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!