by Diane Spicer
A Possumdown gloves review: seriously?
But do you need a pair of these gloves for hiking?
There are probably at least 2 questions rolling around in your mind right about now:
No for the latter question.
As for the first question, possum down is harvested legally in New Zealand from brushtail possums (which have overrun natural plant and wildlife ecosystems due to an ill fated introduced species plan).
Now let's get to the details in this Possumdown gloves review.
Any piece of hiking gear should have specifications listed clearly, so here they are:
Note: All data is courtesy of Possumdown, as listed on websites and product inserts.
Let's set the scene.
A backcountry snowshoeing trip in calm, sunny conditions, around 35F.
Elevation gain (and loss) of 3500 feet.
30L daypack, trekking poles, multiple layers of clothing, and these gloves.
There were several opportunities to test not only the warmth, but the moisture wicking and waterproofing of these gloves throughout the day.
Here's what happened.
After the first minute or so of donning these possum down gloves, a definite layer of heat builds up along the surface of your skin.
You'll definitely feel the heat loss when you peel off these gloves.
Gaining that much elevation takes steady hard work, especially on snowshoes.
Sweat is inevitable, but a sweaty grip was not noticeable in these gloves.
Good, as far as these gloves were pushed.
Adjusting snowshoe buckles and brushing snow from overhanging branches led to water accumulating on them, but hands didn't feel wet.
The gloves weren't saturated with moisture at the end of the hike, but they began to get water coated when the weather turned foggy (moist) on the way back down to the trailhead.
But while they were damp, they remained warm.
That's a great clue to their ability to keep you insulated even under relentlessly wet conditions.
And here's something interesting: the gloves dried quickly in the warm car on the ride home.
There was no loss of gripping ability, as you can see in the photo.
However, don't expect to push the teeny tiny buttons on your camera in these gloves.
On the other hand, using your trekking poles or water bottles with glove encased hands will be great fun: you'll be able to grasp while your fingers stay toasty warm!
So maybe it's a wash in this Possumdown gloves review?
Hard to say, based on the wind-less testing conditions.
There was no need to peel off the gloves along the trail due to overheating (which I've experienced in fleece gloves), but it was a cool-ish hike that became more so as elevation was gained.
What about summer hikes?
I think it's also possible to wear them at your campsite for food preparation, as they conform to the shape of the hand well and are somewhat textured to provide a reliable grip.
And never forget about the Ten Essentials list:
There might be an issue with insulating ability on a windy day, although because the possum down fibers are hollow (similar to polar bear fur), maybe not.
Hiking For Her tentatively final conclusion about windproofness:
Never fear, a windy day update will be forthcoming.
What else to note?
These gloves are not cheap, like fleece gloves.
These gloves are high quality construction, lightweight, and take up minimal space in a pocket.
These gloves are not going to keep your hands dry in a downpour.
However, these gloves are likely to keep your fingers warm while wet, and for a hiker, that's not a small thing.
The addition of the Merino wool guarantees the gloves will retain their shape, after an initial period of molding to your unique hand size.
So maybe it's time to put these gloves on your gift wish list, or buy yourself a pair right now - because warm hands give you wider margins of safety and comfort on any hike, and that's priceless.
Happy Warm Fingers!
Possumdown Gloves Review
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