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Although the dhb Aeron Lab All Winter gloves are a decent option for cool days, they're nowhere near warm enough for cold conditions. They fit well, with good wrist coverage and a slender feel, but the gel pad is too thick and spongy, and placed weirdly. Disappointing given the price.
The Aeron Lab range is dhb's performance line, aimed at racers and roadies looking for top-end kit. For parts of its winter range, dhb has teamed up with Polartec and the All Winter gloves use quite a bit of Polartec technology.
Despite their name, these dhb gloves just aren't warm enough for the whole of winter, when the temperature heads towards zero. The high levels of breathability do make them very good for hard riding and racing, though.
The back of the gloves, where the majority of wind and rain hit, is made using Polartec Power Shield Pro fabric, a breathable softshell that is water resistant. It's good for seeing off the odd shower but the seams aren't taped, so you'll need to look elsewhere for proper rain proofing. That said, the main benefit of the softshell is the breathability. More on that in a minute.
Internally, the Alpha Direct fabric also helps breathability with an open thermal fabric that removes the need for a liner layer. The fabric is incredibly soft and the gloves are very comfortable to wear. The open design allows moisture to be quickly wicked away from the hands, keeping them dry during more intense riding.
All of this breathability makes the gloves ideal for racing and hard training sessions when it's cool outside. While I rarely get frozen hands in the winter, I found my hands getting cold in these when the temperatures got down towards freezing. This was especially noticeable when I was riding steadily. On even the shortest rides, I never felt that my hands were warm, with my fingertips in particular suffering. This limits the gloves to milder temperatures and hard efforts.
Construction is a bit hit and miss. Externally, the gloves look great, with tidy stitching and a sleek, thin look. But internally, the seams are quite prominent and left pressure lines on my hands. It doesn't make the gloves uncomfortable exactly, but I have worn more comfortable ones, and they certainly aren't as well finished as others I've tested.
The placement and use of gel padding is another frustrating feature. The heel of the palm is covered with a 3mm-thick, very squishy piece of gel. While it dulls road buzz effectively, it squirmed around when my hands were on the hoods. It's a very odd feeling that I haven't found comfortable during the testing period.
Elsewhere, the palm is finished with sections of faux-suede that protect the gloves from excessive wear. The gloves feature no closure system other than a square of neoprene that offers a great fit on the wrist, and simplicity when taking the gloves on and off. The smartphone-compatible fingertips on the thumb and index finger work well with both phones and my Garmin Edge 820.
Value is disappointing from a brand that is known for being very good on this score. The poor thermal abilities in cold weather combined with the slightly rough construction and strange gel padding can't offset the excellent breathability and good looks. For the same price, you can get GripGrab's Windster gloves which are windproof and waterproof, if a little bulkier than the Aeron Labs. Castelli's Lightness Gloves perform similarly for only £40, with protection against cool, not cold conditions.
You might also consider spending double the money and buying the Dissent 133 Ultimate glove pack. Yes, I know it's a whopping £95, but it will truly see you through the whole of winter without fuss. Just think, you've got a whole summer to save up!
Overall, the dhb Aeron Lab All Winter gloves offer a very good fit and sleek profile with great breathability, but they're not warm enough for cold rides, the construction is hard to love, and they're not great value. Good, but not quite there.
Great breathability and looks, but not backed up by 'all winter' performance or construction
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab All Winter Polartec Glove
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: "For riders who don't like wearing bulky gloves, the Aeron LAB All Winter Polartec Glove is the answer. A lightweight, insulated glove, constructed with advanced Polartec® fabrics for balanced protection and breathability in winter conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Polartec® Power Shield® Pro - breathable weather protection.
Polartec® Alpha® Direct - lightweight and versatile thermal regulation."
These are the main technical fabrics. The Power Shield outer is breathable and offers decent windproofing. The Alpha Direct fabric is an open thermal layer that is very soft and highly breathable.
Externally, these are fine but the prominent internal seams are a bit uncomfortable. The gel padding on the heel of the palm is too squishy and moves under the hand.
Great for cool weather, with brilliant breathability, but not suitable for cold rides.
So far so good: the covering on the palm has coped well and the stitching has held strong.
Good length in the fingers and wrist coverage, for me.
Sizing is bang on accurate with the size guide for this medium pair.
They're okay, but the internal seams leave pressure lines on the hands.
You can buy better for the same money. These don't offer the performance to justify the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine wash and keep away from the tumble dryer.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For cool conditions these are good, but for cold weather they're not warm enough.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability is brilliant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's just not enough warmth in them.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
GripGrab's Windster gloves offer much better performance for the same price, though they do have a bit more bulk.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, but only in milder weather.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
Not warm enough for really cold weather, and the construction leaves a lot to be desired. The breathability and fit redeem these a little.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!