For die hard cyclists who train right through the winter, or maybe those who commute to work each day in all kinds of weather, a proper pair of winter cycling gloves, is a must.
I recently had the opportunity to try out two pairs of five finger winter gloves made by Castelli and Louis Garneau.
The first pair I tried were the Castelli Diluvio Deluxe Gloves. (Picture left.)
Different than the usual approach to glove making, these are designed for keeping your hands warm, not only in cold conditions but cold, wet conditions, like winter rain or sleet.
Made from neoprene, the same material wet suits are made from. The kind used by scuba divers and surfers.
The Castelli Diluvio Deluxe gloves are constructed from 3mm neoprene. The gloves insulate in order to keep out both wind and cold temperatures, but are thin enough that the wearer can feel the brake levers and gear controls.
The design of these gloves is somewhat unique. Most gloves when not being worn lay flat with the fingers straight. These Castelli neoprene gloves when off the hand have the fingers pre shaped and curved.
When the gloves are put on the hand, the wearer’s fingers naturally take up the position they will form when wrapped around the handlebars or brake hoods. With the fingers pre curved in this way the neoprene material on the inside of the fingers has less of a tendency to bunch up.
A textured grip on the palm (See right.) makes sure the rider’s hold on the bars remains secure at all times, even in wet conditions. The glove has a long cuff that extends about four inches up the wrist, long enough to tuck into the sleeve of a jacket. This is very important because the blood flow to the hand needs to be kept warm in order for the hands to be warm.
Because moisture can accumulate from sweat, is a good idea to turn the gloves inside out after a ride to allow them to dry, and disperse any smell that may accumulate. The gloves need to be hand washed and air dried.
These gloves are stylish and good looking. The company’s logo graphic is on the back of the hand, along with the Castelli name. A nose wipe strip on the back of the thumb, made from a soft fleecy fabric is a useful addition.
Although few materials excel at defeating the cold as well as neoprene, this material will keep out a light drizzle, it is not completely waterproof. However, like a wetsuit which is also worn next to the skin, the more water you encounter, the warmer that the gloves become. The Castelli Diluvio Deluxe Gloves come in the color Black and in the sizes Small/Medium, Large/X-Large, and XX-Large.
The second pair of gloves I tried were the Louis Garneau LG Shield Gloves. (Picture left.)
I am told that of Garneau's five-finger gloves, these are the warmest, and offer protection from wind, rain, sleet, and snow.
Unlike the Castelli neoprene gloves that are made from a single layer, the Garneau Shield Glove retains warmth by using layers of different materials.
This is accomplished by combining a 3M Drytex lining with varying thicknesses of Thinsulate interlining. There is more insulation layers around the fingers and less at the palm, which makes sense.
The exterior of the gloves is constructed of Garneau's Breathable Twillwave with a fully waterproof and breathable Hipora membrane.
There is a small ventilation panel in the middle of the palm (Pic. Right.) designed to allow sweat to evaporate.
A Faux Leather Amara palm, which fully extends inside all fingers and thumb, has strategically-placed foam padding at the base of the palm.
This glove has a soft nose wipe on the back of the thumb, and a Velcro tab to adjust the wrist closure for a snug fit. (See picture right.)
The gloves are warm and comfortable, and provide a good grip. Reflective piping on the back of the glove, (See above left.) provides some added visibility, when giving hand signals in the dark.
The Garneau LG Shield Gloves come in sizes Small through XX-Large and comes in a nice shade of black.
Both pairs of gloves are excelent quality, and performed well, although I did not get to try either in extreme wet conditions. Of the two I would slightly favor the Luis Garneau gloves, but for no reason other than they had a more familiar feel.
Note: After you click on the links to Evan’s Cycles at the beginning of each separate review, the glove prices can be set to your local currency at the top of each page.