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Giro 100 Proof Winter Glove Review

The 100 Proof glove is the warmest offering for Giro. It’s a split finger glove (also called “lobster claw”) that pairs your fingers together to better trap body warmth. Included with the glove is a light weight glove liner made from a moisture wicking fabric to help keep your hands dry. All in all, these gloves are designed to keep you warm and dry in the most frigid of temperatures.

The split finger design is meant to help keep your fingers warmer, similar to a mitten but with some added dexterity. The increased range of motion is important for gripping on handlebars and operating a bike’s controls. 

I had been trying various glove liners under a broad selection of cool-to-cold weather gloves that I already owned. But as the temperature began to drop below the 30 degree mark on a regular basis, I needed a better, long-term solution — something dedicated to braving winter conditions. I purchased these gloves based on a few reviews that I found here and there.

Features

Externally, the glove has a waterproof, nylon-based shell with reflective highlights. Across the knuckles is a heavier woven material meant to protect the glove from scrapes with objects that may lie in your path. This material has a nice feel and should hold up very well to many seasons of riding. The palm and finger tips are Clarino leather, boosting both warmth and grip. The cuff of the glove comes down past the wrist in a generous length and overlaps nicely with long-sleeve jackets. The cuff also features a one-handed, easy-to-use drawstring to cinch the cuff around your jacket sleeve. The thumb of the glove is a softer mircofiber material that allows you to wipe your face as your ride.

Insulating the glove is a 100g Thinsulate™ XT-S by 3M which has been treated with X-Static®, a microbial solution to prevent odor and fungal growth. This is layered over a stretch of Hipora, a material similar in performance and function to Gore-Tex. It provides a light weight, breathable wicking layer that keeps your hands dry and protected.

Internally, the glove has a light fleece lining, adding warmth and a cozy feel. Each of the split finger sections features a small internal divider between the fingers.

The liner glove is a light weight, four-way-stretch fabric. Featuring a textured silicone coating on the palm to reduce shifting on the inside of the main glove, this liner is thoughtfully designed.

Used in combination with its liner, the whole glove is designed to work in weather down to 15° F (-10° C), protecting you against wind and moisture.

Performance

So far the gloves have lived up to the performance claims and the expectations that I had when I made the purchase. I’ve done several long rides in 20-25 degree temperatures, and I was more than comfortable. One of my half-hour commutes featured an outside temperature of six degrees with a 10 mph wind. While this wasn’t fun, it was bearable, and that’s all I could ask for on a ride like that. I had no pain from the cold and was able to ride as normal, if only a bit more slowly. One thing to consider: Like a lot of outdoor gear, the temperature rating of these gloves reflects the lower limit at which they’re designed to protect you. It’s not an average low that all folks will enjoy.

The glove’s moisture wicking qualities also hold up well over long rides. While the glove liners are only slightly damp, the combination of liner and wicking materials in the outer glove leave my hands feeling dry and warm, rather than cool and clammy as I’ve experienced with other brands. The wind resistance of these gloves is great as well — you can’t feel the wind remotely, even with a stiff headwind.

It took time to grow accustomed to the split finger design, along with the dividers inside each split. After a few rides, however, I was shifting and braking as if nothing had changed.

I’ve really grown to enjoy the drawstring and long cuff. They are easy to put on and can be positioned just right. The light weight liner glove is long enough to tuck inside my jacket sleeve, while the outer glove covers the outside, creating a nice overlap that keeps heat from escaping and wind from getting in.

They come in six sizes that should cover just about everyone, ranging from XS to XXL. Keep in mind that the strongest heating element comes from those pockets of air trapped by some looseness in the glove, so you don’t want the glove to fit tight like a summer full-finger glove. On the flip side, you don’t want the glove to be so large that you can’t operate the controls.

Drawbacks

The only drawback that I’ve encountered is in the looseness of a proper fit. During the first few rides, I found myself gripping my bars a little tighter and sliding my hands around the drops. With the grippy palm, this meant that the glove would roll a bit and my fingertips would be shoved against the ends of the fingers and thumbs. When this happens, the warming air layer  collapses at the finger or thumb, and the chill starts to set in quickly. It was simple to address this — I just maintained a looser grip and repositioned my hands as needed.

The only feature that these gloves seem to lack in our tech-based world is touch screen compatible liners. I agree — I should be enjoying the ride and forgetting the gadgets, but I’m also inclined to stop and take a photo with my phone. To do so, I have to remove both the shell and liner.

These are small drawbacks. Certainly, they’re nothing that would prevent me from continuing to use these gloves.

Conclusion

These are a solid offering from Giro. The fit and performance is what you’d expect from a $70 glove. If you ride in colder conditions, the split finger design is the way to go. I consider myself to have cold hands, and for lack of a better term, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold. But for me, these gloves performed beyond the temperature range they claim. The construction is durable and well designed, but if you crash a lot on surfaces other than snow and ice (e.g. pavement and gravel), the palms might tear relatively easily.

There are a few drawbacks to the design and fit, but nothing I couldn’t easily adjust to and build into my habits. Some riders will want to substitute the liners so that they can use their phone or cycling computer without removing both gloves, but the performance is worth giving the stock liners a try.

For the price, these are a great option to consider, especially when you look at similar designs and materials outside of the cycling industry.

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