Banish cold hands forever with Castelli’s top-tier Estremo winter glove. Pricey yes, but a solid investment for the committed winter cyclist
So so warm
Comfort and fit
Details and durability
Lack of reflective details
Pricey, but cheaper than an indoor trainer
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The coldest weather calls for some serious gloves and Castelli’s Estremo - Italian for extreme - are the company’s ‘warmest cold-weather glove yet’ and live up to this claim by way of a thick insulation that is good enough for -5C/23F to +5C/41F temperatures. They’re then wrapped with Gore-Tex Infinium X-Fast to provide an impenetrable barrier to wind. Despite their obvious bulk, they don’t dramatically impact freedom of movement and comfort is off-the-scale good.
The Castelli Estremo gloves already earned a spot in our guide to the best winter cycling gloves, but in order to prove their merit, we've spent the past few months putting them through their paces. Read on for how they performed in tests against competitors such as the Gore Windstopper Thermo, Sportful NoRain and Le Col Hors Categorie Deep Winter gloves.
Design and aesthetics
These are Castelli’s coldest weather gloves and are the limits of bulkiness without ruining dexterity. Inside is a soft and deep pile fleece lining while outside is a windproof Gore-Tex Infinium layer, and they are stacked with features that show considerable attention to detail. From the silicone printed palm for better grip to the long cuff and easy-access Velcro, to the soft microsuede thumb panel for wiping a runny nose to the embossed scorpion logo, these are gloves that make you feel good about heading into the cold dark winter.
A windproof Gore-Tex Infinium X-Fast material covers the back of the hand with the exception of the middle two fingers and provides a good barrier to the elements, and while it’s not waterproof, it's water-resistant enough to cope with light rain or a passing shower.
It’s combatting cold they’re designed for, and the warmth they offer comes from a deep pile insulation that provides genuine warmth at sub-zero temperatures. The fingers have a pre-curved construction and are beefed up around the thumb for durability where there’s also a soft suede material for nose wiping. The long cuff features a Velcro closure and they come in six sizes.
I really struggle with keeping my hands warm in the winter so cold rides are met with a certain amount of apprehension. Pulling these gloves on instantly brought a smile to my face, the soft insulation feels incredibly soft and comfortable on the skin. They are a big glove but not excessively bulky and I found I was able to easily grip the handlebars and hoods and operate the gears and brakes with no limitation. With temperatures dropping below zero recently, these gloves really do keep even my cold hands warm, making winter rides more enjoyable than they deserve to be. The long cuff easily accommodates a thick jacket sleeve and the Velcro closure makes getting them on and off a cinch.
If you want the warmest gloves going without resorting to a lobster mitt like the Gore Infinium Thermo Split gloves, these have to go on your wishlist. Clothing that brings a smile to your face before you’ve even left the house, and continues to make you smile several hours into a cold ride, has to be a sound investment.
The fit, finish and details all back up the price tag and they feel made to last a lifetime. What they won’t do is keep you dry in a rainstorm, but it takes a fair while before persistent rain makes its way past the DWR lining and insulation. However since they aren’t designed for wet weather, it’s unfair to mark them down for that. The lack of reflective details and touchscreen compatibility are the only things holding them back from top marks.
Tech specs: Castelli Estremo winter cycling gloves
- Price: £100.00 / $99.99 / €99.95
- Colours: Black
- Size: XS-XXL
- Materials: 85% Polyester, 11% Polyamide(Nylon), 2% Elastolefin (Olefin), 2% Polyurethane
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