A well-made glove offering 100% protection against the wind, even when the rain seeps through, which it will. The extra long cuff is snug enough to fit under even the tightest of jerseys. At the other end of the glove, the fit is best suited to those with long, slender fingers.
Finger fit won't suit all
Palmside grippers not so durable
Just like wetsuits, neoprene gloves are designed to trap your body’s own heat and use it to keep you warm. Anyone who’s used them before knows that this invariably has a consequence - your hands can become very clammy, but ultimately always stay warm. Getting a good fit is paramount; if the glove is too tight circulation will never get going and you’ll feel like your hand is trapped in a fridge, rather than a sauna.
Due to having zero-breathability, neoprene gloves are naturally limited to use in cool-to-cold weather.
Altura Thermostretch Windproof gloves - construction
The gloves are constructed from a 2.5mm neoprene and have a bonded polyester lining. This lining in intended to wick away moisture. It looks and feel like a T-shirt. I wouldn’t describe it as cosy, but certainly offers more comfort than bear neoprene.
The seams all look well-finished and very robust.
A sculpted cuff provides decent coverage for the wrists. It’s very snug, easily fitting under a jersey sleeve, even if that jersey happens to be on the tight side.
Palm-side Altura has added narrow strips of silicone to increase grip. These are very effective, but I’ve not been impressed with their durability; some of the strips are beginning to peel off after only six weeks of regular use.
The purpose of stitching over the thumb and forefinger isn’t discussed by Altura on its website. The gloves are definitely not touch screen compatible. Perhaps they are intended to hold the silicone in place for longer, rather than than increase grip themselves?
The gloves have a decent amount of reflective detailing, which we've come to expect from Altura across its range. Here it's well-placed, particularly for signalling, and effective in low-light and at night. If you want to really stand out, the gloves are available in a striking ‘lime’, as well as black.
The gloves come in sizes XS-XXL. I tried a small and couldn’t get it on without breaking into a sweat, so replaced them for a medium. It was still a very snug fit for me, though not ideal; the finger length (particularly on the middle finger) was excessive. The photo below shows the excess length well. If I took time to tease the fabric down the fingers, forcing fingers to the tip of the glove, compression on the fingers was reduced. In short, be ready to work the glove onto your hand to get optimum performance.
Altura Thermostretch Windproof gloves - the ride
As soon as you pull neoprene gloves on you sense heat beginning to build, often even before riding. The Thermostretch Windproofs are no different. Ensuring your hands are warm to begin with is essential. Start pedalling and the heat builds to create a clammy micro-climate inside the glove, regardless of what’s going on the other side of the neoprene.
The gloves certainly live up to their title; you won’t sense any kind of chill, even facing a bitter northerly wind. Your hands remain toasty warm and, providing the gloves aren’t too tight, increasingly sweaty. Throw in rain and they will remain at a constant temperature. It doesn’t take long for rain to permeate the neoprene, it then simply warms to the temperature of your hand and you don’t suffer like you would with a non-neoprene glove.
If you're a neoprene glove virgin, this will all sound rather strange. I’d venture to say that they are like Marmite; a case of love or hate. I can personally tolerate the sweaty palms as trade-off for warm hands. However I find the biggest draw-back to be the hassle of removing the glove, if you need to, mid-ride. A fight to extract your hand from its sweaty shell can last several rounds. I avoid removing them mid-ride at all costs; getting them back on is like stepping back into the ring after a knock-out. I never felt like I had full dexterity with Altura's, so I did have to get them off once or twice mid-ride to use the phone. If you know they are going to be off for a duration - coffee stop, repair, etc… it’s worth trying to expose some of the inner (to let moisture evaporate). Whatever you do, they won’t be easy to get back on.
The gloves need regular washing as the interiors get pretty stinky. They respond well though, coming out smelling fresh every time. I don’t believe this has caused any deterioration in performance or affected construction; the silicone peeling off is happening at a high contact area.
We reviewed Gripgrab’s Neoprene Gloves (opens in new tab) over 7 years ago and they cost £40 back then, the same price as the Altura gloves on test here. dhb (opens in new tab) have a very similar glove for £26, while La Passione (opens in new tab) have a similar pair with an RRP of £38. The only thing to really compare is fit, I can't do that as I've only tested one pair.
Altura's Thermostretch WIndproof gloves are well-made, offering 100% protection against the wind, even when the rain seeps through, which it will. The extra long cuff is snug enough to fit under even the tightest of jerseys. At the other end of the glove, the fit is best suited to those with long, slender fingers.
The fit of a neoprene glove needs to be spot on for it to function effectively. That wasn’t the case for me with the Altura Thermostretch gloves. And it's because of this I wouldn't personally invest in them. In short, you'll want to check the fit before you commit to buying these.
The peeling silicone is a little worrying too. If good grip is high on your priority list, these might not be for you.
- Weight: 90g
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Colours: Black, Lime
- Contact: altura.co.uk (opens in new tab)
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Emma’s first encounters with a bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
With a couple of half decent UK road seasons under her belt, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there, spending two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, working primarily as a domestique for Emma Johansson. When Redsun folded, Emma was offered the opportunity to ride with a newly formed Belgian team and home to the first year senior and budding rider Anna Van Der Breggen.
After retiring, Emma returned to teaching, setting up her own tutoring business. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. While the road bike remains her true passion, she has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been sightings of Emma off-road, on mountain and gravel bikes… As if all of this isn't enough, she's been working as a freelancer since 2005, testing and reviewing the latest kit and sharing her insight into the sport.
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