The Showers Pass National Geographic Knit Waterproof gloves aren't exactly cycling-specific but as long as you can do without the padding they do a great job of keeping your hands warm and dry on all but the chilliest of days.
- Pros: Impressive waterproofing, great for all kinds of activities
- Cons: Can get sweaty in warmer temperatures, not touchscreen compatible
In the summer I tend to ride with bare hands so when the weather gets colder I'm not overly fussed about wearing gloves with a lot of padding, so these Showers Pass offerings worked well for me, allowing for plenty of feel through the handlebar. You also get silicone dashes printed on the palm for extra grip.
Obviously, the main selling point of these is that they are waterproof while still representing a pretty lightweight, non-bulky pair of knitted gloves that you can use for pretty much any sport or day to day life when out in the elements.
From a cycling point of view they work well against the worst weather, for a time at least. I've worn these in some seriously heavy rain on rides of just over a couple of hours, and for most of it they kept the water at bay – up to about the 90-minute mark, which I was quite impressed with considering the level of rainfall and the constant road spray from passing vehicles.
In lighter rain or drizzle they kept the water out for much longer.
Like most things waterproof they are constructed from three bonded layers: a knitted exterior made from nylon with the addition of 5% rubber to add some wear resistance, an inner that uses a blend of merino wool (38%), acrylic (38%), nylon (20%) and a bit of Lycra and Spandex thrown in, and sandwiched in the middle is a microporous waterproof membrane.
Despite all of these various materials going on, they still feel like a regular pair of knitted gloves. They don't have much bulk and the fabric allows plenty of dexterity with just enough stretch to not feel tight around your fingers as you wrap your digits around the bar.
Breathability can often be an issue when you are trying to block the elements from entering and these gloves work pretty well. If temperatures are too warm, above about 15°C in my case, your hands can start to sweat and get a bit clammy but I didn't find it too bad an issue. Your hands stay warm at least.
With the temperature heading in the other direction I found they were warm until about 7°C especially if there was a particularly cold wind blowing. It doesn't look that massive a temperature range, but with such a mild winter (so far) I haven't had many rides when I couldn't wear them.
Overall, the quality is very good; they certainly feel and look very well made and I've been wearing them for trail running too where I've been pulling myself up rocks and grabbing trees, with no signs of any wear or tear.
The merino inner is soft against the skin which offers plenty of comfort plus it seems to stop the gloves from smelling too badly. I've been pretty lax on the washing front and they whiff a lot less than some of the others I've been wearing.
Another neat touch is the length of the cuff – easily long enough to stay hidden inside the sleeve of your jacket to stop water seeping down into the glove.
When it comes to value they can be a little difficult to gauge against others, as we haven't really tested a whole lot of other waterproof knitted gloves. At £38 they aren't exactly cheap, but not exactly overpriced either in my mind, especially if you are into multiple sports that you can also use them for.
Something like the GripGrab's Ride Waterproof Winter gloves will set you back £55.95, for instance. You get padding and they are a more cycling-specific pair of hand warmers, but they can get a bit sweaty on all but the coldest of days.
In conclusion, I'd say these Showers Pass gloves aren't the best option if cycling is your only pursuit, especially if you like a bit of padding, but for a bit of everything they are actually very useful.
And if you aren't a fan of the National Geographic branding, Showers Pass also sells the same glove as part of its Crosspoint range.
Impressive waterproofing and fit on the bike, provided you can cope without padding
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: Showers Pass National Geographic Knit Waterproof Gloves Wool-Blend
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Showers Pass says, "Showers Pass has partnered with National Geographic to develop waterproof knit gloves specifically designed for adventuring. Beloved by runners, cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, the Showers Pass National Geographic waterproof knit gloves will keep your hands dry in the worst weather conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Showers Pass:
3 bonded layers: a wear resistant knit exterior that feels like a regular knit glove, a waterproof-breathable Artex membrane, and a moisture-wicking, antibacterial Merino wool lining
Silicone print on the palm offers a better grip in wet condition
Ergonomic fit as a result of a proprietary 3-D laminating process
Microporous waterproof membrane allows the gloves to ventilate in order to decrease sweat accumulation
Inner: 38% Merino Wool, 38% Acrylic, 2% Lycra, 20% Nylon, 2% Spandex
Outer: 95% Nylon, 5% Rubber
Follow the sizing guide on Showers Pass's website and you'll be fine.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems if you follow the care instructions. I've been hanging them to dry to avoid any shrinkage issues as recommended by Showers Pass.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great gloves for tasks that involve you being out in the wind and rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can get a little sweaty inside.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Waterproof specialist SealSkinz offers its very similar Ultra Grip gloves for just a quid cheaper so I'd say the Showers Pass are about on the money.
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
Not cycling-specific but do a very good job when riding in truly atrocious conditions.
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.