per the manufacturer's
        recommendations)?

        3) Fit – Do the gloves fit snugly for increased dexterity? Or more
        loosely for increased warmth? Do the gloves allow enough dexterity to
        do a variety of tasks (i.e. buckle/unbuckle ski boots, tie shoes, zip
        jackets, open a package and eat a snack, etc.)? Are the fingers cut to
        the right length for my hands? Do the wrist cuffs fit securely over
        (or under) jackets when cinched with the cinch straps?

        4) Features – Are the wrist straps and cinch straps easy to operate
        with one hand? Do the gloves have any built-in compartments for hand
        warmers? Are the liners easy to remove and replace in the shells?

        4) Performance – Is the shell truly waterproof during use? Do the
        palms grip well (whatever it is I may need to be gripping) even when
        wet? How quickly can the liners dry out once they become wet (whether
        from exterior moisture or from perspiration)? Will they still offer
        any warmth if the liners are wet? Though there are many, many
        variables that affect my perceived warmth… in what kinds of
        temperatures can I comfortably wear the gloves? Do the
        gloves "breathe" effectively?







        PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN REPORTS
        ---------------------------
        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/thebootfitter


        CURRENT TESTS
        ---------------------------
        Brooks-Range Sharktooth Mini Pro Shovel – FR due January 2009


        PENDING APPLICATIONS
        ---------------------------
        Merrell Rove Tech Jacket


        OTHER INVOLVEMENT WITH BGT
        ---------------------------
        Monitor (currently at one test max) and Representative at Outdoor
        Retailer shows

        Thank you for your consideration!

        Christopher Nicolai
        aka TheBootfitter


        END OF APPLICATION
      • thebootfitters
        Gloves have arrived. IR to follow soon!
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 3, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Gloves have arrived. IR to follow soon!




