Best Winter Cycling Gloves 2020 – Buying Guide!


After testing more than 20 pairs of winter cycling gloves, we think that the best one for everyone is Castelli Estremo. They offer a solid protection agains cold, and moist, and the grip is best in class.


Winter cycling gloves are as essential as padded bib shorts and a cycling jersey, and I would like my blog readers to avoid frozen hands when temperatures drop. My warning is substantiated by Ohio State University’s National Ag Safety Database (NASD). Learn More HERE.

Exposed hands can trigger frostnip, a freezing of the top layers of skin that is extremely harmful to fingers. According to NASD experts, “Wind, humidity, and moisture remove body heat, which can cause hypothermia. Hands and feet are further away from the body core and have less blood flow.” Don’t risk your hands. These gloves offer protection that can get you through the frostiest winters.

Castelli Estremo Gloves – Our Pick!


PROS:

  • Liner wicks sweat, transferring it to the outer WindStopper layer
  • Enjoy solid gripping power in sub-freezing weather
  • Microsuede thumb panel offers a soft wiping surface
  • Locks out cold air efficiently
  • Comes in sizes Small through XX-Large.

CONS:

  • Fluctuating price point could soak up extra shopping time
  • Sizing could be iffy
  • You may prefer real leather.

They’re made to be worn by men, but who says female cyclists can’t take advantage of this protective glove? The racy style and black color are attracting cyclists who are impressed by the synthetic leather, 2-inch high cuff and roomy width of this accessory that has been designed just for cyclists.

You’ll find the price tag on this particular pair of gloves to vary, ranging from $80 to $130 depending upon the seller’s mark up and product availability, but if you love these gloves, you may not care what you have to pay to get them.

Slide these gloves over your hands before you ride and you’ll be the beneficiary of Windstopper x-fast fabric, a textile woven for ultimate, total wind protection and the fleece liner feels heavenly. The silicone print feature on the palm can increase your grip power when you need it most, and there’s a Velcro closure to make sure that high neoprene cuff doesn’t open, exposing your hand to the elements and stopping your ride just when you hit your stride.


Giro Proof Gloves


PROS:

  • Made by a reliable company of recycled materials
  • Pricing deals can be found that range from $53 to $85
  • Tight wrist fit keeps elements from impacting hands
  • Comes in sizes XS to XXL
  • Touchscreen pad access; no need to remove gloves to text or call.

CONS:

  • Not your pick if you dislike synthetic materials
  • Lack of reviews from consumers may not reassure you
  • Giro makes plenty of gloves offering the same benefits for less money.

According to Giro, manufacturer of a wide variety of accessories designed to protect athletes from extreme winter weather, Giro Proof Gloves have been a collection staple since they were first introduced in 2013 and they remain a favorite of cyclists eager to wear “Our warmest 5-finger glove.”

This accessory offers exceptional dexterity, waterproof warmth, and extreme protection, even when temperatures hover around freezing. Because the “skin” is so lithe and malleable, cyclists won’t have problems using their devices via select areas on these gloves that are engineered to make sure the index and pointer fingertips can access touchscreens.

Tested and found effective at keeping hands warm in temperatures ranging from 25- to 35-degrees F, the outer shell is reflective for night riding and the hook-and-loop closure adjusts for a snug fit, so no snow or rain can breach the cuff. The insulated core is environmentally-friendly. It’s made of 80-percent post-consumer recycled fiber featuring an OutDry waterproof membrane and microfleece lining offering maximum warmth.


KINGSBOM Waterproof and Windproof Thermal Gloves


PROS:

  • Sizing covers all bases; Small, Medium, Large and XL
  • Stylish, affordable and offering 3M Thinsulate protection
  • Optimized gel padding absorbs shocks
  • Silica gel printing for anti-slip protection
  • You really can’t beat the price.

CONS:

  • May run small, so keep the receipt or try before you buy
  • Could leak rain or snow despite claims to the contrary
  • They may not do a good job of keeping your hands warm.

