Castelli Illumina gloves review

Good female-specific gloves for spring and autumn riding

castelli illumina gloves
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Castelli Illumina gloves offer good protection for spring and autumn rides, providing wind and water resistance while still maintaining breathability.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Wind and water resistant

  • +

    Breathable

  • +

    Good fit

  • +

    Long cuff

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Expensive

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The Castelli Illumina gloves are made from Castelli's Stratos Light upper fabric, with these women’s specific middle-weight gloves covering a temperature range of between 12-18 degrees. A rather wet and windy late autumn means I can vouch for their wind and water resistant properties, and thanks to their breathability – they have still been by go-to pair of gloves on the on the rare dry days we’ve had up to now.

>>> Buyer's guide to winter cycling gloves (video)

Any chilly jacket-to-glove gaps are prevented thanks to longer than average 5cm wrists and reinforcing between the thumb and forefinger web should make these pretty durable, and doesn’t interfere with the sensibly sized nose wipe, a must have feature for cold weather riding.

Watch: Buyer's guide to winter cycling gloves

Being female-specific, the sizing of the Castelli Illumina gloves has been scaled down for smaller hands – but I found myself in between sizes, settling on a medium, as it offered the best fit lengthwise for my fingers.

>>> Buyer's guide to women's bib shorts

The Castelli Illumina glove’s minimalist construction allows for great radial grip and still manages to squeeze in a decent palm pad and reflective detailing, making these ideal for night rides. I normally suffer really badly with numb hands, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite the marketing and low profile padding - I found them actually kept my hands warm down to about eight degrees, with a wind and rain chill making it feel much colder. The price tag does make these a considered purchase, but are ideal for autumn early/late winter and spring.

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Hannah Bussey

Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.


Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.


For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. 


She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.