Northwave's Arctic Evo winter gloves do a great job of blocking the wind and rain to keep your hands really warm in the coldest weather.
The Arctics are multi-layered with a soft, fleecy lining offering loads of warmth. Around the outside of that there's a polyurethane membrane that provides the waterproofing. Then the bulk of the insulation comes courtesy of 100g Thinsulate over the back section and the cuff while the outer is a hard-wearing synthetic fabric.
These are immediately warm and comfortable. I've worn them in temperatures down to about 3°C and my hands have felt fine. Most people will be fine in temperatures a bit colder than this. Plus, the seams are on the outside of the liner rather than pressed up against your fingers so there's no irritation there.
The lowers are synthetic leather with silicon printing on both the palms and the fingers that gives you a decent amount of grip. My hands certainly didn't slip on wet bar tape or levers. There's no Thinsulate underneath the palms but that area is less exposed so you don't miss it. You don't get a wipe on the back of the thumb either, so you'll have to use your sleeve for a change.
The section between the thumb and forefinger is reinforced with the same synthetic leather fabric so there's no danger of wearing through there, and a small amount of reflective print on the back of the fingers helps you get seen at night.
I've done some soaking rides in these and they've kept the water out well. The fleece liner extends a little further up your wrist than the outer so you need to keep that covered up by your jacket sleeves in wet weather or it will soak up the rain and transport it inwards... but that's common sense. Water can eventually work its way in but only very slowly. I didn't notice any dampness inside until over an hour of wet weather riding.
The other thing to bear in mind is that sweat from your hands can eventually make the inners damp on long rides, even if it's not raining. I've never found a pair of gloves where this doesn't happen sooner or later – although it's dependent on the temperature and how hard you're riding, of course. Again, this didn't happen on hour-long rides, but when I was out on a big weekend jaunts things could get a bit moist in there after a couple of hours or so.
My only real criticism is that when the liners do get a bit sweaty and you then have to take the gloves off to fix a puncture, buy a Snickers or whatever, it's difficult to get them back on. It's not impossible, but it's hard work. Again, that's common to many gloves of this kind.
Warm, well-made, weatherproof gloves for winter rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Northwave Arctic Evo 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?
They're winter riding gloves and they do a great job. They don't keep out water 100% but they're highly water resistant
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
3M say that 100g Thinsulate is, "Recommended for light activity levels where wearer generates/builds little body heat through activity –
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 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.