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The Santini Jess Winter gloves are comfortable, well made and will do the job for most of your early autumn and early spring riding, but the description is a little inaccurate – I certainly didn't find them to be "extremely warm".
There are no straps or Velcro at the cuffs, they simply offer a closer fit than many gloves to keep them secure. That means it's important to make sure you get the right size. I found medium was perfect for my hands, which are on the short and stubby side.
As the gloves are light and not too thick, they give you plenty of control on the handlebar, and operating lights and computers is a breeze. I found them really useful for my commute, which is partly on an unlit path – useful, that is, until the thermometer dropped. For gloves that are described as "extremely warm", they didn't really live up to the claims. On rides where the temperature was hovering around 4°C, my fingers got achingly cold. This was after putting them on straight from the radiator in the morning in an attempt to take maximum advantage of the thermal and windproofing properties. It was a bit disappointing considering the product description says they are "perfect for the coldest days in the saddle".
Santini's UK brand manager told me the Jess gloves are best for temperatures of around 5-10°C and recommended the Deep Double Layer glove instead for lower temps. So Santini should alter the description, really, to suggest they're better for middling temperatures. Santini is Italian, so perhaps 5-10°C constitutes deep winter there, but not on these shores!
One option is to size up and buy a merino liner to wear underneath; Santini doesn't currently offer one in its range, but they can be picked up for around £10.
If you're looking for a glove that won't limit your control on the bike yet will keep your hands toastier, the Sportful Sotto Zero gloves recently reviewed by Dave Arthur may well fit the bill better than these for an extra tenner. Mat also got on well with the slightly cheaper Kalf Five gloves, though he reckoned they need a liner below 5°C. Or you could consider those thicker Deep Double Layer gloves from Santini, also £39.99.
Overall, I was perfectly happy with these gloves in temperatures around 10°C, and I'd recommend them for serious training in cooler climes as the grip and low weight mean you don't lose control during harder efforts. As it stands though, I'd choose a thicker glove when the temperatures dipped below around 7°C.
Well-made and comfortable gloves, but for a winter option they fall short of what's claimed
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini 365 Jess Winter Gloves
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says: "Perfect for the coldest days in the saddle"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Santini says: "Extremely warm Winter gloves made in Jess double fabric. The inner part is made in soft wadding while the outside is windproof. Anti-sliding palm. Perfect for the coldest days in the saddle"
Windproof outer layer
Made in Italy
Just about stretchy enough, strong seams and grippy palms.
The fit and grip is fine, and they're good for around 7°C or above, but I didn't find them to be 'extremely warm'.
Still going strong after a couple of months and a few washes.
There's not a huge deal of give in them, but once on they offer a close fit.
There's no strap around the wrist so it's important you get the right size, but I found the mediums to fit very well on my medium-sized hands.
Very light for winter gloves.
Comfortable – unless it's properly cold.
A little more than the Kalf gloves Mat reviewed, with the same need for liners when the temperature drops.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine: no shrinkage and the fabric hasn't deteriorated.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The comfort and grip were as good as claimed, but they fall short of being 'extremely warm'.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The palm grip, being able to adjust my helmet and GPS without taking the gloves off, and the durability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They're not warm enough to be described as extremely warm – anything below 5°C and my hands definitely weren't warm enough!
Did you enjoy using the product? When it wasn't cold yes, which isn't the point.
Would you consider buying the product? As an autumn glove maybe, but you'd need to accessorise or get thicker ones for deep winter.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Perfectly serviceable gloves for temperatures of around 7°C or above, with good grip and dexterity, but anything colder and they fall short of what is claimed.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.