The Madison Avalanche Men's Gloves do the basics well. It would be nice to have the touchscreen element work a bit better, but for keeping your hands warm and dry in showers, if not heavy rain, they don't disappoint.
After a mild start to the winter, temperatures are now starting to drop and that means a decent pair of full-finger gloves are a must. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, so what is it that makes these Avalanche ones worth the investment?
First and foremost, the primary function of any full-finger winter glove is to keep your hands warm. To help with this, the Avalanche gloves have a micro-fleece lining and a fully windproof upper. This combination creates a good barrier against the cold – I used them in freezing conditions without my hands feeling cold at all. I didn't feel any wind getting through the material and this, added to the warm fleece inside, meant my hands stayed very warm throughout my rides – and without ever feeling uncomfortably sweaty.
Although not totally waterproof, the Avalanches have a decent level of protection against rain – Madison describes them 'shower proof'. They kept my hands dry in moderate rain, and it was only really in driving rain that I noticed anything getting through, and even then it was only after about 20 minutes or so.
Helping to keep the elements out are the adjustable Velcro cuffs, which create a nice seal around your wrists. They also have a nice big 'wiping' area, which is useful for mopping your brow (okay, wiping your nose), and – as I found particularly useful in the recent conditions – wiping water off your glasses. There are also high-vis elements on the back of the gloves: one high-vis stripe and several small dots, which is always good to have, especially at this time of year.
The palms are made of a soft, almost suede material which gives you a decent feel on the bar and shifters. To help with comfort, they have what Madison calls a 'comfort gel padded palm'; they certainly aren't unpadded, and I don't doubt Madison's word, but it feels like simply doubled-up material.
On the fingers there is silicone gripper on the first two fingers and thumb, which helps you to maintain purchase on the hoods. They work well, and even when I was using them in wet conditions, I still managed to maintain a decent amount of grip. Alongside these Madison has sewn in silver thread in the forefinger and thumb, which should allow use of touchscreens. In reality I found that the forefinger worked well but the thumb didn't. It meant that when trying to zoom in or out of maps on my phone (when lost in the middle of the Cotswolds over Christmas) I needed to remove the gloves.
The Madison Avalanche gloves performed well throughout the review, offering a good level of thermal and wind protection while also providing an adequate level of waterproofing. It would be nice to have the silver thread working on the thumb a bit better, but aside from that there isn't much to not like about these gloves. For their rrp of £29.99, I reckon they're pretty good value.
A good pair of gloves that will keep your hands warm and dry, even on the coldest days
road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Avalanche Men's Gloves
Size tested: Medium, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Madison says: "A wind and shower proof winter glove designed for cold weather riding that allows operation of your touch screen phone or computer"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windproof and breathable with micro-fleece lining keeps your hands safe from the elements
Multi layer construction keep your hands warm but still offer positive feel around your fingertips
TPR cuff adjuster allows you to dial in the perfect fit
Reflective print and detailing for enhanced visibility
Comfort gel padded palm keep you comfortable for longer
Silicone grippers on the index and middle fingertips for better grip on brake and shift levers
Silver thread on the tips of the thumb and index fingers allow for use of touch screen devices without the removal of your gloves
Tailored palm and fingers for the perfect fit
Super soft large soft sweat wipe
Well made, strong stitching and decent material choice.
Kept out the wind and most of the rain.
Good material choice and strong stitching mean they will probably last for a long time.
Fit like a...
Medium fitted me like most other medium gloves do.
Good insulation without being too bulky, which is always nice.
Micro-fleece inner and Velcro cuff mean they are very comfortable, even on longer rides.
The £30 mark seems about right.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well without shrinkage of either inner or outer.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, kept my hands warm and dry, just a shame that the thread in the thumb didn't work too well on my smartphone.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warm fleecy inner is always nice in a glove.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Thumb didn't work too well on touchscreens, which is a minor gripe.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They do everything they need to do, the only thing that loses them marks is the touchscreen element on the thumb.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.