Casting aside every expectation of what a waterproof thermal pair of riding gloves should look like, can the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves really deliver it's next generation promise?
If someone were to ask you to describe what a pair of cycling winter gloves look like, you’d probably use descriptive words such as ‘bulky’, ‘restrictive’ and ‘padded’ – which to be fair could be applicable to some on the market. But none of these descriptions would be within reaching distance of the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves.
Made from Porelle fabric, the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves come with a commitment to providing waterproof and breathability. Using a three-layer construction system, much like the GORE Windproofing fabric. Porelle fabric sandwiches a waterproof breathable membrane between a drip-dry outer layer and more comfortable inner layer.
The result is physically very low profile gloves and initial glances suggest they’re just knitted, similarly to the DeFeet E-Touch Dura gloves, but this time significantly more technical.
The palm of the seam free gloves are covered with silicone detailing for grip, and as they naturally provide a layer of protection between skin and bars, Dexshell has felt additional padding surplus to requirement, and gone without. It has however, cannily added touch screen compatibility to the thumb and forefinger, the thumb addition I’m particularly pleased to see, having recently found the ProViz Reflect360 gloves were left wanting in this department, which made using just a forefinger slow and clumsy.
Also outside the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves have longer than average cuffs. Measuring 10cm, these are probably triple the length of than almost any pair of winter cycling gloves I own, including the already longer than average at five centimetre of cuff Castelli Illumia gloves.
Inside the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves is a merino wool lining, tapping in to the natural insulating properties of wool and air.
I have to admit to being rather dubious about the qualities and benefits of the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves, doing the ultimate tech writing sin of judging the book by it’s cover, or in this case gloves, by the lack of theirs.
But one wear informed me of my wrong doing.
Firstly, the fit is spot on. I have diddy hands and most gloves swamp me, even the small sizes, so to find a pair that are actually size appropriate makes me one happy lady. Along with the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves low profile, zero padding meant that my radial grip on the bars was perfect.
I’ve been fortunately to ride these both in the near zero temperatures and the ever so slightly not zero but very wet conditions and they performed just as well in both. I do suffer with Raynauds, so as soon as we hit single digits on the mercury, I loose communication with mine.
It’s rare a pair of gloves can combat it, and I really struggled with the near freezing conditions in the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves, but I’m yet to find a pair that keep my hands warm. What they did allow, thanks to their stretchiness, was for me to scrunch my hands up inside the glove while riding to help get the circulation going again. Again another rare, but much welcomed design feature.
Where the Dexshell Thermfit Neo gloves really did perform superbly for me was when the temperature rose by a couple of degrees and it rained. When I say it rained, I live in the north and we do things properly up here, the rain may as well have been ice spears for the force of which it was being driven along in a cross wind.
The kind of rain where you have to ride with your head to one side and snood up to your eyes, and even then it still incredibly painful when it finds a bit of exposed skin to land on. The kind of rain where your not sure if it is just rain as your face is so numb you have no idea where the rain stops and your nose running starts. It was at this point, riding across the exposed moorland that the gloves really came in to their own.
A combination of water and wind proofing, along with the extra long cuffs really did keep my hands impressively snug and dry (and pain free) for a long time. When they eventually became saturated, the water was unnoticeable as I was still warm, which to me is always the holy grail when riding.
Here’s the impressive bit, that glove cost £37! Ok, so they’re not deep deep winter gloves, but they’re still good for riding through most of the colder months and to be less than £40 is an absolute steal. The more I get to see from the Dexshell brand, the more impressed I am, definitely one to watch.
A fantastic pair of excellent fitting waterproof and windproof thermal winter gloves for above freezing conditions, that are an absolute steal for the £37 price tag.