Note: Updated March 2023 by Tristan
If you know me you know I love my clothing and these humble gloves have really impressed me over the past few months on both the gravel bike and the road bike.
CASTELLI TUTTO NANO
These are the “I’m not sure I need gloves today” glove. To give you a reference point my previous favorite intermediate-condition gloves were the Defeet ones which I’ve been using for about 20 years. I never really liked the Defeet cotton glove but always found the wool ones to be great.
The Tutto Nano is made entirely from Castelli’s Nanoflex fabric which is the same stuff as the Gabba and Perfetto jackets. The name, literally translated from Italian, means “all nano”. Light rain beads off the glove without soaking through and the fabric has a bit of wind-proofness to it as well.
These Castelli gloves are similar in terms of usable temperature range to my favorite Defeet (ie: they’re certainly not a cold-weather glove) but the Castelli have better wind resistance and are way more packable for when you take them off. They’re also much thinner so if you’re caught in some decent rain and the gloves soak-through it’s easier to wring them out as they’re holding less water.
They’ve got touch-screen bits on the finger and thumb so you can use your phone, although I find them to be too grippy and because the gloves are so easy to take on and off I tend to just pull them off for anything more than checking a text.
The only change I’d like to see would be a slightly longer cuff as on my long arms they tend to leave an unsightly gap between the jacket and glove. A longer cuff would make them look a bit more naff if you’re wearing a short-sleeve jersey but any full-finger glove looks naff without arm warmers or a jacket really.
The perfect glove for those days when you leave the house wearing gloves and you know they ain’t coming off for the duration. These gloves have a really wide useful temperature range and although they aren’t made of any fancy water-repelling fabric they do a good job of not absorbing either drizzle on the wet days or sweat on the warm days.
If you take them off they’re easy to pack away as they’re not overly bulky, and when you go to put them back on with your damp, clammy hands you’ll find that the inner liner doesn’t separate from the outer. Considering how rare this feature is with two-layer gloves I’m going to assume it’s really hard to achieve so well done Attaquer.
They’ve got a great snot-wiper – something often overlooked on gloves. The palm has some high-friction areas for gripping your wet bar tape but doesn’t bunch and doesn’t have any of those stupid gell pads stuck to it. Bonus points for having a touch-screen index finger, being made by some Sydney-based GCs, and having the words FUCK YEAH written on them (although they do make a PC version if swearing about gloves isn’t your thing but these gloves are good shit so you should totally fucking swear about them.)
CASTELLI TEMPESTA 2
I love winter riding, but you’ve gotta be dressed for it. These are the gloves which live in your wardrobe and don’t get used that often, however when you do need them they’re amazing.
This is the glove to reach for when it’s 5 degrees or lower. They’re thick and warm and do a great job of keeping the wind and rain off your hands. Somehow Castelli managed to do all of this while keeping palm bulk to a minimum so it just feels like you’re wearing normal gloves not some snowboarding mitten which makes holding the bars tricky.
The backs of this glove are covered in reflective material so cars behind you will see you indicate which is something I love for my winter commutes to work.
They’ve got a great big soft snot-wiper which feels like a 4 ply kleenex. The cuffs are super tall and ensure there is no air-gap between the glove and your jacket and will either fit under most jackets or over depending on your style preference and the urgency with which you pulled them on.
These are a big glove and they don’t pack into your pocket very well, and when you go to put them back on the inner liner will float around inside the outer layer. You’ve been warned. Generally the only time I take these gloves off is when I stop to use my phone as I find the touch-screen finger pads just too large to use on my keyboard.
GIRO NEO BLAZE
This glove is quite old now and no longer in production…it’s been replaced by something call the Xnetic H20 but I haven’t used them yet so I can’t compare and contrast although my 5 year old Neo Blazes are starting to show their age so I’ll be getting a pair if they ever come into stock.
This is a neoprene glove that you’re more likely to pair with a wetsuit than a skinsuit. If you’re riding in consistent rain this is the glove to wear with your ShakeDry jacket and as long as you’re working a bit and producing some heat these gloves will keep your digits warm.
Neoprene works by holding water against your hands but allowing you to warm up that water, whereas a cotton glove will just make you cold. Neoprene is also super easy to wring-out so you can shed the excess rain water and feel badass for riding in the rain when all your soft mates are on Zwift. Bonus points awarded to this glove for being really low-bulk and they pack into your pocket or up your jacket really easily if the sun comes out.
The Neo Blaze has a super grippy palm with no padding, just like all gloves should be. There is no snot-wiper but the neoprene material is pretty soft. Think about a single-ply toilet paper feeling: it gets the job done but you don’t want to use it forever.
Like the Tempesta this is a limited-use clothing item with a narrow useful range of conditions but what it does it does really well.
So there you have it – Tristan’s 2021 Glove Recommendations. I can’t believe I just wrote 1000 words on cycling gloves but this is the kind of stuff I think about when I ride.