Santini's Fjord gloves are exceptionally warm, and considering their thickness the dexterity is pretty good – I was able to operate my gadgets fine while wearing them. The grip is good, too, they're very comfy inside and the large strap keeps them secure with no wind getting in. My only real issue is that price, which is going to be hard to swallow for many of us.
- Pros: Very warm, easy to get on, handy additional pocket, adequate dexterity
- Cons: Very expensive
These are Santini's most heavy duty gloves for cold weather, and just to hammer the point home there's is an icicle pattern on the palm, fingers and inside of the thumb. There's a bit of reflectivity on the little and ring fingers, and a nose wipe on the thumb which obviously comes in handy through the chillier months of the year.
What I also really like is how easy they are to get on and off, which can often be a nightmare with thicker gloves because of inner liners separating and cuffs with not enough stretch. That's not the case here, as the lining stays in place really well when you're feeding your fingers in, even when the gloves are a little soggy, and there's a really handy little pull tab on the cuff that you grab with your opposite hand to pull them on.
While the cuff isn't quite as secure as options without a strap, it's very robust and fastens well with a big patch of Velcro to stop the wind from getting in.
Santini doesn't make any specific claims about waterproofing or weatherproofing, but after numerous soaking wet rides I can definitely vouch for these gloves providing plenty of protection against wet weather. My hands were kept dry and nothing got through even in full-on downpours. Wind resistance is also very good – usually on the start of my rides when the wind chill is into the minuses I still get cold fingertips for the first 10 minutes or so until I've warmed up, but I barely felt anything through these.
There's a big piece of rubber-like material on the inside of the palm for some extra shock absorption, and the grip is pretty good for such a thick pair of gloves. I could operate my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and various lights pretty easily, although I struggled a little with my Lezyne Mega XL GPS that has slightly more fiddly buttons.
The left glove also has a zip pocket which will just about fit your keys, card or some cash in; it's not exactly essential but pretty useful if you've really got your jersey pockets stuffed full, or perhaps have an irrational fear of being pickpocketed at traffic lights...
In terms of value... yes, they are expensive. There are no magical or particularly luxurious sounding materials here, they're made out of polyester (admittedly a good quality construction) with some elastane and a bit of Lycra for stretch, so the additional levy over the competition is a little hard to justify. They're not alone: Mavic's Ksyrium Pro Thermo gloves, described as similarly warm yet expensive by Stu, are £70. Rapha, which isn't known for making kit at the budget end of the spectrum, also has the Pro Team Gloves at £70.
You can get gloves that promise deep winter warmth for much less, such as the Specialized Element 2.0 at £53, which Dave reckoned were nicely warm with their Primaloft insulation, and Santini's own Deep Double Layer Winter gloves are just £39.99. I haven't tried the Deep Double Layer gloves so can't vouch for the difference in quality with the pair on test, but Stu reckoned they were some of the toastiest he's worn.
Overall, I do think the Fjord gloves are some of the best I've used for cold conditions, and – impressively for such warm gloves – they didn't appear to make my hands too sweaty on milder days. The inner stays in place which makes putting them on quick and easy, and I like the big thick strap at the cuff to secure them. You'll have to splash out, but if you do these will last you through the depths of winter and beyond and are a decent investment.
A pricey but impressive pair of gloves for deep winter, keeping your hands toasty without overheating
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Fjord Gloves
Size tested: Medium/Large
Tell us what the product is for
They're for the coldest conditions, and promise to keep your hands warm whatever the weather.
Santini says, "For toasty fingers all day long. Winter gloves for the coldest conditions. Supreme grip. with a specially designed non-slip silicone grip on the palm with anti-shock properties. Designed for long-lasting durability with reinforced fabric between the thumb and forefinger. Includes reflective highlights for visibility. A part of your winter kit for many years to come."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Non-slip silicone grip on the palm with anti-shock properties
Designed for long-lasting durability
XS/S, M/L and XL/2XL sizes available
Polyester fabric, lycra and elastane added for stretch
Zip pocket fork keys/small goods
Very well made, good grip, nice and warm.
Performed well in all conditions, and kept the weather out in driving wind and rain.
Holding up very well after lots of use and numerous washes, no snags or wear to the fabric.
Three size options, and the M/Ls fitted me just fine.
My hands are about medium, and a medium/large was fine for me.
Being so thick, they are a bit bulky.
Luxurious inside, and although they're thick dexterity isn't compromised too much.
They're expensive, but on a par with others offering similar protection.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They come out of a cool machine wash totally fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept my hands warm in even the coldest weather and are super-comfy; no issues.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, warmth even when temperatures plummet below zero, and the strap is big and easy to close up.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're at the expensive end, but sound much warmer than Pearl Izumi's Unisex Pro Barrier WXB Gloves for just £5 more. The Specialized Element 2.0 gloves are for colder weather and are £53, and Mavic's Ksyrium Pro Thermo gloves are £70.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I had the money.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they could afford them.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I was very impressed with these gloves; they kept my hands very warm without getting sweaty and the liner doesn't separate at all when you put them on. They are expensive, but they do work really well and are a similar price to others we've rated highly.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.