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Best cycling gloves for winter 2022

Cyclist magazine
1 Nov 2021

The best waterproof and windproof cycling gloves on the market for cold winter weather

A solid pair of gloves is a must-have item for any cyclist looking to continue riding through the winter months. Your extremities tend to feel the cold first and worst, so it figures that any gloves you use will ideally need to be windproof, insulating, breathable as well as good at keeping the wet out.

They’ll need to be fit for purpose, too. Yes, good quality ski gloves may have similar properties to the best cycling gloves, but they rarely allow the same degree of flexibility and therefore offer a more limited dexterity.

Remember, your hands are hardly redundant when you ride, helping you to do important stuff like change gear, slow down, signal and stay pointed in the right direction.

So look for gloves that can keep your hands warm and dry (or at least comfortable) without compromising their ability to move freely enough that they can do their bit in getting you safely home.

Want to learn more about the science behind cold hands? Read our in-depth feature explaining why your hands and feet get cold when you're cycling and don't miss our guide to winter cycling essentials.

Here's our pick of the best winter cycling gloves on the market…

Best cycling gloves for winter 2022

GripGrab Raptor gloves 

Is there anything missing from GripGrab’s lightweight Raptor gloves? Wind and water-resistant, padded palms, neoprene cuff, touchscreen compatibility, reflective details, silicone handgrips and fleece-lined. What you don’t get is any padding on the palm, but as this thin construction aids in controlling the bike, that's fine by us.

No wonder cyclocross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel swears by GripGrab gloves; the Danish brand seems to know what it's doing. With sizes from S to XXL, all hand sizes are also catered for. Read our full review here

DeFeet E-Touch Dura Gloves 

One drawback of gloves in winter is not being able to use your touchscreen tech on the fly. Thankfully, the E-Touch Dura gloves from DeFeet have rectified that problem by introducing a touchscreen-friendly middle finger, index finger and thumb that is laced with silver!

Designed to be pretty thin ensuring dexterity for changing gears, braking, opening bars while also fitting underneath a more heavy-duty set of gloves for when temperatures really do drop or it begins to pour down with rain.

The palm and fingers of the glove is also laced with rubber detailing to ensure grip isn’t an issue either.

Sportful Fiandre gloves

Fiandre is Italian for Flanders and indicates Sportful’s range is designed for the very harshest conditions. These particular gloves have been made with technology from material experts Ploartec and try to ensure warm, dry hands regardless of conditions.

It does that by using a Polartec outer membrane that creates an impermeable surface from rain and a fleece-lined inner that insulate the hand and prevents the cold from reaching your extremities. 

For better control, the gloves are also curved to git around the handlebars better while a zipped wrist makes slipping in and out of these gloves as easy as it gets.

Assos Ultraz winter gloves  

There’s a reason Assos cycling clothing is so expensive. It’s because it

The Ultraz range has nothing to do with European football hooliganism and everything to do with keeping you riding outside in the deepest and darkest of winters. 

Tried and tested in the snowy Swiss Alps, the Ultraz winter glove from Assos relies on a double-layered TwinDeck fabric for ultimate thermal protection and water and wind resistance. A long neoprene cuff adds protection while neatly tucking under your jacket or jersey too.

The Ultraz gloves are finished with strategically placed palm cushions to protect the hands from damage and reflective details that make you more visible to fellow traffic in low light.

Windstopper Tracker 5-finger cycling gloves

Instead of opting for a cycling brand trying its best to make gloves, how about an actual glove specialist like Hestra? The Swedish family business has been in the glove game since 1936 producing everything from driving gloves to Olympic ski gloves and also full finger cycling gloves. They know their stuff.

Hestra has opted to ignore padded palms, using tack grip fingers for better grip and braking control. Over the backs, and indeed sealing the entire glove is a layer of Gore's Windstopper fabric. Making them totally windproof, while also really useful water-resistant, they're also expertly cut to prevent bunching. The neatly designed tabs make slipping these gloves on easy work and the woollen nose whip on each thumb certainly comes in handy after a hard effort or two.

And don’t worry about that nose whip getting too gross, the gloves are fully washing mashable too.

Buy now from Hestra for £55 

Rapha Deep Winter Gloves

A lot to pay for a pair of gloves, along with our own positive experiences we’ve heard many good reports regarding these lovely but expensive gloves from Rapha. Key to most people’s affinity with them is their fully waterproof construction and generous insulation.

Quite traditional looking and moderately chunky, their quality cut and pre-curved construction nevertheless allow them to smuggle in a lot of insulation into a still dexterous glove.

With extra wadding added to the backs of the hands, the leather palms sport some low-profile gel padding. Really one for people determined to keep the weather on the outside, they’re finished with a two-layer cuff and reflective detailing. Not the cheapest but for your money, you get a pair of gloves that look great and will keep your hands protected from the cold, wind, and rain.

Buy now from Rapha for £140

What should I consider when buying cycling gloves?

Warmth: The primary reason we buy a pair of gloves is to keep our hands warm. So with that in mind, it should be pretty high on our list of priorities when out shopping for a new set.

Some brands will provide useful guides such as temperature gauges as to when the gloves should be used but, if not, look for stuff like windproof materials, fleece linings and double material constructions for a toastie feel.

Waterproof: Getting any of your three contact points (backside, hands and feet) wet on a ride can be miserable and enough to put you off cycling for at least a week.

Brands will utilise waterproof technologies - such as Gore-Tex - to provide an impermeable barrier to even the heaviest downpours without diminishing the gloves' ability to breathe.

Dexterity: Changing gear and braking are two very important aspects when riding a bike. That means that any suitable gloves need to provide a real-life feel, akin to gloveless hands, that leave you feeling in total control of your leavers and shifters.

Comfort and grip: Like dexterity, gloves without grip are pretty useless for cycling and, in fact, quite dangerous. Some brands will use silicone grippers to increase grip and also make handling stuff like mobile phones easier.

Staying comfortable is also key so make sure you assess size guides before buying, too.

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