While perhaps not as extreme as their name suggests, the Northwave Extreme Winter Gloves remain warm, weatherproof and grippy gloves well suited to chilly conditions.
The gloves are made from a number of fabrics, most notably the NW Xlite membrane which makes up the front of the glove. It’s a neoprene softshell which is windproof and water resistant, and the fabric does a good job at keeping cold air and short showers off your hands.
Otherwise, the palm is made from a synthetic leather which is in itself fairly grippy, but the addition of plenty of silicon print on all four fingers ensures a firm grip on the ‘bars, hoods and levers. There’s also a generous amount of padding on the centre of the palm, split into four section, which does a good job of taking the sting out of rough roads.
The gloves are fairly thin for a full-on winter option, with insulation limited to a fleece lining, but the combination of that and the windproof outer ensures they’re warm down to temperatures of around four or five degrees. If the mercury’s nudging towards zero then I will combine with a liner glove or reach for something warmer, while the inside of the softshell can get a little clammy when the temperature nudges into double figures.
The design does mean that the gloves aren’t bulky and they feel lightweight when worn. The fit is also excellent, with our sample close without being restrictive, although there’s not a great deal of stretch in the material so make sure you get the size right. The velcro cuff is a nice touch, and enables you to get a secure fit on the wrist, while there’s also a small ‘pull’ tab on both gloves, which makes it easier to get one on while wearing the other. Reflective inserts on the outside of the little finger work well. There’s also a fleecy snot wipe on the outside of either thumb which is well sized and very soft.
All in all, these are good gloves for chilly but not freezing conditions. Warm without being too thick, with a good fit and plenty of grip.