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Back in 2014 John gave the Mk I of Altura's Thermostretch Gloves four stars, saying "they'll really come into their own on wet spring rides". Two years on and £5 more expensive, the updated Mk II is still a good choice, but I found the cuffs loose, a bit of a let-down for a glove designed for wet, cold weather.
Altura claims the gloves have 'high levels of breathability', but being made of wetsuit material it wasn't particularly noticeable. Not that it really mattered because my test rides were mostly 0-5°C, either raining, very windy, or both.
They come in two flavours – black with fluoro trim or the opposite. Both have a black sticky-dotted palm and finger-insides, which aided grip without feeling like you were a tree frog. On the black you get a reasonable amount of green 'Altura' and stripe running down the index finger for indicating and brand awareness purposes.
Size-wise – apart from the cuffs – they are about right, perhaps a smidge on the small side, my hand measuring 22cm around the knuckles, with a large fitting about right when clenched on the bar or hoods. In the 2014 review photo of the Mk I the cuff looks a snug fit around the wrist, but the Mk II definitely isn't. I could slide two fingers under it without stretching the fabric at all. (The pair John reviewed were mediums.) On the bike I felt a more-than-niggling need to make sure baselayer and jacket cuffs were pulled down to ensure a draught-free experience.
Despite this, out in weather the gloves worked well to keep my Raynaud-Syndrome-prone fingers warm. For days of 5-10°C the glove by itself was enough, once it got below 5 I used thin lambswool liners to beef things up.
My nadir of winter testing came in the 2016 Christmas storm, trying to top a Yorkshire moor heading into 80kph winds of 4°C. A critical part of keeping your fingers warm is keeping the blood flowing to them warm. In this case I was testing the rather excellent Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket (full review to come – that was just a hint!) over a simple merino baselayer, and everything was hunky-dory fingers-wise, a genuine surprise with hands out front in those sort of conditions.
If weather is less extreme, or you run warmer than I do, the Thermostretch IIs will probably work for you without a liner glove, but it's good to know there's enough room and give to allow their use.
Fundamentally, the Thermostetch IIs work well – I just wish the cuffs were a bit snugger.
Warm gloves for awful weather, despite the cuffs being a bit loose
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Thermostretch II Neoprene Glove
Size tested: Large
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?
They are for keeping your hands warm in cold, wet weather.
Altura says: "High stretch insulating neoprene glove offering an adaptive close fit for performance cyclists seeking warmth on fast rides."
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
* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility
The cuffs were too loose on me.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The fact that my hands stayed warm says it all.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Not having white fingers at the end of rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cuff fit; it was too loose on me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, because of the cuff.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with the cuff caveat.
Use this box to explain your score
They're warm, for sure – no complaints there – but I'd give them a higher mark if the cuffs were snugger.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.