Comfortable and well-insulated, La Passione's Deep Winter gloves are the one item you can't do without when riding in freezing temperatures
- Comfortable fit
- Water- and windproof
- Excellent dexterity
- Reflective detailing
- Warm and cossetting
- No touchscreen functionality
- Take time to put on correctly
I've never completed a Rapha Festive 500 in the northern hemisphere before. As a South African, it's always been a summer challenge but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to me escaping the cold and riding huge miles with my mates back home in Cape Town. As a sucker for punishment, I made the decision to ride it all outside (this despite the Festive 500 open to indoor miles because of the cold weather and lockdown protocols) which meant some serious preparation on my part, which included sourcing a few pairs of the best winter cycling gloves.
One thing I've learned during my two years in the UK is that there's cycling clothing for every occasion, inclement weather included. While there's no disputing the importance of utilising one of the best winter cycling jackets, thermal bib tights or a winter cycling cap, it's extremity protection such as overshoes and gloves that are often overlooked. In fact, I'm inclined to say gloves are the most important item when it comes to winter riding as your hands are responsible for bike control, stability and comfort.
Italian kit maker, La Passione, sent over a pair of its Deep Winter cycling gloves to help get me through over 500km/21-hours' worth of negative-temperature riding. Here's how the Deep Winter gloves stacked up.
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Design and aesthetics
In terms of aesthetics, the La Passione Deep Winter gloves are pretty minimalist in execution but still possess a premium look and feel. Pictured here in black, the only La Passione references take the form of a wordmark label tag and a reflective 'Hold the Line' logo on the top of the gloves.
Construction and performance
La Passione has paid much attention to the construction of the glove which benefits from a three-layer softshell and inner-fleece fabric. The outer fabrics protect the hands from wind chill, rain and road spray while the inner glove tightly ensconces the hand and fingers in a soft, fleecy fabric. The long, protective double cuff is a great addition to the glove anatomy, as it wraps tightly around the sleeve of your jacket to form a 'weather-tight' fit, while the outer cuff sits flush against it.
As far as performance goes, the gloves are not too bulky and La Passione has struck a balance here when it comes to form and function. For instance, the entire palm is clad in a micro-fibre suede-like material which helps foster improved grip in all conditions (wet and cold). You'll also notice a certain level of 'puffiness' to the glove when fitted. This provides some insulation between the fleece layer and outer fabrics which helps with heat management and circulation, especially around the palm.
The fit is a lot tighter around the fingers which can cause some numbness in the tips (temperature and wind chill dependent of course) but that is to be expected from a cycling glove; anything bulkier and dexterity will be compromised. Speaking of dexterity, the gloves offer a full range of finger movement - both in terms of shift operation, braking and steering - but ride feel is non-existent and the gloves don't play nicely with touchscreens.
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When it comes to riding in the cold and often wet wintery conditions of the northern hemisphere, La Passione's Deep Winter gloves are my go-to item of choice. They're stylish, well-constructed and offer prodigious levels of dexterity and protection from the elements.
Yes, the fingertips aren’t touchscreen-compatible and it can be a time-consuming exercise getting them fitted correctly but when it comes to the job at hand - in this case, getting this writer through his first UK Rapha Festive 500 - the La Passione Deep winter gloves performed without fault.
At £51 / €58 they might sit at the pricey side of the winter cycling gloves spectrum but consider these an investment for going out when conditions are miserable. Two months down the line and they haven't shown any signs of wear and tear yet either, which is a good sign considering how much they've been used to date.
While these particular gloves are currently sold out, the regular La Passione Winter Gloves are a worthy alternative. Boasting a three-layer windproof fabric with water-repellent membrane the gloves can dismiss temperatures spanning anything from 0 to 8-degrees Celcius.
Shop at La Passione
Tech Specs: La Passione Deep Winter gloves
- Price: £51.00 / €58.00
- Weight: 98g (49g per glove)
- Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
- Colours: Black
- Protection: Water/windproof three-layer softshell
- Temperature: -4 to 3-degrees Celsius
- Terrain: A- and B-roads
- Mileage: 594km
- Hours: 21-hours
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