With real winter weather finally upon us here in the Midwest and temps hitting the single digits we finally had to break out some winter gear in order to venture outdoors. We decided to try out some new winter gloves as what we had on hand, no pun intended, was not cutting it for the coldest of rides.
With this in mind we purchased a pair of Bontrager RXL waterproof softshell split finger gloves (Now that is a mouthful). This was our tester’s first foray into the split finger style gloves. A mix between a mitten and a glove, the “lobster” gloves double up on finger space, keeping them together in three separate finger compartments. This keeps your fingers a little warmer than they would be in a five-fingered glove.
Here is what Bontrager has to say about these gloves:
Cold, wet weather is no match for the RXL waterproof Softshell split finger gloves. The Profila Softshell outer lining provides windproof and waterproof protection, while toasty 100g Thinsulate insulation and fleece lining provide superior warmth in your battle against cold and wet hands. An added touch is the absorbent material on the thumb, perfect for wiping the nastiness from your nose.
Test ride conditions
So far we have one short test ride in these gloves. We will use them on some longer rides and update this review with that info but our test ride leads us to believe that longer duration rides will end with similar conclusions. The ride was about 30 minutes in duration which is a pretty valid length of time if you are commuting to work within 10 miles of your home or running errands on your bike in cold weather. The skies were overcast and the air temperature was 27 degrees F.
While 70.00 is a lot to shell out for a pair of gloves, the price is right in the range of his glove style from other major brands’ similar products. In fact, it falls directly between Specialized (65.00) and Pearl Izumi (75.00).
These gloves are very warm. The fleece inner lining, Thinsulate insulation, and softshell outer layer combine for a knockout punch against the cold. In fact, the tester’s hands were the warmest thing on his body despite having 4 layers on top and two layers on bottom.
Our tester felt that these were very comfortable gloves. Despite being “coupled up” there remained ample room in each finger compartment and some level of dexterity was still maintained. The fleece inner lining and insulation combined to create a very plush glove. Our tester said, “It felt like my hands were wrapped in a soft fleece blanket.”
In conclusion, our tester was very happy with these gloves. The thumb-pad was large and very soft so cold induced runny noses will be easily taken care of on the fly. The three fingered gloves, while not allowing as much dexterity as five-fingered gloves, still made it very easy to shift our SRAM Red Double Tap shifters. We will have to test these out on other brands of shifters and see if they are just as easily manipulated while wearing these gloves. The large velcro strap around the collar of the glove made it very easy to cinch the glove tight to keep out the cold yet didn’t present a pressure point along the wrist. The addition of a palm pad prevented slipping and helped maintain a tight grip on the bars. They are well styled and even include reflective elements to aid with safety when the sun dips below the horizon.