The Altura Firestorm Reflective gloves are great for taking the chill off your hands thanks to their lightweight, softshell construction, and if you're riding in the dark they'll help make sure your indications don't go unnoticed.
- Pros: Snug cuff stops draughts; touchscreen-compatible fingers
- Cons: No padding at all
The Firestorm gloves are ideal for autumn or spring temperatures when it's hanging around the 5°C to 10°C kind of area: a bit of a chill in the air which can affect your extremities but without the need to go for full on winter gloves.
The Alturas use a softshell for the main fabric and it's quite effective at keeping the wind at bay, especially considering how thin it is. For the temperatures mentioned above I found the gloves plenty warm enough, and they are pretty good when it comes to breathability too.
The thin upper and Amara suede palm mean that the Firestorms aren't bulky, and you keep virtually all of the dexterity of riding in summer mitts or bare handed.
For some, the complete lack of padding might be an issue, but for me it really wasn't – I rarely wear gloves when on the road or gravel for comfort.
The cuff is long to tuck up under your jersey or jacket sleeve, and it fits close to your wrist which stops any nippy draughts whipping up inside.
For me the Alturas have a good balance of room inside the glove, fitting well without being restrictive to blood supply. It's always good to have a bit of wiggle room for your fingers and to allow a barrier of warm air to accumulate, and – for me at any rate – the Firestorms have this.
Following the sizing guide, the mediums I have are spot on in terms of fit and in length of the fingers – which helps you feel for electronic shifter buttons or the buttons on your computer. The fingers are all touchscreen-compatible as well.
Overall, the quality is good, with neat and tidy stitching, and Altura has also added a reinforced section between the thumb and forefinger to resist wear when your hands are spending miles and miles wrapped around the lever hood.
The neatest thing about them overall, though, is the reflective detailing on the back of the hand. It's pretty discreet in the daylight, but shine some light on them and they really are noticeable, which makes them great for indicating your intentions to following traffic – provided you remember to make sure the back of your hand is pointing directly at them.
When it comes to pricing I'd say that £39.99 is a fair bit to pay for a glove that only offers a bit of wind resistance and no respite from the rain, when you can get options like the Sportful NoRain gloves for the same money.
Lusso's Windtex Terrain Red gloves do a very similar job to the Alturas, and they are a tenner cheaper.
Of course, though, you can always go more expensive: the Castelli Scalda Elite Gloves offer much the same as the Alturas for a cool £70.
Overall, I like the Altura gloves and if you have a collection of gloves for more extreme weathers then they'll slot in nicely for those days when it is just a bit chilly.
Decent windproofing and a cool reflective pattern, though they are on the pricey side
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Firestorm Gloves
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "The Altura Firestorm Reflective Glove has been designed to keep your hands comfortable in cool or warm weather with a breathable soft shell outer fabric featuring an Amara suede palm. Reflective design detailing offers visibility in low light conditions providing additional safety on the bike. A reinforced thumb with touch screen compatible finger tips allows use of touch screen devices."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Softshell main body fabric
Touch screen compatible fingers
Terry sweat wipe lower thumb panel
The sizing is spot on with what's claimed on the chart on Altura's website.
They're a bit pricey for what they bring to the table compared with something like the Lussos mentioned in the review, and there are quite a lot of other brands doing similar for less.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Like most cycling kit they required a 30 degree wash and that has caused no problems at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They work well in typical autumn and spring temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Reflectives make them really stand out.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really. Some will miss the complete lack of padding.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not sure at full price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Very well made gloves that are comfortable, provided you can live without padding. The reflectives are a cool addition but you can get similar warmth and performance for less money.
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
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!