          -- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "thebootfitters" <thebootfitters@...> wrote:
          >
          > DATE: November 5, 2008
          > TIME: 01:30 PST
          >
          > Please accept my application to test the Outdoor Research Zenith
          > Gloves. I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival
          > Guide, version 0609 (most recently on October 1, 2008), and I will
          > follow all requirements and deadlines. My signed tester agreement is
          > on file.
          >
          >
          > TESTER BIO
          > -----------
          >
          > NAME: Christopher Nicolai
          > EMAIL: thebootfitters at yahoo dot com
          > AGE: 33
          > LOCATION: Seattle, Washington & Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
          > GENDER: M
          > HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
          > WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)
          >
          >
          > Backpacking Background:
          > I have been backpacking for 10+ years in locales from Chile to Alaska.
          > I have experienced temps from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38 C), heavy
          > precipitation in virtually all forms, and winds exceeding 75 mph (120
          > km/h) - in everything from desert to rainforest to glaciated peaks.
          >
          > Most of my trips are 1-4 nights climbing/backpacking <15 miles/day
          > (<24km/day) in the Pacific Northwest mountains or canoeing in Northern
          > Minnesota. I prefer to pack a tarp and minimal gear (<20 lbs / <9 kg)
          > for backpacking, but may carry twice that on alpine climbs or winter
          > trips to accommodate suitable gear and shelter.
          >
          >
          >
          > SUMMARY
          > -----------------
          > I have several pairs of gloves in my quiver, but I do not have a
          > reliably waterproof shell glove. This glove appears as though it could
          > meet most of my winter glove needs, given its apparently durable
          > construction and versatile shell/liner system. This glove seems like
          > it would be up to the task of heavy usage while skiing, trekking,
          > climbing and mountaineering this coming winter. And I'd like to be one
          > of the few selected to take it to task!
          >
          >
          > FIELD INFORMATION
          > ------------------
          > I intend to test these gloves during the anticipated outings listed
          > below. Temperatures may range anywhere from -50 F (-46 C) to above the
          > freezing point and at elevations ranging anywhere from just a few
          > hundred feet (or meters) above sea level in northern Minnesota to over
          > 10,000 ft (6,100 M). I am likely to encounter some form of
          > precipitation during most outings.
          >
          > I will likely be using either the softshell liners, the shells, or the
          > two in combination for virtually the entire time of the outings
          > described below – unless colder temperatures prompt me to wear warmer
          > mittens. I will also plan to bring chemical handwarmers on most of
          > these trips – primarily for emergencies, but I won't be afraid to use
          > them for comfort on occasion in conjunction with the gloves to see how
          > they work together.
          >
          > Anticipated Outings:
          > * Multiple day-trips hiking/snowshoeing up peaks or on trails in the
          > Cascade or Olympic mountain ranges of Washington state
          > * At least two day-trips ice-climbing in Minnesota (will plan to use
          > the gloves in conjunction with my new ice-tools while climbing water
          > ice)
          > * At least one cold-weather rock climbing trip at a crag in either
          > Minnesota or Washington (will plan to test how well the gloves grip the
          > rock)
          > * At least one overnight snowshoe trip in the Cascade or Olympic
          > mountain ranges of Washington state
          > * At least one multi-day snowshoe trip in the Boundary Waters of
          > Northern Minnesota
          > * At least one multi-day attempt to summit Mount Rainier (or other
          > significant Cascade volcano) – weather permitting. (I didn't get a
          > winter attempt on a big volcano last year, so I'm really hoping I can
          > make it happen this year.)
          > * At least three backcountry ski trips in the Pacific Northwest (and a
          > possible trip to the Chugach Range in Alaska)
          > * At least a three days of skiing inbounds in Minnesota (for downhill,
          > there really isn't any other kind in Minnesota!)
          > * At least eight days of skiing inbounds in the Pacific Northwest. (I
          > picked up a season pass this year, so I'll be motivated to get my
          > money's worth!)
          > * I'll also plan to wear the gloves around town – while walking to/from
          > the bus or while driving (before the car is warmed up) in Minnesota.
          >
          >
          > TEST STRATEGY
          > ---------------------------
          > My primary concerns with gloves are perceived warmth, dexterity, fit,
          > and durability. Below are aspects of the gloves for which I would
          > specifically note or test the performance.
          >
          > 1) Quality of construction -- Noting the consistency of stitching,
          > loose threads, etc.
          >
          > 2) Durability – Can the lightweight "Ventia" shell withstand lots of
          > handling snow shovels, ice-tools, ski poles, encounters with trees,
          > rock and ice, etc.? Will the high-use areas like the finger tips wear
          > through from heavy use? Will the "action" seams (such as between the
          > opposable thumb and the rest of the hand) hold up to a lot of gripping
          > and stretching? Will the cinch straps break or rip easily out of their
          > holes? Will the softshell fabric of the liner gloves pill? Are the
          > liner gloves also durable enough to be used without the shells? How do
          > the gloves withstand laundering (per the manufacturer's
          > recommendations)?
          >
          > 3) Fit – Do the gloves fit snugly for increased dexterity? Or more
          > loosely for increased warmth? Do the gloves allow enough dexterity to
          > do a variety of tasks (i.e. buckle/unbuckle ski boots, tie shoes, zip
          > jackets, open a package and eat a snack, etc.)? Are the fingers cut to
          > the right length for my hands? Do the wrist cuffs fit securely over
          > (or under) jackets when cinched with the cinch straps?
          >
          > 4) Features – Are the wrist straps and cinch straps easy to operate
          > with one hand? Do the gloves have any built-in compartments for hand
          > warmers? Are the liners easy to remove and replace in the shells?
          >
          > 4) Performance – Is the shell truly waterproof during use? Do the
          > palms grip well (whatever it is I may need to be gripping) even when
          > wet? How quickly can the liners dry out once they become wet (whether
          > from exterior moisture or from perspiration)? Will they still offer
          > any warmth if the liners are wet? Though there are many, many
          > variables that affect my perceived warmth… in what kinds of
          > temperatures can I comfortably wear the gloves? Do the
          > gloves "breathe" effectively?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN REPORTS
          > ---------------------------
          > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/thebootfitter
          >
          >
          > CURRENT TESTS
          > ---------------------------
          > Brooks-Range Sharktooth Mini Pro Shovel – FR due January 2009
          >
          >
          > PENDING APPLICATIONS
          > ---------------------------
          > Merrell Rove Tech Jacket
          >
          >
          > OTHER INVOLVEMENT WITH BGT
          > ---------------------------
          > Monitor (currently at one test max) and Representative at Outdoor
          > Retailer shows
          >
          > Thank you for your consideration!
          >
          > Christopher Nicolai
          > aka TheBootfitter
          >
          >
          > END OF APPLICATION
          >
        • thebootfitters
          Below is the text of my initial report for the Outdoor Research Zenith Gloves. Immediately below is the url to the test folder. Thanks in advance for the
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 9, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Below is the text of my initial report for the Outdoor Research
            Zenith Gloves. Immediately below is the url to the test folder.
            Thanks in advance for the edits!

            http://tinyurl.com/5opmsf

            Kind regards,

            Christopher




            -------------------------------------------------
            OUTDOOR RESEARCH ZENITH GLOVES
            TEST SERIES BY CHRISTOPHER NICOLAI
            IR
            December 09, 2008

