I’ve been trying to pick out new gloves recently, so when I saw that The Prudent Cyclist had written a post called More Gloves than Pants I couldn’t resist checking it out. I loved Will’s lighthearted take on the challenge of choosing good gloves for varying weather conditions.
For the last few years I’ve had three pairs of cool-season gloves, all Novara (REI’s house brand): fall gloves, which have full fingers but end at the wrist; my usual winter gloves, which are full-fingered with a wrist tube but not really insulated; and lobster-claw gloves, for, as Will aptly puts it “when the weather plunges below freezing or when cold rain would permeate any of my other gloves.”
Unfortunately my fall and regular winter gloves both wore out this year. I replaced the fall gloves pretty easily with a pair of Pearl Izumi Select Gel FFs. They fit well and are a good weight, though it turns out I’m not wild about the velcro set up (I keep grabbing the hooks by accident and catching the glove fingers on them).
The winter gloves have been tougher. Most winter biking gloves are designed for colder weather than we have here most of the time, and I want something that’ll continue to keep me warm when it’s wet and chilly, without over-heating me when it’s not as cold. I got a recommendation for Giro Candelas, but it turns out they have too many internal seams on the fingers. The Castelli Donna CW 4.0 is super-comfy, but might be too warm. Pearl Izumi Cyclones might work, but they have an upper palm pad that I usually avoid — I prefer padding on just the outer heel of the hand.
I may need to adopt Will’s philosophy and switch away from bike-specific gloves to something that would work for multiple activities. As long as it has a grippy palm and wears well, I could probably use any glove, though I do like that heel-of-hand padding. Wearing well is definitely essential: I’d like to keep my gloves for multiple years, instead of having them break down after a few seasons like the Novara fall gloves I had.
What’s your preferred cool-weather glove? Do you swear by multipurpose gloves or think bike-specific ones have an advantage? Do your hands run hot or cold? Keep ’em dry or go for warm while wet? Maybe you can point me the right direction!