The Windstopper Gloves from Gore are heavily insulated for cold weather riding, and they’re designed to cut through the wind thanks to the Windstopper tech in the exterior. Other features include a lengthy cuff for added warmth, side vent zips, and a hardened fingertip point for use with smartphones.
Out on the trail I found the Windstopper tech to perform admirably. These gloves sliced through the cold winter air similarly to my heavyweight downhill ski gloves, but since they’re designed specifically for biking, the Windstoppers offer a more trim cut and reduced bulk compared to a ski glove. I was impressed to find such excellent windproofness in a relatively compact package.
These gloves are undoubtedly bike-specific and offer much better brake and shifter feel than a ski glove but still, compared to a summer glove or even a mid-weight glove, I experienced some significant clunkiness when operating the controls. Personally, I prefer a pogie setup for excellent wind protection with superb control feel. That said, an extremely warm glove like the Windstopper is a much easier solution that requires zero setup time and weighs less.
While the hardened fingertip for use with a smartphone may seem to be a small feature, this is one of the best built-in touch screen features in a heavyweight glove that I’ve seen. Using the touchscreen still required much more concentration than normal, but it was very manageable without removing the gloves.
The lengthy, elastic cuff proved excellent at trapping in warmth around my hands, and it meshed superbly with the cuff design of the Gore ONE Thermium Jacket. However, I found that the long glove wrist cuff didn’t play well with most other jackets. Many other cold weather jackets have a two-layer cuff, with a tight-fitting spandex layer close to the skin and the regular jacket exposed to the elements. A standard glove would go between both of those layers. Using this type of jacket with the Windstopper glove was nearly impossible, due to the extra length of the wrist cuff running into the junction between the two jacket cuff layers.
Even other jackets and long sleeve jerseys with one single cuff and a tighter fitting sleeve didn’t mesh well with the Windstopper gloves, as it’s difficult to pull the sleeve of the jersey below the cuff of the glove. While Gore’s gear all worked flawlessly together as a single unit, mixing and matching different brands of gear with these gloves proved difficult.
All things considered, the Windstopper gloves performed excellently in my test and did a superb job keeping my fingers nice and toasty. However, with a $130 price tag I’d personally prefer to save five bucks by purchasing a pair of Bar Mitts, simultaneously improving the feel of my handlebar controls and providing compatibility with the rest of the gear in my wardrobe.
Thanks to Gore for providing the Windstopper Gloves for review.