            TESTER INFORMATION

            NAME: Christopher Nicolai
            EMAIL: thebootfitters at yahoo dot com
            AGE: 33
            LOCATION: Seattle, Washington & Minneapolis, Minnesota
            GENDER: M
            HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
            WEIGHT: 172 lb (78.00 kg)

            I have been backpacking for 10+ years in locales from Chile to
            Alaska. I have experienced temps from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38
            C), heavy precipitation in virtually all forms, and winds exceeding
            75 mph (120 km/h) - in everything from desert to rainforest to
            glaciated peaks. Most of my trips are 1-4 nights
            climbing/backpacking less than 15 miles/day (24km/day) in the Pacific
            Northwest Mountains or canoeing in Northern Minnesota. I prefer to
            pack a tarp and minimal gear -- less than 20 lbs (9 kg) -- for
            backpacking, but may carry twice that on alpine climbs or winter
            trips to accommodate suitable gear and shelter.


            INITIAL REPORT

            PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

            Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
            Year of Manufacture: 2008
            Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
            "http://www.outdoorresearch.com" LINK TEXT
            = "http://www.outdoorresearch.com">>
            MSRP: US$159
            Listed Weight: 9 oz (255 g) for Size Large Pair
            Measured Weight: 8.8 oz (250 g) for Size XL Pair
            Shell Glove: 2.5 oz (72 g)
            Liner Glove: 1.9 oz (53 g)
            Measured Dimensions
            Cuff to tip of middle finger: 13.5" (34.3 cm)
            Length of middle finger: 4.25" (10.8 cm)
            Seam-to-seam across wrist: 5" (12.7 cm) or 10" (25.4 cm)
            circumference
            Cuff opening: 16" (40.6 cm) circumference
            Country of Manufacture: Sri Lanka



            INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

            Outdoor Research describes the the Zenith gloves as a "durable and
            lightweight shell system for mixed ice and technical climbs." Upon
            initial inspection, the Zenith gloves appear to be a durable and
            versatile glove system built to withstand some rugged field use. The
            liner gloves have a soft, comfortable interior, and seem to offer
            good dexterity for a soft shell glove.

            According to the sizing chart on the Outdoor Research website, the
            recommended size for my hands is a large. Since I generally prefer a
            slightly loose fit in order to avoid the constriction of blood flow,
            I feel the extra large gloves fit me quite well.

            BASIC CONSTRUCTION & DESCRIPTION

            The gloves arrived packaged with a standard Outdoor Research hangtag,
            listing the technical features of the gloves (see picture). One side
            was printed in English, the other side in French. There was also a
            small hangtag featuring "Ventia," which is Outdoor Research's
            proprietary waterproof/breathable material used in the shell of the
            gloves.

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Product
            Hangtag (with zoom)">>

            The Zenith glove system consists of a fully seam taped nylon outer
            shell (with a waterproof/breathable Ventia membrane) and an inner
            soft shell liner glove with a soft tricot lining and a grippy
            rubbery/leathery material in the palms and interior portions of the
            fingers.

            The shells have a mini quick-release buckle to keep the two gloves
            together when desired. They also have a small loop of flat shoelace
            cord to which a longer loop of cord is girth-hitched. Outdoor
            Research calls this their "Idiot Cord." It is designed to fit around
            the wrist of the wearer with a small disc that slides to tension the
            cord around the wrist and prevent the gloves from getting lost --
            even when the wearer temporarily removes the gloves from the hands.

            A flat piece of webbing passes through a simple ladder-lock buckle to
            allow the wrist to be cinched snugly if desired. Two cords extend
            from the cuff of each glove. These make up the "DuoCinch" system:
            the end of the cord with the gray toggle tightens the cuff, while the
            black toggle loosens the cuff.

            The liner glove has a band of elastic on the bottom side of the wrist
            and a hook & loop adjustment tab to tighten the fit around the wrist
            if desired.

            The palms and finger tips of the shells have a textured, grippy
            material laminated to them. This material appears to be placed not
            only to provide better grip than the nylon shells would allow, but
            also to provide reinforcement to the areas of the gloves that are
            likely to see the most wear.

