Thanks to the folks at Planet Bike we got a hold of a pair of their Borealis Winter Gloves to test. On first examination they seem well constructed and offer the options of using the complete glove/liner set, just the liners or just the outer shell for several combos that can help you fine tune your comfort. The removable liner also should help speed drying if your gloves get wet.
I’ve been a lobster claw guy for a lot of years when it comes to cold weather riding and pairing up fingers has always worked well for me in our Wisconsin winters. In the past dozen years or so it rarely gets below 0 degrees Fahrenheit anymore but brisk winds, often in the 20-30mph range do reek havoc on exposed skin and lobster claws, particularly Pearl Izumi’s versions have always treated me well weather riding my bike, slope soaring r/c sailplanes, snow shoeing or any number of other outdoor winter activities.
When I first saw the Borealis, and what prompted me to contact Planet Bike to get a set for testing, is their “3-finger” approach. Your pinkie and ring fingers are paired together in the outer shell (NOTE: the inner liner is a traditional 5-finger glove) while your middle and index fingers are free to waggle independently. The option to use one or two of my main bike-control-working digits has a lot of appeal. My only question is, will they be warm enough and/or how ow will they go!
My first several rides have been in temperatures hovering right around freezing and they are plenty warm for that plus I do think having the middle and index fingers separate gives me better control of the brake lever in particular. In addition the cuff is fairly long and adjustable enough to fit over my light and mid-weight shells which helps keep the wind from going up the sleeve.
A bonus of the liner/shell approach has been that simply wearing the liners for everyday gloves is working well. They are soft fleece and fit my fingers very well.
Here are some specs from Planet Bike:
- Windproof back panel
- Removable liner for quick dry time
- Ultra-soft Fleece thumb
- Reflective piping for night visibility
- Water resistant, reinforced Serino palm
- 3-in-1 design allows flexible temperature range by using liners, outer shells only, or outer shells with liners
- Neoprene cuff/pull tab with hook and loop closure
Look for an update as I get more time with these worthy gloves from Planet Bike.