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The RSP Extreme Weather Glove is designed to keep the worst Mother Nature can conjure firmly outside. Anything this impenetrable usually involves TPU laminates and similar wizardry but I was surprised to find these prodigious gauntlets reliant on very substantial polyurethane/nylon palms, and nylon backs/thumbs with a reassuringly tactile polyester micro fleece lining.
Externally we've the obligatory thumb pad, rubberised reflective piping and embroidered logos. Dimpled rubberised thumb and forefinger tips have a mildly coarse texture intended for enhanced command of brakes/shifters in monsoon conditions.
The protective padding merits mention since ours highlighted some quality control issues. The left palm was completely flaccid, bereft of anti tingle inserts; the right's bursting through the double stitching in curious homage to the Alien films.
I'd expected extra large to be a little generous but proved fine, possibly on account of the heavier tog weight, so I'd try a couple of sizes first. Stealth black means they suit civilian wear, cold winter walks or standing spectator at cross/mountain bike meets, although in my opinion safety yellow has the edge when it comes to road presence.
Supple materials avoids muffled feedback from the controls. That said, rummaging in jersey pockets, locking in the street or exorcising mechanical demons still dictates removal.
Generous cuffs slide neatly over most technical jackets, forming an airtight seal while sustained stretches of coarse asphalt saw tingling steadily increase in my left hand, confirming their ulnar padding was more than placebo. However, experience suggests garments are water resistant by degrees, rather than 100% waterproof and the gloves' extensive stitching aroused some nagging suspicions.
A section of abandoned canal complete with deep evil smelling water proved too much to resist. Plunging my right hand cuff deep, things remained very favourable for thirty seconds but then the fibres began absorbing freezing, stagnant water like a sponge. Subsequent testing confirms this wasn't fluke, requiring eight hours' drying time at room temperature-rather disappointing from a supposedly indomitable garment.
Great cold weather glove but not totally waterproof and quality control was poor on our samples.
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Make and model: RSP Extreme Weather Glove
Size tested: XL, Black
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?
"Fully Weather Resistant, Extremely Warm, Fully Waterproof, Lightweight, Palm Padding, Reflective Piping, Embroided Logo, Velcro Fastener, Abrasive Finger Guards". Would agree in so much as they are a very warm and for the most part, extremely comfortable gloves but ours certainly weren't waterproof in an immersed sense.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
polyurethane/nylon palms, nylon backs/thumbs with a polyester micro fleece lining.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I had high hopes for the extreme weather gloves and in really cold weather appreciated their warm, tactile dexterity. However, quality control was poor on our sample and it flooded with water after thirty seconds of full immersion.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Surprising dexterity, warm, tactile and seemingly windproof construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Poor quality control , which could partially explain their woeful water resistance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not without improvements in performance and quality control.
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)