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Campagnolo's Challenge Gloves are toasty down to about zero degrees, are windproof and water resistant, but they're not 100 per cent waterproof.
These gloves have separate inner and outer layers (effectively one glove inside another) made from a stretchy fabric with insulation properties called Thermo Textran, which is used on many other Campagnolo winter garments. There's also a waterproof membrane. Despite the double (or triple) layers, these aren't bulky and don't restrict hand movement. The fingers are cut so they curve inwards slightly, in the shape your hands would grip the bars, which adds to the flexible feel.
I've worn these gloves on some cold and windy days over the past few months (including this chilly April), with the temperature down to just above freezing, and they've kept my hands nice and warm. The fabric seems breathable as my hands didn't get sweaty.
The gloves were also absolutely fine for keeping my hands dry for several hours in drizzle and mild rain. But in a major downpour they started to leak, and my hands got wet. A second test in the road.cc shower cubical confirmed that they are not 100% waterproof in severe conditions. To be fair, they're not sold as waterproof gloves. Their description on the Campagnolo Sportswear website says the membrane is waterproof, not the glove itself.
So as long as you know what you're getting, these are totally fine for cold or damp days, and even in steady rain, but they won't stand up in a storm. This is not necessarily a disadvantage: if they were more waterproof, they'd probably be more sweaty.
Hand comfort is taken care of by gel pads at the base of the fingers and along the edge of the palm for buffering against the handlebars, and on top of these are some layers of silicon for grip. There's no pad or silicon in the area where the thumb meets the palm though, and that's the place you need it most, whatever bar position you use - tops, drops or hoods.
The cuffs have Velcro tabs to keep things snug around the wrist. Other features include a slim line of reflective piping on the back of the glove, and alongside it is a larger strip of rather plasticky looking material running from the cuff to the tip of the fourth finger - it looks like ti might be there for a purpose but it turns out the purpose is purely decorative. There's also a big Campagnolo logo on the back of each glove.
Size-wise, this test pair was a large, and fitted well around my fingers and palm, but I found the cuff a bit short compared to other gloves. If you're thinking of buying a pair of these Campag gloves (yes, for me it's always been Campag, never 'Campy') then it might be worth going up a size, to make sure you don't get a chill-gap between glove and jersey.
We tested the blue, red and black variety, but they are also available in yellow, white and black or red, white and black. There's also a plain black, and a white version.
The official retail price for is a penny under £60, which is steep - you can get gloves with similar performance for half this price - but it's par for the course with a premium brand like Campagnolo. They can be found at 35 quid or less on some major on-line stores which makes them much more affordable.
Winter gloves from the iconic Italian brand - windproof and water-resistant, but not 100% waterproof. And not cheap either.
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Make and model: Campagnolo Challenge Glove
Size tested: Lake - L
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?
Here's what the Campagnolo Sportswear (CSW) website says about Challenge kit: "With the Challenge line, Campagnolo Sportswear wants to propose a range of very close-fitting garments made of innovative fabrics that assist in the toughest challenges and protect from the most inclement weather. In addition to the technical features of the cuts and the elastic inserts, the aggressive colours and clear brands make a product stand out, demonstrating care in the combination of colours and in the choice of finishes that always ensure maximum comfort and total freedom of movement."
A cynic might sniff at terms like "aggressive colours" or query that a "combination of colours ... ensure maximum comfort". This review also revealed that these gloves were neither totally comfortable nor protected against extreme weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Other features of the gloves mentioned on the CSW website include: "waterproof membrane, elastic windproof outer fabric, double gel pads on the palm absorb shocks and vibrations, adjustable cuff with Velcro strap, reflex piping on the back, silicone strips on the palm to guarantee better grip."
The gloves seem very well made, with neat stitching and hems. They're very windproof and water-resistant, but not totally waterproof in serious conditions. This is probably because, while the membrane may be totally waterproof, the stitching is not. To be fair, this is an issue with many garments - and especially with gloves.
For most conditions, these gloves are fine. If they were more waterproof, they'd probably be less breathable and more sweaty.
It's early days, but they've still looking good as new after several test rides. Given the quality of construction, they are likely to be durable.
At 126g the pair, the weight of these gloves is very good for the level of windproofing and water-resistance provided.
The fabric is stretchy, so the gloves are comfortable around the fingers. However, points are docked for no padding where the thumb meets the palm, and for the short cuffs.
At the full RRP of almost £60, these gloves are not great value. However, they're reduced to 35 quid or less on the major on-line stores, which makes them a much better deal - though still not a bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The designed pupose is winter conditions. For most riders in this country that includes serious rain, and these gloves are not fully waterproof. However, they don't claim to be. The description says the membrane is waterproof, not the glove itself.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Short cuffs, incomplete padding on the palm.
Did you enjoy using the product? No - personally I found them less comfortable than other similar gloves
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Construction, durability and weight all get very good scores, but the gloves are let down by their price and lack of comfort.
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,