Initial Review: Glacier Outdoor Perfect Curve Winter Glove

Recently I was given the chance to review a pair of Glacier Outdoor winter riding gloves, and due to my ignorance of the company I accepted without any idea of what was in store. With over 27 years of experience, Glacier Outdoor is no stranger to the high performance glove world, but they are relatively new to marketing those gloves towards cycling. Glacier seems to be pretty big in the fishing and hunting realms, as well as kayaking as a major chunk of their products are made from 1-2mm fleece lined neoprene. When blind stitched and glued, the neoprene makes for a waterproof glove. Like dunk your hand in water for hours and still not get wet kind of waterproof.

Glacier Outdoor has built their brand on finding ways to make protective gloves without sacrificing dexterity. So, how does this translate to the cycling world?

Find out after the break.

Without even considering any other aspects, the level of warmth and waterproofing of the Perfect Curves is amazing. With other gloves I’ve always taken the waterproof moniker with a grain of salt, so I was really happy to find out that the Glaciers are indeed completely waterproof. The recycling bin above just happened to be filled with rain (that’s all from this past week), and it was cold enough that the top layer was a sheet of ice – a perfect way to test out a winter glove! Eventually, I got bored of standing there with my hand that wasn’t getting wet and wasn’t getting cold even while holding the sheet of ice. Needless to say, they passed with flying colors. Also, thanks to the long cuff and the velcro wrist strap, getting water above the cuff didn’t result in wet hands.

Dunking you hands in ice water is not exactly the hallmark of a great glove though, which is why Glacier has their vast experience to make a glove that fits like a, well, a glove. The premise of the Perfect Curve is pretty self explanatory – by pre-curving the fingers of the glove, nearly all bunching is eliminated at the bar. Thanks to the design of the glove, the Perfect Curve’s 2mm thick G-Tek fleece lined neoprene isn’t restrictive and fits incredibly well. I consider myself to have pretty average, medium sized hands, and the fit of the medium Perfect curve is just right.

On the inside, the entire glove is lined with fleece – other than the stitches. In contrast with the extremely soft fleece you can definitely feel the stitching though it isn’t uncomfortable or obtrusive. While the palm is one piece with the lower half of the fingers, each finger’s top sections are mostly one piece with the addition of diamond shaped neoprene inserts at the knuckle.

The end result is a glove that retains almost all of the dexterity of a thicker summer glove, with the warmth and waterproofing of the bulkiest gloves out there. So far I haven’t found a shifter or brake lever that I couldn’t operate to my satisfaction, and even all but the most intricate tasks can be completed without removing the gloves.

So far, I don’t have a ton of miles with them in bitter cold as it’s too early in the season, but my only real concern is breathability, or lack thereof. However, without a thick absorbent liner to soak up the sweat, I’m hoping it won’t lead to cold, wet hands like some gloves that don’t breath.

As of now, these are easily my favorite winter gloves. Check back in the spring to see if that has changed!

Comments

James Barnes - 12/09/11 - 6:47am

No Snot wiper?

gear - 12/09/11 - 7:40am

My biggest problem with winter gloves is not moisture getting through from the outside but moisture created from the inside.

Schooner - 12/09/11 - 9:45am

Hey, maybe invest in one of those $25 lightboxes from Thinkgeek or something, so it doesn’t look like the photos were taken with a phone. Might help the legitimacy of this site, just sayin’.

D. Sperling - 12/09/11 - 10:45am

Any chance of a full body suit made out of this stuff?

If so, just add a black cape and a spec’y venge project black – then you’re ready to hit the streets and defend the world from menacing hipsters. You’d also have to find yourself a sidekick. Preferably one with a bright orange fixie bike, white deep dish rims and that chromed out Gucci helmet. The sidekick would definitely have to be a hipster convert. One that gave up marlboros and pabst blue ribbon for a life of secret drink mix and honey organic stinger waffles.

bikethief - 12/09/11 - 11:57am

To anyone who rides all winter in rain at temperatures just above freezing these look like the answer.

