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Alpaca vs xerotherm inner gloves

Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by Dave Cunningham, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    Hi all, this is actually my first post here :)

    I need to upgrade the standard inner gloves from kubi and I've narrowed it down to the kubi alpaca gloves and the fourth element xerotherm gloves. The main difference between them seems to be the material they're made from - xerotherm is a synthetic polyester blend whereas alpaca wool is a natural fibre. They're both good at wicking. They're about the same price. It looks like the xerotherm gloves are bulkier but it's hard to tell from just the pictures. I have no idea which is better at retaining heat. I do get cold hands - I dived the whole summer with 9mm wetsuit gloves. But I also like to use my fingers :) Right now I'm layering the basic kubi gloves with a cheap pair of soft gloves I used to wear while running. It's not particularly warm and not very dexterous either.

    Can anyone tell me how xerotherm and alpaca differ? Thanks.
     
  2. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    Err my wetsuit gloves aren't actually 9mm and I can't edit the post before someone jumps on that as 9mm wet gloves probably don't even exist... :)
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Hi Dave and welcome to the forum.

    Classic non-answer to your question!

    I personally use the Forth Element GL neoprene glove liners. I like those as they're pretty flexible, fit my hands well, I find them warm, but most importantly they insulate when (not if) the glove's slashed. For cold dives I augment them with wrist warmers; for really cold dives I use thicker drygloves.

    As an aside, it's important that you use a "straw" under the wrist seals into the gloves to equalise the pressure. The most important thing is that should you slash the glove you can remove it underwater and pull out the "straw" to keep your arm dry (aside from the water that's just gone in!). I use a bit of string; others use cable ties or specialist 'straws'. Do make sure that you can simply pull it out -- using a thumb loop on your undersuit's a really stupid idea; experience talking here!

    Thus the inner glove will get completely soaked if you've torn the outer glove. So whatever you have must provide some insulation especially if it's cold and you could have a substantial deco obligation before you can get out.
     
  4. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    Hi, and yeah I saw you said you use those in another post and I took a look at them during my research. Simplyscuba have done one of their videos and I discounted them because it didn't look like they were *that* flexible because the guy doesn't really move his fingers much after putting them on. I'm curious to know how much warmer they are than the 2 I originally posted though, as I presume they are a lot warmer and that might actually be worth any loss of flexibility. At the end of the day, if you can't feel your fingers it doesn't matter how flexible they are :)

    For equalising I've been putting the inners on before putting my arms through the drysuit sleeves, then the wrist seal ends up on top of the glove which stretches it tight as a bonus. I might not be able to do that with other gloves though. Presumably I could whip the inner glove off underwater to reset the seal if I needed to, albeit not as easily as whipping out a straw. The first time I wore the kubi gloves, one of them did actually leak but I didn't realise it until I got out. They came pre-fitted to the ring and there was a kink in the latex glove. Easy to fix after I'd figured out what was going on...
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've never used either of the ones you mentioned. I might have used the "freebie" one-size-fits-nobody undergloves that came with the Kubis once in the past!

    Anyway, I find the FE GL (or is it G1) to be fine. My fingers are dexterous enough to do the usual stuff underwater and there's sufficient feel to be able to operate clips out of sight (e.g. clipping off the SPG). One drawback of the GL's is they take a long time to dry. So I've two pairs:) I make sure they're kept out of the way when kitting up and then put them on at the last moment (if the kit's wet, e.g. second dive or raining).

    I like them, hence happy to recommend them.
     
  6. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    For me summer kubi standard ok. Winter polar tec rab gloves I got in the sale at go outdoors, warm but still quite skinny. After that I got some santi fleece gloves from underwater explorers for about a tenner. Very warm.
     
  7. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I just use some cheap thinsulate gloves I bought from Primark (I think), not diving specific, just standard woolie gloves.
     
  8. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    You have wonder whether the 30 quid xerotherms are substantially different to thinsulate gloves you can buy on amazon for 4 quid. Similar materials, right?
     
  9. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Those Amazon ones look remarkable similar to the ones I have.
     
  10. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    Personally I'm not a fan of anything made of thinsulate material, I use some polartec gloves - they happen to be mountain equipment but any brand will do. I find them more comfortable and still very warm when wet. I should point out I didn't buy them for diving, just had them lying about when I transitioned to dry gloves. (link)

    I'd definitely stay away from anything dive branded - FE make some great items but a glove is a glove, don't other think it.
     
  11. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    Wibble: How do those neoprene gloves compare to regular neoprene wet gloves? Is there better dexterity?
     
  12. nickb

    nickb Well-Known Member

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    Context is everything - you haven't said what you plan to do with these new liners.

    If you're doing short dives (for me that's <1hr) in anything warmer than 10c, then pretty much anything will be fine. If you're planning 2 hours plus in sub 10c, you'll need some serious insulation.

    I use Hestra quallofil ski glove liners most of the time but they are way too warm in the summer off the south coast and starting to get borderline not enough for 90min plus in 7-8c.

    [​IMG]

    For more than those gloves can offer, I get the heated Santi liners out.
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    They're a lot thinner than standard neoprene gloves ~2mm? They're also smoother with the seams nicely taped and filled. They're also shorter.

    From FE website - https://fourthelement.com/gloves/
    The most challenging dive was 1h40 in 4 degrees in Wraysbury. Was wearing those with the wrist warmers and the thick outer gloves. Boredom stopped the (solo) dive. The heated vest definitely helped.
     
  14. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    At Stoney recently I managed 45mins at 7c with my current gloves but had to soak my hands in the warm sink afterwards :)
    Being able to dive in 4c water for an hour or more sounds good.
     
  15. Dave Cunningham

    Dave Cunningham New Member

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    Turns out those G1 glove liners are sold out in every shop I've tried, lol. Guess the market has made its decision...
     
    Wibble likes this.

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