For about the cost of two fast-food lunches, you could snag a pair of these attractive gloves that promise to keep your hands warm, even if you insist on cycling in -40 degree F temperatures. At a cost of sub $30, a surprising number of features and benefits come with these gloves.

They’re sized to fit men and women, have received the approval of nearly 1,000 consumers who took the time to review them, and if the 3M Thinsulate brand name already impresses you, these gloves are worth a second look.

This particular Kingsbom thermal glove offers 200g of insulation, exteriors are made to reflect light, so cyclists stay safer at night, and the textile itself ensures maximum heat retention and ensures breathability.

No worries on the dexterity front: These gloves feature areas coated with a conductive fabric on both the thumb and index finger, yet they are thin enough to allow you to undertake tasks without removing them. Whether you encounter rain, snow or winds, these gloves rebuff those elements while your hands stay comfortable thanks to the moisture-wicking liner.


GORE WEAR Men’s Waterproof Bike Gloves


PROS:

  • Some glove elements are reflective for visibility in the dark
  • There are 7 sizes from which to choose, from XS to XXXL
  • Gloves deliver excellent braking control
  • Forget the word “men’s.” Women love these gloves.
  • Love Gore-Tex products? This glove is “a good fit”!

CONS:

  • Despite claims, texting and keystroking may be impossible
  • Runs small so make sure they fit before buying
  • May not meet your criteria for waterproofing properties.

Put these Gore Wear waterproof bike gloves on your shortlist if your shopping budget ranges between $50 and $80. Why the price spread? Because the larger the glove, the more it costs. Like the other products described in this review, these Gore gloves come only in black, but we have no clue what the manufacturer means when it says that these gloves are constructed of “100-percent other fibers.”

On the other hand, this product is designed to be worn comfortably by both men and women and they’re highly recommended for “ambitious cyclists and mountain bikers” who can’t get enough rides even when conditions are frigid.

You’re not imagining things if the moment you spotted the brand name Gore you were reminded of the iconic Gore-Tex technology that helped change the way manufacturers produced garments for extreme weather circumstances, but what you may not know is that these gloves are just as suitable when weather isn’t cold.

Offering a warm, thermo-brushed lining, small absorbent panels to wipe away sweat and a synthetic leather palm that assures a cyclist of a sold grip, these gloves are made with foam palm padding and adjustable cuffs secured by Velcro.


DeFeet International Duraglove


PROS:

  • The fashion solution for those who insist on colorful accessories
  • Made of Cordura yarn plated to the outside of the glove
  • Glove exterior surface resists abrasion while riding
  • Designed to block cold air from getting to your hands
  • A pair weighs just 2.4 ounces.

CONS:

  • Keep the receipt; these gloves won’t keep hands warm
  • Weave doesn’t block wind
  • It may be impossible to use a device wearing these gloves.

At last—an all-weather glove that caters to the sensibilities of cyclists who tend to prioritize trendy fashion as much as they do a challenging winter ride. Choose from black, green, orange and white.

That stated, you’ll need to focus on color and size when you try to figure out the cost of these gloves because depending upon the combination you seek, your purchase can run anywhere from $15 to $65. But if you worry about fit, take reassurances offered by purchasers who found each size to be 63-percent perfect on the accuracy scale.

Manufactured with cyclers and runners in mind, this Duraglove not only protects hands from harsh weather conditions, but DeFeet devotes lots of merchandising space to extolling the virtues of these gloves for those who can’t pedal a mile in any weather without answering their smartphones. According to chatters who have successfully done so while wearing these gloves, they work especially well with touchscreen devices, a benefit competitor gloves promise but don’t necessarily deliver.


DexShell ThermFit Neo


PROS:

  • The brand is internationally known for its technological innovations
  • The stylish design is not ignored by the designers and product developers
  • DexShell says that its textiles are “gentle on the environment”
  • There’s no price differential based on color or sizes ranging from Small to XL

CONS:

  • These gloves are not made for freezing temperatures
  • The fabric could pill, even when new
  • The grip may not be the best, say reviewers/owners.

