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Verdict: 
Promising cold weather gloves that are fine for shorter commutes, let down by a poor palm
Weight: 
140g
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Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves
5 10

Aldi's Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves are a claw type design promising to keep hands temperate and dry no matter what winter hurls at us. They're fine for shorter rides both in terms of comfort and weatherproofing, but ultimately I found them a little disappointing.

On the plus side, your £7.99 buys a simple polyester/elastane softshell glove with a thin pile 'Thinsulate' fleece liner. The outer black shell has a ribbed, wind-cheating texture with well-thought-out Scotchlite on the fingers, which accentuate hand signals.

> Available in-store only – find your nearest Aldi here

Between thumb and forefinger we have a sensibly proportioned Terry 'nose wipe' and the long gauntlet style cuff with Velcro closure achieves a seamless interface between jerseys and jackets, forming a good seal.

Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves - back.jpg

Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves - back.jpg

Sizing is a little peculiar. Large is my default, so in some respects I wasn't surprised to find our XL samples a little roomier in the fingertips, but in other respects it was bang on.

Despite this, I was still able to deal with tyre removals and similar roadside tune-ups, locking in the street, or just grabbing a bottle without requiring removal.

Weatherproofing

With the mercury hovering between 10 and 3 degrees, my hands felt perfectly snug and temperate. Cold arctic winds nagging at the outer fibres never gave rise to chill, or sogginess at the other extreme. Persistent showery rain also had little effect, and formative impressions were generally favourable. I've ridden 40 minutes or so in some persistent rain and though the outer shell turned soggy, the inner remained dry to touch. The sensible cuff design hasn't permitted any to be blown inside either.

To give them the full test, though, plunging my right hand into some icy cold canal water confirmed that they're not waterproof in the submersible sense. Okay, that might be expecting a bit much, but I have worn gloves that have resisted my plunge test, and to describe these as waterproof is a little misleading. Water resistant, I'd say.

Padding and control

Grippy silicone stripes aside, the palms aren't padded but decorated with faux leather patches at key points, which has implications for comfort and control over longer distances.

Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves - palm.jpg

Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves - palm.jpg

Comfort and control were initially good when doing some shorter, spirited 10-mile blasts on my fixers. One has a glossy leather wrap, the other a sticky silicone. Past the hour mark, though, and with heavier rainfall, greater effort was required to retain a decent grip, which is tiring – especially when long, fast descending's involved.

The low-density padding also gave rise to tingling, numbness and similar discomfort much past the hour mark. Even so, my hands remained perfectly dry.

In my experience, the closer to mittens you get, the more cumbersome gear shifting becomes, especially with STI levers. While sizing might have a part to play, these followed that tradition. Shifting down the block required a more considered approach to avoid the glove's podgy second finger catching annoyingly between shifter paddle and brake lever.

> Read our guide to the best winter cycling gloves

Summing up, for the money, these do have something to offer cash conscious riders wanting a warm, cheap pair of gloves for shorter commutes. Upgrading the palms and charging a few quid more would vastly improve their appeal, though.

Verdict

Promising cold weather gloves that are fine for shorter commutes, let down by a poor palm

road.cc test report

Make and model: Aldi Waterproof Lobster Cycling Gloves

Size tested: XL

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?

Aldi says: "Breathable, waterproof and windproof membrane gloves with 3M Thinsulate™ protection."

I would describe them as adequate gloves for short, cold weather commutes.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Polyester/elastane mix with 3m thinsulate lining

Features:

All-weather protection

Reflective print

Silicone print

Terry cloth

Insert on palm

Touch-and-close fastener

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10

At this price, expecting a garment to sing with quality is unrealistic. Lining isn't tethered to the fingers either, so comes out in a wet soggy clump following machine washes.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

Not bad in terms of dexterity and warmth, but with their lack of padding and suitable palm I found them uncomfortable for longer rides.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

XL proved just that bit too long in the fingers for me. I'd normally go for an L, but these did fit elsewhere so a little odd.

Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
5/10

Just about reasonable for cold days and shorter rides but for me the palms need thicker padding – and better grip.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Fine at 30 degree cycles, though insulated fabric takes a while to dry, and because the liner isn't tethered at the fingers it tends to come out in a soggy clump.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

On the plus side, cold weather, short distance comfort is good. However, relatively thin padding density and poor palms spell discomfort for longer rides. Similarly, though water resistant in the showerproof sense, I wouldn't call them waterproof.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Warm and relatively good fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The palms, and I wouldn't describe them as waterproof.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not particularly.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they wanted a warm, cheap glove for short, cold weather commutes.

Use this box to explain your score

They're cheap, but for me the palms have insufficient padding and lack grip, plus they don't live up to the waterproof tag.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

14 comments

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kevinmorice [142 posts] 7 months ago
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If you got 40 minutes of dry fingers they hugely outlasted mine. The waterproof claim is just nonsense. They might as well be made of sponge. They don't seal well at the wrists so your best bet is to put them on before your jacket, and then hope that you can fumble with the zip and your keys. 

