The Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves are not for extreme winter, but they're warmer than many of the latest lightweight winter gloves. They're also very comfortable, stylish and competitively priced, particularly as they're made in Italy
Warmer than many lightweight winter gloves
Made in Italy
Thumb gets chilly first
No touchscreen sensitivity
The Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves are “winter gloves providing warmth in a breathable design resistant to water and wind,” according to the Italian brand. There’s no temperature range supplied, but the 365 Origines are slightly heavier and warmer than many of the lightweight, low-bulk winter gloves we’re seeing at the moment, but not quite thick enough to qualify as a deep-winter glove. If you’re surprised at the thinness of some of the current crop of ‘winter’ gloves but don’t want to go full ski glove, these could be the ones. I would say their lower temperature limit is around zero, but they're not thick enough for proper frosty mornings.
Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves: construction
Many lightweight winter gloves use a windproof back paired with a synthetic suede palm, but Santini has used Windstopper X-Free 300, a windproof and water-resistant fabric, on both the backs and the palms. As this is a fairly smooth, slippery fabric, the palms use additional pads with a silicone pattern printed on them for grip on the bars, which works well.
The palm pads are sewn underneath a liner inside, which helps them feel unobtrusive as well as adding an extra layer of insulation. Gel pads on the palms don’t go down well with everyone (I generally prefer a smooth palm/bar interface) but Santini's pads are broader and better distributed across the palm than those of the Assos Assosoires (opens in new tab), for example, which use a foam strip and a separate gel patch.
Nose-wipe panels don’t seem to be as common these days – Neither the Assos Assosoires (opens in new tab) or the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves (opens in new tab) include them – but Santini has effectively turned the Windstopper fabric inside out for the thumbs so that you get the fleece on the outside and windproof layer on the inside. There could be a strong case for a nose-wipe panel at the moment – a snot rocket when riding in a group is definitely not advisable – but I found this approach sacrificed a little bit of warmth without the fleece inside trapping the warm air. When the temperature was approaching zero I found my thumbs were getting cold first.
The cuff of the Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves is nice and high, and stretchy enough to go over or under jacket sleeves.
And finally, there’s reflective piping across the backs.
The gloves are nicely stitched – in Italy – and they’re some of the best-looking gloves I've seen this winter.
As for the fit, Santini’s size guide on its website is not the most detailed or the most accurate, but the size medium is smaller than Assos and Rapha’s medium. The Santini guide indicated I would need a large when I measured around my palm, but the medium actually fitted perfectly.
Possibly the only feature they lack: many full-finger gloves have touchscreen-sensitive pads on the index finger and thumb. The Santinis don't have that. They can operate a computer touchscreen – no problems on my Garmin – but did not work at all on an iPhone touchscreen.
For me the Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves get the balance exactly right between low bulk, warmth, light weight and good dexterity. They are also comfortable thanks to stretchy fabrics, a smooth construction and a good fit (by luck rather than by design).
I tend to suffer from cold hands more than some people, so the extra weight and warmth of the Santini gloves compared to the abovementioned Assos and Rapha was welcome. However, I never found them sweaty at higher temperatures – breathability is good – and they’re not getting whiffy the way more padded deep winter gloves do.
I’m generally not a fan of padded palms but I could live with the Santini’s wide, thin inserts, especially since they allowed the windproof, water-resistant fabric to be used on the palms instead of synthetic suede, which soaks up water.
In showers they’re pretty good thanks to the lack of synthetic suede, although the Windstopper fabric does eventually wet out in heavy rain, and the furry thumb with the reversed fabric tends to let water in first.
The Santini 365 Origine Long Finger Gloves are lower priced than the Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves (£70), the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves (£80) and the Castelli Perfetto RoS (£65), yet are made in Italy and perform down to slightly lower temperatures than most lightweight winter gloves and are very good in light rain.
I would say these represent good value. Even though their thumb is a slight Achilles heel in the very worst conditions, as well as not allowing me to take any selfies while riding (probably a good thing) the Santini gloves still get a thumbs-up from me.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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