There is absolutely nothing to compare to the Blaze Orange version of this DexShell ThermFit Neo winter glove, so if you want to stand out from your conservative biking mates, this should do it. At around $50, you can opt for the black alternative since there are no price increases or decreases associated with choosing one color over the other.

The textile used to make the outer shell is quite the hybrid consisting of 84-percent Nylon, 2-percent Elastane, and 14-percent Elastics. This glove’s interlining is 100-percent waterproof and windproof due to the Porelle® membrane, and the inner lining is woven of 37-percent Merino Wool, 37-percent anti-pilling Acrylic, 18-percent Nylon, and 8-percent Elastics.

DexShell takes pride in its signature seamless construction offering mega-comfort while giving hands plenty of freedom when it comes to the dexterity needed to accomplish tasks without removing the gloves. The silicone dots on palms and fingers extend a cyclist’s capacity to grip the handlebar, so even in bad weather, neither control nor one’s patience takes a hit!


45NRTH Sturmfist 5 Men’s Cycling Gloves


PROS:

  • Lined with Merino wool and insulated with 100g Polartec Alpha fibers
  • Exterior materials are a combination of sturdy polyester, Nylon, and Urethane
  • Keeps hands warm and flexible on the road
  • Grip your handlebars like you mean it; your hands won’t suffer
  • The manufacturer stands behind all of its products and this glove is no exception.

CONS:

  • Not every popular retailer sells this brand
  • Not the best choice if riding in sub-zero temperatures
  • The fit could be an issue; these run big.

From the moment you examine this men’s cycling glove, you’ll understand why it commands a price point around $90. It’s basic black and features the brand logo and forefinger accent, comes in 5 popular sizes (XS to XL) and it’s tailored to the needs of men and women who welcome late fall and early spring riding conditions.

The company assures shoppers that these gloves are known for their ability to “make or break chilly season rides,” so interpret that any way that makes sense. Recommending this cycling glove are the water- and wind-resistant Polartec® NeoShell that pampers the backs of hands while protecting them against cold winds and light precipitation.

The Merino wool lining wicks perspiration away from hands and acts as an insulator should water get inside. 45NRTH uses Polartec Alpha insulation because it is breathable and Aerogel insulation covering the palms “protects against conductive heat loss caused by frozen handlebars.”

Unlike competitors who rely strictly upon synthetic textiles to craft their gloves, this company uses durable, water-resistant goat leather for the palm areas that assure a solid grip, and the adjustable hook-and-loop cuffs get wearers a very tight, secure fit.


Showers Pass Waterproof Breathable Crosspoint Gloves


PROS:

  • Bulky and thick, yet they weigh only 2.4 ounces
  • Fully waterproof with 3 bonded layers
  • Wear-resistant knit textile feels like regular knit gloves
  • Silicone fingerprints on palms help grip, especially in wet conditions
  • Waterproofing gets rave reviews.

CONS:

  • Not for cycling in freezing temperatures
  • Only comes in orange
  • Features and benefits may not justify the price.

Priced below $50 per pair, these Showers Pass gloves only come in orange, so if the color turns you off, keep shopping. Designed to be worn for commuting, cross-country, cyclocross and gravel cycling, you’re not going to find a long list of reasons to purchase these for your next cold winter ride.

But the textile mix provides clues to the effectiveness and protection wearers can expect while riding: An Artex membrane, mix of Nylon, Lycra, Spandex and polyester material that makes up the outer shell and the lining is composed of Spandex, poly, Nylon, and something called CoolMax. In fact, CoolMax represents 81-percent of the threads in the lining.

This glove doesn’t even pretend to be “touchscreen-friendly,” so prepare to keep taking your gloves off during your ride if you are a bit on the compulsive side when it comes to your smartphone. When queried by a prospective customer about the ability of this product to stand up to freezing temperatures, customer service recommends adding a separate liner when temperatures dip below 40-degrees F, so that tells you what you need to know in case you’re considering wearing these during an Arctic cycling competition.

