Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer 4 Seasons gloves look like a middling, not-that-cold-out affair – but don't be fooled. They are a properly capable design for riding fast in near-freezing temperatures, but are still comfy as things warm up.
Any gloves branded as '4 Seasons' and sold in the UK better come to the party with impressive performance – and the Stolen Goats do so, with quite a bit of style. The orange-on-black logo looks quite natty, and the long stretchy cuffs are capable of going under or over any jersey or jacket combo to seal out the weather.
On the box the gloves were labelled 'Deep Winter', further upping expectations of performance. The feel on the gloves once on is that of a mid-weight glove you'd expect to wear an outer barrier glove or mitten over, and I was rather sceptical as I rolled out on my first ride into about 2°C degrees and a biting wind. I'd packed a few pairs of backup gloves, knowing my tendency for frozen paws and the neighbourhood's propensity for random snow/sleet any time between the months of August and May inclusive.
The first ten minutes or so, the feeling was that these would need something over the top soon – but that moment never came. Over the next three hours, with the temperature climbing to a balmy 5 or 6°C, my hands were quite happy. The dexterity was fine, and I was able to shift and operate my computer's buttons with no issues.
On rides into the low teens there was no sensation of overheating. Again, I usually run cold hands-wise, but this was an impressively comfortable 10 degrees swing from shaded, windy near-zero into sunny, still 12 or 13°C.
Despite Stolen Goat's promise of 'touch screen fingertips', the silvered thread on the tips of thumb and forefinger just did not work for me, at any stage of a ride or moistness. Ironically, they did work if I picked the gloves up and used the tip like a stylus – but then my fingers were holding the outside of the thread, so maybe the conductivity issue is between the inside and out. Regardless, for me it was a non-starter, but then I've never really found a pair of 'touchscreen' gloves that worked reliably for long in the dry, or at all in the wet.
Something else you'll notice is the lack of a snot/sweat patch on the thumb. Yes, you can use the gloves as is, but it's not an enjoyable experience.
The palms and fingers are covered in hundreds of grippy silicone stripes and there is no way your hands are slipping off the bar or hoods, even under atrocious conditions.
Removing the gloves is an easy affair, the insides not separating and being easy to turn back out the right way. The inner lining is a fine loop material that does a good job of remaining comfortable next to the skin even with a fair bit of sweat accumulated. Washing and then leaving inside out, they were dry the next day, and soft as ever.
I've been a huge fan of the £95 Dissent 133 glove system for years, but the Stolen Goats have pushed that combo to the back of the shelf. For much of autumn-winter-spring I'd traditionally have worn the Dissent mid glove and the waterproof outer, but I found the Stolen Goats better. That's quite some praise.
All in all, for £35 I highly rate the Climb & Conquer gloves. I was sceptical at first, but a month or so's rides in a range of pre-spring temperatures has me thinking these will remain close to the front of the gloves shelf for some time to come. As a confirmed glove aficionado, I speak with some authority on what's hot and what's not – and these are quite the business. Yes, the lack of wipe patches or phone control is a niggle, but their main purpose is to keep hands happy, which they do brilliantly.
Excellent gloves for very cold rides, bar the feature niggles
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Stolen Goat Climb & Conquer 4 Seasons Waterproof Gloves
Size tested: Medium/Large
Tell us what the product is for
They are for riding fast or slow in near-freezing temperatures, in rubbish weather.
Stolen Goat says:
These brilliant waterproof, windproof, stretchy, seamless gloves are designed to provide maximum manoeuvrability and feel in the hands whilst you ride.
Great on their own, or paired with a liner for freezing temperatures, they will protect you against the vast majority of weather conditions. Shod with a grippy silicone bar pattern on the palm, your hands will also have maximum grip on the bars when the rain is apocalyptic.
Winter gloves often suffer from being excessively bulky, making gear changes and gel-grabs clumsy and awkward. Not so stolen goat's Climb & Conquer gloves, which combine all-round weatherproof qualities with stylish looks and great feel.
Available in black and orange detailing with our instantly-recognisable goat head on the back.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stolen Goat lists these features:
Silicon dot pattern on the palm to maximize grip on the handlebars
Close fit results in good heat retention
Long wrist prevents gaps appearing between the glove and jacket
Touch screen fingertips
XS, S/M, M/L and L/XL (4 sizes)
They look and feel a premium product.
Scarily good at their main job of maintaining hand warmth; shame the touchscreen tips don't work reliably, and no snot/sweat wipe.
Early days, but they still look great after two months of riding. All silicone dots attached.
They fit like a...
My hands measure 9.5cm on Stolen Goat's sizing chart, making me a M/L – and they fitted perfectly.
For what they do, the low bulk is amazing.
Supremely comfy – in texture and fit.
For £35 they are fabulous value. I'd like them at twice the price.
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
Brilliantly. Can't believe how warm they are, yet are low bulk and don't overheat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's all about the temperature control.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Really the lack of a snot patch. I'd like phone control to work, but I doubt anyone can crack that.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For £35 they rate really well. I've ridden the £99 Dissent 133 system for years, and these are better.
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
If they had snot patches and the fingertips worked, I'd be tempted to hand these full marks. As they stand, they are great gloves.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L