Both the Gale 10 and Subpolar winter gloves would make a great gift for cyclists this winter. They’re warm, waterproof, and work with your smartphone. I got a pair of each to try out, thanks to Serfas. After going back and forth between the two, the differences are very clear. So if you’re looking for cold weather cycling gloves, read on.
First up is the Gale 10. Although a winter glove, think cold and windy, not freezing weather. With standard features like gel pads in the palms, and silicone grip on the fingers, they’re at home on a bike. Made with a mix of 65% nylon, 35% PU in the palm, and 94% polyester, 6% elastane in the back, they repel water with ease. The lining is 100% polyester, which is soft and warm. A neoprene cuff with velcro at the wrist helps keep hands warm too. On the index finger is a conductive patch for smartphones.
If it’s not too cold, these are great gloves. Fit is good, and I don’t feel like they affect my range of motion. Down to around 40 degrees, they did the job. Your results may vary. Things to consider are the fingers, which I don’t feel had enough grip on cold brake levers. Also, the smart phone patch worked well for me to answer calls, but not to text or email. Granted, that’s about all I’d want to do, other than start or stop an app, but it’s worth noting.
For colder weather, check out the Subpolar. Waterproof and windproof, they are made from the same mix of materials as the Gale 10, it just seems like more was used. They are thicker and warmer. Even the gel pads feel thicker, and the thumb gusset is more substantial. Fleece linings make lower temps more tolerable. And they have the same smartphone patch as well.
While I found the Subpolar was definitely warmer, the fit wasn’t as nice. Both pairs were XXL, but the Subpolar felt narrow in the palm, and longer in the fingers. Looking closer, the palm wasn’t tight, but the thumb gusset and extra bulk changed the fit. More material all around makes them a bit more clumsy in my opinion. If you’re like me, and stop for a hot drink on a ride, be prepared to take them off. Not a huge deal, but worth noting.
Both the Gale 10 and the Subpolar gloves kept my hands warm. Which one is right for you will depend on the temps you ride in. I’d say that if the Subpolar isn’t warm enough for you, it’s time for pogies. The smartphone patch on both will at least let you unlock your phone, but you may not be able to do much more. And I’d really like a bit more of the grip on the braking fingers, but maybe that’s just me. While my test period was cold, it was short. So I can’t speak for durability, but having used Serfas products for many years, I expect a few seasons out of them. Your mileage may vary. Find them sized XS to XXL at Serfas.com.
I’d like to thank Serfas for providing their gloves for this review. My old gloves were not smartphone compatible, and while these are limited in their use, that’s still a nice touch. (See what I did there?)