The Sugoi RS Rain Gloves are for cycling in cold wet weather. They keep out most of the rain, and keep your hands and fingers warm even when wet, although a design oddity means chilly wrists.
Made primarily from neoprene, a material used for the wetsuits favoured by surfers and other watersports enthusiasts, these Sugoi RS Rain Gloves are windproof and showerproof. They are not totally waterproof, but they're not designed to be: even when heavy rain gets inside the gloves and your hands are wet, the neoprene means they don't get too cold – in the same way a surfer in a wetsuit stays warm in the sea.
The neoprene also means these gloves are not breathable, which means they can feel clammy inside if you wear them in dry conditions or when the weather is just a bit nippy rather than near freezing. But that's not a complaint; the RS Rain Gloves are designed for cold and wet weather (the clue's in the name), so it's fair enough that they're not suitable for balmy temperatures.
As well as the neoprene, other features of these gloves include grippy patches across the palm and inner fingers to ensure a firm hold on the handlebars, and reflective strips across the outer ends of fingers. These wouldn't be easily picked up in car headlights if you were riding on the tops – across the knuckles might be a better place – but they would be visible to a driver behind if you stuck out your hand to indicate making a turn while riding at night.
There's also a little patch of material on the tip of the thumb that allows you to use a touch-sensitive phone or GPS screen without removing your gloves.
The cuff of the glove covers your wrists, but is not close-fitting. In fact, it's flared outwards, gauntlet-style. There is a Velcro fastening tab, but it's too high to be useful (it's at the base of the palm, rather than across the bit where you'd take your pulse) so the flared cuff can't be closed tight. Cold air gets to the gap of skin between the cuff of the glove and the cuff of your jersey or jacket.
Maybe this flared cuff on the glove is deliberately designed to go over the cuff of your jersey, to ensure a windproof meeting of fabrics, and it will be less of an issue if you have very long-sleeved jerseys (or short arms), but with the Velcro tab in this high position, you still can't tighten the cuff of the glove to keep out the breeze – a design oddity which some cyclists may find enough to deter them from buying.
At £45, the recommended retail price is steep compared to waterproof gloves from other manufacturers, such as those from Seal Skinz and Altura which go for about £30, although you can find the Sugoi RS Rain Gloves for nearer £25 at some online stores, which make them more affordable.
Neprene gloves giving good wet-weather protection for your hands, but a design oddity means chilly wrists.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi RS Rain Glove
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?
The Sugoi RS Rain Gloves are designed for cycling in cold wet weather. The Sugoi website highlights these key features: 'Pre-curved for ergonomic fit and comfortable handlebar interface; Neoprene construction throughout for insulating protection from wind and rain; Touch screen compatible thumb tip; Reflective accents for low light and night time visibility'
Construction seems very good. Turning the gloves inside out revealed tidy seams and neat stitching. However the postioning of the Velcro fastener around the wrist makes it ineffective.
These gloves defintely keep your palms and fingers warm in cold wet conditions, but the flared cuffs mean cold wrists, which means overall performance is not as good as it could be.
At 106g the pair, these are relatively light and compact gloves for the level of weather protection provided.
Comfort is very good. The neprene provides a bit of vibration damping as well as weather protection. As with all gloves, it's important to get the right size. Too small means squeezed finger tips, which get cold more quickly. Gloves that are too big also mean cold hands, especially on these neoprene gloves as they're designed to be close fitting - just like a wetsuit.
At a recommended retail of £45, these gloves can't be called good value compared to similar products from other manufacturers which retail for around £30. However, you can find them discounted to nearer £25, which makes it more on par, but still not a bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The gloves performed very well in that they kept my fingers and hands warm even when they were wet, thanks to the neoprene fabric and wetsuit principle. However this performance was marred by the flared cuff, which meant cold wrists during my test rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Wetsuit principle. Close fit. Thumb tab for touch-screens.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Reflective strips may not be useful. Flared cuff and badly positioned Velcro fastener means chilly wrists.
Did you enjoy using the product? No. The baggy cuff around the wrists spoilt it for me.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend they try these gloves, as they might not find the baggy wrists an issue.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
In principle, this should be an excellent product. Neoprene is an effective material for gloves designed for cycling in cold wet conditions. However, this particular model has some design features that let it down, and the price isn't a bargain either, which all together means an overall score of 6.
About the tester
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding - aka rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)