Review: Glacier Glove Premium CX Gloves
January 25th, 2013
By Factory Jackson in Reviews
When I was asked to test some gloves from a brand called Glacier Glove, I must admit that I’d never heard of them, but when I was told they made gloves for the US Navy Seals, well, that got my attention. Glacier Glove are a small brand manufacturing on the most part, specialist gloves for specific harsh environments and outdoor pursuits in cold weather, including cyclocross. I was hesitant to use that term in the title (settling for CX) for fear that you’d think we’d gone mad and decided to ride awkward bikes around a field in the mud with cycling’s very own gluten’s for punishment… I like cross in the same way I like all cycling, but these gloves represent a product that delivers something that many of us mountain bikers want during the colder months; warm hands.
Words: Olly Forster | Photos: Katherine MacBeth
The back of the glove is made from a tough neoprene material called ‘G-tek’ and what Glacier Glove refer to as “weather resistant”. What that means is up to you, but its a way of saying that they’ll keep your hands warm on a bike ride in the cold, but don’t push your luck crossing Antarctica in them. Behind the neoprene, lies a lovely fleece lined interior that was exactly that…
The cut and feel was spot on and I didn’t experience any discomfort or issues with excess material hindering feel – you could certainly tell that a lot of hard work and knowledge has gone into these gloves.
Out on the Trail
Slipping these neoprene numbers on for the first time was a little odd, as they are slightly bulkier than your average MTB winter glove. The biggest difference being the amount of padding on the palm. Granted, cross bikes ride off road, but have no suspension and no real absorption qualities through the bars aside from those with carbon bars and forks… So, lots of appropriate padding in the palm for ‘cross’ is a good thing, especially if your hands are exposed to the cold. Mountain bikes on the other hand do have suspension and proper grips. Although I think these would be good for the rigid of hardtailer in the same way, on a 150mm travel AM bike, having that connectivity through the bike’s suspension of the trail below is pretty important and something these gloves were not that inspiring with. Be that as it may, the more I used them, the more I liked them!
The palm, like the rest of the glove is also neoprene and is both vented and breathable helping to regulate the temperature of your hand and remove the risk of sweaty palms quickly turning into cold wet hands. Removing moisture from the skin and getting rid of it is as important as keeping your skin shielded from the elements – even more so sometimes! The Glacier’s do a great job and kept my mitts warm on many cold trips into the hills, although too long in sub zero temperatures and you had to be careful if you stopped for too long or removed them, exposing both your hands and the gloves to the cold – school boy errors! Put your gloves somewhere warm and dry if you take them off for a coffee stop.
As you can see, there is some serious padding here and probably too much for a well suspended mountain bike. On the other hand you also have a seriously well made glove that performs in the wild and funnily enough, really fits like a glove too…
First things first, these were not designed for mountain biking, but with cyclocross not being a million miles away, proved to be a great pair of gloves and as a sucker for anything well made and manufactured, they certainly found their way into my kit bag quite a lot and will continue to do so. Aside from the excessive padding in the palm, which was really the only thing that I didn’t particularly like for MTB use, the price is also quite high at £45. Although £15 more than the Royal Mercury’s we’ve been testing back to back with these, the quality of the manufacturing, materials used and combined with the unique looks will be enough justification for anyone looking their way.
What a winter! Rain, snow, frost and sometimes all at once – while these don’t have waterproof palms, their resistance to the elements is pretty good and providing you didn’t do anything retarded like make snow balls, would keep warm and dry for the duration of a rip around your local loop.
All in all, these gloves make for a pretty cool product that both look and feel awesome. While they are let down on their excessive padding on the palm for MTB riding, they would certainly come into their own on a cross bike or a indeed lesser sprung MTB or dare I say ‘fat bike’. Padding aside, which did bed in after a few rides, the Glacier Premium CX’s are a great product and not far off being spot on for the kind of winter riding many of us do and if they ever decide to make a glove specifically for us mountain bikers… Great gloves, not quite perfect, but well worth checking out. Happy trails, Olly.
Glacier Glove’s cycling line is exclusively distributed in the UK by 2Pure and for everything Glacier and Glove, hit the logo.