Chris - 12/09/11 - 6:03pm

I bought a pair of Glacier Gloves back in the early 90′s when I was in the Army. 20 years on they’re still going strong, still waterproof and still warm. If anything they’re overkill for mild days, I can only wear them on days where the temps are in the 20s if it’s dry out or 30s if it’s raining.

Dave - 12/09/11 - 8:38pm

I have a pair of Sugoi neoprenes. They’re not fleece lined and are fairly thin, but are pretty warm down into the 40s. The trick w/ this type of glove is to put them on 10 minutes before you head out the door. That way your hands start to sweat and get the warmth going. It’s how wetsuits work — you’re a bit cold until your body heats the water inside the suit. Downside is that they can be powerfully stinky. I wore mine on a day that was a touch warm and they were rank. Took a few washings and some time off to get them back to smelling like neoprene instead of feet.

mkrs - 12/10/11 - 6:13pm

They’re probably good just as long as you don’t start to sweat. Neoprene is completely unbreathable so you feel like you were cycling in a diving wetsuit.

jbucky1 - 12/11/11 - 2:39am

I have used these gloves for a while now . They have some major advantages and drawbacks.
-Advantages – great waterproofing, second to none.
-Disadvantages, even on shorter rides your hands will sweat and the inside of the glove will become damp, you notice this especially in temps about 43 and above. Your hand sweats and the sweat stays in.
The moisture in the glove is difficukt to dry out post ride and the gloves are really hard to totally inverse.
At temps lower than 40, they dont have enough insulation and make my fingers cold after about 35mins.

These gloves are perfect if – your ride is very wet and cooler but not cold and you are only going for say 40mins.

Ps. I live in Portland , OR if that adds some context.

And recently, when pulling off I ripped a small hole… but… duct tape for the win.

Steve E - 01/20/12 - 2:25am

These gloves will ‘not’ work on the handlebar in the wind ! ( I agree with Jbucky1 above ) The problem with all these gloves such as neo material is they conduct cold from the ‘air’ down into your hands.

They are made for water, not air

Not only do they conduct air ( cold air ) really well ( which is very bad ), they also allow cold air to move around you finger like any other finger glove., thus doubling the condition of cold into your fingers.

My hands are the most sensitive part of my body in cold winter by far, I dont care about my nose, ears, knees, or head, its my hands that literaly burn like they are in fire from the cold and Glacier gloves don’t cut it.

I have yet to find a glove other than a full on heavy snowboard glove or even better a mift style that can keep my finger from going ice cold.

Across the board I am an avid snowboarder, snowshoe’er, X country skier , cold weather hunter, cold weather motorcyclist, and of course winter mtb’er, and I have to use ‘heavy’ multi layer board gloves or mitts to survive out in the below 30 weather.

You take those neo gloves out into the Alaska bush and You will loose all the feeling in Your hands unless You keep them inside You parka.

Putting them in a cold mountain stream is almost a relief from the cold ‘air’, lol

I am waiting for the glove makers to weed out the good electric gloves and pick up a pair of batter heated ones who make the cut.

peace

marka - 01/04/14 - 8:59pm

I agree with SteveE’s comments. I mtbike commute to work in Helena, MT where the winter air tends to be cold. These gloves, unfortunately, do not work well insulating against the air. I ride at 10-12 mph, and if there’s any wind, add that to the windchill. Have worn them this past week after receiving them as a Xmas gift, and the air temp for my morning commutes have been in the teens. Halfway through my commute yesterday, had to stop, and get out my mitts, I had fortunately brought along in commute bag. Would seem they may be better suited for warmer temps. Tip to designers – if you wish to make them a true cold weather, waterproof glove, increase the fleece thickness, and add just a breath of thickness to the glove digits if one wishes to wear a polypro liner for extra warmth.

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