At this time of year I always find it important to choose the correct gloves when on a longer ride. If you go too warm you will end up with sweaty and uncomfortable palms, too cool and you will end up with frozen fingers.
The Insulators fill that gap very well. They have a light fleecy lining which serves to keep your hands warm between in temperatures of between five to 15 degrees. That’s based on my experience, and everyone feels the cold differently, but these are essentially gloves which plug the whole between your full winter gloves and summer mitts.
The breathability of the gloves is also fantastic. There’s no windproof fabric involved (hence why you’d want a more effective barrier to the wind in freezing conditions) so there’s a reasonable amount of airflow, without letting too much cold air in to make your hands uncomfortable.
GripGrab say the Insulator Hi-Vis can also be used as a liner glove in very cold conditions. While I didn’t have the opportunity to test the gloves in such conditions, seeing as we’re now heading in to spring, I did try them on with larger gloves over the top. I was worried that the silicone gripper would be an issue when used inside another glove, but that wasn’t the case and they worked well.
Speaking of the grip, there’s an impressive amount across the palm, as well as the bottom of the fingers, top of the first two fingers and up the thumb. This made operating the brake levers and gear shifters easy, even in wet conditions. In addition to this, the gloves allow for touch screen use. I tested them out on my iPhone and the Garmin Edge 810, with both operating well through the gloves.
As for the colour, the first thing that strikes you about the gloves is that they are very hi-vis, but you’d hope so given the name. The fluoro yellow is combined with a fair amount of reflective material on top and this means the gloves are very easy to spot at distance, making them ideal for riding in the early morning or dusk at this time of year. High-vis aside, the black area you see on the thumb is made from a soft material for wiping your nose.
I found the fit on the gloves is also excellent, and GripGrab offer five sizes (with a size guide) so you should be able to find something that works for you.
You may have guessed that these are great gloves is you want something which is hi-vis and well-suited to spring or autumn use and I could only find two flaws. First is the fact that the high-vis colour means they can begin to look grubby fairly quickly, and the second is that they don’t have an elasticated wrist. As it happens that’s not a huge issue given that the gloves fitted me so well, but others (and particularly riders with thinner wrists) may appreciate some elastic to keep things close around the wrist.
Overall I have been very impressed with these gloves. They offer enough warmth for cool (but not freezing cold) rides and are highly breathable, while the hi-vis colour will appeal to safety conscious riders.