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Zenith
            Gloves">>

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Shell glove
            turned inside-out">>

            TRYING THEM ON & TRYING THEM OUT

            Trying them on...
            ------------------------------------------------
            The Outdoor Research website has a sizing chart to help the consumer
            determine the appropriate size to purchase. Per the measurement
            instructions, the circumference of my hand measures 9.25" (23.5 cm)
            and the length is 8.25" (21.0 cm). The chart recommends a size large
            for a hand with these measurements, but I am glad that I was sent the
            extra large gloves. I do not like a snug-fitting glove, since this
            typically restricts the flow of warm blood into the hands and
            fingers -- making my hands colder than they would be otherwise.
            While I sacrifice some degree of dexterity by having slightly looser
            fitting gloves, my priority -- especially for this type of glove --
            is warmth. With that in mind, I feel that the size extra large fits
            me very well.

            The liner gloves alone are very comfortable. I anticipate that I'll
            often use these alone for everyday gloves on my walks to work in
            Seattle and while driving a cold car in Minnesota. I do not feel any
            tightness around any of the fingers or around the wrist.

            The shell gloves alone over bare hands also are relatively
            comfortable. Because the seams are all taped, the stitches are all
            covered. (Which also means there are no loose threads to snag on
            anything!) My hands do not feel constricted inside the shells. I
            can envision wearing these comfortably alone or with a thin liner
            glove while hiking in cool temperatures in the rain.

            When trying on the softshell liners inside the shell gloves, I felt a
            bit of restriction between the fingers. As you can see in the
            picture below, some of the shell material is bunching between the
            fingers. The thickness of the softshell liner appears to be just
            enough to make the fit between the fingers just a little tight.
            Given that the shell material is new and somewhat stiff, I suspect
            that this tightness will diminish over time as the gloves are "broken
            in." However, it is something that I'll watch throughout the testing
            period.

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Bunching of
            material between fingers...">>



            Trying them out...
            ------------------------------------------------
            I put just the shell glove on my right hand and placed it under the
            spray faucet in my kitchen sink for a full two minutes. As expected,
            I experienced no leaking and my hand stayed completely dry inside the
            glove.

            I then tried the same test with just the softshell liner glove. The
            water was beading up and shedding off the backs of the gloves. In
            the palms, the water didn't bead up quite as much, but still seemed
            to be shedding off the gloves. After about a minute, I started to
            feel a bit of dampness around the seams of the fingers. Given that
            the liner gloves are not fully waterproof or taped along the seams, I
            feel their performance in this controlled experiment is acceptable.

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "The kitchen
            sink spray test!">>

            I have taken the gloves with me on two hikes so far, but only used
            the shell gloves for a matter of minutes at the high point (read:
            cold point) of each trip before turning around to go back down. They
            worked well for these two brief instances, and I'm looking forward to
            giving them a more thorough test over the coming months!


            ------------------------------------------------
            This concludes my initial report. Please check back in a couple
            months for my field report!

            Thanks to BackpackGearTest and Outdoor Research for the opportunity
            to participate in this test.




            This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
            Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
          • thebootfitters
            Curt, I hate to have to ask for an extension, but I have gotten absolutely slammed at work the past couple weeks -- often working until 2:00 or 3:00 am. I
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 17 12:58 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Curt,

              I hate to have to ask for an extension, but I have gotten absolutely
              slammed at work the past couple weeks -- often working until 2:00 or
              3:00 am. I didn't anticipate to get so busy at this point, thus I am
              unprepared to complete my report by tomorrow.

              I am flying out Wednesday night for a work trip and will be gone over
              the weekend on a winter camping trip. Realistically, I think the
              soonest I can expect to have a report ready is next Wednesday, February
              25th.

              I will do what I can to squeeze it in before this time, but cannot make
              any guarantees. (Note that I also have the Bilt Vite test to edit. I
              assume this takes precedence over posting my own reports and plan to
              get those reports edited before I leave on my trip.)

              I appreciate any leeway you can offer. Thanks!

              ~Christopher
            • Leesa J
              Hey Chris, I can edit the Bilt Vite tests for you. Hopefully, it will free up a few minutes for you. If you want me to, just let me and the mod on that test
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 17 1:04 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                Hey Chris,

                I can edit the Bilt Vite tests for you. Hopefully, it will free up a few
                minutes for you. If you want me to, just let me and the mod on that test
                know.

                Hope things settle down for you.

