DexShell Ultralite Gloves

DexShell’s Ultralite Gloves are a curious concoction. They look like old-school woollen gloves, but they certainly don’t perform like them: they’re waterproof and work with your phone. Good off the bike, they’re not as breathable or comfortable as you might hope for long rides.

When I say DexShell’s Ultralite gloves look, on first viewing, like ‘old school’ woollen gloves, I mean that quite literally. Aesthetically, they’re very much the sort of things you probably wore in the playground once the mittens-on-strings thing started to look a bit stupid.

Actually, they’re not so much gloves as gauntlets – the cuffs venture a fair way up your forearms. However, they also have some special details you won’t find on most: finger sections that can be used with touchscreens and grippy (I presume silicon) patterning on the palm and fingers.

That long cuff is very effective at stopping the breeze sneaking up your sleeve. In fact, there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to weatherproofing at all: these are warm and – strangely for a knitted product – fantastically waterproof.

If a waterproof knitted garment is a surprise, be ready for another less welcome discovery. Logically, the Ultralites should be breathable, but despite that and the Coolmax liner, spirited autumn rides lead to clamminess and sweat.

Padding

Another thing the Ultralites are distinctly short on is cushioning. I don’t normally hanker after palm padding – I’ve been using the pad-free Endura Hummvee Lite Icon gloves more and more this year and thoroughly enjoying them – but for some reason I find the Ultralites a little tiring to wear.

I don’t really have an answer to why. You’d think with that chunky knitted build, there’d be some residual cushioning even without dedicated padding, but I just didn’t feel it. Also, while they offer good traction, if you’ve got particularly gnarly flat bar grips they can pinch the yarn off, leaving wispy trails like the remnants of an unshorn sheep on barbed wire.

> 25 of the best winter cycling gloves — keep your hands warm and dry

Those touchscreen finger ends work, though they sometimes require a bit of forceful prodding. Also, for gloves obviously designed for the dark, dreary months, it’s a shame there are no reflective or high-viz elements.

Value and conclusion

We haven’t tested a whole lot of knitted gloves, but among more typical fare, Decathlon’s Triban 900 Winter gloves offer excellent performance at just £24.99. Galibier’s Barrier Deep Winter gloves are £24.85 and also superb in the cold, but they lack touchscreen compatibility.

So the DexShell Ultralites are a bit of a contradiction. If you’re looking for pure warmth and weatherproofing, you’ll be very happy. But for cycling, I find them a little disappointing. Better off the bike than on it, I’d say.

Verdict

Warm and weatherproof knitted gloves, but clammy and not super comfy for riding

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road.cc test report

Make and model: DexShell Ultralite Gloves

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

DexShell says: “Our most dexterous and flexible DexShell waterproof knit gloves with Coolmax© FX liners, they are also fully Touchscreen compatible.”

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Dexshell patented 4-way stretch lamination technology

Touchscreen compatible

Coolmax liner

Palm and finger grips

Seamless construction

Rate the product for quality of construction:

8/10

They’re nicely made.

Rate the product for performance:

7/10

Warm and amazingly waterproof considering their construction, but my hands got a bit clammy as breathability is less good.

Rate the product for durability:

5/10

I’m not sure how well the silicon grippers will last, and woolly wisps are already being left on my handlebar. However, no real problems yet.

Rate the product for fit:

6/10

Pretty good, although I found the fingers a tad long despite the palm fitting well.

Rate the product for sizing:

7/10

Not bad, but you may want to consider sizing down. I’m normally a large in gloves, but these felt a bit too big in the fingers.

Rate the product for weight:

9/10

Despite their chunky nature they’re less than 100g.

Rate the product for comfort:

6/10

Very comfortable off the bike, but not as impressive when holding the handlebar. Lack of padding doesn’t help.

Rate the product for value:

4/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Machine wash at 40C, tumble on low heat – easy. No ill effects.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They were okay. For weatherproofing they’re excellent, but for riding they’re not so impressive.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Warmth and waterproofing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Clamminess and low comfort after a long or hard ride.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

We haven’t tested a whole lot of knitted gloves, but among more typical fare, Decathlon’s Triban 900 Winter gloves offer excellent performance at just £24.99. Galibier’s Barrier Deep Winter gloves are £24.85 and also superb in the cold, but they lack touchscreen compatibility.

Did you enjoy using the product? So-so

Would you consider buying the product? Nope

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

Bit of a tricky product to score because while first impressions are excellent, the more I use them, the less I like them. Weatherproofing is very good but for riding, they’re not so competent. They’re still above average thanks to their protection, but no more than that.

Overall rating: 6/10

Age: 39  Height: 6’0  Weight: 16 stone

I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29  My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure

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Credits : road.cc

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