Number 923

Winter Glove Shootout!
by Hunter Pronovost

DAY 3 
(outside temps 26 to 30 degrees)  

Links to Day 1.... Here      Day 2..... Here

DaKine Charger Snowboarding (!?) glove  - $19.99


The Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell - $63.99

     One of the things I specifically wanted to compare with this round-up of winter gloves is the performance of a good cycling specific glove against a non-cycling, winter sport specific glove. And because you can buy skiing, snowboarding or simple all purpose insulated gloves just about anywhere for less then nice cycling gloves at your local bike shop, I wanted to put the Pearl Izumi up against a far less expensive glove and see if the cycling specific product is worth the difference in cost.
     The Pearl Izumi Elite is a very nice glove. It is the warmest of the gloves tested so far and each time I have ridden with them they continue to impress.
     I bought the DaKine Charger glove at my local Marshalls ( a discount clothing store ) for $19. It's designed to be a midweight snowboarding glove and it costs more at full retail, but like I said, finding discounted gloves like these at TJMaxx, Marshalls, Kohls, Bonton, Ross etc... is pretty easy. And there were other DaKine and Burton models there costing even less. 


Winner: The DaKine Charger
The DaKine has a fill layer that is thinner then the Pearl Izumi. It's true there is a bit more outer material to get in the way and reduce sensitivity with the DaKine but finger movement and gripping the handlebar is much better with the DaKine. That continues to be the one drawback to the Pearl Izumi. It has almost too much fill and you feel it while squeezing the bars. Not to mention the stiffness it creates.
You are not going to be pressing phone or cpu buttons easily with either of these, but the DaKine is just nicer to move around in.

Winner: The Pearl Izumi Elite
The P.I. is air tight, no questions asked, easily the most windproof glove I have ever worn. The DaKine does a good job and would stay airtight for most of the day on a ski slope, but descending for 1.5 miles at 40mph starts to let the cold in.

Water Resistance
Winner: The DaKine Charger
The Pearl Izumi glove kept the water out for a little longer then the DaKine but once it was wet, it got wetter quickly. The DaKine did a great job for how much thinner it is and especially on the leather palm, water just didnt get in. The Pearl Izumi is obviously designed to be worn in sub freezing temps when water is frozen, because once all the fill gets wet, you're gonna be in trouble. Even the thicker padded sections on the palm seemed to want to hold onto water.

Nose wiping ability
Winner: The Pearl Izumi Elite
All ski\snowboard gloves are going to take nose wiping into account in some way. Notwithstanding, the Pearl Izumi has a great soft spot and doesn't let you down when you have the sniffles.

Actual Temperature Reading
Winner: The Pearl Izumi Elite
Initially, the DaKine glove didn't do as great a job keeping the fingertips warm as my hands adjusted. But after 20 minutes or so, both gloves felt ok and at the end of the ride, the Pearl Izumi measured 75 degrees with the DaKine at 70 degrees. That's a pretty big difference. However, both hands were comfortable and the Pearl Izumi ended up again being a bit too warm.

Overall Warmth Impression
Winner: The Pearl Izumi Elite
Pretty much from start to finish, the P.I. felt warmer. The DaKine glove has a minimal wrist cuff and that made a big differnce.
Based simply on which glove is warmer, the Pearl Izumi wins. Based on which one makes more sense, it becomes a close call. If I could only have one, I probably would take the DaKine and pocket the extra $40.

The Pearl Izumi Elite..... Buy it if cost isn't an issue, and if you are going to be riding in temps between 20 and 30 degrees.

The DaKine Charger ( Or we could say, any suitable, inexpensive ski or snowboard glove ).... Buy it... Plain and simple, find a inexpensive midweight pair, and buy them. Stay away from the heavy weight ski gloves. Gloves like these work great in temps around freezing, and they do a great job while you are riding. You do not need padding specific to cycling gloves when you have a glove with an insulating layer. Palm padding is for hot, sweaty 2+ hour rides in the summer. For these, leather palms is something to look for. Buy a pair that is flashy and looks cool and that will help with visibility on the road, plus a colorful glove seems more at home on a road bike anyway.

Next up we will compare the Pearl Izumi to what most say is the ultimate in cycling winter gloves.... The lobster claw style.

Tags: Pearl Izumi Elite glove review, winter cycling glove shootout


mclark2112 said...

Very Fair and balanced, now try a pair of Mechanix (or similar) Winter gloves from Home Depot...

mclark2112 said...

Oh yea, and those DaKine gloves couldn't be any more rockstar!