                Leesa

                On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 3:58 AM, thebootfitters <thebootfitters@...>wrote:

                > Curt,
                >
                > I hate to have to ask for an extension, but I have gotten absolutely
                > slammed at work the past couple weeks -- often working until 2:00 or
                > 3:00 am. I didn't anticipate to get so busy at this point, thus I am
                > unprepared to complete my report by tomorrow.
                >
                > I am flying out Wednesday night for a work trip and will be gone over
                > the weekend on a winter camping trip. Realistically, I think the
                > soonest I can expect to have a report ready is next Wednesday, February
                > 25th.
                >
                > I will do what I can to squeeze it in before this time, but cannot make
                > any guarantees. (Note that I also have the Bilt Vite test to edit. I
                > assume this takes precedence over posting my own reports and plan to
                > get those reports edited before I leave on my trip.)
                >
                > I appreciate any leeway you can offer. Thanks!
                >
                > ~Christopher
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • thebootfitters
                Leesa, That s very generous of you! I will take you up on your offer to edit the Bilt Vite tests and see if I can t get at least one of my two outstanding
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 17 10:27 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Leesa,

                  That's very generous of you! I will take you up on your offer to
                  edit the Bilt Vite tests and see if I can't get at least one of my
                  two outstanding reports posted today. I'll forward this note to
                  Chuck. Thanks!

                  ~Christopher


                  --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, Leesa J <leesaj@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Hey Chris,
                  >
                  > I can edit the Bilt Vite tests for you. Hopefully, it will free up
                  a few
                  > minutes for you. If you want me to, just let me and the mod on
                  that test
                  > know.
                  >
                  > Hope things settle down for you.
                  >
                  > Leesa
                  >
                  > On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 3:58 AM, thebootfitters
                  <thebootfitters@...>wrote:
                  >
                  > > Curt,
                  > >
                  > > I hate to have to ask for an extension, but I have gotten
                  absolutely
                  > > slammed at work the past couple weeks -- often working until 2:00
                  or
                  > > 3:00 am. I didn't anticipate to get so busy at this point, thus
                  I am
                  > > unprepared to complete my report by tomorrow.
                  > >
                  > > I am flying out Wednesday night for a work trip and will be gone
                  over
                  > > the weekend on a winter camping trip. Realistically, I think the
                  > > soonest I can expect to have a report ready is next Wednesday,
                  February
                  > > 25th.
                  > >
                  > > I will do what I can to squeeze it in before this time, but
                  cannot make
                  > > any guarantees. (Note that I also have the Bilt Vite test to
                  edit. I
                  > > assume this takes precedence over posting my own reports and plan
                  to
                  > > get those reports edited before I leave on my trip.)
                  > >
                  > > I appreciate any leeway you can offer. Thanks!
                  > >
                  > > ~Christopher
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ------------------------------------
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • thebootfitters
                  Richard, Below you will find the text and link to my field report for the OR Zenith gloves. Thanks in advance for the edits! ~Christopher
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 25 9:38 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Richard,

                    Below you will find the text and link to my field report for the OR
                    Zenith gloves. Thanks in advance for the edits!

                    ~Christopher

                    http://tinyurl.com/cukd98



                    ----------------------------

                    OUTDOOR RESEARCH ZENITH GLOVES
                    TEST SERIES BY CHRISTOPHER NICOLAI
                    FR
                    February 25, 2009

                    <a name="FRPT">FIELD REPORT</a>

                    FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

                    I have used these gloves nearly every day in some capacity since the
                    beginning of the testing period in early December.

                    * They have seen the most wear while walking to and from my bus
                    stops in an urban setting in Seattle, WA on cool or cold days.
                    Temperatures have ranged mostly between 30 F and 45 F (-1 C and 7
                    C). I have experienced precipitation in the form of light to
                    moderate rains and snow on many of these days.

                    * I spend approximately 20% of my time in Minneapolis, MN, and have
                    also used the gloves on a regular basis in the urban environment
                    there. Temperatures have ranged mostly between -10 F and 35 F (-23 C
                    and 2 C) during my time using the gloves in Minneapolis. I have
                    experienced snow falling during some of my visits.

                    * I used the gloves while skiing on at least 10 occasions and
                    sledding on four other occasions, either in the Cascade Mountain
                    Range in Central Washington or in Southern Minnesota. Temperatures
                    during these outings have ranged between 10 F and 35 F (-12 C and 2
                    C). Snow has fallen intermittently during some of these outings.
                    Winds have gusted as high as 25 mph (40 km/h) on some occasions.

                    * I have used the gloves on two snowshoe outings in Minnesota thus
                    far, including a multi-day excursion into the Boundary Waters Canoe
                    Area of Northern Minnesota. Temperatures have ranged between -20 F
                    and 10 F (-29 C and -9 C). Light snow has fallen during some periods
                    of these outings. Winds gusted as high as 15 mph (24 km/h) on some
                    occasions.

                    * I have used the gloves on two day hikes into the Cascade Mountain
                    Range in Central Washington, with temperatures ranging between 10 F
                    and 32 F (-12 C and 0 C). Snow fell intermittently during one of
                    these outings, and wind was a significant factor as well -- gusting
                    as high as 30 mph (48 km/h).