That stated this is the only company on our list offering a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, so if that is one your criteria and especially if you can’t get enough orange winter wear, take a second look at these.

CASTELLI Men’s Spettacolo ROS Glove


PROS:

  • Soft liner slides easily over the sweatiest hand
  • Wrist zipper opens the glove completely for fast removal
  • Design is slim and attractive
  • Weighs less than 10 ounces
  • Ideal for moderately cold temperatures.

CONS:

  • The padding may disappoint
  • Won’t get you through sub-zero temperature rides
  • Count on reviews before purchasing? You won’t find many for this glove.


This final product is the only cycling glove on our list that features a zipper closure, so if you have had bad luck in the past due to Velcro closures letting you down, the zipper alone may compel you to keep reading. Sizes range between Small and XXL, but no matter the size you choose, the price tag will read in the range $60 – $80.

This is perhaps the most uncomplicated product on our list. The fabric mix is familiar and easy to understand. The shell is fabricated of stretch, water-resistant windproof synthetic nylon, and the insulation is a Catelli proprietary fabric called PrimaLoft Gold. The Spettacolo comes in black with red trim and weighs only 99g (this is, after all, a 100-percent Italian creation) and purchasers get a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

According to Castelli corporate heads, these gloves are noteworthy because they were originally made after the company was inundated with requests from brand loyalists to do something about improving the winter gloves on the market. Their biggest complaints?

They craved warmth without bulk, waterproofing that wasn’t so extreme, whined that gloves on the market don’t breathe, and said that comfort was at the top of their must-have list. Eager to please, Castelli set about developing these PrimaLoft Gold insulated gloves that appear to have met every criterion their customers begged for.



10 Benefits of wearing winter cycling gloves


Cyclist David Fiedler didn’t share a personal journey when he authored a blog post on the website LiveAboutDotCom, but his advice is compelling enough to list here with thanks to David for his insights into the 10 benefits of wearing winter cycling gloves.

  1. Cycling gloves offer improved grip and superior control of handlebars.
  2. Gloves with wicking properties help keep hands dry, thus avoiding discomfort and odor.
  3. Sweat contained by gloves won’t drip into shifters, build up and cause component deterioration.
  4. Gloves can relieve hand pressure and lessen your chances of developing calluses and blisters.
  5. Cycling gloves made with a variety of cushioning materials make terrific shock absorbers.
  6. Biking gloves are engineered to give you full access to critical gear shifting and braking maneuvers.
  7. It goes without saying that protection from icy, frigid temperatures is the ultimate benefit of cycling gloves.
  8. Winter cycling gloves, in particular, are layered to help break wind and protect hands from frostbite.
  9. Wearing a thick pair of padded cycling gloves can go a long way to help break the impact of a fall.
  10. Fiedler adds that “wearing a pair of snazzy bike gloves can make you look and feel cool”!

Types of Winter Cycling Gloves

As if you weren’t already dealing with a long list of features, benefits and price points after perusing our review picks, we introduce you to winter cycling glove types, some of which you might never have heard about before now. Turning to John Anderson of IceBiking.com for his sage wisdom, check out the differences as you keep reading.

Regular winter cycling gloves are defined as hand gear designed to keep cyclists fully operational while retaining hand heat during winter rides. A marriage of layers and neoprene help accomplish both goals and for those eager to get the best protection, look for products made for ice biking competitions offering wind- and water-resistant outer shells, removable, wicking inner gloves that can be cleaned, reinforced palms and a vent zipper.

Three-finger gloves, also called Lobster Claws, look odd, but manufacturer sales attest to the fact that these are snapped up by winter cyclists. Never seen these?

Check out Pearl Izumi Stretch Amfib gloves and understand the thinking behind the design: Every finger has the company so less skin surface is exposed and the thumb gets its own compartment so cyclists get tasks done.

Pogies are oversized mitts that fit over handlebars and when attached, cover the brake and shift levers so you’re more comfortable during your winter ride. These odd-looking hand savers come in a variety of price points and styles and they’re worth looking into if you seek what some fans call the warmest solution of all. Check some of the pogies available on Amazon.

