Bontrager Stormshell Gloves - Review

Mar 15, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Bontrager Stormshell Gloves


Cold is one thing. Wet is another. Put the two together and there can come a point in a ride when your hands go from merely cold, to completely useless. I was reminded of this a couple of months ago when I finished my climb up the mountain, tucked into the first descent and suddenly realized that my hands had gone so numb that I could no longer tell if I was actually pulling my brake levers coming into that first corner.

Apparently, mesh-backed summer-time gloves are a horrible idea when there’s snow on the ground. While I’ve owned winter gloves before, I always gave up on the things since riding in them was a bit like trying to perform brain surgery with oven mitts strapped to my paws. There’s not much point in keeping your fingers warm if you can’t move the buggers. Bontrager promises that their Stormshell glove offers supreme dexterity while also being water and windproof. To that end, each glove is backed with Profila Stormshell fabric, which is supposed to keep both wind and water at bay. Insulation duties are handled by a thin layer of fleece inside each glove. The Stormshells sell for $100 USD / Bontrager /


Bontrager Stormshell Gloves
The Stormshells feature a small bit of gel padding to blunt impacts to the heel of your palms.
Bontrager Stormshell Gloves
eSwipe technology means you can futz with your touchscreen devices without taking off your gloves.

On Trail

Out in the field, the waterproofing proved excellent. Even after dozens of rides through miserable rainstorms, the Stormshells have yet to spring a leak. As for absolute warmth, the gloves are very good in conditions right down to the freezing level. Colder than freezing and you’re going to want a bulkier, more heavily insulated pair of mitts. The tradeoff is that dexterity is actually pretty damn good with these gloves. Grip is also surprisingly good. The palms are made of “AX Suede G Series” and while I won’t pretend that I am some kind of cow-skin expert, I can say that the palms stay glued to the grips when they probably shouldn’t. If you are looking for a ton of padding in the palm, the small pouch of GelFoam in these gloves may not float your boat. I tend to ride very minimalist gloves, so I actually found these quite comfortable.


Bontrager Stormshell Gloves

On the whole, the Stormshells are a very smartly-designed set of gloves: The stitching and overall construction are excellent, the fingers feature eSwipe technology (you can scroll through your iPhone menu without taking off your gloves) and, while it's an inelegant topic to broach, the Stormshells offer one of the largest and most effective snot wipes I've ever seen on a pair of gloves. In my book, you can never have enough of that kind of real estate on a set of wintertime gloves. No, these gloves aren't cheap... But then again, being able to actually feel your brake levers is one of those priceless things in life.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesLooking to ride in the snow? You'll want something with a bit more insulation. But, in wet weather just shy of freezing, Bontrager's water and windproof Stormshells are hard to beat. - Vernon Felton





38 Comments

  • + 29
 Finally! I've been waiting for someone to make a North Shore winter glove... not super thick and insulated, but waterproof and minimal!
  • - 2
 @lalena I wanna pick one up for myself as well! Let me know if you decide to pick one of these up - maybe we can get a BoGo deal or something!
  • + 15
 I find I have been reading articles lately and really enjoying the read, and the perspective shared-whether a review or an.opinion piece. We pinkbikers have been spoilt for a while, but the addition of Mr. Felton has been excellent. Thanks to @vernonfelton for bringing your game to our court, and Thanks to @pinkbike for hosting the best days court of its kind. Lucky to be us.
  • + 18
 This is one of those products that $100 on gloves is not actually expensive for their purpose and performance.
  • + 1
 I was thinking the same thing, even though they are bordering the price of high end ski gloves, the dexterity combined with the warmth make these gloves worth the 100 shmackers
  • + 8
 High end ski gloves for 100 bucks... Good one
  • + 1
 I got a pair of Scott ski gloves for $90 that are all you'd need to -5f. But I remember buying some Reusch in 1990 for $260. I don't want to even know what they'd cost today.
  • + 13
 Just in time for spring!
  • + 6
 Awesome gloves! We commonly show customers that these are waterproof enough that you can dunk your hand in a tub of water and you won't get wet until you're past the the cuff! 30 comfort guarantee means you can ride it till you hate it (or love them)
  • + 5
 Kimco leather gloves from the hardware sales... $15 for the gloves a few dollars for the mink oil and you have the best winter glove out there. Warm, dry and plenty of dexterity. Its a gauntlet style glove with a cuff. I use them for warm skiing too. Marmot made a knock off and sells it for $150. I have more than a decade on a pair.
  • + 7
 What about sweaty hands? How's the wicking? My winter riding gloves always get nasty. Maybe I'm just nasty?
  • + 6
 ^This, I find sweaty hands makes mine damp inside and then they get cold, also does the lining want to pull out every time you take your hands out of them and make it almost impossible to get your fingers back in?
  • + 3
 Hey, good point, @Cambot, sorry I didn't mention it. I didn't encounter much in the way of sweaty hands, but I rode these in temps ranging from a few degrees below freezing to about 45 F (7.2 C)--not exactly sweaty hand weather. I'm guessing most people won't have sweaty hand issues, though, since these are not as thickly-insulated as some of other deep winter-type gloves. Of course, for that very same reason, they are not as warm as those thicker gloves when the rain turns to snow. Trade offs....
  • + 2
 Great review! Nice to see something for cold weather riding.

