Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sleepers: The North Face Apex gloves

I got these gloves -- as I get most mittens and gloves -- on blowout pricing at the end of the season last year at REI. They're North Face Apex gloves.

I didn't have huge hopes for them. They appeared too light for below freezing, yet too heavy for 40'ish and above riding. What attracted me to them was their price and the funny wind-blocky, water-resistant-appearing shell.

I'm glad I took the chance on them. They have turned out to be good-enough for my short commute on super cold (well-under freezing) days and really shine on long rides in the "cold and wet" zone (35-40/rain). My fingers/hands don't get too clammy in them and the guts of the gloves don't herniate out the finger holes when I yank my hands out after riding for a long time.

For non-wet rides in the warmer cold zone (above freezing but below 45 or so), I still go to my OR Flurry gloves (noted here). They're the perfect warmth to breathability to usable balance of glove greatness.

But for daily commutes in pretty cold and/or wet conditions, these North Face gloves have become my go-to pair.

The careful reader may wonder why my oft-praised, and highly-gone-on-about, customized mittens are not my "go to" pair. There are two reasons, but one big one. The minor one is that my daily commuter bikes use brifters and gloves do offer a slightly better shifting advantage over the mittens. But really, that damn orange on those mittens is just too orange. Can you believe it? I honestly can't. But that's the truth.

7 comments:

bmike said...

i think you need to refer to those home brew ones as 'glittens'.

i do like the look of them...

Brian J said...

Ah the pursuit of the perfect glove, is there such a thing? I think you've got it with zone dictating the ideal, however I do love my descente wombat gloves as a cool weather camelion. A couple seasons of feb-march training, and a couple decembers on the mtb. I would pay full price for them again.

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

If those gloves are as great as you claim, they have undoubtedly been replaced by a "new and improved" model.

Anonymous said...

No thanks. Not orange enough.

mechBgon said...

My go-to glove is military-surplus wool glove liners inside XL Pearl Izumi Zephyr shell gloves. They breathe OK, they're a cinch to dry since they dismantle, and I can carry spare wool liners along. Dexterity is a bit low compared to tighter-fitting cycling gloves, but usable.

Unfortunately, (1) the Zephyr is discontinued, and (2) my pair are disintegrating in a serious way. Anyone know of any pure, uninsulated, shell-only gloves like ye olde Zephyr?

kitchen gloves said...

Love these gloves!

sport-lover said...

Great cycling gloves!