The Chiba Dry Star Plus Gloves are waterproof (and therefore also windproof) and breathable thanks to the use of all sorts of clever materials.
Those materials are combined into a glove that fits and works well. You get biogel padding sparingly applied on the palm. Sparingly is good by the way – there's enough of it to do the job, but not so much so the glove gets bulky.
There's silicone grip on the insides of the fingers as well as on the outside tips of the main four. Those fingers are pre-curved, again reducing the feel of bulk in use. On the thumbs, there is a generous amount of terry fabric, all ready for you wipe your snot on. Neoprene is used on the cuff to keep the wrists nice and cosy. Chiba have also applied an extra layer of insulation to the top of the gloves to help keep your hands warm. There's a puller tab on the inside of the wrist to help get the gloves on.
Having used a fair few so-called waterproof garments, I've learned to expect waterproofness for a while. Gloves, socks, even jackets all become saturated, water starts leaching in and you get dampness. And so it is with these too. An hour's ride in persistent rain will see your hands starting to get damp. As you keep riding, that damp turns to wet and inevitably warm hands turn cold.
This is all very personal of course, depending on how well your hands cope with cold, and down to the circumstances, like temperature and wind-chill. The only way I've found to keep my hands warm really wet, really cold, long rides is to take multiple pairs of gloves.
That doesn't make these gloves bad, though. They cost a significant amount less than comparable waterproof winter gloves from other brands and they perform as well, if not slightly better.
When the temperature starts going down to low single digits, a bit of compromise on fit is unavoidable. Do you go for more bulk, and leave more room for warm air to get trapped, but compromise on feel through the gloves? Or do you go for a less bulky, slightly tighter fit which is slightly less warm, but works much better for braking and changing gear?
For me, it depends how cold it is. The closer to zero, the more willing I am to give up on feel, because I know I can't keep my hands warm in tighter fitting gloves. At least, not the ones I've tried. Depending on wind-chill, from a few degrees above zero I'll go for tighter, better feel, but slightly less warmth. These Chibas have that tighter fit, with excellent grip and lever feel, and for me that means they're good to a few degrees above zero.
I tested a medium, which is the same size I'd go for in Endura, Sealskinz, Gore and Pearl Izumi. Out of all of these, these fit me the best, though obviously this is highly personal and you'll need to try before you buy. Or at least make sure you can send back if they don't fit.
Great affordable, waterproof (for a while) and windproof winter gloves
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Make and model: Chiba Drystar Plus Waterproof Gloves
Size tested: Medium 8 - 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?
Windproof, waterproof & breathable
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Terrythumb to wipe off sweat
- Reinforced thumb
- Neoprene pulsewarmer
- BioGel padding
- Silicone Grip
- precurved fingers
- extra warm tophand by an additional insulation layer
- washable at 30°C
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Given my expectations of waterproof gear, these are a decent pair of gloves that kept my hands warm down to a couple of degrees above zero. They are not too bulky, and very grippy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The grip and lack of bulk for the warmth. They are good value for money, too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to dislike.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Chiba Drystar Plus waterproof gloves should be on your shortlist if you're looking for decent affordable winter gloves.
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD10
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,