Excellent gloves that really do provide warmth from the very first pedal stroke. The wind protection is second to none and waterproofing proved to be excellent, too. I'd like a nose/sweat wipe and better touchscreen capability, but will still be reaching for these until spring.
Keep the rain off
Touchscreen sensitivity could be better
No nose wipe
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My initial reaction when unwrapping Stolen Goat's Climb and Conquer gloves was one of extreme surprise. The packaging declared them 'deep winter' gloves, but what rested in my hands looked more like a wooly pair you might purchase from one of the 'can we interest you in...' buckets near the till of a supermarket. They didn't look high tech to me - but I was mistaken.
>>> Best winter cycling gloves (opens in new tab)
These gloves claim to be 100 per cent wind and waterproof. I would question any fabric claiming to keep out every drop of water, especially when breathability is also a focus, however, these gloves performed extremely well - especially when considered alongside the price tag.
Stolen Goat Climb and Conquer waterproof gloves: construction
Most of the gloves I've tested these winter have carried a more technical aesthetic, typically making use of neoprene fabric or windstopper material to keep the weather out and warmth in.
Comparatively, Stolen Goat's design looks to be significantly simpler. Its website description is gloriously vague, too.
The brand states that the material is 'Nylon'. Asked for more detail, a representative gave me a break down of 78% Nylon, 11% Polyester, 9% Spandex, 2% Conductive fibre on the outside, with a PU Membrane, and 77% Acrylic, 20% Polyester, 3% Spandex on the inside.
This breakdown is much more representative of the tech that's actually gone into these gloves; this is a rare occasion where I'd suggest Stolen Goat actually needs to up its marketing language and blow its own horn a bit more on its own website.
The underside of the gloves is covered with a silicone dot pattern to maximise grip on the handlebars, and index finger and thumb feature touchscreen-friendly patches.
Whilst not soft, the material is stretchy, and the cuff extended far enough up my wrist to provide good coverage. I tested a size S/M - sizes range from XS and L/XL, and I did find the fit a little baggy so I'd suggest sizing down if you're unsure.
Stolen Goat Climb and Conquer waterproof gloves: the ride
As mentioned, these gloves represent a departure from anything I've tested recently - but they surprised me in the best possible way.
Usually, riding in temperatures of around 2ºC, I find that my hands will be cold for the first 10 minutes, whatever I choose to swaddle them in. I had accepted this as an unfortunate truth, and one that is particularly unpleasant after a stop on a longer ride.
Not so in these gloves - the windchill seemed to have absolutely zero effect on my fingers from the get-go. This might signify that I may experience overheating once my core temperature climbed high enough to send warmth to my hands: also not so, once working hard my fingers remained comfortably warm but never became clammy.
There have been plenty of opportunities to test these in the rain of late, too. Under light to moderate rain, I found no water ingress at all.
I haven't yet worn them in a deluge - the sort of conditions that a rider only ever finds themselves exposed to by accident, when the rainclouds open at full force halfway through a ride. Keen to test to the extreme, I donned the gloves and placed my hands directly under running water. Despite a proper dousing, whilst the outside of the glove was soaked, my fingers were merely damp.
I would still question any breathable fabric that claims to be '100 per cent' waterproof. Quizzed for more detail, Stolen Goat says that the gloves were waterproof to 22,000mm (based on the standard JIS L1092:2009 Method B) and breathable to 16,000g/m2/24hrs (based on the standard JIS L1099:2012 Method B-1). Put simply: thrust your hand into a pool of water, and keep it there, and you'll get some ingress, but these will keep the rain off whilst remaining breathable, under what I'd consider 'reasonable' conditions.
The touchscreen sections are effective for quick tasks like unlocking a phone, but I removed the gloves to type out longer messages. The silicone dots look nice and do add to grip.
The seamless construction means that these gloves are quite pared down, there's no 'terry wipe' at the thumb for those winter drippy nose moments, which is a bit of a shame.
Stolen Goat Climb and Conquer waterproof gloves: value
At £35, these gloves come in much cheaper when compared with other models tested. My other favourite pair is the Castelli ROS (opens in new tab) but these comes in at almost twice the price - £60 - and aren't able to do away with that 'first 10 minutes' chill like the Stolen Goat's do.
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