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The Q36.5 Anfibio Winter Rain Cycling Gloves have a three-layer design, closer in execution to that of high-end waterproof socks than traditional, laminate-backed waterproof cycling gloves. While the Anfibios are a cycling-specific design, their subtle aesthetic makes them equally suitable for other outdoor activities too. However, while the membrane is genuinely waterproof, and the outer fabric dries quickly, the outer does become very wet – which may put off some. Overall, though, the Anfibio gloves look like they'll be challenging for a place in our best winter gloves buyer's guide.
These are a three-layer construction made of a polyamide sandwich and waterproof membrane. The outers are 78% nylon, 11% polyester, 8% spandex and 2% conductive fibre, with the inner 77% acrylic, 20% polyester and 3% Spandex. As a side note, these are the only garments in Q36.5's range that are not made in Italy, but in Taiwan by Q36.5's specialist partner.
The Anfibio has been designed to create a glove with good breathability, to prevent the clamminess that can strike with neoprene and gloves employing TPU – thermoplastic polyurethane – linings. According to Q365, they're designed to be worn in temperatures from 2°C to 18°C, which is a huge range. In terms of water repellence, Q36.5 quotes a 22,000mm/H2O waterproof rating, which is a very high figure, and a breathability rating of 16,000gr/m2/24h, which is high.
Seamless construction, long cuffs, extensive silicone detailing on the palms and retro-reflective blocks at key points bode well for a winter cycling glove. Though hardly 'flat' like a regular non-cycling glove, there's a marked lack of ulnar-defending blobs and similar tech.
Retroreflective thumb and forefinger tips continue the practical, safety narrative without giving the game away, when worn off the bike or in more casual commuting attire. All these features supposedly translate into a super-nimble, weatherproof, breathable glove, which sounds ideal, and if navy blue isn't you, the Anfibios also come in black, green, olive and 'Australian' green.
These gloves come in four sizes – small, medium, large and extra-large. I found Q36.5's sizing guide very accurate, taking the guesswork from online purchases. I have long, slender hands and was pleased to find the medium fitted like the proverbial.
The cuffs are generous and easily sneak beneath a winter jersey or a technical jacket for a comfortable, weather-cheating seal.
The overall performance impressed me. It took me a ride or two to get accustomed to the thinner, uniform-density padding but the second skin-snug fit was an immediate hit, giving excellent feedback from the bar, brakes and shifters. Not to mention, the ease of locking and unlocking, rummaging through luggage and tending to road and trailside punctures. The silicone fingertips communicated reliably with phones and other touchscreen devices.
The test period has been primarily wet and mild, although temperatures have been as low as 4°C on some 4am escapes, with bracing winds lowering the wind chill factor further. In these conditions I could feel the wind swirling around, but my hands remained perfectly warm.
Indeed, throughout the test period, wicking has been pretty much faultless, with some faint misting but no clamminess. This was regardless of the temperature, ride duration or how long and hard I gripped the bars. Though rare, I do occasionally go on 'white-knuckle rides', typically when tackling steep, winding descents on my fixed gear winter/trainer.
Grip and control has been universally good, regardless of bar tape. It won't come as a surprise to learn pure silicone tapes, such as the Acros Silicone Wrap bar tape, or those partly made from silicone, were the best matches but even more slippery customers, such as glossy old-school bike ribbon, were kept in check by the Anfibios' silicone palms. That said, I do run a suspension stem on my fixed gear winter/trainer, so I wasn't expecting any tingling, fatigue or numbness, regardless of whether riding 25, 50, or 70 miles on the road.
The lack of padding does make the Anfibio predominantly a road glove, and I wasn't surprised my palms were moaning about fatigue during off-road detours on my rough-stuff tourer. All was fine for 15 miles or so, but these wouldn't be my first choice for marathon gravel sessions.
Aside from better heat regulation, the membrane didn't make itself known either – with no rustling or bunching – and unlike some designs, the membrane stays put when you've pulled the glove off. Snug-fitting cuffs ensured an excellent seal with long-sleeve winter jerseys, too.
I was surprised to discover while riding through some sustained rainfall that things started getting decidedly damp. I initially thought this was just the outer fabric taking on moisture and giving the impression of wetness, which it does, by the way.
But an hour further down the lane and with no let-up, I pulled over and confirmed they genuinely felt wet against my skin. They didn't feel like neoprene and, thankfully, they retained warmth for the return leg of my two-hour loop, but it did raise a few questions. I discussed my findings with Peak Brand Collective, the gloves' UK importer.
They were surprised and suggested rain might be creeping in via the cuff and to ensure it was completely covered by a jacket sleeve. During our first wet outings, I'd been pairing it with Oxford's Venture Jacket but switched to the Gore Torrent Men's Jacket, a more expensive but much more sophisticated shell-type jacket.
