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Dissent 133 gloves review

14 Feb 2018
Verdict:

Serious gloves that do what they promise well, but with a few refinements could be nigh-on perfect.

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£95
For 
Highly adaptable, fully waterproof and insulated, high quality manufacture
Against 
Longer, wider cuffs on the outers would be welcome

Buy now from Dissent 133

Dissent’s tagline reads ‘133 days of rain a year. Ride them.’ Spirited stuff, but it underpins its debut gloves’ philosophy: ready for any weather. And that, in turn, underpins the price. Because ninety-five squids is a lot, but for that you get four gloves in one. No wait, 11 gloves in one.

From the people that brought you…

Dissent is the brainchild of the guys behind Hunt Wheels, a Sussex-based brand that has enjoyed deserved plaudits for its high-performance, great value wares since its inception a few years ago.

Now it has turned its attention to gloves with Dissent 133, which attempts to do everything a glove possibly can in one package. That is, be warm for cold days, waterproof for wet days, wind-resistant for windy days, lightweight and nimble for nippy days and all of the above for Biblical days.

There are four elements to the Dissents: silk liner, woolly inner, windproof/shower resistant outer and waterproof outer, of which up to three are worn at any one time. For example, rainy, cold: Liner, woolly, waterproof. Chilly fresh: liner, woolly. Cold windy: liner, woolly windproof. A bit cold but very rain… you get the idea. You can’t really wear all four at once, which means Dissent reckons these gloves provide 11 different combinations of glove system.

The waterproof outer is made using an OutDry membrane, a stretchy variant on the water vapour out, no water droplets in theme pioneered by Gore-Tex. It really worked for keeping my hands dry, and thanks to the way in which it’s bonded to the more robust glove face-fabric using thousands of tiny thermo-welded dots, it felt snug and well-made.

The windproof outer is the same deal, adding an extra layer of warmth to the knitted wool and silk gloves, although as expected it did saturate in prolonged or heavy rain. But it put up a good fight.

Add to that the wool gloves – a rebranded version of the omnipresent DeFeet Duraglove – plus the silk liners and the package was complete. The Dissent 133s did as they spec sheet promised, presenting varying degrees of insulation and weatherproofing dependent on combination worn. Perfect then? Nearly.

Cinderella syndrome

Size is an issue that plagues gloves more than most pieces of clothing. Not only to hands vary massively from person to person, they are also the most wonderfully dextrous tools in all of humanity, and need to be able to perform as such on the bike in crap weather.

In broad strokes the Dissents fitted pretty well in all their combinations. However, in full-waterproof, deep-winter mode I found the OutDry outer, though thin and flexible on its own, became a bit over-stuffed with material, meaning some dexterity was compromised.

Not alarmingly so – I have had far worse gloves for this – and I adapted soon enough (gloves off to extract mobile phone from jersey, despite the touchscreen friendly finger material). Still, not perfect though, and I can’t help thinking a slightly larger outer would prevent this.

However, my main problem, as so often in life, was closure. I don’t have particularly thick wrists, but with liner plus wool glove plus waterproof outer, I found doing the Velcro cuff up neatly rather hard, often ending up in a partial closure if I had a jacket whose cuffs didn’t readily sit neatly over the Dissent cuffs.

I appreciate tight cuffs keep the rain out, but the other problem here is the woolly gloves’ cuffs extend well outside the outer’s cuffs, which in certain instances I felt allowed water to be wicked inside the glove, despite the OutDry outer being entirely waterproof.

It should be noted this is a common problem with gloves, and overshoes for that matter, where water coming off one material (eg damp bibtight shins) wicks via osmosis under the next material (eg waterproof bootie). The DeFeet wooly gloves fit also left something to be desired, but...

...fast forward to December 2018 and Dissent has swapped the DeFeet gloves for less bulky, more form-fitting Cordura TouchFit wooly gloves, with lots of nice silicone grippy bits on finger and palm and touchscreen compatibilty. Proof the company is always listening!

Personally, I would still like to see either longer, wider cuffs on the outer gloves – and slightly larger overall size for the outers as well – plus more Velecro on the waterproof outer. But elsewise, the quality of construction here is first rate, and Dissent has really thought about the user beyond the product itself. The Gloves come in a neat laptop-esque case so you don’t lose the many pieces, and they are available in three sets or as individual pairs (a nice touch should you lose one).

 

For £58 you get the silk liner, woolly and windproof gloves; £80 the liner, woolly and waterproof glove and £95 buys everything.

Finally, the Dissent 133 Gloves are packed up with stainless steel hangers on which to dry them post-ride or post wash. It’s another lovely touch, and really does a mighty good job at staving off the indescribable pungence of dried hand-sweat, which sits somewhere between forgotten sock and the underside of a damp brick.

Buy now from Dissent 133

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