9 best winter cycling gloves
Reflective strips, padded palms, suede lining, the latest gloves make cycling in the cold a joy
A winter cycling glove is not just any old glove. At the very least, it will offer a layer of insulation. Yet this alone won’t be enough to keep off the chill for more than very short rides.
You then need to add a windproof fabric to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Also consider whether you’ll be riding much in the rain. Many winter gloves have a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish that keeps off light showers. If you know you’re in for seriously wet conditions, opt for a fully waterproof material such as Gore-Tex to ensure your hands will be kept completely warm and dry.
How you know when a glove fits properly?
Make sure your fingers aren’t pressed against the ends of the glove, and that you can easily clench your hand into a fist without it feeling restricted by the material. Longer cuffs are great for covering your wrists – we particularly like adjustable Velcro ties. When you're choosing the size of glove (S, M, L or XL), we like to go for the roomier ones.
What other features to look out for?
Most gloves come with small patches on the forefinger and thumb so that you can still use your smartphone or a GPS system on your handlebar. Silicone or extra padded sections on the palms should make long rides more comfortable. High-visibility and reflective features on gloves are essential for riding in low light.
Can you use them as regular gloves?
Gloves with reflective strips, padded palms or a long cuff might not be particularly comfortable just for a quick stroll outside. However, many gloves with more discreet styling and a more relaxed fit could be worn at any time.
Specialized Deflect Glove LF: £31.99, cyclestore.co.uk
These felt like really well-made, high visibility gloves. They have a wind-resistant softshell upper, which protects your hands from a biting wind; and padded palms to add comfort and reduce vibrations from your ride.
You can also use your phone with your forefinger and thumb.
We found these gloves to have more of a relaxed fit with a looser cuff, making them easy to slip on and off.
They're not as insulated as some of the gloves we tested, so we felt they're probably better for city commuting or rides in above-zero temperatiures.
Deluge II Glove: £49.99, endura.com
These gloves are designed for colder weather. They feel really well-made, and are waterproof and windproof.
The outer fabric is very durable, and are lined with a layer of cosy Thinsulate to keep your hands snug. They also have an elasticated cuff with a Velcro tie.
We really liked terry sweat wipe, lightly padded gel palm for cushioning, and the ability to use your phone with your forefinger.
Altura Thermo Elite Glove: £13.99, Evans Cycles
We particularly like the suede finish inside of these windproof, reflective gloves. They offer modest, but decent insulation and are comfortable for cooler rides (although above zero).
You can use them with your phone and the palms have silicone grips, which is useful. They slip on really easily, too.
Assos bonkaGlove_evo7: £95
These Assos gloves are great in cold weather. They made us think of ski gloves because they're insulated so well.
They're also windproof and have a water-repellent finish. They have a neoprene cuff to keep out the the rain, and padded, silicone patches on the palm for comfort and grip.
Essential Road Softshell Glove: £55, pocsports.com
These are minimalist and breathable gloves. The upper is made from a windproof softshell fabric and the palm from a synthetic leather. They're close fitting and comfortable, with silicone spots on the palm for added grip.
You can use your phone with them, they have a terry cloth patch on the thumbs, and the elastic cuffs mean they stay in place.
Sealskinz Brecon Men's Waterproof Cycling Gloves: £39.99, amazon.co.uk
Wet and miserable outside? Choose these gloves, which are waterproof and windproof, while still allowing your skin to breath. They have reflective patches, gel padding on the palms and allow you to use your phone with your index finger and thumb. Decent length cuffs should cover your wrists, too.
B’TWIN 900 Hi Vis Winter Cycling Gloves: £19, Decathalon
These are a serious winter gloves, particularly for the price. The SOFTERMIC lining means they should keep your hands warm when you're cycling in temperatures between -2 and 6C, although if it's below freezing, a thin glove liner is recommended.
They have a water repellent finish, reflective details, gel pads on the palms (for comfort), a touchscreen feature (so that you can use your phone), and a long cuff with a Velcro strap so that you can secure them in place.
Craft gloves: £17.99, zalando.co.uk
Made from a single layer of insulating polyester, these lightweight gloves are ideal for short rides such a daily commute. The stretch well and feel comfortable.
Gore C5 Gore-Tex Thermo Glove: £59.99, Evans Cycles
If you like to plan for the worst, these are for you. The GORE-TEX waterproof fabric will keep your hands warm and dry even on the longest rides, while still enabling your skin to breathe.
With an insulated lining, synthetic leather palm, foam padded palm, and Velcro strap around your wrist, these high vis gloves are your wet weather winter companion.
PEdAL ED Hikari Reflective Gloves: £72, PEdAL
These gloves have a highly reflective, wind-resistant outer fabric and offer great visibility to traffic. The fleece lining makes them particularly comfortable, and they feature a long elasticised cuff to cover your wrists.
Nicely padded and grippy on the palm, these thermal gloves are incredibly comfortable and great for winter.
The Verdict: Best winter cycling gloves
For a great all-rounder, we'd go for the Specialized Deflect Glove. Splashing out? Choose the Assos bonkaGlove_evo7 – the pair will serve you well in freezing conditions. If you think the weather will be utterly terrible, go for the Gore C5 gloves with all their features,
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