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Altura's Progel Mitts offer plenty of comfort on the bike. The gel pads are well placed and really do damp vibrations, making them great for rough roads and long days in the saddle.
We last tested the Progel mitts back in 2018; Matt was impressed, and I've been impressed with the latest version.
According to Altura's size chart I should have been wearing an XS or an S – I was in between the two. Size goes on the length of the hand, rather than a maximum circumference. I don't have dainty hands, though, and the mediums I tested were actually spot on. Size up if in doubt.
The mitts pull on relatively easily, helped by the palm-side tabs…
…but getting them off isn't the easiest. I found the finger loops too small to be used effectively, and resorted to prising off the mitts bit by bit, normally ending up with them inside out. It's a small price to pay for such a comfy bit of kit, to be honest.
Altura has removed the seams in the area of the carpal tunnel nerves that older models had, and the interior is really comfy against the hand. The palm side is cleverly cut to the curve of the palm to improve dexterity.
They are so super snug and minimal that you won't be rushing to get them off when you stop; you may forget you have them on, they don't pinch or rub at all either.
They're low profile on the wrist, which I'm a fan of; I don't feel the need to cover any of my wrist.
My testing of mitts for performance is pretty formulaic in comparison to many other bits of clothing: go out with a mitt on one hand and nothing on the other. Doing this with the Progels, you really notice just how much protection the gel is giving; it's impressive for something that's actually quite a thin layer. Not everyone will want this level of padding in a mitt – if you like more feedback, these might not be for you – but for me the gel pads are well placed and really damp vibrations.
The full Amara suede palm has silicone strips for grip, and they're great in dry conditions, but in the rain I found my hands slipping on my cork bar tape. In such conditions, the mitts don't feel heavy and when it stops raining, the uppers dry out quickly, the palm-side slower to dry out, unsurprisingly, given it's in constant contact with the bar.
The thin upper, coupled with palm-side perforations, make for a very breathable mitt. There's a mesh fabric between the fingers which really helps with ventilation. I never sensed an overly sweaty palm or hot hands.
For me, the snot wipe could do with being larger; maybe it's habit on my part, but I frequently ended up with a snail trail on the upper fabric rather than the towelling area. Altura describes it as a 'towelling sweat wipe' but I'd say it's more of a plush suede-like material; it's certainly not a towel texture, but does feel very soft against the skin.
The finishing of the mitts is, for the most part, excellent. The bonded cuff looks super smart and is showing zero signs of deterioration – no curling or fraying in sight.
The finger ends are stitched over, and there are a few loose threads here, but it hasn't worsened with very regular wearing and washing.
Reflective detailing is well placed and effective. The mitts are available in four different colours, too – great for anyone hoping to coordinate kit.
Overall, if you want a pair of snug-fitting, comfortable mitts to damp vibrations effectively, you'll not be disappointed with Altura's Progels.
Brilliant protection and comfort for long rides and rough roads, though not so grippy in the rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Progel Mitt
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, 'This comfortable favourite has been reengineered by removing seams from the area of the carpel tunnel nerves and inceasesed the amount of Progel padding to provide greater protection for the hands and wrists. The full Amara suede palm has been cut to the curve of the palm to improve dexterity whilst the bonded cuff gives a neat finish. With reflective print details and and towelling sweat wipe, the Progel Mitts will provide supreme protection for your hands for hours on end.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High wicking backhand fabric
Larger area of Progel padding
Amara suede palm with perforations
Silicone palm print
Finger pull tabs
Towelling sweat wipe
Main Fabric: 50 % Polyester, 25% Nylon, 20% Polyurethane, 5% Elastane
Some loose threads at finger ends but they haven't worsened over the test period.
Great padding and decently breathability.
Some stray thread ends, but I don't think they're a real concern.
Very snug without pinching or pulling.
I'd recommend sizing up.
They are a great choice if protection from vibrations is what you want. Though £30 isn't the cheapest, I'd say they're well worth it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I followed the instructions and they've been fine. Cool wash, no softener.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent protection for the hands when riding on rougher roads (so most roads these days) with a comfortable, snug fit. Grip is good, provided it doesn't rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit and protection.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of grip in the rain.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
A tenner more than Lusso and Stolen Goat offerings, but significantly cheaper than Q36.5, and £4-£5 less than GripGrab's Progel Mitts (currently around £34).
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
A superb pair of mitts if you are looking to damp vibrations – except in damp conditions. They're exceptionally comfy and only really let down by a lack of grip in rainy weather.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…