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Dissent 133 Layered Cycling Glove System review

Should you take a one-stop-shop approach to the layered glove systems often employed by shrewd cyclists?

Dissent 133 layered glove system
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

What’s unique about the Dissent 133 Layered Glove System is its performance, and availability of the waterproof, Hdrylite shell layer

For

  • - Easy-to-carry extra warmth for changing conditions on long rides
  • - Outer layers are touchscreen friendly
  • - If you buy the system, the case is a nice touch
  • - A modular system works well for wet weather riding
  • - Ribbon pull system on the shells are easy to open

Against

  • - Hook and loop closure will catch on both liners
  • - Wind layer probably isn't worth a purchase
  • - Fingers are long

Just about every glove on our list of the best winter cycling gloves is some combination of a shell, a membrane layer, insulation, and an inner liner. Talk to any seasoned rider and you are bound to hear that your best bet is to actually separate all those pieces. Ask for details and you are sure to get a passionate response on a favourite liner, a favourite insulation layer, and a favourite shell. The makers of Hunt wheels would seem to be some of those same veteran riders. 

The company has created a system and packaged it for sale together. You could grab each piece from whatever company you prefer but the Dissent 133 system puts it all together for you at a competitive price. After spending time getting to know all the pieces, we are ready to talk about what works and what doesn't. We've also got some ideas for strategies to get the most out of the Dissent 133 system. If you want gloves that can grow with your needs then keep reading to see what we think of the offering from Dissent 133. 

Dissent 133 Layered Glove System comparison of wind proof and water proof shell layers

The two shell layers are the same design with different fabrics. In most cases, sticking with just the heavier Hdrylite version makes the most sense (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics

The Dissent 133 Layered Glove System comes together with a combination of four different layers. You can purchase each layer on its own but you can also choose one of three packages (called Systems). The packages each include the same two inner layers but depending on the choice you make there are different options for the shell or you can get both. Whatever package you choose, there's also an included case. 

The first layer is a silk base layer. There are lots of silk liner gloves for sale and this one isn't particularly special. It's a 100 per cent silk fabric with no supporting fibres weaved in. Don't expect anything ultra-slick though. While you might associate silk with satin, that's a style of weaving and in this application what you get feels close to fine cotton. There's plenty of stretch and good dexterity, but there's no touch screen compatibility. This is your first supporting layer designed to provide light insulation as well as moisture-wicking capabilities. 

The next layer is a knit glove that works both as a supporting layer or on its own. This layer feels almost exactly like knit gloves from Showers Pass or the Giro Xnetic H20 gloves but there's no waterproofing here. The knit is tight enough that while there's no specific windproofing it will do the job well when you just need a bit of warmth for a spring or fall day. The first two fingers, as well as the thumb, work with touchscreens and there's a generous application of silicone grip material both on the palm and at the end of each finger. 

The first two layers will always be present if you buy the system as a package. Which of the next two layers you get will depend on which system you purchase. These layers also differ from the first two layers because they don't pair together. There's a lighter layer or a heavier layer and the design for each is the same with the difference being the fabric. The three systems on offer either include one, the other, or both of these outer layers. 

If you've chosen either the ultimate cycling pack or the windproof cycling pack then the next layer will be the Showerlite Windproof gloves. Although the branding is different, you can think of this as equivalent to the Gore Infinium design used in the Gore C5 Infinium jacket. There's a membrane that will stop wind but not water and a DWR (durable water repellent) coating that helps protect against light rain. There's no separate palm treatment but, like the knit layer, there's a generous application of silicone grip material. The first finger and thumb work with touchscreens and this is the first time the innovative closure system shows up. 

Both of the shell layers feature the same closure system. Starting in the centre of the glove, behind the knuckles, is a dart. At the rear edge of the long cuff is a hook and loop closure attached to both sides and across the dart. Attached to the glove surface is the hook side of the closure. One strip follows the edge of the dart and the other two run the opposite direction across the glove. In the centre, the hook changes to the loop side and on the opposite edge of the dart is a flap with loop material on the inner edge. The flap has two holes and a piece of ribbon running through them that makes a loop. With the glove closed the loop makes for an easy place to grab and pull the glove open. 