 

Having said that they are decent for warmth on dry days and the price makes them ok for what you get. 

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mylesrants [373 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

hard to beat for £8

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bendertherobot [1414 posts] 7 months ago
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They are. I agree on the wrist comment, it's too big so I tuck mine inside. I don't struggle with the palm issue at all. They're certainly not waterproof but then so very few gloves are. As £7 winter gloves they are very very hard to beat.

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dafyddp [428 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Aldi's general winter gloves for about a fiver are fabulous value - not waterproof, but sufficiently wind resistent to last through the fiercest days out. These lobster gloves are pretty rubbish though - I bought a pair last year and found them uncomfortable (in a sort of 'clumpy' way). There again, at £8 they're cheap enough to try out once, and if you don't like them you can put them in a drawer until, inevitably, a crustacean-themed party invite lands on the door mat and you've got nothing to wear.

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Duncann [981 posts] 7 months ago
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dafyddp wrote:

if you don't like them you can put them in a drawer until, inevitably, a crustacean-themed party invite lands on the door mat and you've got nothing to wear.

... and you go wearing just a pair of lobster gloves...?kiss

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bendertherobot [1414 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

If you dye them you can go as my good friend Dr Zoidberg

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Yorkshire wallet [1075 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

I had a pair of the aldi winter gloves last year and whilst they were admittedly quite warm for the price, they did fall to pieces after a few months. They seemed to be literally made of what I can only describe as plastic bags. No fancy materials just a plastic bag type layer or two as linings.

I can't seem to win with winter gloves, the ones I've got that are really warm give me had cramps and the ones that fit nicely aren't warm enough once winter really starts.

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barbarus [433 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I've also got the standard Aldi winter gloves. They are warm and have lasted well, and I've got Reynaud's. They are more bulky than more expensive gloves but given my track record of loosing gloves I'm sticking with budget offerings. I'd be tempted to try these at £8

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Jogle [5 posts] 7 months ago
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barbarus wrote:

I've also got the standard Aldi winter gloves. They are warm and have lasted well, and I've got Reynaud's. They are more bulky than more expensive gloves but given my track record of loosing gloves I'm sticking with budget offerings. I'd be tempted to try these at £8

I also have Reynaud's and someone suggested trying lobster gloves but I wasn't convinced about having fingers stuck together, so these at £8 seemed a good way to try lobster gloves. I'm still not convinced by lobster gloves but that's for another day.

I wore them on Tuesday and at the end my hands were really wet, not that it was raining but because they don't appear to be breathable.

On Tuesday it wasn't particularly cold but I'm worried that with them getting that damp, they will get very cold.

Also, after taking one off, I had problems getting it back on because the lining had come out with my hand due to being damp and my hand didn't slide on the lining as it was damp.

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barbarus [433 posts] 7 months ago
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Cheers jogle that's good to know. Moisture and cold is a bad mix for me. Perhaps I'll give these a miss

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fenix [608 posts] 7 months ago
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i'm very happy with last years normal aldi winter gloves. Warm and mine have lasted. And a great bit reflective bit on too which big brands tend to forget. 

 

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Tjuice [236 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Hmm. Quite a lot of negative comments for these gloves.
I have a more favourable review!

I bought a pair of these last year, which I used throughout the winter. My hands (and most of the rest of me) tend to get pretty cold, so I wear gloves outside (on and off the bike) pretty much from end October until it really starts warming up in the spring.

On dry winter days, I find these really effective in keeping my hands warm, happily managing fairly long rides (up to 2.5 hours). I wore them this weekend (~5-7 degrees C) and my hands overheated!

I do not recall having tried them on really wet days - somehow last winter's training seemed to avoid terrible downpours, so cannot comment on how they perform in really poor weather - although I can't quite believe I missed the rain altogether...

I do find shifting a bit clumsy with Ultegra (~2009 era) shifters, but with the SRAM Rival shifters on my winter bike, they are no problem at all (I've struggled with those shifters with other warm gloves in the past).

As for how well they last, mine still look nearly new going into their second winter season. I like that they are washable (I can't stand stinky gloves and the resultant stinky hands), so I wash them fairly regularly on a delicate wash.

For £8, if you have an experience like mine, I think they're a bit of a bargain.

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gazza_d [469 posts] 7 months ago
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I bought a pair of these a year or two ago, but have barely worn them as I find them too warm unless it's stupidly cold. My hands end up soaked in sweat otherwise. Mine are the ones that were partly white, which is a stupid colour for a winter glove as I'm not a washing powder advert

I normally wear the Aldi 5 finger winter gloves, of which the last pair lasted me two winters until holes started wearing into the gloves. They seem pretty effective for the price and are water resistant enough to get me through a couple of hours

 

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bendertherobot [1414 posts] 6 months ago
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Wore these at minus 5 today. Probably at the limit of their effectiveness but nothing was frozen. They could do with more padding overall. But for my hour commutes which are likely to be the coldest I go out in, absolutely spot on.