These are lobster mitt gloves, with a hybrid design. There is a lightweight, wicking poly inner glove (regular 5 finger gloves), and an outer shell that is nylon with a ‘waterproof’ “Hipora” insert and 100g thinsulate insulation. They have a microfiber snot-wiper thump and reflective trim, along with an elastic wrist closure.
I’m going to start with criticism, because there are a few things that really bug me.
First, a note on sizing. I wear a Large in just about every pair of gloves on the market. According to Giro’s size charts, a Large should be a bit big on me. In reality, the 100 Proofs are pretty darn short in finger length. In practical terms, when I’m wearing them, it means my fingers are pushed up against the outer edge of the glove, matting down any insulation there. That means that the cold has direct access to my fingertips. In really cold weather, it feels like you are feeding [John Belushi] your fingertips…to the wolverines…[/John Belushi]. So if you’re getting them, size up.
Second, a note on lobster mitts. These aren’t. Even though they look like it on the outside, on the inside, they have little finger pockets that separate your fingers. So you’re wearing finger gloves, and the finger gloves have to slide into little finger pockets inside the outer glove. That means that there is quite a bit of separation between your fingers, and you don’t really get much benefit from the ‘lobster mitt’ design. The bulkiness of the gloves makes them hard to use with drop bars, as well. There is no extra grippy gel on your trigger fingers, so when your bars are wet, the gloves can be slippery on your brakes/brifters. Also, because the inner glove has the nice silicone grippy texture on it, getting the inner glove in and out of the outer glove can be a chore. The silicone grippy texture grabs the inside of the outer glove, and makes it hard to don or remove the gloves. Grrrr.
And don’t think you can just leave the inner glove in place and remove the whole mitt. Because of how tight the inner glove fits, donning or removing these gloves is a 2 step operation…you have to remove and refit the inner glove each time. Not exactly an elegant design.
On a positive front, unless your fingers are crammed against the outer edge of the glove, they are pretty warm. They also seem to be waterproof, as advertised. While they are thick gloves, they don’t seem to be quite as windproof as I’d hoped…particularly along the primary seam around the outside of the gloves.
I’ve adjusted for the fit, a bit, by simply not pulling the gloves on all of the way, and thus leaving a bit of space at the end of my fingers. That helps with the cold issues greatly. It’s annoying, but it works. The wrist design is long and large enough to fit over your sleeves, which works well…but I prefer the velcro wrist closure on the Pearl Izumi gloves to the bungee closure on the Giros.
Moisture management is better than the Pearl Izumi gloves, so that is a positive. The wicking inner glove does a good job of moving moisture away from your hand.
I’m conflicted on a rating for these gloves because part of my issue with them relates to sizing, which both is and is not Giro’s fault. It is their fault because their size charts are wrong. It isn’t their fault because…well…if I could have tried these on before acquiring…(wistfully extolls the virtues of shopping local).
Overall, the downsides mentioned above keep me from falling in love with the Giros. Consider them fair to middlin’. Maybe a C. Continued comparisons to come in the next few months.