If people are looking for a cheap non-MTB branded option, gloves for mixed/ice climbing such as the Black Diamond Torque glove or Dry Tool glove are good options. Made for water resistance, dexterity and chilly temperatures. Lightweight ski gloves like the Marmot Spring glove do well, too. And they're usually in the 55-65 dollar range.
  • + 1
 Still swear by sealskinz gloves, very flexible and tough, wind and waterproof and still breathable. I used them all year round, bit toasty in the summer but still good to use in the rain. Welsh winters hitting -10 in the city ( - windchill) and still nice and toasty. (got a set from crc for about 30 quid and never looked back), cycling specific too, long tapered cuffs with easy grip/close wide Velcro, snot wiper, rubberised underneath and not even the good n evil grips wore at them.

Not involved with em in any way..but when you get a great product at a good cost I like to pass it on. Dont need em here (donated), but if i ever go back ill be after the same model.
  • + 1
 As an alternative (& generally 1/2-3/4 cost, just as tough) - MX gloves like Fox makes are awesome, plus you get that CF moulded knuckles, solid leather & suede (good & thick).
Even with state sales tax my last set wasn't more than $75 & are still near perfect, despite my washing by tosssing in the machine (think you're supposed to hand wash / hang dry)

Just a suggestion from one of us up here in the soggy PNW.
  • + 1
 I have tried Fox ANTI-FREEZE gloves , Fox Polar Paws , and a couple other supposed winter gloves with great dislike . I currently have been using some Giant Chill X gloves and they do get wet , but they also keep you hands warm regardless and are easy to get on and off when soaked . Plus they are very comfortable to wear and do not feel like ski gloves .
  • + 1
 On brutal days I use a pair of PI cold weather commuting gloves for the climbs and then throw on my riding gloves for the downs. Rinse and repeat. On slightly less brutal days, I bring a pair of gloves for the climbs because they get sweaty and then a dry pair for the descents. Keeps the hands a little warmer. Keeps the grip a bit grippier. But these look nice. Not 100USD nice, but nice.
  • + 1
 O and a tip for the cold, eBay sell lil gel circles with a metal disk in, dirt cheap and re-usable. Click it and they heat up for about 30 mins or so, they'll fit in the backs of the gloves and help keep your hands warm. Life saver if your out in the wild and getting too cold camping or fixing your bike or whatever. Much better than the electric gloves.
  • + 2
 i live in California, if it hits 50 im probably not going outside, 40 and i wont even go get food ill call for delivery. these gloves would get me outside more, not to mention using them for other outdoor activities.
  • + 4
 Come up here and learn how its done then! Wink
  • + 3
 i like the sun too much. #wimp
  • + 1
 All the more reason to spend money for playing in the white dirt during Winter. I prefer to use edges to stop on snow. Look like a quality product for those that do brave the arctic temps for pedaling adventures.
  • + 3
 When I'm looking at those pictures I can almost smell them... Yuck!
  • + 1
 I like the quality writing. I also respect the author's willingness to adopt an unpopular position. By running spellcheck.
  • + 1
 way too much $chaching$....

I'm a poor canadian. Immigrants get more money than I do
  • + 0
 Latex gloves under your summer gloves. Can be a little sweaty when it's more than 0 degrees, but you'll not get a warmer or cheaper alternative.
  • + 1
 How do they fit? I find that one company's size Med is another company's XL.
  • - 1
 Nice to see that after that last review's 75 word opening sentence (damn, that's long), Vernon has decided to switch it up and start this review with a nice short 4 word sentence.
  • + 3
 Well, in my defense, there was a semi-colon in that other opening sentence...but, yeah, it was a doozy. Fair play.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton I have to admit, it is quite the feat to write a sentence like that without any grammatical errors. It may have been a doozy, but it was definitely a high quality doozy.
  • + 1
 A little on the puffy side
  • + 25
 Kinda like your nipples.
  • + 4
 Youre judging a picture. Buy a pair, bontrager has a 30 day guarantee, give em a try!
  • + 8
 But do his nipples have a 30 day guarantee??
  • + 4
 Any good set of nipples is going to cost way more than $100.
  • + 0
 hahahahah that last line speaks so much truth! #priceless
  • + 0
 I've had better looking gloves free with a gallon of engine oil.

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