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The Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel Gloves pass the ‘warm’ test; even below 0°c I had toasty fingers. However, they really are only suitable for drop bars. Read on as to why.
- Brand: Pearl Izumi
- Product: Amfib Lobster Gel Gloves
- Price: £76.50
- From: pearlizumi.eu
- Tested by: Hannah for 2 months
Pearl Izumi has been making ‘lobster’ gloves for years. They now make the Amfib gloves in a variety of finger configurations, with these being the ‘Star Trek salute’ two pairs of fingers version. There’s also ‘Lobster Evo’ version, which has the two smallest fingers pairs in a mitten, and two separate fingers for your middle and index fingers. Plus, a non lobster Amfib with five fingers.
I’d actually been hoping to test the Lobster Evos, however it appears they’re not currently available in Europe. These would be much better suited to mountain biking – the Amfib Lobsters here are really only for drop bars.
These gloves pass the ‘warm’ test for me. Even at a few degrees below zero I had toasty fingers. However, they really are only suitable for drop bars – on flat bars I found myself being forced to choose between braking and holding on.
To make matters worse, the pairing of the two fingers seemed to force my wrists into an uncomfortable position on the bars. I really don’t recommend using these gloves for mountain biking.
On drop bars however they are more comfortable. They still compromise your dexterity somewhat, and I wouldn’t want to be wearing them on something very technical – but I probably wouldn’t want to be riding a gravel bike on very technical stuff in the sort of weather these gloves demand. That’s what mountain bikes are for!
Even at temperatures around 5 degrees C, I didn’t find myself overheating and getting sweaty hands. These seem to strike a good balance between breathability and warmth. I do find that the ‘web’ part of my fingers where the two ‘mittens’ join feels a little tender after a while in these gloves, but it’s tolerable – and preferable to cold hands.
I struggle to operate any phone screens effectively with the touch screen compatible patches. My phone doesn’t always seem to register that it’s there at all – and in any event the bulk of the fingers makes most operations rather difficult. And so I inevitably take off my gloves… and have to put them back on again.
This is not the total disaster of some gloves, where the whole liner turns inside out. Here, it stays put. However, if your hands are damp from rain they do stick to the slightly furry liner, making it tricky to get them back in properly.
In the rain, the uppers are more hydrophobic than the snot/sweat wipe fabric of the thumb, and the faux leather of the underside. These less waterproof areas don’t leak, but they do hold the water a bit, making for that heavier, squishier and slightly colder feeling sensation.
On balance, I’d prefer to forgo the snot bit on the thumb in favour of the more hydrophobic option. So far though, the rain hasn’t permeated through to where my fingers are. Pretty good. However, I found the long cuffs were a little tricky to get tucked in under a waterproof jacket to create that perfect line to rain to dribble down your arms and onto your gloves rather than into them.
You can’t really do up the Velcro neatly yourself with the gloves on – you need a glove butler, or to put your jacket on after your gloves. They did fit better and more easily with a tighter roadie style jacket, with the gloves going over the sleeves – fine until it really rains.
Once the wet gets in through the cuffs or on to your hands the annoying sticking to the liner starts happening. Tolerable if you’re only taking them off occasionally, annoying if you need to keep taking them off to do things like operate zips or tools.
The bulk of these Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel gloves does compromise on dexterity, but I can’t deny that they’re warm and impressively waterproof. If you’re the sort of rider that regularly gets their phone out to take pics, looks at maps, or needs fingers for clothing adjustments etc, then the need to remove these may get annoying.
These work best when kept on your hands, especially in the wet. I don’t find the ‘Star Trek salute’ finger position that comfortable, but compared to cold hands, it’s a fair trade. I do wish the mountain bike friendly single finger version was available here in the UK, as on the basis of these I’d be keen to try them.
Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel Glove specification
- 170g Primaloft Gold w/Crosscore technology insulation, made from 35% post-consumer recycled polyester and incorporating Aerogel particles
- New AmFIB-specific 3D shaped gel palm pad
- AmFIB Softshell main body fabric
- Ax Suede Laredo synthetic leather palm
- Touch screen compatible index finger and thumbs