Polaris offer these winter gloves with specific added features: the fluorescent colour and reflective piping; windproofing; and most notably their RBS carbon touch pad on the index finger to allow use of touch screen devices. Some of these features work very well and others less so.
The first thing that stands out with the gloves is the colour. There is nothing subtle about the high-vis fluorescent yellow that covers most of the glove. There were times I felt like a traffic-warden or safety-clown, but there is no doubt that they provide lots of visibility when signalling. The reflective strips and logos at the wrists of the gloves mean that this continues when riding in the dark.
The only significant downside of fluorescent coloured gloves is that they show up every mark going, and after several weeks of heavy winter riding they have started looking decidedly grubby.
The insulation performs extremely well, and the construction has meant a significant reduction in windchill. They quickly became my favourite cold winter morning gloves – not too bulky and very warm even on below-freezing mornings. The windproofing was very effective, even on long descents, and the cover at the wrists meant that there was no risk of drafts where the gloves met my jacket.
In wet conditions they held up fairly well. Being fabric and insulated they do tend to get wet and stay wet, but they didn't let an excessive amount of rain in and didn't seem to get cold when they were wet.
On the downside, though, the RBS carbon touch pad was all but useless. Whether this was a result of the glove shape (relatively bulky compared with a lighter spring/autumn mitt) or the material used I don't know, but I struggled to unlock my phone let alone make a call. I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to try and write an email or text with it; I think I would have found it easier to use my nose.
The lack of touch screen functionality really shouldn't detract from how good these gloves were. For the money they performed very well on a number of freezing rides. The reality is that to get my phone from my pocket I'd have to take the glove off anyway, so I didn't feel I was missing out on anything.
Warm, well fitted & windproof''perform very will in freezing weather, with bonus reflective trim and bright colours
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Make and model: Polaris RBS Pro Tech gloves
Size tested: Large
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?
The Polaris Bikewear RBS Winter Tech Glove is the perfect commuter glove for when the cold mornings and night bite. Its key feature is the new RBS Carbon Touch Technology which allows you to still operate all touchscreen devices whilst keeping your gloves on.
The glove is made from a heavier wind protection fabric with a brushed liner for extra warmth. There is also a terry nose wipe on the thumb. The fluorescent print ensures increased visibility when signalling and there is an all over silicon printed palm for improved grip.
I found them to be comfortable and very warm, even in below-freezing conditions and with wind chill. Grip was excellent in wet condtions. The touchscreen functionality didn't work very well for me, but I didn't find this a major feature loss. They certainly make an excellent, visible, commuter glove.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windproofing and insulation work very well, touchscreen fingertip less so.
I usually attribute windproofing to good quality stitching around the fingers, and these were very effective at reducing wind chill. One of the Velcro tabs has started to come loose where the stitching holding it on has become pulled as a result of pulling the glove on.
They were very warm without being overly bulky. Despite the unsubtle colourway they quickly became my go-to glove for cold morning rides.
The touchscreen functionality was far less impressive, though.
Other than looking a little grubby and the fluoro yellow showing up marks very easily they have survived winter better than I have.
Felt warm and toasty in pretty much anything British winter can throw at you.
The RRP is £32, which given the performance feels like good value to me. I've ridden plenty of similar priced gloves that don't have the same windproofing as these.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a pair of winter weather gloves they are excellent, with the high-viz and fluorescent colours adding to the sense that they are supporting you whatever the conditions. As a touchscreen enabled glove they are pretty hopeless, though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
That they weren't too bulky and were warm and windproof.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The touchscreen functionality not being terribly effective was initially a let down, but I realised that I wasn't really missing it on my regular commute.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Feels like Polaris went for a feature too far. These gloves are very good winter gloves in their own right and for me the touchscreen fingers were a red herring.
Age: 37 Height: 182cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport 2008 My best bike is: Moda Tempo 2010
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Triathlon