The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recovery Road

The last 2 weeks i have been running at the football pitch’s adjacent to Oldham’s football ground. The circuit is 1k so it’s easy to keep a tally without all the Garmin stuff.
So today come hail rain or shine i was going to get out and do another 5k.
Well that’s exactly what i had, all three conditions within 40 minutes. And yes i know that’s slow for 5k.
I’m not a fast runner and i know there is a bit of weight i need to shift but i am working on it, honest.

It also gave me a chance to try out a new pair of gloves. I bought them at Aldi store in Whitehaven on Friday and they seemed too good not to try them. At a cost of £4.99 what was i expecting. Well miracles of course.

Picking them up i was impressed just how light they are and very comfy as well.
The label says they are Waterproof and Breathable and made from Hipotex. I’ve never heard of it either but that’s what it says.
They are also cycling gloves but i wasn’t bothered about that. If they keep me warm and dry that’s all i ask.
Inside, the label reads.
HIPOTEX, This special membrane prevents the entry of rain and melting snow but allows the passage of the body’s natural moisture vapour. (That’s perspiration to me and you.) The result is a remarkably comfortable glove that is waterproof and breathable.

In the photo above they look like they have done a good few miles but i assure you i have only worn them for 40 minutes and about 20 of those minutes was during rain. Heavy rain.
Well i can guarantee that this pair of gloves are not waterproof. I am so pleased i tried them out under short duration. I would have been a bit annoyed if i had to be wearing them all day.

Well, i know the old saying, “if you buy cheap you buy twice” but how do they get away with selling outdoor gear, supposedly breathable and waterproof when it’s not. What ever the retail price.
I must admit though i think outdoor gloves are probably the worst bit of kit, even expensive ones. I have never found a really good pair and i have had quite a few different makes and paid over the odds.
 I just want a pair that keeps you dry and warm, with seams that are leakproof and with an outer material that doesn’t soak up the water. How hard can it be.
Water resistant probably would have been nearer the truth for these Aldi gloves, but even that is pushing it.

Another item of gear that caught my eye recently is the Gerber Steady. Gerber make good quality knives and Multi Tools.

The Steady is a Muti tool and it has a cleverly designed built in camera tripod for compact cameras. Ideal for the solo hiker who usually has both pieces of gear in the pack.
It’s not been released in the UK yet but i am reliably informed that it will be available in March 2012. Just in time for the TGO challenge. I don’t have a UK price as yet.


Alan Sloman said...

How refreshing to read a gear review that says the article is pants!

Cheers, Alan. Good to hear that you are slowly on the mend. (Mind you, I suppose it would be better to hear that you were quickly on the mend!)

AlanR said...

Thanks Alan, Well there’s no point in saying it’s great and then leading people up the garden path.
Sorry for all the gear reviews of late but i just havn’t been out.
I’m feeling miles better now thanks and just need to build up the muscles again and get the stamina back.

mike knipe said...

Glad to hear you're recovering from the Pringles. Gloves made from Hippoes? Waterproof? Hippoes aren't waterproof. 5k would take me two hours by the way....

-maria- said...

Good to hear you are recovering!

I recently bought a pair of Extremities Tuff Bags - they are just overmitts, don't have any insulation. What I plan to do is to wear them over thick woollen mittens. I case the mittens get wet, I guess it will be easier to dry them and the overmittens separately. But I haven't tested them yet, so can't comment on their performance.

AlanR said...

Very good Mike. They should have been Crocatex maybe.
Last year i was doing 10k in 63 mins, no record by any shape of the imagination but it clearly gives me a target to get back to. At the moment 5k is as much as i can do.

AlanR said...

Hi Maria, Thanks.
I hear good things about the ETB's. So i look forward to your post on their performance.
I already have a pair of Outdoor Designs Goretex overmitts and they leak too. Not cheap either.
I really don't understand why waterproof gloves are such a big deal but it seems that true watershedding and waterproof gloves are.

Laura said...

What I really like about 'waterproof gloves' is the lovely shade of dark blue they dye your fingernails! The colour doesn't wash off - that must be what they mean by 'waterproof' !!!

AlanR said...

Hmm, a morning time saver then Laura. As long as your clothes match the shade of course.

Bluey said...

Gloves can be a really difficult piece of kit to get right. Keeping your hands perfectly dry before putting the gloves on seems to make all the difference, especially with Sealskinz, and using a breathable overmit, fastened Under the sleeves of the waterproof jacket, may work well, especially if you can keep your arms pointing towards the ground, which could be difficult if you are out running. Perhaps if you go a little quicker (Beware of doing this - Health Warning) you may generate enough heat to enable you to discard the gloves. Then I'd have some friends.

Phreerunner said...

TGO's 'Best of the Tests' recommends the 'Rab Baltoro Softshell' and 'Extremities Super Windy', if that's any help. But you'll have to save up your £4.99s.

AlanR said...

Thanks for the comment. I have a pair of Sealskinz gloves and apart from leaking within a short period of time they also hold a lot of water in the outer layer and take ages to dry. They don’t do it for me.
I also have a pair of Outdoor Designs Goretex over mitt with taped seams, the bees knees i thought. Unfortunately these leak too and i end up with puddles inside the mitt.
“Perhaps if you go a little quicker”! Now then!
I don’t usually run with gloves on but this day, it was raining hard and an ideal test opportunity for the gloves.

AlanR said...

Hi Martin,
I know you had glove problems on the TGO and was going to ask about options. Was this the answer?