Despite some initial scepticism – I could feel the gloves' outer fabrics becoming progressively wetter – this switch solved the problem entirely. The outer fabric still became soggy, but my hands and fingers remained bone dry. A good thing too, as there's nothing like the misery of cold and wet hands to dent resolve on dark lanes miles from a café, let alone home.
When the rain relented and was replaced by a gentle breeze, the outer fabric wicked promptly and was dry within an hour or so, with a decent tempo and moderate breeze.
It was much the same story when I popped them on the clothes horse following a machine wash. Nonetheless, while my hands did stay dry, I found the soggy outers a culture shock. And as I'm used to wearing traditional, laminated gloves, it prompted me to pop my long-serving Gore-Tex overmitts in my back pocket, for easy access.
Five hundred mixed-terrain miles later and there's nothing to suggest these gloves won't serve long and productive lives. Just use a standard 30°C wash with minimal detergent and allow them to dry naturally. As with jackets and other waterproof kit, don't leave them wet and scrunched up.
The £57 price is far from cheap, though you can pay more. The Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof Gloves Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof Gloves are a fiver cheaper and impressed Mat with their weather-beating prowess, though he remarked that the membrane's wicking prowess didn't keep pace with his sweating on a very long climb.
The SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Glove with Fusion Control costs £70 and promises 100% waterproof fabric, bonded liners to prevent bunching, not to mention 'unmatched breathability', high dexterity and superior grip.
I've been impressed by Q36.5's Anfibio gloves for their comfort and dexterity, though they're aimed more at the road rider, and I found them an acquired taste in the wet. However, control and dexterity remain excellent, and while my fingers and hands stayed genuinely dry, the outer fabric does become quite soggy. I addressed this by donning Gore-Tex overmitts, but some may not get past this and might prefer to stay with more traditional waterproof gloves with their laminated backs.
Nimble, warm and highly weather-resistant gloves whose lack of padding makes them best suited to road riders
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Q36.5 Anfibio Winter Rain Cycling Gloves
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
"Introducing a new kind of hand protection on harsh days – waterproof protection with a comfy fit.
The only product in the Q36.5 collection that is not made in Italy. We have developed these cutting-edge winter rain gloves in collaboration with a Taiwanese partner who is the leading manufacturer of this technology – made in Taiwan
Designed with a three layer fabric that includes a waterproof membrane between two polyamide layers, it allows for a more breathable rain glove and prevents the condensation process next to the skin which commonly occurs with a normal neoprene material.
Born as a rain glove, it has also become our favorite winter glove due to its thermoregulation properties and nonpareil second skin fit created by a seamless construction that also maintains a high breathability rate."
My feelings are that these are generally comfortable, weather-repelling gloves that lend themselves well to other outdoor sports and activities. However, while their lack of padding isn't an issue on road rides, it does limits their off-road potential."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2% Conductive fiber
Well designed and executed throughout, and made from high-quality materials.
Generally very impressive. Excellent grip, dexterity, protection from the elements and temperature regulation. However, modest padding limits their off-road potential.
Nothing to suggest they won't serve long and productive lives.
Fitted me like the proverbial. Superb dexterity and control.
Couldn't be bettered.
I'm not going to get excited by 57g.
Generally very good. However, the lack of padding limits their off-road potential. They are fine for shorter blasts – a quick bit of exploring, for example – but I wouldn't fancy doing an extended gravel run with them.
Their £57 price is quite an investment, but specification and execution are bang on and they are versatile enough to be worn for other outdoor pursuits – running and hiking springring readily to mind.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward. Toss in the machine at 30°C and just allow them to dry naturally. No sign of wear 500 miles and several machine washes down the line. Not that I'd expect it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Q365 Anfibio Winter Rain Cycling Gloves have impressed me with their dexterity and comfort – at least for those who ride mainly on the roads. It took a little while to acclimatise to the outer layer getting progressively wetter in persistent rain, but the lining kept my hands dry and a comfortable temperature. The extensive silicone detailing ensures excellent grip with most handlebar coverings and communicates reliably with touchscreens. The modest padding wasn't an issue when riding on the road, but the limitations of the padding did become apparent off-road.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, temperature regulation, grip and weatherproofing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Their lack of padding limits their appeal when you're off the asphalt. And the soggy outer layer proved an acquired taste, even though hands and digits remained dry and at a comfortable temperature.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof Gloves are a fiver cheaper and impressed Mat with their weather cheating prowess, although he remarked that the membrane's wicking prowess wasn't keeping pace with his sweating on a very long climb.
The SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Glove with Fusion Control gloves cost £70 and promise 100% waterproof fabric, bonded liners to prevent bunching, as well as 'unmatched breathability', high dexterity and superior grip.
Even more expensive are the Castelli Estremo Winter Cycling Gloves, which will now cost you £100.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, provided they weren't venturing beyond tarmac
Use this box to explain your overall score
Capable gloves for road riding but their modest padding may be a deal-breaker for some.
About the tester
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)