When it comes to winter riding, as long as my fingers are toasty then I'm a happy camper. On a dry day, the Altura Nevis Waterproof Gloves deliver that, even when setting off while the cars are covered in a layer of frost. In the wet, though, it's a different matter, with rain getting through the seams disappointingly quickly.
On the plus side, the upper material works as a wind blocker so you don't feel the chill, and the palm fabric is looped around over the top of the fingertips to make sure any part of your hand facing the windchill is protected. A close-fitting cuff that continues to create the lining also stops any draughts.
The thumb is articulated in the middle, which means things never feel restricted when you are holding the hoods or drops. In fact, the all-round sizing and fit of the Nevis gloves is pretty spot on.
The downside to all this warmth is that the gloves aren't all that breathable. It's not a major issue while riding as you don't really notice it when the gloves are on, but if you need to stop and take them off mid-ride, when you pull your sweaty hands out the liner comes out with them.
Picture the scene: I'd stopped mid-ride to take a photo, #mycyclingweekend and all that, taken the gloves off, snapped away, tapped 'no filter' and then it was time to get going.
The fingers of the liner had turned inside out as they were stuck to my fingers, and putting the glove back on, they just wouldn't return to normal. It was six degrees with a cold northerly breeze and my hands were chilling quickly, to the point that I actually started searching through my rucksack for a knife to cut the liner out.
Fifteen minutes later, sans knife, and I had my hands back in the gloves but they weren't right. I couldn't get the liner to sit comfortably and everything felt rather restrictive – the only way I can think of describing it is like wearing a pair of shoes that are too small and that feeling of your toes all scrunched up. That feeling stayed with me for the rest of the ride.
Of course, not everyone stops to take pictures mid-ride, but there are going to be times you'll need to stop and remove your gloves even if you wouldn't normally 'choose' to.
Next, waterproofing. Given that they're marketed as waterproof gloves, the Alturas are found wanting. It's not the fabric – the polyurethane uppers are properly waterproof with water beading off them – the issue is the seam between the upper and the palm which leaked like a sieve. When you're riding on the hoods, this seam is totally exposed to the elements so your hands are soaked within a matter of miles.
It's a real shame because at first glance the Alturas look good, the build quality is high, they fit well, and are warm when it's dry. If they could deliver on the waterproofing and sort those liner issues they'd be hard to knock.
Warm gloves but an irritating liner and poor waterproofing mean they don't live up to their promise
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nevis Waterproof Glove
Size tested: Medium
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?
Altura says, "A versatile warm waterproof winter glove for use on or off the bike."
I'd say use off the bike is the better option because for riding there are issues with the liner and waterproofing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water, whilst still offering high levels of breathability
* ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
* Winter Cuff construction offers enhanced insulation and warmth through an engineered cuff extension
The stitching is neat and tidy, with the overall finish quality looking like that of much more expensive gloves.
The liner is irritating and the seams between the upper and palm materials on my review pair leaked, so they didn't live up to their promised waterproof ability.
Waterproofing and liner aside, they are well made and should stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
At first they were fine, but the liner issues after removing them led to them feeling akin to wearing a pair of shoes too small for your feet.
Little in the way of padding, which isn't a massive issue on the road, but that liner...
They don't deliver on the promised waterproofing and the issues with the liner mean I wouldn't choose to wear them whatever the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A 30 degree wash maximum and they cleaned up fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They don't hit the mark in terms of waterproofing and if you're stuck on the side of the road in sub-zero temperatures trying to get that liner sorted it could ruin your entire ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
The Alturas are really well made and for dry weather riding there's little to criticise, but being labelled as waterproof gloves they fall at the first hurdle with the speed they let rain in through the seams. Taking the issues with the liner into account, these aren't gloves I'll ever wear again.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.