PROVIZ REFLECT 360 CYCLING GLOVES
93g Large as tested £44.95
The Pro-Viz Reflect 360 Cycling Gloves are a waterproof, breathable model with phenomenal presence, so an obvious choice for winter commuting. All the features I would expect to find in a winter glove. Being picky, the cuffs were a little shallow and dexterity good, rather than great, which may necessitate their removal, say when tackling a tight tyre bead.
Pros: Great retro-reflectives, comfortable and highly weather repellent.
Cons: Relatively shallow cuffs, dexterity good, rather than great.
These are a water and windproof design, The outer fabric, in common with the Reflect 360 range, employs millions of tiny reflective beads, turning them from a neutral grey/black to a brilliant silvery white, when graced by vehicle or street lighting.
Beneath this reflective outer sits a waterproof polyurethane layer, consisting of a three-layer microporous silicone coating structure called “Hipora”, made by Korean based Kolon Industries. This three-layer sandwich, though not impervious, in the sense those with a TPU mid layer are, means the fabric will remain dry, while wicking rider generated heat out.
This works to the same principle as most technical synthetics, essentially. It also avoids some of the bulkiness of traditional winter gloves, which is another definite plus. A soft pile fleece lining provides the thermal element and supposedly performs, right down to zero.
Flip them over and we have extensive silicone detailing for enhanced grip, come rain or shine, and for good connectivity with touch screen devices. The previous model lacked a thumb-wipe but ours had a modest, though generally effective offering.
There's silicone detailing on the thumb too, should you prefer thumb to fore-finger swiping. The omission of the common thumb and fore-finger gusset (to protect against premature wear when cruising on the hoods) was noted but arguably not a deal-breaker on a model pitched at commuting. Back to those palms, these include medium density padding to cushion the ulnar region but don’t shout their existence.
The cuffs are a simple, hook and loop Velcro closure, which ensure easy tailoring and removal. I found them relatively short, compared with sportier winter gloves in my collection but for the most part, they are up to the job.
We’re well catered for, when it comes to sizing and so long as you’ve followed the guide, pretty accurate. I came up as large and ours fitted me, well, like the proverbial. However, sizing ranges from small, right through to 2XL, which should cater for most people. I have long, willowy digits and found the fingers a little roomier than “ideal” but on the flip side, this meant they could also entertain very thin liners, should temperatures really plummet.
In a nutshell, anyone who doesn’t spot your signalling intentions should not be in charge of a vehicle on public roads.
In this respect, the technology has a slight edge over the otherwise brilliant Chiba Pro Safety Reflector Gloves . Even with less reflectively endowed technical jackets, other traffic seemed to acknowledge me from 150 metres, pretty much at every angle (although high power lighting, such as the K-Lite Bike Packer Ultra Dynamo Light certainly helps). Those giving way were given a cheery thumbs up, which was equally obvious and well-received.
Our test period has been notoriously wet, which is great for testing a garment's weather cheating credentials. The mercury has typically ranged between 4 and 13 degrees and I’ve remained generally temperate at both ends. I could feel the wind tugging at the fabric but was perfectly well insulated inside and I’ve ridden for 3 hours in relentless rain with nothing creeping inside.
This was despite the cuffs, which were a little shorter than ideal; creating that seamless overlap with mid-layers proved a little hit 'n’ miss compared with others in my collection. However, they also seem submersible, so long as water isn’t lapping at the cuff-line. Breathability is generally efficient, although there is some slight clamminess and in common with some laminate-type jackets, its best to lay them out flat afterwards (not trussed up in your cargo net) to avoid them staying slightly misty.
It’s worth noting that I’ve been using some heavily cushioned Control Tech bar wrap during this period, which has fantastic damping properties. That’s not to take away from the Reflect 360’s padding. Density is bang on throughout and there has been no hint of numbness, let alone tingling. Some commutes are longer than others, but I’ve been happy wearing them on fifty-mile rides, so horizons extend to winter Audax, middle distance club/group rides etc.
The silicone grippers have also bonded well with all my bar wraps and there’s been no issues of slippage when braking on sharp, greasy descents. The roominess I mentioned earlier meant some light switches felt a little remote and trickier to engage, ditto mounting tight tyres. However, I could still wield a multi-tool with no problems. While the lining is tethered to the fingers, these could also bunch up a little upon removal but were easily guided back into position.
After about 450 miles, ours were still very clean but smelling slightly funky. In with the civilian wash at 30/40 degrees, minimal detergent, job done. Even with a decent spin, when truly sodden, they do need a few hours on the clothes horse/airing cupboard before they’re wearable but that’s not outlandish and, crucially, they’ve never needed this, following monsoon type rains. So far, not so much as bobble, or stray thread.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to gloves but it’s worth noting the Reflect 360 gloves are a very comprehensive package. Yes, some shop-branded models offer great bang for very modest buck, but they don’t have this degree of reflective technology. The Chiba Pro Safety Reflector Gloves have the reflective technology and do a good job of resisting the wind but they’re not padded and will get quite soggy in moderate to heavy rainfall. Oxford Bright 4.0 represent decent value, are reasonably wind/water resistant but fall a long way short of rivalling the ProViz in terms of comfort and presence.
Ultimately, the ProViz Reflect 360 are an excellent choice for commuting but also seem to be capable all-rounders. Ones well suited to generic, longer distance winter riding, thanks to sensible padding density and good weatherproofing.