The La Passione PSN gloves are designed to match the Italian brand's signature PSN jersey, with 13 available colours that correspond exactly with every jersey in the range. However, with their minimal padding, high level of comfort and stylish, simple aesthetic that goes with any jersey, these gloves perform well in their own right and fit like the idiom.
Cycling seems to be going through an unashamed matchy-matchy period at the moment and La Passione is one of the brands driving it. The Italian company uses single, bold, block colours to striking effect, and to pair one of its chic PSN jerseys with a pair of ratty old mitts would just not be right.
However, that's not to say the PSN gloves, which come in 13 colours to match every possible PSN jersey and even have a back that's made from the same stretchy polyester/elastane fabric, are just a fashion accessory. I found they worked well as lightweight summer mitts and are comfortable, breathable, lightweight and quick drying. And the La Passione dotted-line logo is generic-looking enough that it can be worn with other jerseys without an obvious clash of brands – if that kind of thing upsets you.
Some people like gel inserts and thick padding but I've always preferred less bulk at the interface between palms and bar. What starts off as a comfortable cushion under the heel of the hand can become the hand equivalent of a stone in your shoe after four hours of riding. So the thin foam inserts of the PSN gloves, which were well positioned and whose edges were imperceptible once compressed, were ideal.
The minimum of seams on the synthetic suede palm also got a thumbs-up from me – some gloves have seams ricocheting all over the place in the name of an anatomical fit, when a smooth surface is more comfortable most of the time.
The PSN gloves don't have silicone or other grip-enhancing features on the palms, but their grip on the bar and smooth hoods is fine.
The backs are very stretchy and the palms very supple, making the fit more forgiving than that of other gloves made from more rigid fabrics. As with the PSN jersey, the gloves come up slightly smaller than other brands' gloves, but the sizing guide on the website is accurate. It might be worth sizing up rather than down if you're in between, though. Liam found the backs of the La Passione Duo gloves a little too high, leading to the fabric bunching. The PSNs have a lower cut, finishing just below the wrist and remaining crease-free.
If you wear your gloves tight, there's a nice little tab sewn between the middle and ring fingers that you grab to pull them off.
The lightweight, synthetic La Passione gloves can be flung straight in the wash after riding and put on the radiator, where they will dry quickly and you can put them back on the next day fresh, clean and soft. I wouldn't necessarily expect them to last for years, since Lycra is not particularly hardwearing and nor does it pretend to be, but they've withstood a good few rides and wash cycles so far with no signs of degradation, even at the raw-cut fingers.
The PSN gloves don't have gel inserts, a nose-wipe panel, Velcro closure or the other features that many gloves have – including cheaper ones such as the Altura Club mitts – but they have a low weight, minimal padding, a simple and chic design (in a choice of 13 colours) and are comfortable. If you're looking for a lightweight pair of summer gloves, these are very good.
Lightweight, minimal, stylish mitts that are comfortable, breathable and ideal for summer riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione PSN Gloves
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
According to La Passione, these are: "A refined pair of gloves for extra comfort during your rides. Made of premium dyed fabric, exactly the same of your PSN Jersey.
"PSN Gloves are made of a premium Italian dyed fabric, exactly the same of the PSN Jersey. The palm is made in perforated suede microfiber for extra ventilation. They're equipped with: reinforced pull-in and pull-off tabs for easier wearability and an elastic matching cuff piping. The new PSN gloves have been provided with reinforced padding to even improve the shock absorbing and comfort.
"To complete the functionality of this Glove, don't forget the shaped microsuede insert which guarantees maximum grip and comfort while leaning on the levers."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Key features (from La Passione's website):
Dyed premium fabric
Suede microfiber palm
Perforated palm for ventilation
Easy pull-on and off tabs
Comfort padding cushioned
Microsuede insert on the levers leaning area
Hold the Line logo on hand back
Back: 92% Polyester / 8% Elastane
Palm: 50% Polyamide / 50% Polyurethane
Antibacterial and wicking treatment
Neatly stitched (in China).
They did everything I wanted them to do.
Fine after a month's use, but because of the lightweight materials used I wouldn't expect them to last years.
Very good, with foam padding in the right place under the palm and the low-cut backs stopping just below the wrist.
As with La Passione's jerseys, the PSN gloves size up slightly small compared to other manufacturers, but the size chart reflects this and is accurate.
Very light indeed.
If you like minimal padding, they're very comfortable.
The La Passione PSN gloves are good looking and stylish but minimal and definitely not packed with 'technologies' – and I prefer that. Compared with others out there, £25 is a fair price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I prepared myself for the grey microfibre palms to bleed into the white Lycra backs, but they didn't at all, which impressed me. The reflectives have also stayed on.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you like a minimal, lightweight mitt with next to no padding, the La Passione PSN gloves will do the job. Because they're so minimal, probably what they do best is match the La Passione PSN jersey, and they come in 13 colours to ensure every PSN jersey has a matching glove. However, because the only branding is the 'hold the line' logo, which looks fairly generic, they will match any jersey, especially in white.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like minimal mitts for general road riding and prefer the interface between my palms and the bar to be as lump-free as possible. The PSN gloves' foam inserts were perfect for a small amount of extra cushioning without creating new pressure points.
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?
Looking at our reviews, the entry level for fingerless mitts seems to settle at £19.99, based on Altura's Club Mitts, the Van Rysel R900s and Lusso Summer Gloves. These PSNs aren't much more – and you can pay twice as much.
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
I prefer unfussy gloves that are unencumbered by gel pads, Velcro straps, bits of flannel for wiping your nose and so on, so for me the La Passione PSN gloves hit the spot. However, for some – especially those who expect their gloves to have those particular features – they might be overly basic for a price slightly above entry level. For me they're very good, so it's a well deserved 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
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: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem
Simon finished his Masters in online journalism back in 2003 when the internet wasn't very exciting or popular yet. So he got a job as a sub editor on Britain's biggest weekly cycling magazine, where as well as taking out commas and putting them back in again he got to review a lot of bikes and kit.
As a keen time triallist he has spent many hours riding up and down dual carriageways early in the morning and has a national medal, a 19-minute 10 and a few open wins in his palmarès.
He and his seven-year-old son do the school run on a tandem, beating the traffic in car-choked Reigate and getting a great workout at the same time (for one of them).