U.S G.I Wool Gloves & Watch Cap— Cheap & Effective

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Whispering Pine, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Whispering Pine

    Whispering Pine Tracker

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    After one winter of using both the U.S G.I wool gloves and watch cap, I feel that I can accurately assess them.

    This past fall I began making preparations with my gear and clothing for the upcoming winter. After wearing out my last pair of insulated gloves the previous winter, I was on the market for a pair of new gloves, and I also was wanting a new toboggan.

    I like to follow Andrew Skurka, and he suggested a pair of wool gloves from Defeet. While I knew Defeet made great products, it seemed I could get the same thing in the G.I wool gloves for a quarter of the price, so I bought them for 5 bucks on EBay — it seems they are a little more expensive now.

    From September to mid October, they set in my gear closet awaiting use; however, from late October till now, they have been worn several times a week, and they were worn seven days a week for well over a month. I have used them for trapping, hiking, feeding cattle, manual labor, and everything else my days contain. Whenever the temps get below 30F, I have them on. I have used them down to an ambient temperature of -5F and on days where the windchill was down to -30F, and while during those temperatures I was active, my hands were plenty warm. I also used them a few times under a pair of pigskin leather gloves while cutting and splitting wood for additional warmth, and they worked great as a liner; furthermore, when being used as a liner, the leather gloves were frequently damp, yet my hands stayed dry and comfortable.

    They have held up surprisingly well. I have fed cattle, set 330’s, ran chainsaws, and wielded many hand tools with them on. There are two signs of wear. 1.) If it were not for getting in a briar patch two months ago, this would have been avoided. As a result of running a briar through the weave, coupled with the sudden anger from my body from being stabbed in several places :) , the jerking of my hand caused a small hole (a little smaller than a penny) to develop at the bottom of the palm of my hand. I have since used them a lot, and the hole has not grown or presented a issue. 2.) At the base of my thumbs, between the thumb and index finger, it looks like the weave is starting to wear a small hole. I guess that is due to the constant movement and stress in that area.

    With that said, these gloves obviously are not meant to be work gloves used for building fences, working in brush, and exposed to things that have the tendency to cut or knick, but as common sense would dictate, using a pair of leather gloves over them—when cold enough— or simply using leather gloves alone I never felt these gloves limited my abilities.

    Also, I believe these gloves are but one part of a system for outdoor activities. When in wet snow and prolonged periods of wind, a pair of shells over top are beneficial. I plan to purchase a pair before next winter.

    My old pair will be in my Jeep as back ups, and a new pair will be coming my way before the next winter. I’m very pleased with these. It is nice to have a pair of gloves that can be used in all the temperatures I deal with, allow for dexterity, and are cheap. If I get one season or more for $5, I am satisfied. I don’t miss bulky, awkward gloves that often overheated my hands.

    Ever since a boy, I have loved toboggans— well, it seems my generation now calls them beanies. I have an old Remington polyester and cotton toboggan that has served me well, but it wasn’t as comfortable as I liked and lacked breathability.

    The G.I toboggan also costed around 5 bucks, and the price has also increased over the winter. I expect this summer they will decrease.

    I have used this toboggan with the gloves for all of the aforementioned activities and temperatures, from 30F to -5F. Like my hands, my ears also require a layer below 30F unless I’m doing something highly active like running. I do not think the wool is itchy at all, but my wife would disagree with me on that. I like the looks of it, it wicks away sweat well, and went beyond all my expectations. I plan to purchase another one to keep in my Jeep as part of my vehicles kit (and for times when I should have brought one along but didn’t :D ).

    It is nice to come across things that are well made, cheap, and get the job done.
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  2. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    Nice beardcicle. I like both as well and have used both many times. I also like the usgi jeep cap (what radar wore on MASH). It seems to stay on my head better. The beanie seems to ride up my head a bit.
     
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  3. justinspicher

    justinspicher Scout

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    I’ve have a pair of the wool glove liners I was issued twenty years ago in basic training. They are pretty awesome.
     
