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The Polaris Bikewear RBS Reflect Gloves are lightweight, stretchy and highly visible, with insulation and breathability better suited to the shoulder seasons than full-on winter.
The gloves are made from a lightweight, stretchy fabric with a brushed inner finish for warmth. Designed for low light conditions, their superpower is the fact that the backs are covered in reflective dots, while between the fingers is highlighted in high-vis yellow.
The unisex medium was a good fit for me, which suggests they come up a bit small – I usually take a women's medium or men's small. They were comfortable and fitted well at the wrists and at the main part of the hands, with just a little extra space in the fingers.
The fleece-backed fabric is warm enough for riding in upper single digit temperatures, particularly rides that require a bit of effort , but they did struggle a bit on some prolonged descents, with my hands chilling off quite quickly because of the lightweight nature of the fabric and minimal windproofing.
On the plus side, they breathe well enough that my hands didn't get chilled through sweating.
The silicone pattern on the palms gives reasonable grip, but isn't quite as confidence-inspiring in the wet as some.
For commuting in colder conditions I'd be tempted to pop these on over another pair of gloves, to maximise visibility – those reflective dots do a nice job of adding just that bit extra safety to after-dark riding – while keeping levels of warmth a little higher and adding in a bit of padding, which these don't have.
Price-wise, these are a little more expensive than the dhb Aeron XC Full Finger Gloves at £25, which offer similar levels of warmth but without the reflectivity of the Polaris gloves, but significantly cheaper than the Gore C3 Infinium Stretch gloves at £49.99, though they do have more effective windproofing.
Specialized's Grail Long Finger Gloves are also a little more expensive at £35, but do have gel padding and touchscreen-friendly fingers, though not the reflectivity of the Polaris gloves.
All in all, these are a good choice for low-light rides during the cool-but-not-cold shoulder seasons, and could be a useful addition for commuting even in the coldest months if bought big enough to go over other gloves for extra warmth.
Good gloves for enhanced visibility in chilly rather than cold conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Polaris Bikewear RBS Reflect Gloves
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lightweight thermal glove for extra visibility after dark.
Polaris says, 'The Polaris Bikewear RBS reflect glove is a lightweight thermal glove, developed to keep you seen and stylish in low light or fully dark situations / commutes. Featuring a fully reflective dot matrix on the back of the glove which gives all round visibility without compromising on flexibility!. This full reflect panel coupled with the silicon grip on the fingers make the RBS reflect the go to solution and riders choice for the early morning or late night commute.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fully reflective back of glove
Anti slip Silicon Print
Palm 100% polyamide
Back 78% polyester, 12% elastane, 8% glass, 2% PU
Washable at 30
Available in unisex sizes S-XXL
Well made and nice materials.
Performed extremely well for their intended purpose. Visible and warm enough for a dark commute home.
Lightweight and stretchy, but should last fine.
Well shaped and a good non-baggy fit.
Sizing is a touch on the small side, but it's worth considering going up a size anyway to give the option of layering up if extra warmth is needed. They are sufficiently stretchy that this could work well.
Very light for their warmth.
Very comfortable, but lack of padding in palm could be a problem for longer rides.
They are a little more expensive than some – the dhb Aeron XC Full Finger Gloves, for example, are £25 – but cheaper than others, such as the Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves at £49.99 and Specialized Grail Long Finger Gloves at £35. They're a tenner less than Altura's Firestorms, but those are more effective at keeping out chill winds.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Warm, comfortable and effective without being bulky. Additional grip and some padding would be nice but not crucial.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight and bulk, breathability, visibility, stretch.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the thin side for really cold weather unless used as an outer layer over other gloves.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are a little more expensive than the dhb Aeron XC Full Finger Gloves at £25, which offer similar levels of warmth but not the additional reflectivity; they're significantly cheaper than the Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves at £49.99 which do have extra windproofing, and a fiver less than the Specialized Grail Long Finger Gloves at £35, which have gel padding and touchscreen-friendly fingers. The Polaris may not have some of the features of the more expensive options, but they do have the edge when it comes to reflectivity.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably, particularly for urban commutes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially urban commuters.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are good gloves, and make a useful addition to an after-dark riding kit box. They give good levels of warmth and comfort for chilly conditions. For colder days they could be used as an outer layer over other gloves if purchased in the right size.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.