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Gloves are an essential bit of cycling kit at any time, but when it's cold and dark outside they're even more… essential. That's when you need something like the Altura Night Vision to keep your hands warm, dry and, as the name suggests, visible. This is a well designed, well put together glove that brings together all the features a winter cyclist is going to need. The price is pretty good too.
If you are an all year-round commuter, these are well worth checking out, especially if yours is the sort of long-haul commute that brings you out beyond the street lights. Equally this is a good glove for winter training rides or weekend rides particularly if you are going to brave the full range of what Winter can throw at you - plus the dark.
The Night Visions boast two thick reflective strips across the knuckles plus further reflectives on the ginger tips and a a reflective log on the cuffs – for extra side-on visibility, or depending on your riding style, so you can be spotted from the air… well you might be stuck out on the moor or something. Anyway, you can't have too much reflective trim in our book and this stuff really does shine out - it's very similar to the reflective on the Endura Luminite jacket we tested recently.
Their visibility might be what gives the Night Visions their name but it is only one part of their armoury. The gloves are both waterproof and seem to be pretty windproof too, certainly they have coped with the regular dousings that the West Country weather does on a semi-permanent basis at this time of year.
The Thinsulate material is also very warm, and breathable too. It's no joke when your hands are too frozen to change gear or even brake properly. My fingers are very susceptible to the cold and even a short ride in icy weather finds has found out most of the gloves I've tested over the years, not these though I've had no frozen digits so far. The glove's double layers do a really good job at trapping a layer of warm air around your hand. The Night Visions look rather bulky, but actually they're not – in fact they are a surprisingly light pair of gloves.
So what else is good? Well there's a good thick gel pad to protect your ulnar nerve and further and decent amount of synthetic leather around the palm for extra grip and durability the thumb is reinforced too with some extra grip - the outer part of the thumb is made from a softer material so you've got somewhere to wipe your nose and the cuff is nice and high to keep your writs warm. The cuff gathers is gathered at the base of your wrist and it can be further cinched in using a Velcro closure. The tab on the cuff is a nice touch for helping you get them on and off.
Oh, and if you should ever find yourself financially embarrassed the inner layer is 4 per cent silver.
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Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.