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  4. Uncle Duke 520

    Uncle Duke 520 Tracker

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    Still got mine from Ft. Knox School for wayward boys!
     
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  5. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    LOL

    After using both for 30 years in Alaska, I can say they do a good job in the early winter and spring. Keep a set in Das auto as a back up, The wool gloves are a bit slippery for driving. I agree they make a good low cost alternative.
     
  6. renter6

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    I found a pair of US wool mittens that have been amazing. I think they are Air Force? The printing isn't legible, but they are bluish green rather than olive green. No trigger finger. They don't look like much but the wool knit is tight, maybe even boiled. They totally block wind and don't snag easily in brush. Very cozy home for the fingers and roomy enough for lots of air and blood circulation.

    I used them for a couple days of fieldwork in the cold last January, admittedly not arctic cold (New Jersey agricultural fields so freezing temps + wind) but these were awesome. Grab them if you come across them at a surplus or thrift store!
     
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  7. justinspicher

    justinspicher Scout

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    I need to go look for one of those Jeep caps. They are pretty dope. A set of trigger finger mittens wouldn’t be a bad addition to have either.
     
  8. Sandcut

    Sandcut 3% Neanderthal Vendor

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    Yep. Both pieces of clothing are a good value when comparing quality, function and price.

    I have a pair of the wool glove liners that are about 7 years old or so. I don't care to wear them by themselves as they are slippery on a steering wheel. But when combined with a leather mitten as a shell, they are great for deeper cold, e.g., 10°F and below. That combo is actually too warm for me for most of the winter.

    The wool watch cap (I will NOT call them a "beanie". Beanies have propellers on them.) is a long time standby and an essential part of anybody's kit. I prefer the black over the olive myself, but to each his own. Unfortunately, no one in this area carries the GI wool watch caps, so I would have to order them. Fortunately, Carhartt make a decent synthetic watch cap which are available locally and are quite nice (and don't itch). We have a dozen of those thing floating around the house all winter long in multiple colors (I have girls). I may have to seek out a new black watch cap next winter having read this post. My Carhartt is getting pretty threadbare.

    Which brings me to the hole in your glove. All I will say to that is "A stitch in time saves nine."
     
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  9. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    as liners for ELK SKIN ROPERS those G.I. surplus gloves work amazingly well down to and including some serious cold temps

    next rise in temps is when i employ the Smart-Wool liners

    for winter time and when it is rainy my Elk Skins get a slathering of mink squeezins rubbed in like hand lotion which prevents the leather from wetting out

    then for warmer weather while working the Elk Skins alone(there is a real viable reason why ranchers/cowboys use Elk Skin gloves for fence building)
     
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  10. Spinymouse

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    I wore out many pairs of the wool inners and black leather outers while in the Army. I currently have one pair left that looks new, and the remnants of others kicking around too. When I wear through the fingers on the wool inners, I just cut them off. That makes them into excellent fingerless gloves.

    While the wool/leather Army gloves are pretty good for moderate temperatures, they aren't nearly warm enough when it starts to really get cold.

    I have two of the 100% wool black Army issue watch caps. I've had them for 25 or so years now. I wear them every winter as my go-to winter hats. Somehow, I never lost either and they are both pristine, despite the daily use. I hand wash them when the funk from running in them gets too bad. I never likes the poly fleece watch caps the Army issues now. Give me wool.
     
  11. thereandbackagain

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    I recently assembled G.I. issue (2 pair) wool liners (5) socks , tube scarf, watch cap and Balaclava. I like the options and ability to change when an item becomes wet and spares for another person in an emergency. I was lusting for Austrian Dachstein mittens and cap @ $ 120. My total cost for all new items was $40. I saved enough for a set of base layer Merino from Varusteleka. I was looking at the G.I. leather trigger finger gloves and liners on EBAY but they blew out. A set would have been $30 with S/H. I figure this kit will do just fine as I fill in the holes on my wish list.
     

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