Louis Garneau's Lathi gloves are an extreme design for the worst that winter can hurl at us, the despite their slightly cumbersome appearance are surprising dextrous and, thanks to their two part design, give excellent climate control whatever direction the mercury is hurtling.
In many regards these are idea for commuting/training and mountain biking, stealth black means easy transition to other outdoor activities, albeit compromising nocturnal presence on the open road. However, while moisture trafficking and breathability are markedly better than traditional laminated gloves, it's worth remembering though that while they will easily fend off the worst a British downpour will throw at them, if you do inavertently end up sticking your hand in a muddy puddle, as I did while testing, you will end up with a wet hand - it'll still be warm though.
Laminated backs and extended gauntlet cuffs give the Lathi a distinctly 'batten down the hatches' flavour, continuing internally with beefy 40g Thinsulate layers and separate, removable Lycra glove liners whose palms proliferate with rubberised silicone detailing. Bonding seamlessly with the parent fabrics, this also allows them to be used on their own between the seasons-most obviously near spring or at summer's swansong. Flipping the outer carcass over reveals a distinctly familiar, albeit more densely padded version of the Louis Garneau Wind Eco palm - review on that one coming soon. Common to their less condition specific siblings we have a textured 'fish grip' Amara sections and a larger strip of pronounced mesh running across in a Y formation. Working harmoniously with the other fabrics, this scoops cooling airflow inside, while allowing moisture an easy escape route.
When wearing them I was acutely aware of their greater bulk but this had limited effect upon modulation and feel when braking, or clicking along the cassette. Medium size proved ideal for me and the loose gauntlets make for swift exit and entry; drawing them closed over a jacket or jersey cuffs prevents rain and wind billowing inside regardless how aggressive or relaxed your bike's cockpit. Numbness or tingling brought on by the cols were noticeable by their absence too, whether on some sustained and rather spirited green laning and four hours into a road ride. Clipping along at a steady 17 mph, the outers stop icy crosswinds in their tracks, while the mesh sections breath easily. Sure there's a slight lag noticeable during milder weather but its not long before the fibres do their thing.
Adding water to the equation meets with mixed results. Predictably even when the rain's horizontal, it simply beads harmlessly from the backs while the palms retain their limpet like grip, inspiring confidence when bombing on the big ring. However, extending an arm to prevent a face-plant along some bridle path saw the palms submerged in a somewhat smelly puddle. This in turn resulted in a soggy but mercifully warm glove that took around 40 minutes to dry thoroughly.
Versatile extreme weather glove that thanks to their two part design can be worn at other times of the year too - could do with more reflectives detailing though
road.cc test report
Make and model: Louis Garneau Lathi Gloves
Size tested: Black/Red - M
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?
"For skiiers and snowshoers, the Lathi glove has an extended cuff that is adjustable. Fish grip ventilated palm for comfort and performance. Drytex 3M lining with thermo-laminated Lycra glove with fleece is sure to keep you warm and dry for temperatures as low as -31° degrees farenheit (-35 °C". No quibble here, they work well for cyclists too
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* WindDry upper hand
* Microfiber thumb
* Drytex 3M lining, including a thermo-laminated Lycra glove with fleece
* Fish Grip zone on palm
* Ergo Air concept
* 3M reflective logo
* Hand wash
* Temperature: -20°C/-4°F
Good given the levels of technology employed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A real wolf in sheeps' clothing, the Lathi offer remarkable dexterity, comfort and control for such a heavyweight winter glove. However, minimal reflective detailing is a double-edged sword and they're not waterproof in the submersible sense.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warmth, comfort and excellent dexterity.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of reflective detailing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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, mtb,
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)