Reading up on the ESW’s, they are not waterproof.
The RBS (not the bank) are only "water resistant” which isn’t a good sign but softshell holds quite a bit of water and also they have insulation which i don’t particularly want as i am looking for a less bulky glove.

Price wise Martin, if i could find the perfect pair i would pay it. Yes, even if it was over £4.99!

Phreerunner said...

Hi Alan

Bluey sends his commiserations and hopes he didn't give you a heart attack. He hopes that you will be kinder than his former owner to his friends, the £4.99ers.

We discussed gloves after the TGOC, I think, and your suggestion of the overmitt/Sealskinz combination seemed to me to be a good idea. I've enjoyed a sunny summer, so haven't had the opportunity to test that yet, but the Sealskinz were fine at -20C at 4000+ metres. They don't leak, but if I put damp hands in them they feel as if they leak. Keeping hands dry, ie putting on the gloves at the first sight of rain, on a cold day, makes all the difference, and I can still use the camera etc whilst using the gloves. In a deluge I think they will still get wet, but they (and other gloves) wring out quite well, so as long as they are dry inside the waterproof membrane they should be ok. I found that to be so on the TGOC, but this year's was a low level route - they may not have been adequate for a prolonged high level route in the rain.
I'm sure the debate/testing will continue, but I think the Sealskinz/overmitt combination will work other than for multi-day high level backpacking trips in cold weather and rain. That could be a good excuse to adjourn to the pub then!
This assumes the Sealskinz membrane is sound, and I know we have differing experiences on this, both with gloves and socks - I'm a fan of both, but long finger/toe nails would obviously wreck the membranes in no time.

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin,
I thought “Bluey” that rings a bell. If i had clicked on the name first instead of later i could have been a little more sarcastic. Just a little.
I have actually bought a new pair of Sealskinz socks and they are so much better than the first pair i bought. These don’t leak.
However the gloves do leak and whats more, as i have already quoted, my overmitts leak too and did so from day one.. I am not taking a chance on buying another pair of either. Unless they are £4.99
Did you check out my post on the Cuben overmitts?
I also have a couple of tangential ideas, so if/when they come to fruition i will spill the beans.
With a bit of luck this thread may continue and you never know what may get suggested. It’s been enjoyable. Cheers.

Phreerunner said...

Bluey isn't sure about sarcasm! The cuben fibre overmitts do look 'interesting'. Good luck with the socks; I'm currently using a pair that have worn down to the membrane at the heel but are still comfy and keep my feet dry. On the 'mitts' front, I generally keep a selection of old but expensive when new 'handwear' in my winter day sack, which are more than adequate and often get used by others whose hands are cold. It's the lightweight kit for a backpack that's the issue for me, and if weather looks dubious I just take extra gear. For me comfort wins over weight saving every time. Within reason!

AlanR said...

Ok. How about dry humour. I like a bit of that.
I’m waiting for a review coming from the US on the Cuben mitts but they do look interesting. I doubt that the first batch will be available for very long though. They will be snapped up.
Weight - Comfort is an important balancing act. I agree.

mike knipe said...

I used sealskinz gloves on a horribly showery/windy/wet day earlier this week and they were great - and I have major problems with cold extremities. I know some people seem to hate them with a passion. Sometimes I wonder if we're talking about the same brand...?

AlanR said...

Hi Mike.
Yes, you are right. I don’t know what it is about them.
As you know, they have been out years. I bought a pair of socks a short time after them being first advertised in TGO mag.They leaked quite badly and never got used again. Easily 10 yrs later i bought a pair of gloves and guess what, Yes they leaked badly and held too much water on the external material for my liking.
However, Sheila bought a pair earlier this year to replace a Goretex pair and they were great. Comfy and no leaks.
Although sceptical i too bought a pair, they felt different to my original pair and sure enough they didn’t leak. Way hey! Progress.

Glove wise though Mike i still think they retain too much water and take ages to dry. Not that it matters if it’s still raining the next day. A thin over mitt is the way to go with them i think.

afootinthehills said...

Good to hear you're on the mend Alan. With my problem finger I can't use gloves that are in least stiff, so it's mitts for me. It's a real nuisance, but there are worse things in life!

AlanR said...

Thanks Gibson. Much better now.
I can imagine what you are going through and i expect that with some trepidation you will be pleased to get it sorted. We wish you well.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear you are running again and get better. bought some awful 'waterproof' gloves last year, they let in that much water it felt like i had a weight on the end of each arm so if you do ever get some really good ones i look forward to reading about them x Lisa

AlanR said...

Hi Lisa,
Set back with the running i’m afraid. Pulled a calf muscle yesterday which will probably take a week or two to get right.
I have just got some superb waterproof gloves which i will test out as soon as my leg allows and when it’s raining.
I will do a post on them and share the outcome asap.

Hope you are feeling better.

Unknown said...

Buffalo mitts and Extremities Tuff bags. Light, warm even when wet and perfectly light.

Glad to hear you're getting better my dear sir - my finest best wishes to you and Sheila.

AlanR said...

Hi Maz,
For what you have been up to and for our winter i think your combination is a good one. I don’t have a pair of ETB’s but i hear only good about them.
If my latest acquisition, post to follow, are a flop then the ETB’s or the Cuben mitts might be on the order list.
I do require a pair of gloves similar to these cheap ones i bought for use with a two way radio and that’s what i am pursuing.
Thanks for your kind words and i apologise for taking too long to assess your mat.
BTW how where your “freezer” gloves.

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