Moose Mitts. Admit it: You think the name is clever but you’re not sure your cycling mates would agree. Moose Mitts are a different type of handlebar mitt only they come with internal pockets to stow stuff. This glove brand’s website can offer you a conduit to this $80 purchase and you can read all about the water repellent, windproof, 400 Denier Cordura outer textile that resists abrasion and fleece lining.

Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

How to choose the best winter cycling gloves

Ready to make a buying decision? Whether you focus on the best price, most popular brand, the ultimate in design or the color that appeals to you, these criteria can help you snag gloves that won’t let you down. Look for these features when you shop:

Best finger movement

You have tasks to perform that are important to your health and wellbeing, and you will need your fingers to respond accordingly. Test the pair you’re leaning toward to make sure you can function.

Best waterproofing and windproofing

Gloves that don’t earn reasonable ratings for their ability to keep water from seeping into your gloves should be avoided at all costs. Waterproofing and windproofing usually come hand-in-hand so read those reviews carefully and remember that just because the manufacturer calls a glove waterproof, their definition may not meet your criteria.

Best warmth guarantee

While it’s the ultimate goal, not every pair of winter cycling gloves makes good on its promise to keep your hands warm, especially once you start to sweat. Look for multiple layers, liner materials that contribute to the warmth and check temperature ratings on pairs you consider.

Best moisture-wicking properties

According to winter cyclists who endure long road trips, few things feel as miserable as cold, sweaty hands confined to fabric that has no ventilation or wicking properties. Breathability is important for multiple reasons, not the least of which is comfort.

Best temperature pick

Extending your seasonal love for cycling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Maine is not the same as it would be if you took your ride to northern Canada. Some winter cycling gloves are comfy as long as temperatures don’t drop below freezing while others are fabricated to tackle Alaska-like temperature drops.

Best wrist action

In the best of all worlds, you could spend your life winter cycling without ever having a drop of ice, snow or rain seep into your glove, so do let us know if you ever have this sublime experience. Adjustable cuffs are critical safeguards and rely upon zippers, elastic or Velcro tabs and bands to keep moisture out and heat in.

Best functionality

It’s perhaps the biggest trend of all: winter cycling gloves made to help riders use their devices, especially navigating touch screens. If this is important to you, make sure the manufacturer emphasizes this feature, so you don’t have to keep taking your gloves off and exposing your fingers to the cold.

Best reflective elements

Winter cyclists admit that they often go days without seeing a ray of sunshine, thus during these dark days, visibility and reflective glove elements are important. Everything you do to make yourself visible is a move in the right direction and your gloves are no exception, so consider gloves with reflective elements to stay safe day or night.

Best alternative glove

Don’t laugh, but plenty of dudes are choosing winter gloves designed and marketed to women simply because they find that the fit is more conducive to having a tighter grip on things when shifting, braking and handling the bike. Better wrist fit means less air can invade the glove and neutral colors like black don’t attribute gender to many of the gloves on today’s market.

The future of winter cycling gloves?

Science has your back. According to ScienceDaily, “University of Maryland researchers have created a fabric that can automatically regulate the amount of heat that passes through it. When conditions are warm and moist, this miracle fabric allows infrared radiation (heat) to pass through without the wearer doing a thing. When conditions become cooler and drier, the fabric reduces the heat that escapes.

“This is the first technology that allows us to dynamically gate infrared radiation,” said one of the authors of this groundbreaking study, Yu Huang Wang. He points to a revolutionary base yarn woven of two strands, one of which absorbs water while the other repels it. For science geeks who can’t get enough technical lingo, this fabric is made to modify “the electromagnetic coupling between the carbon nanotubes in the coating.”

A fabric that is so intuitive, it senses when the body is getting cold and immediately starts trapping heat? It’s not science fiction. Keep an eye out for gloves that offer to heat up your hands in minutes as the winter cycling glove niche continues to evolve!

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