These gloves have kept my hands warm and mostly dry throughout the harsh winter months, and they've remained in good condition proving their durability. The touchscreen compatibility was good, but might have been better with a closer fit on the fingers.
Limited thumb wipe
Altura's Firestorm gloves arrived as part of a bundle, delivered before the Cycling Weekly team embarked upon the Red Bull Timelaps: a 25-hour relay race running overnight.
With high winds, rain and temperatures typical for 2am in October, the event certainly made for a ripe winter kit testing ground, and I've been layering up with these gloves ever since - throughout November and December.
The fact that I've chosen to continue wearing the Firestorm gloves into deep winter is testament to their warmth and durability, though they've not hit every requirement along the way.
Using a softshell main body fabric, and an Amara suede palm, the Firestorm gloves provide plenty of protection from the elements. Though they'll not be a total barrier in downpour, they keep the worst off, ditto windchill and the 'Altura Dry Technology' fabric is true to its word in being quick wicking.
The cuff on a size small measures 2 inches, and kept my wrists dry, with plenty of space for funnelling jersey sleeves into the fabric to keep the cold out.
Suede makes for a great choice on the palm, leading to a good fit and a close bar to hand contact patch that allows for ample dexterity, despite some excess fabric at the upper. I did find the suede got a little sweaty on the inside after hard efforts, but that's hard to avoid when pedalling to the max on milder winter days.
The gloves also feature a reflective pattern on the upper, which stands out in the dark and low level conditions - a welcome feature, especially when indicating left or right.
The finger tips are designed to be touchscreen compatible. Most of the time, this worked well - I could unlock my phone, open apps and of course (most importantly) take pictures. The fingers being quite bulky and squared off meant that typing was a little more difficult - it was possible, but required concentration.
The thumb is reinforced, with a terry sweat wipe on the lower panel. This is lovely and soft, and adequate for wiping the brow, but didn't prove sufficient for the snottyness of a January cold.
These minor criticisms aside, the gloves have remained in great conditions despite hard miles in the depths of winter. They've been through the washing machine several times, and are showing no real signs of wear, with the suede palm remaining supple enough to continue to offer comfort and a great fit.
I opted for a size small, and in hindsight might have been more suited to an XSmall in this unisex design. However, Altura do offer a wide range of sizes - from XS to 2XL. At a reasonable price of £39.99, the Firestorms are available in Black or Grey, with the latter being pretty stand-out, but perhaps the less durable of the two.
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.
A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly.
When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.
She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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