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Castelli Diluvio gloves



A different approach to warm hands through the winter that will work for some riders better than others

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Castelli's Diluvio gloves are basically wetsuit gloves, made for cycling. They work too, keeping your hands toasty despite being fairly thin. They're totally windproof, but a side effect is they're as breathable as, well, a wetsuit. They start to pong fairly quickly and they're expensive compared to gloves from wetsuit manufacturers.

Billed as a glove for cold and wet conditions, the Diluvio is made from Japanese neoprene – I'm guessing they've mentioned that because the Japanese make good neoprene – thermally welded on the inside seam and sewn on the outside. That makes them completely wind- and waterproof for those cold, wet rides. You get the ubiquitous scorpion writ large, a beaded grip and that's it. No clever closures, snot wipe or anything, just neoprene made into a glove shape.

And do they work? Yes, they work. I'll qualify that by saying that they'll work better for some people than others. I have big hands, and they don't tend to get too cold when I'm riding; I find full winter gloves bulky, and these Diluvios were just the ticket. Warm enough to keep my hands functioning in freezing rain and hail, thin enough to make gear shifts and braking simple.

If you suffer from chronically cold hands, my guess would be that they'll not be warm enough for you when the temperature really drops, but for warmer-blooded types they should be enough for all but the fiercest frosts, when you could break out the full winter gloves, or sling an overglove on top of these.

Initially I was worried that the gloves would slip around on my hands, but about a minute after you put them on your hands start to sweat which sticks the gloves in place pretty well and makes control pretty good, certainly better than other winter gloves I've tried. The downside of the sweating and the lack of breathability is that they soon start to reek; mine are good for about three rides before I'm bunging them in the washing machine. So far they've stood up to that okay, though the scorpions are starting to crack a bit.

In use they don't really feel clammy like you might expect, they're more like a second skin defending against the cold and wet. Wear them long enough and your hands do start to get a bit prune-like but it's not a big issue.

So thumbs up then? More or less, although it has to be said that 35 quid is a lot of wedge for a pair of neoprene gloves (they were £40 last year but the price has dropped). That's towards the top end of what you can pay for a pair.

There aren't many other similar cycling-specific options, though realistically there's not much cycling-specific about these other than the manufacturer; they're quite similar to standard wetsuit gloves with a beaded grip for better purchase on bars in wet conditions. They're available for a fair bit less than RRP online.


A different approach to warm hands through the winter that will work for some riders better than others. test report

Make and model: Castelli Diluvio gloves

Size tested: 2XL

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?

This is your glove for cold and/or wet conditions. The Japanese neoprene is some of the highest quality available and this is what makes it so stretchy, comfortable and warm. The seams are constructed using the same technique as a wetsuit: the stitching is only on the outside, while the inside is thermo welded to make it smooth and completely waterproof. While the waterproofness is an obvious benefit in the rain, what's not so obvious is how good this glove is in the cold. It keeps your hands warm with the same function as a wetsuit for divers. It is completely non breathable, so your hand sweats but that moisture is immediately warmed to body temperature and stays warm. We figure it's better to have hands warm and wet than dry and cold, or worse yet wet and cold!

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

Neoprene insulation will keep your hands nice and warm

Non-slip gripper on palm

Extended neoprene cuff to keep the wind and rain out

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Nicely put together.

Rate the product for performance:

Masses of warmth and totally windproof, but not breathable at all and get whiffy quite quickly.

Rate the product for durability:

Wearing okay.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Lighter than a comparably warm multi-layer glove.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Comfy and snug.

Rate the product for value:

Quite expensive compared to a wetsuit glove from a wetsuit manufacturer.

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


Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Warm, windproof.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Can be clammy, get smelly quickly.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, suited me very well.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes but i'd look at cheaper alternatives.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track


Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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therevokid | 11 years ago

i have the endura nemo version .... concur with the
review in every detail (including the anti-pong tricks
too  1 )
Just that the nemo's are only 2/3's the price  1

pedalpowerDC | 11 years ago

hmmm. . . I've been hesitant on neoprene gloves till reading this review. I might pick up some paddling or dive gloves now.

thebongolian | 11 years ago

I have a pair of these a love 'em. On a cold day they take a few miles to get going but once you've got a sweat up they're super toasty.

They don't dry well though I always turn them inside out after a ride (they tend to do this anyway when you take them off) and leave them to dry, preferably on a radiator, and they dry out thoroughly and don't seem to stink.

Main downside is if you take them off for a prolonged period mid-ride (e.g. at a cakestop) they tend to be cold and clammy and take a fair bit of time to warm up again. Longer than if starting with them dry.

eddgould | 11 years ago

A pretty good review. They do feel a little weird when you first use them. I will try one of the tips above as it is a bit odd having hands that smell of cheesy quavers all day.

Matt_S | 11 years ago

These are the Marmite of gloves, it appears.

I have a pair, and after reading about the pong I took to a routine of pulling them inside-out when I got home in the evenings, rinsing, and leaving out to dry for the next morning. Following this routine, the don't smell at all.

And, as has been mentioned, they have a very specific 'feel' to them as your hands sweat, making them wet from the inside. You'll either not care, or hate it with a passion.

Apart from a couple of days last winter when it was snowing, they were all I needed to keep my hands warm (and I get very numb hands and feet). On those super cold days, I put some gore-tex shell mitts over the top. They make things a bit cumbersome, but it kept my riding.

amey | 11 years ago

I have these, the only issue is that after using them for commuting for around 6 miles my hands smell like sh*t. No amount of soap can take that smell away. They are in my drawer almost unused. I guess I didn't research enough on the neoprene as material.

euanlindsay | 11 years ago

£20 sailing neoprene gloves do the same thing and they are just as grippy.

amawby | 11 years ago
1 like

I have some of these - they are for when it is cold AND wet. If it is cold, then warm windproof gloves are better, if it is wet, then any old glove is better. Neoprene is designed to be warm when wet, end of story. When it is cold and wet, these are great, but they do need washing regularly!

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