Giro 100 Proof Winter Gloves Review. Are these winter riding mittens a contender for best extreme weather riding wear?
Mittens are not something I’d typically use for mountain biking, mainly because of braking. Perhaps mittens are how we can all get faster and stop comfort braking?
I do have some extremely good mittens for snowboarding, and have often pined to have anything as good for cold weather mountain biking. I have had some STINKERS of winter gloves over the years, both literally and metaphorically. The worst had a waterproof layer, but under a lovely thick load of fabric that would soak up any kind of moisture then use it to freeze my hands numb.
These though? These Giro 100 Proof winter gloves? They’re a contender. As soon as I laid eyes on them I knew they might be the mountain bike mittens I’d longed for. They’re mostly mitten, but with your index fingers freed for single finger braking.
They have a water and windproof layer on the outside, where it should be, then scads of lovely insulation on the inside (Brand fans: the outer on top is OutDry, and the insulation is Polartec). At the back, there’s a fleece cuff, inside a velcro adjustable outer cuff. It has plenty of adjustment, as well as the length to easily meet jersey or jacket sleeves. The palm and underside are done out in a textured, rubbery, grippy material that’s nonetheless thin, comfortable and flexible.
Sizing is small: I’m usually a size medium in gloves, but a large in these, which I found perfect. This holds true compared to previous generations of Giro mittens too; you may remember Giro’s lobster claw mittens of yesteryear, with a split between the middle and ring fingers. I’ve tried those on, and a medium in those is roughly equivalent to these 100 Proofs in large. In fact, Chipps was going to snaffle these 100 Proofs, but couldn’t. Who has two long thumbs and passed these gloves on to me? That guy.
The finger length is just right, for me, and the big three finger compartment is generous enough to create a nice air pocket too. A problem I’ve had with some winter gloves is that if they’re too tight, they don’t trap much in the way of warm air. These do, with wiggle room, and in sub-zero conditions that helps keep my whole hand warm. In fact, on a chunk of steep, frosty, pre-dawn hike-a-bike, I had to take them off because my hands got too hot.
There are a few other features: a fleecy stripe down the entire thumb side makes an alright snot-wipe, and touch screen compatible finger and thumb tips are nice to have, though a bit burly for typing on a phone keyboard. Enough for unlocking and checking a map though. A couple of paracord loops with a plastic hook let you clip them together for storage.
One unexpected feature is the inability to swear, which I only realised on wanting to stick my middle finger up at someone. I couldn’t. In fact, most lewd gestures are impossible in these. Wishing someone up yours is probably not high on your list of vital glove features, but I know at least one other person it’d be dealbreaker for.
Giro’s own product description at one point (now amended) said the outer has a zip for handwarmer insertion. I presume this was copy pasted from a different product description, because after several inspections, I’m yet to find any such zip. Not to worry though, I’m finding they don’t need it. Just don’t be disappointed if you see the rogue description elsewhere.
Wear on these has been very good. I got them during the bitter trailing months of last winter, and came to depend on them. Digging them out recently once the weather went below zero again, I found that apart from a few parts that have shaped themselves to my hands over time, they look new. There are no signs of fraying, peeling, delamination, holes, or any of the bad things that tend to happen to gloves. They feel as solid as when new, and performance is still good too.
Waterproof, windproof, warm. Those are the three main things I want from a winter glove, and Giro’s 100 Proofs provide in abundance. The finger design leaves you able to brake properly, meaning mittens are no longer just for bike packing and carol singing.
|Product:||100 Proof Winter Gloves|
|Tested:||by David Hayward for 3 months|
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