                    PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

                    Partly due to the fact that the soft shell liners inside of the outer
                    shells are tight around the base of the finger, and partly due to the
                    fact that I do not need a waterproof shell for a good portion of my
                    uses, I have used the soft shell liners more frequently than the
                    outer shells. Still, the outer shells have come in very handy for
                    retaining heat on a number of occasions when the wind has picked up.

                    I have been using both the soft shell and outer shell in conjunction
                    as much as possible in an attempt to loosen up the bulky seams of the
                    outer shells; however, I have not yet noticed any significant change
                    in the tightness around the base of the fingers when using the two
                    gloves together.


                    AROUND TOWN
                    ---------------------------
                    The soft shell liner gloves have performed admirably around town,
                    while walking, biking, driving and just standing around waiting for
                    the bus on a cool, rainy day. They offer plenty of insulation and
                    protection from the elements for this type of wear. I have been
                    impressed at the level of dexterity I have with the soft shell liners
                    on: I frequently operate my cell phone buttons with surprisingly few
                    mistakes.


                    WHILE SKIING
                    -------------------------
                    When I am riding the lifts, I generally find that the soft shell
                    liner gloves offer sufficient insulation as long as the temperatures
                    stay above roughly 20 F (-7 C) and the wind remains light. When the
                    winds pick up or the mercury dips below this level, I typically find
                    that I need to break open a chemical hand warmer to stay
                    comfortable. I have attempted to pull the outer shells over the
                    soft shell liners on a number of occasions, but my initial and long
                    term perception has been that my fingers feel even colder with the
                    outer shells on over the soft shell liners.

                    When I am propelling myself up the slopes instead of riding the
                    lifts, I find that the soft shell liner gloves are generally too warm
                    until the temperature drops below 20 F (-7 C). When it is warmer
                    than this, I will typically wear the outer shells in conjunction with
                    just a thin silk liner glove. I find this combination to be very
                    versatile for blocking the wind and/or precipitation during high
                    activity levels or when outside temperatures are not too cold.


                    WHILE HIKING AND SNOWSHOEING
                    -------------------------------------------------------
                    Much like when I am skiing, I often use the soft shell liner alone or
                    the outer shell in conjunction with a thin slik liner, depending on
                    my activitiy level and the conditions.

                    On one particular outing with ambient air temperatures around 20 F (-
                    7 C) and little wind, I performed a small experiment. After hiking
                    for long enough to get warmed up all over, I donned just the soft
                    shell liner gloves and hiked another 10-15 minutes. I noted that my
                    hands were a comfortable temperature. I then put on the outer shell
                    over the liners and hiked another 10-15 minutes. I noted that my
                    fingers all felt cool or cold. Though I lack the equipment to
                    measure blood flow and heat retention, the difference in my
                    perception of warmth was profound. The most likely driver of this
                    difference, in my estimation, is the tightness felt at the base of
                    the fingers, which restricts the circulation of warm blood to the
                    finger tips.

                    On my most recent outing, the wind was generally very light and
                    ambient air temperatures dropped to approximately -2 F (-19 C) for
                    the initial hike in. Because of my high level of activity -- hauling
                    roughly 50 lb (23 kg) of gear in a pack and a sled -- I found the
                    soft shell liners to be sufficiently warm for this venture. Only
                    when I stopped to check the map or eat a snack did my fingers begin
                    to get cold. When the wind increased, I found myself curling my bare
                    fingers together in a fist inside the palm of the glove to stay warm.


                    AN UNFORTUNATE TEAR AND A SPEEDY RESOLUTION
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    ------------
                    On a recent ski outing, when removing the shell glove from the liner
                    glove underneath -- and with the "idiot cord" attached to my wrist --
                    the laminated seam around the cuff of the glove ripped open at the
                    point where the "idiot cord" was attached. Fortunately, this ripped
                    seam did not render the gloves useless for the day, but it was
                    disappointing, nonetheless.

                    After returning from the ski outing, I called Outdoor Research's
                    customer service number from their website. I explained what had
                    happened to the gloves and that I was planning to leave town for a
                    multi-day trip during which I was hoping to use them. They indicated
                    that the estimated repair time was at least two weeks, but since I
                    happened to live in Seattle, I was welcome to stop into the Outdoor
                    Research Company Store on First Avenue and exchange the gloves for a
                    new pair there. I took advantage of my proximity to the store, and
                    that's just what I did. After explaining the situation, I received a
                    brand new pair of gloves with no hassle.

