Number 905

 Winter Glove Shootout!
DAY 2 
(outside temps 32 to 36 degrees)

Louis Garneau Wind Tex ECO Flex Gloves - $39.99

The Craft "Active"
Glove - $44.95

These two gloves at first glance are very similar but after riding an hour and half with each one on a different hand, the differences become apparent. The Craft Active is actually marketed as a multi-use glove, with it being suitable for nordic skiing, cycling, and running. Makes sense to me. The L.G. is $5 less at retail. 


Winner: The Craft Active
Even though the Craft is a thicker glove, it fits soft and snug against the skin without being too tight. Finger tip sensitivity is good in both gloves. The L.G. has seams on the inside of the fingers that make full movement a little rough feeling. However, the L.G. is, predictably, the better glove to grip a handlebar with, as it has no fill layer. Points also go to the L.G. for its thin and refreshingly long cuff. The thin cuff went under my winter jacket no problem and stayed there. The Craft, with its much thicker wrist cuff had to go on top of the jacket. I prefer cuffs under the jacket but you may be completely different.

Winner: The Craft Active
Both gloves did very well in this test and it was almost too close to call. Only at 35-40 mph going downhill could a real difference be felt, and that is where the Craft felt a little more shielded from the wind.

Water Resistance
Winner: The Louis Garneau ECO Flex
For this test I showered the gloves with some water and then moved my hand, fingers and wrist around until I could feel the moisture seeping in. Whether or not this simulats what happens on the bike, who knows. But for the sake of comparison, the L.G. felt drier. The soft insulation of the Craft seemed to sponge up the water.

Nose wiping ability
Winner: The Louis Garneau ECO Flex.
The engineers who put together the Craft glove should be given a stern scolding about this one. There is no spot to nicely wipe your nose on the Active.

Actual Temperature Reading
Winner: The Craft Active
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the glove that feels thicker and has a layer of thin insulation should end up being warmer in real life. After the first 15 minutes of riding during what I call the "cold shock" period the temperature inside the Craft was 48 degrees. Inside the L.G. was 45. Both felt like they were under-performing, and both hands felt cold. But that could be due to how my body was dealing with the cold air that day. After 25 minutes or so, both gloves started to warm up on the inside. The L.G. took a little longer, probably due to the fact that it seemed to be a tighter cut on my fingers. If you are generally the type that doesn't like tight fitting gloves, it would be best to try on the L.G. before buying them. After the entire ride, both gloves were in the sixties with the slight difference being in favor of the Craft.

Overall Warmth Impression
Winner: The Craft Active
This was almost too close to call. The L.G. does a great job at trapping warm air inside without the aid of insulation. After the initial warming up, both hands felt similar. It was only because the Craft felt warmer at first does it take the win in this category.

Again, its a tough one to call, but if I had to chose between the two I would go for the Craft.  Its a glove you can ride with when its 32 degrees out with a chance of falling temps. The Louis Garneau is a great short range glove for rides under 2 hours.

The Craft Active..... Buy it if you need a warm, below freezing, glove but absolutely can not stand heavy filling and insulating layers.

The Louis Garneau Wind Tex ECO Flex.... Buy it for 32-45 degree riding and racing... Its light weight makes it a great race glove.

No comments: