The GripGrab Hi Vis Hurricane gloves are described as 'comfortable cross-season' gloves designed with a 'comfort zone' between 5 and 15 C. I was pleasantly surprised to find my hands were still comfortable even when the wind chill brought temperatures close to freezing.
The fabric is a mix of 90% polyester, 5% polyamide and elastane, a combination that's easy to live with, and with technical properties that should do the job very well. Not keen on day-glow? Well there's also a black version with retro-reflective detailing.
The details are of the standard I'd expect. The thumbs feature a generous, thin pile sweat pad while the finger ends are gadget-friendly digits and carefully distributed helpings of silicone ensure reliable purchase on most surfaces.
Construction seems slightly better than many competitors, with stitching consistently neat throughout and reinforced at key points. Machine washing at 30 degrees hasn't revealed any weaknesses either, so I'd expect a few seasons' hard use from them.
The shallow neoprene cuffs came as a slight surprise after using deep-winter gloves with more coverage, but this didn't present any problems in the real world. This design also works better in early spring, when we're more inclined toward long sleeve base layers and jerseys, with a micro jacket in reserve.
GripGrab intends the Hurricanes to be water- and wind-repellent, which in practice means they will, eventually turn soggy in more persistent rain. However, they dry pretty quickly following sharp showers and the insulated fleece lining and neoprene cuffs retain heat during this phase. I've been out for two and a half hours in 2°C before the wet and cold became apparent.
The Hurricanes are designed to be a really snug fit for optimum dexterity. Our size large pair proved ideal for me and I didn't need to take them off when rummaging in jersey pockets for snacks or keys, or operating compact cameras.
Command of touch screen technology is equally reliable and the Dr Gel ulnar defending padding does just that. Some bar wraps offer better purchase than others but the Hurricanes have consistently impressed me across the board. Silicone rubbers such as Guee proved the perfect marriage but corks, low density foam and leather came close seconds.
Older, glossy wraps, such as Bike Ribbon can be slippery customers when it's raining dogs but there've been no nervous moments to date. The same goes for braking and shifting.
Cold hasn't been a problem, although the permeable outer membrane results in a curious drafty sensation, even though it keeps out the cold. I've only been conscious of slight chill when the temperature fell from 4 to 1 degree and with it, an icy crosswind.
On this occasion I was halfway through a two hour loop and feared this would worsen. Periodically moving my hands from the hoods, shaking them to improve circulation solved this. It's worth noting I was riding fixed at this point, honking on the climbs, shoulders playing a more active part also helped.
Subsequent outings on my geared bikes proved unproblematic,. Prodding STi paddles, or reaching for the down tube shifters was enough to keep my blood circulating, banishing this discomfort.
At the other extreme, on the few occasions when temperatures have broken double digits, my hands haven't felt clammy or uncomfortable. Admittedly, there's some minor, misty dampness until the fibres begin eviction proceedings but it doesn't linger.
Ultimately, there are some compromises here. Riders needing completely impervious gloves will need to look elsewhere but otherwise, the GripGrab Hurricanes deliver on their design brief and are well worth a closer look.
Comfortable gloves for the cooler months that don't limit dexterity
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab Hi Vis Hurricane Gloves
Size tested: Large, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Grip Grab say:
"The Hurricane is a comfortable cross-season cycling glove composed from water resistant, breathable and lightweight materials, making it an excellent glove for wet and windy conditions. It provides great insulation, maximum freedom of movement along with excellent fit and grip. The Hurricane features a durable, water resistant and breathable palm with an insulating fleece layer.
The design is simplistic and perfected with a ventilated cuff, touch screen compatibility and a sweat wiper."
Very accurate description that, for the most part mirrors my own feelings
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Comfort zone 5 °C ~ 15 °C
* Wind- and water resistant
* Breathable materials
* DoctorGel™ 4 mm padding
* Silicone grip
* Reflective graphics
* Touch screen compatibility
* Sweat wiper
* Ventilated neoprene cuff
* Machine Wash With Like Colors. Do Not Bleach. Do Not Tumble Dry.
Do not iron. Do not dry-clean. Do not wring.
* 90% Polyester
Well made and finished throughout.
Certainly live up their hype in pretty much every respect.
Difficult to be sure at this stage but judging by other grip grab models and their performance to date, save for a major spill, they should repay their investment many times over.
Right side of precise.
Very accurate. Large is my default and fitted me perfectly in every respect.
Lightweight, yet rugged. A great combination.
Climate control, grip and dexterity is impressive, even after three hours' steady riding and fluctuating temperatures. Personally, past 12 degrees or so and I'd be looking towards mitts, or lightweight long-finger models.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward to look after. Minimum detergent, low-temperature machine washing, followed by room temperature air drying is as complicated as things get.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
While I feel the "Hurricane" tag might be gilding the lily, given they're water and wind resistant rather than proof, this arguably strikes the best balance, allowing the fabric to breathe. Though the fabric will turn a little damp, given an hour or so's riding in persistent rain, they'll dry pretty quickly, especially with a stiff breeze en tow. Talking of which, I was also surprised to discover they retain a surprising amount of warmth, Aside from some brief, fleeting chill, I've felt surprisingly comfortable for two hours at 2 degrees. Palm padding, grip and general dexterity are better than any glove I've reviewed at this price point.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The whole package is very impressive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of note.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Very capable cooler weather gloves with superb comfort and dexterity.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)