Altura says its new Thunderstorm Gloves offer waterproofing, windproofing and thermal properties, and they really are very good, keeping the elements at bay without being overly bulky.
- Pros: Warm while remaining breathable, reflective pattern makes signalling in the dark clear
- Cons: Water will eventually get through
The Thunderstorms have a three-layer construction, using Altura's Thermo and Shield fabrics to work at keeping you dry and warm while out riding in the vile winter weather.
When it comes to windstopping they work very well indeed, with a few rides carried out in near-freezing conditions finding no issues with cold fingers even on high speed descents.
Compared with the similar Bontrager Velocis (review to come) they are surprisingly breathable too. Yes, as with any waterproof piece of clothing, if you work too hard or the temperature rises you can get a bit clammy, but the Alturas do a good job of controlling it.
Altura doesn't actually state what the waterproof rating is for the gloves, but in the real world they kept consistent light rain and heavy downpours at bay. Prolonged heavy rain would see it start to seep through after about an hour or so, but I never really noticed it until I stopped riding as my hands remained warm no matter how wet they were.
Considering their layered construction, the Thunderstorms don't feel bulky at all so you don't lose any dexterity around the fingers. Changing gear wasn't an issue, or braking, and I could easily use the touchscreen on my GPS without faff.
There isn't any padding on the palm but I never really missed it and the fabric is thick enough to deal with road buzz through the handlebar. There aren't any grip dots either, so if you have shiny handlebar tape there is a small tendency for your hands to slip.
It's good to see a long cuff that'll sit nicely under a waterproof jacket sleeve to stop water or cold draughts getting in. You can tweak the fit, too, using the Velcro strap.
I am also a fan of the reflective detailing on the back of the hands. It may not guarantee that the driver behind will definitely see your hand signal before you turn, but every little helps.
Overall quality is very good and easily justifies the £49.99 price tag. Durability is looking good so far, too – they've taken the odd knock and scuff from small spills I've had on the gravel bike.
When it comes to value, they are up against some tough opposition. Mavic's Essential Thermo gloves are pretty similar and come in at a decent budget of £39, although they offer water resistance rather than 'waterproofing'.
Madison's Avalanche gloves perform most winter duties pretty well, too, and they can be had for £32.99.
You can pay more: GripGrab offers its Ride Waterproof Winter gloves at £55.95, which can get a bit clammy in all but the coldest weather. And you can pay a lot more: Pearl Izumi, Mavic and Giro offerings are all higher priced, as you can see in our latest range of gloves tested.
Overall, I really like the Alturas. They are comfortable to wear and do a decent job of keeping out the elements. They're not the cheapest, but they're very good.
Great at keeping out the elements while maintaining breathability and dexterity
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Thunderstorm gloves
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "New for Autumn Winter 2018 is our Thunderstorm glove. It uses a three-layer fabric construction to provide the rider with thermal, waterproof and windproof properties, helping to keep the riders hands warm and dry during the colder months. A reflective back of hand print helps with visibility and a textured palm helping to maintain grip. The Thunderstorm glove is touch screen compatible with thumb and index finger pads. Elasticated cuffs with large hook and loop closure tabs ensure a snug comfortable fit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fully wind and waterproof
Reflective print detailing
Keeps your hands dry and protected from the elements
Added safety and visibility from the reflective print
Keeps your hands warm whatever the weather
Using Altura's size guide I found these to have a great fit both in width and finger length.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems with washing them in amongst all of my other cycling kit.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great gloves that'll deal with pretty much everything winter can throw at them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Minimal bulk still allows plenty of dexterity.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They aren't completely waterproof but, saying that, I'd rather keep some of the breathability.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've tested plenty of waterproof winter gloves that are cheaper and some more expensive. I'd say the Alturas sit well in the middle ground.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are cheaper out there doing the same job but overall the Altura Thunderstorms are a very good package.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: 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.