If you think of the lighter shell layer as equivalent to Infinium then the last layer is like Gore-Tex. Unlike Gore-Tex though, the HDry membrane is bonded as closely as possible to the outside layer. There’s no air gap, there’s no insulation, there’s nothing between the back of the facing fabric and the membrane. It’s what you might expect in other gloves but it’s not typically the design. It means that while the design of the two shell gloves is exactly the same, the performance is much different. The lighter version gets a water-resistant label and utilises DWR, the HDrylite layer is waterproof. The exterior is what most people would consider a hardshell design. It's hydrophobic and the bonded membrane will not let water through.

Dissent 133 Layered Glove System detail of knit insulation layer

The knit insulation layer is a tight weave that works well on its own for spring and fall days (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Performance

There are a lot of details to cover when it comes to the design because you are essentially getting four pairs of gloves. In use, it's not that complicated though. Knit gloves feel fantastic and if you can handle the weather with light wind protection and some insulation just grab this layer. If it's a bit colder then add the silk liner to the mix. If it really gets cold, or rainy, then add the HDrylite shell. 

With those three layers, the range of temperatures you can handle is almost everything above deep winter. If you are considering a deep-winter option such as the MAAP Apex gloves or the Pearl Izumi AmFib Lobster Gel gloves, the Dissent 133 layering system isn't going to be appropriate. For almost every other glove situation it will work well depending on how you mix and match. 

Note I did not mention the Showerlite Windproof layer. If you live somewhere with warm winters, where it rarely rains, it might be a good option. For Pacific Northwest winters, British winters, or anywhere that rain often accompanies the cold, there's no situation where I feel like the lighter shell would be preferred over the heavier shell. They are very close in performance and given how much variability you can get, mixing and matching layers, it was never needed. 

Part of that is the excellent performance of the HDryLite shell. Waterproof membranes do work but depending on where they have been arranged within the glove, the rest of the glove can get wet and retain water. The HDry membrane sits as close to the top layer as possible without any material to soak through. This is the real innovation of the entire system and if you only buy one piece this would be the one to buy. You can find similar shell layers in a mitten style not designed for cycling but no one else currently has a glove like this in the cycling market.

The other big advantage to the Dissent 133 approach is the ability to handle changing weather. Start the ride with both insulation layers and the shell. As the day warms up you can shed layers, splitting pieces across pockets if you are tight on space. A glove such as the Sportful Sottozero provides a similar amount of cold weather protection but it's difficult to get those in a jersey pocket. 

When it comes to downsides, the big one is that innovative closure system. When it’s time to get your hand out, it's a joy to use, but the problem is the chosen hook and loop system. There are modern hook and loop solutions that are difficult to snag fabric with, but that's not what you'll find here. Not only that, but by placing the hook side on the glove it means if you aren't careful about closing the system completely you can still snag a jersey, or more likely the liner gloves, even when the glove is closed.  

Dissent 133 Layered Glove System detail of silk liner layer

The silk liners aren't much different from other liners on the market but they are high-quality and the pricing is competitive (Image credit: Josh Ross)

View the Dissent 133 Glove System at Dissent 133.

Verdict

The whole Dissent 133 system relies on the HDryLite layer. Keeping the shell separate from the insulation layer and putting the membrane right behind the outer, is a better design. If you want a five-finger style shell designed for cycling this is your choice. If you already have some liners and knit gloves then you can skip the rest of the system. If you are starting from scratch though, pick up the Wet Weather Cycling Pack and the price matches, or even beats, the price you'd pay to assemble it on your own. A system of three gloves could take the place of almost every other glove you'd need, with the exception of deep winter options. These aren't quite as warm if that's what you need.  

Despite the performance, there are some missteps. The closure system is great but the hook and loop arrangement is not. You will snag the inner gloves within minutes and if you aren't careful, you risk snagging a pricey jersey. The fit could also use some help with the fingers a bit long for the size. 

Dissent 133 Layered Glove System detail of case with use suggestions

Purchase one of the system packages and you get a bonus case with directions on the inside (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Tech Specs: Dissent 133 Layered Glove System Ultimate Cycling glove pack

  • Price: £109.00 / $147.77 / €132.86 / $205.82 AUD
  • Available Colours: Black
  • Available Sizes: XS-XL
  • Weight: 10g silk liner, 27g insulation, 29g Showerlite shell, 43g HDrylite shell (one glove per pair, size medium)

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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx