You can't beat a bit of day-glo for the darker months and Polaris RBS Hoolie gloves are an absolute bargain for general riding thanks to solid, weather resistant construction and effective gel padding. Some have suggested the Scotchlite detailing wasn't generous enough and should extend to the fingertips. I have some sympathy with this argument but was pleased by it's omission having gesticulated at a particularly ignorant driver along a narrow and deserted lane somewhere close to midnight.
Those keeping more sociable riding hours will be pleased to know the Hoolies' "acid house" neon yellow pierces through the daytime gloom and tickles the retinas to around four-hundred yards, one less excuse for the SMIDSY brigade. Polaris are renown for their generous sizing and our medium fitted my large-by-anyone-else's standards-hands perfectly, although punctures and similar roadside mechanicals still dictated their removal.
Nylon/polyester construction with extensive terry towelling isn't the stuff of dreams but makes for a hardwearing, relatively inexpensive and extremely practical, machine washable mix. Just as well since the palm side quickly sullies with dirt and grime.
Now, let's consider the ubiquitous gel padding given the job of protecting our Ulnar nerves from discomfort and more seriously, carpel tunnel syndrome. Having tried dozens of similar, gloves with varying levels of success, I was pleasantly surprised at the Hoolies' effectiveness, isolating road shock and that telltale tingling that creeps along after a few hours riding. Close to pancake flat, the gel inserts are conspicuous by their lack of bulk and very high levels of comfort-even alternating between metalled roads and dirt tracks for nigh on seven hours. Speaking of which, the Hoolie isn't intended as an mtb glove but looks pretty hardy with no evidence of telltale chafing despite brushes with bushes and less friendly foliage.
Rain or shine, grip and control seems faultless come split second gear changes or emergency stops, I'd say the silicone detailing has a lot to do with that.This is equally reassuring in conjunction with glossy handlebar coverings,almost making notoriously slippery Benotto tape viable in the wet. Being water resistant, rather than proof means driving rain leaches through after twenty minutes or so but the one piece laminated construction keeps things toasty without turning clammy or the hassle of exracting a soggy liner at the end of a particularly wet ride.
Bargain gloves for general riding and the gel padding works a treat too and they're quite visible… if you hadn't noticed
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Make and model: Polaris RBS Hoolie Gloves
Size tested: Fluo Yellow/Black - M
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?
"Windproof and weatherproof cycling gloves
Designed in a smooth surface windproof laminate
Gel padded palm for additional comfort
Silicon print on fingers and palm for additional grip in the wet
Fleece Nose wipe on thumb
Highly reflective print detailing for night time hand signalling
Part of the 'Really Bright Stuff' range". Generally agree, although weather resistant is arguably more accurate.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polyester/Nylon/Terry towelling mix.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Packed with features, the hoolie is a really practical glove for everyday riding thanks to machine washable, wind and water repellant construction and sensibly proportioned gel padding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit and gel padding are much better than I was expecting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the price, although dexterity could be improved.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)