Pearl Izumi’s PRO Softshell Lite Gloves are very much on the ‘lite’ side of a winter glove. Comfortable and without bulk, they are a fine proposition on dry, mild days but, as you might expect, can find themselves out of their depth when the weather deteriorates.

The gloves feature Pearl Izumi’s PRO Softshell fabric with a DWR finish in order to provide wind and water protection. The wind resistance felt reasonable and kept out the cold on brisk rides. However I was left disappointed with the water resistance when my hands became wet and cold in well under an hour on a drizzly ride. Granted the finish isn’t claimed to be waterproof, but I expect a water resistant winter glove to stay mostly dry for at least an hour.

Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell Lite Glove - review (Pic: Michelle Arthurs/Factory Media)

Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell Lite Glove - review (Pic: Michelle Arthurs/Factory Media)

  • Specification

  • Price: £39.99
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Size tested: L
  • Colours: Red; black
  • Website: Pearl Izumi
  • UK distributor: Madison

Pearl Izumi’s PRO Softshell fabric is combined with 50g of Primalot Gold insulation on the back of the hand, intended to provide warmth without bulk. With a recommended temperature range of minus five to ten degrees. Again I was somewhat disappointed my hands were on the borderline riding out in temperatures around five degrees – a whole ten degrees over what they should be comfortable in.

Part of this may be down to the cuff. It has been designed long to keep the wrists warm, but doesn’t have a very elasticated fit - so despite its intention, it can leave the hand prone to cold air creeping in. This does depend on the width of your wrist and a lot of riders may find it a non-issue, however a cuff with more elasticity would fit more riders better.

Conductive leather is used on the finger and thumb to enable gloves to be used with a smartphone – quite a novelty and useful so you don’t have to take the gloves off in cold weather to answer a call or send a message. I found it worked well with the index finger, less so with the thumb as the fit was too generous. For this technology to work effectively there needs to be a nice snug fit around the fingertips so be aware if trying on.

Dexterity is a big feature of the gloves and levels of shifter feel are close to that of a summer glove, if the temperature is mild. Ironically the low insulation means at minus five degrees you aren’t likely to be able to feel your fingertips for long enough to appreciate it.

Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell Lite Glove - review (Pic: Michelle Arthurs/Factory Media)

Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell Lite Glove - review (Pic: Michelle Arthurs/Factory Media)

Finally, there are practical soft, fleecy panels on the back of the thumbs for chilly morning nose-wiping duties, which do the job satisfactorily.

Conclusion

As an intermediary ‘not quite’ winter glove the PRO Softshell Lite Gloves work well, with high dexterity, the ability to use your phone and enough water resistance to ward off the odd shower. These are a good option for mild winter days, along with spring and autumn rides, but as a full winter glove more thermal insulation and weatherproofing is required to make them a reliable partner through the worst months of the year.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Good for mild winter days
  • Smartphone compatible

Cons

  • Not very water resistant in persistent rain
  • Cuff leaves gaps for draughts
  • Not as warm as the stated temperature range