January 19, 2016 0 Comments
Where? Mt St Louis Moonstone, Coldwater, Ontario
Weather: -4C (-11C w/ Windchill), Winds at 20 km/hr with 42 km/hr gusts
New Gear Tested:
Kombi Body 3 Primaloft Crew & Bottom Base layer, The Primaloft Neckwarmer (testing for next season)
Normally when I’m spending a day (or a few) outdoors in the winter time my natural choice is to reach for one of many wool base layers in my closet. This year however, we introduced Kombi Gloves, mittens and a few accessories for both adults and our growing youth category at the store this year and I couldn’t help but take notice that they offer a base layer made from Primaloft. Primaloft is my all time favourite insulation used in many pieces of gear I’ve owned or tested from mittens and socks to jackets and sleeping bags so I figured why not give these wool alternatives a chance.
For their base layers Kombi has a rating scale of 1 to 3 for warmth factor with their Body 3 Base Layers ranking 3 on the heat scale. I decided to layer the crew under a light weight full zip sweater and a lightly insulated shell ski jacket and for the bottoms I paired with a fleece lined softshell pant. For the drive up from Toronto to Coldwater, ON and during short breaks in the lodge I wore the whole ensemble (less the jacket in the car) to find out how it breathed, but more importantly, how it would perform outside after being a little damp from sweat. I figured if sweat was going to put a damper on the day I’d rather find right away that morning as I’d brought my trusty wool base layers as a back up. Turns out that there was no need for that back up as moments after stepping out of the lodge or vehicle into the cold I’d forgotten that I had even been sweating moments before. These base layers did a fantastic job of regulating my temperature and keeping me dry all day long both on the slopes and in the line for the lifts. Even though my jacket and pants had several ventilation options for releasing built up heat there was not need to adjust them regularly throughout the day.
I would highly recommend this base layer option for anyone that may need a wool alternative or more affordable option for active cold weather activities. We will certainly be considering stocking it in our store for Winter 2016/17.
Gordini Men’s GTX Storm Trooper Gloves (current product)
Gordini was another new brand addition to our ever growing glove line up (we’re a fair bit behind adding these online right now but they are all on display in store). As it’s always been a mandate to get out there in the products we offer I decided to try out the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper Gloves. One of the reasons I selected this model was because it used Gordini’s proprietary insulation called Megaloft which I had no experience with. As I knew there was a gusty day ahead it’s long gauntlet and multiple cinch and adjustment points seemed like they would be great to keep the chilly winds out while maneuvering the slopes. At just an $89.99 price point featuring a Gore-Tex liner and an unfamiliar insulation, I was a bit skeptical that a heater pack pocket was an indicator that warmth may have been scaled back on so I brought along some liners as a back up. My hands were kept at an optimal temperature throughout the day regardless level of activity. They were only cool once for a few minutes after a fumble with a collapsible water bottle left my hand soaked and I seized as an opportunity to see if these gloves would still hold up. After a quick shake off of excess water a stuck my wet hand back in the glove and by the end of the run any feeling of cold and dampness were forgotten. While the multiple adjustments to keep out the cold offered on the gloves were nice, I only needed to partially cinch the gauntlet to keep my hands comfortably warm which allowed me to easily slide them on and off to take advantage of the leashes while making adjustments on the lifts or pausing to snap some photos or hydrate.
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