                    Though it was unfortunate that the gloves experienced the ripped
                    seam, Outdoor Research stood behind their product and offered a very
                    satisfactory and speedy resolution. The biggest drawback to this
                    experience, in my estimation, is that I have to start all over
                    breaking in the bulky seams on a new pair of shell gloves. On the
                    bright side, this particular pair seems to be slightly less
                    constricting around the fingers than the first pair I had.

                    (Note: Due to my tight timeframe between the outing when the seam
                    ripped and when I exchanged them at the Outdoor Research store, I did
                    not think to take a picture of the seam before the gloves were out of
                    my possession.)

                    SUMMARY

                    My overall experience with these gloves thus far has been stellar.
                    The fit of the soft shell liners is precise and very comfortable for
                    a wide range of uses. The grip of both the soft shell liners and the
                    outer shells has proven to be secure while handling skis, poles,
                    sleds, and other equipment. Though many factors influence perceived
                    warmth, I have been able to wear the softshell liners comfortably as
                    low as -2 F (-19 C), as long as my activity level remains high.

                    The only real disappointments I've experienced with the gloves thus
                    far have been the fit of the outer shells in conjunction with the
                    liners and the blown seam that Outdoor Research promptly addressed.
                    I'm still hoping that after extended use, the outer shells will
                    loosen up. And I'm hoping that the blown seam was simply a fluke.


                    This concludes my Field Report for the Outdoor Research Zenith
                    Gloves. Please check back in a couple months for my Long Term Report.



                    This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
                    Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
                  • thebootfitters
                    Leesa / Curt: The best laid plans... We entertained a last-minute guest (whom we haven t seen in over a year) tonight. Unfortunately, that means I didn t get
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 22, 2009
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                      Leesa / Curt:

                      The best laid plans... We entertained a last-minute guest (whom we haven't seen in over a year) tonight. Unfortunately, that means I didn't get my LTR done tonight as intended. I'm going to try to still get this in before I leave on my trip, but to be safe I am going to have to ask for an extension until I return.

                      Would April 30th be asking too much? If so, I'll accept the consequences of a late report.

                      Thanks for anything you can offer!

                      ~Christopher


                      Re: [backpackgeartesters] OOP - April 23-30 - Christopher Nicolai

                      Have fun! Let me know if you need an extension, ok?

                      MB reports aren't due until May, so no worries there.

                      Leesa
                    • thebootfitters
                      I m back in the country. No N1H1 virus (as far as I can tell)!!! Unfortunately, I did get stuck with a pile of work once I got back to the office late last
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 4, 2009
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                        I'm back in the country. No N1H1 virus (as far as I can tell)!!! Unfortunately, I did get stuck with a pile of work once I got back to the office late last week and am being sent to one of our offices on the east coast for a couple days. (My plane leaves in about four hours from now.) I was able to get my ICEBOX report posted tonight. I'm going to try to get the glove report written on my plane ride tomorrow and see if I can post it tomorrow night. Sorry for the delays!!!


                        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "thebootfitters" <thebootfitters@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Leesa / Curt:
                        >
                        > The best laid plans... We entertained a last-minute guest (whom we haven't seen in over a year) tonight. Unfortunately, that means I didn't get my LTR done tonight as intended. I'm going to try to still get this in before I leave on my trip, but to be safe I am going to have to ask for an extension until I return.
                        >
                        > Would April 30th be asking too much? If so, I'll accept the consequences of a late report.
                        >
                        > Thanks for anything you can offer!
                        >
                        > ~Christopher
                        >
                        >
                        > Re: [backpackgeartesters] OOP - April 23-30 - Christopher Nicolai
                        >
                        > Have fun! Let me know if you need an extension, ok?
                        >
                        > MB reports aren't due until May, so no worries there.
                        >
                        > Leesa
                        >
                      • thebootfitters
                        Better late than never??? Apologies for the delayed submission on this one. I won t bore anyone with excuses, but hopefully excite you with this report
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 8, 2009
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                          Better late than never??? Apologies for the delayed submission on this one. I won't bore anyone with excuses, but hopefully excite you with this report instead. :-p

                          Link and text are copied below. Thanks in advance for the edits!

                          ~Christopher


                          http://tinyurl.com/q4v3gg



                          OUTDOOR RESEARCH ZENITH GLOVES
                          TEST SERIES BY CHRISTOPHER NICOLAI
                          LTR
                          May 01, 2009


                          LONG-TERM REPORT

                          LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

                          * I have skied with these gloves (liners and/or shells) another eight times in the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State, in Southern Minnesota, and in Southern Alaska -- including one outing that included skinning up on my skis approximately 2,000 ft (600 m) starting from 4,000 ft (1200 m). Temperatures have ranged between 10 F and 50 F (-12 C and 10 C). I have experienced precipitation in the form of light to heavy rain and snow on five of these occasions.

