I do struggle a bit to find that pair of gloves that really gets me through the coldest days. Most of the time I just make do having tried the really expensive stuff. Normally I just default back to my Parentini ones but for the sub zero days you do need something with a bit of insulation. I’ve sent back Rapha deep winter in the past, ditto the Castelli Estremo, they just didn’t really do the job. The Aldi sub £10 specials have been pretty much the best of all but they were never perfect. But, for £10…….
There are glove systems, of course. And they can work, though they can be very expensive. You can use hand warmers, but that’s not ideal. Finding the best pair of gloves is still, very much, a challenge. Enter the Galibier Barrier gloves…..
Just pause a moment and look at the stuff going on there before we get to the detail. Synthetic leather, piping, reflective trim, multiple materials. So you’d expect them to be expensive, or, at least, not cheap. They’re £24.85. Random figure I know, but that is cheap for most cycling gloves, let alone a deep winter one.
What you have here is essentially straightforward, it’s your standard heavy duty outer with fleecy insulation. There’s a polyurethane membrane in the middle to stop the wind getting through. The outer is nylon/polyester and the promise is that wind ain’t getting through but your hands can still breathe. Let’s be clear, your hands can never really breathe and you will still get a little damp, eventually. But these are about the best I’ve tried in that regard and, bonus, when you take them off the liner stays resolutely in place.
Flip them over and you’ve got a shedload of grippy stuff, gel padding in all the right places and non slip silicone. Get the right size (sizing chart is spot on) and you can guarantee they won’t fold under your hand on the bars or in the hoods.
Closure duties are taken care of with a velcro strap which folds over the top of the glove. The ribbed section around the wrist and strap is flexible and the opening to the glove is on the right side of snug.
Shine a light and you have a patch of reflective dots together with a stripe. There’s no good reason you shouldn’t be seen when signalling.
And the inside is gorgeously fleecy.
These are a damn impressive pair of gloves regardless of the price. Factor that in and, I have to say, they’re just about the best pair of gloves I’ve tried. They’re initially a bit stiff but after a few rides they soften up. They’re properly warn without producing massive amounts of dampness. Crucially they are brilliant below freezing for extended rides. That’s, for me, where others fail. They’re ok initially and then the cold creeps in. That just doesn’t happen here. Rain? Well they’re not stated as being water resistant or proof but it hammered down on my commute day and they stayed dry and warm. That membrane should keep the worst out even if it gets through the outer. I’d recommend you buy these. While £25 could never be described as throw away money, there’s very little risk associated with buying these gloves and they are an investment that should last you years.
There’s no rocket science here. It’s a one size fits all, stretchy head and ear covering skull cap. The thermo properties derive from its fleecy inner. It’s windproof and insulating and is said to “fit most humans.” I have a pretty big head (natch) and find that it’s very stretchy. It should suit pretty much everyone but at the largest head sizes you may find that you know it’s there but it’s a matter of preference.
The cut is superb. It really does sit just above your eyes and then cover under the ear lobes. Galibier reckon it’s good for -7 to +6 and I’d say that’s spot on. Above 6 and it’s a little too warm (you can fold it up a bit to keep your ears free). It’s fantastic below freezing.
It’s another winter wear gem from Galibier and should be an essential part of any wardrobe.
Finally, Galibier appear to have stuck a nice little gift in my parcel in the form of a La Gazzetta inspired buff.
Buffs are two a penny, of course. You can get whole packs from Amazon for under a fiver. This one is £4.90. But, look at it. It’s absolutely gorgeous and just a lovely thing to behold. It doesn’t do anything others don’t already do (apart from being guaranteed against fading because it’s proper Italian ink) but it looks brilliant doing it. It’s superb.
An impressive collection of gear from Galibier, very much recommended.