These gloves will keep your hands warm in the really, really cold weather and they’re fully waterproof too.
You actually get two sets of gloves in one here: a micro-fleece inner and a big waterproof outer. You can wear the inners on their own during autumn and spring. They’re soft and fleecy and provide a reasonable amount of warmth although they’re not 100% windproof so you notice your hands getting cooler on fast descents. Silicone rubber palm and fingertip print provides grip on the bars and controls but there’s no padding, so if you want some you’ll need to wear mitts underneath.
It’s the outers that really impress though – they’re excellent. For a start, they’re among the few cycling gloves we’ve ever used that are properly waterproof rather than just a bit waterproof. We’ve been caught out in full-on storms in these and nothing has got inside. Plus, the Hipora inserts are really breathable. As a demonstration of how well they work, you can fill the gloves with hot water and none will leak out, but steam will permeate through the pores in the fabric. Take our word for it – it works. Out on the road this translates into hands that feel less clammy than usual when you work up a sweat. Sure, if you get really hot hands things will get damp in there, but the performance is very good.
The polyurethane palm is really grippy, there’s a big old wipe panel on the back of the thumb, and drawcords on the extended cuffs allow you to seal out the wet and cold. A fair amount of reflective trim helps get you seen at night while a fleecy lining allows you to wear the outers without the inners on days that are wet but mild.
Wear the outers and the inners together and you get loads of insulation and no wind gets through the shell layer to rob you of the heat you build up in there. They’re not ridiculously bulky either. They’re big, but they’re not like oven gloves. You can still feel the levers easily enough. We’ve worn these on rides down to freezing point and beyond and stayed comfortable enough – they really do live up to their name, and the price is reasonable for the level of performance too.
Warm, waterproof and versatile – among our favourite gloves for full-on winter riding
road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Sub Zero gloves
Size tested: Black, large
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes - among our favourites
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, definitely
About the tester
Age: 39 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.