                          * I spent a morning ice climbing with the gloves in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Temperatures hovered just above the freezing point, melting the ice and creating wet conditions. The sky was partly cloudy and a light breeze was blowing.

                          * I used the liner gloves alone while sledding and using a rope tow in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Temperatures were approximately 20 F (-7 C) and there was not a cloud in the sky.

                          * I used the gloves (liners and shells together) while constructing an igloo near White Pass in the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State. The ambient air temperature was approximately 50 F (10 C), but the sky was clear and the sun was very warm, which caused the snow I was handling to be very wet.

                          * I have also continued to use the gloves around town in temperatures betweeen 30 F and 45 F (-1 C and 7 C) until the temperatiures and conditions no longer warranted their use.

                          <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 6" IMAGE CAPTION = "Ice climbing in Minnesota">>

                          <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 7" IMAGE CAPTION = "Skiing at Mount Baker">>

                          <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 8" IMAGE CAPTION = "Igloo building at White Pass">>

                          PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

                          I have continued to be quite happy with the overall performance of these gloves, though I do have a few noteworthy observations.

                          After continued wear, I have noticed the seams in the fingers of the shell gloves to loosen up a bit, though they are still tighter than I would prefer with the soft shell liners worn on the inside.

                          Only once did I feel any signficant amount of moisture inside the shell gloves while wearing them in the field. This happened while wearing only the shell gloves (no liner of any sort underneath) while building an igloo in temperatures several degrees above freezing. Not only was the snow very wet and a lot of snow flying around, but my hands were sweating too. I could not determine in the field the source of the moisture I felt inside the gloves; however, regardless of the source, the moisture ended up causing my hands to feel cold (despite the relatively warm temperatures) as I continued to handle the wet snow.

                          I decided to replicate the kitchen sink test that I performed at the beginning of the testing period. With the shell gloves on, I noticed quite a bit of moisture penetrating the inside of the right-hand glove after approximately two minutes under the faucet. (The left-hand glove was dry inside.) I turned the glove inside-out, but a careful inspection did not reveal any visible punctures, tears, abrasions, or any other compromise in the fabric. With the right-hand shell still inside-out, I filled it with water, held it up and watched for visible signs of leaking. Almost immediately, I saw water droplets forming at the finger tips. The water appeared to be seeping out along the welded seams on the sides of the fingers and at the point where the seams were bunched together at the finger tips.

                          <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 9" IMAGE CAPTION = "Shell glove leaking">>

                          The soft shell liner gloves performed about the same as they did in the initial test: shedding water and keeping my hands dry until I felt a bit of moisture seeping in after about a minute under the kitchen sprayer.

                          While Ice-Climbing
                          ------------------------------
                          These gloves worked well for use while ice-climbing. I felt I was able to handle grip the tools fairly easily. I did notice that I lost a bit of dexterity with the combination of the shell and liner glove compared to just one or the other. It took just a bit longer to cinch the straps on the ice tools with both the liners and the shells on. I felt I had the best dexterity while wearing just the liner glove.

                          While Using a Rope-Tow
                          -------------------------------------
                          I went sledding one day with just the liner gloves on my hands. I have been impressed with the amount of grip that the soft shell liners have in the palm of the glove. The soft, synthetic material grips things very well! However, a drawback to this soft material is that it is less durable than a harder material might be. On one trip up the hill, I grasped the rope attached to the rope-tow. I inspected the glove at the top and noticed several abrasions where the rope had slid through my fingers. Nothing abraded all the way through the glove, but it was definitely a noticeable change.

                          <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 10" IMAGE CAPTION = "Abrasions from rope tow">>

                          CONTINUED USE

                          I have enjoyed using these gloves, and they have performed well for me for the most part -- particularly the soft shell liners. I will most definitely continue to wear the liners, much as I have worn them throughout the testing period. I am a bit disappointed in the performance of the shell gloves, though. First the seam tear (which may have been a fluke) and then the leaking. I would like to continue wearing them, though if I am going to wear waterproof shell gloves, my preference is that they actually be fully waterproof. Because I like most other things about the shells, I will contact Outdoor Research to see if I can replace the shells and keep the liners.

                          This concludes my report for the Outdoor Research Zenith Gloves. Thank you for reading! And many thanks to BackpackGearTest and Outdoor Research for the opportunity to participate in this test!



                          This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
                          Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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