Recently I took a decision to upgrade my gloves for cool and cold riding. I had been recommended Hestra gloves before and ended up ordering both a pair of the Tracker and C-Zone gaunlett gloves to cover my riding from around 10 degrees Celsius down to below 0 degrees.
Hestra are a Swedish company established in 1936 and they only make gloves – now about 2 million pairs a year! Hestra is a family run business, now with the 4th generation of the family calling the shots. The company is probably best known for it’s ski and outdoor/mountaineering style gloves but now makes some cycling specific gloves as well.
The nice thing about going to a manufacturer who specializes in a particular product is that, for them, the stakes are higher in a transaction. By that I mean that when I bought my Hestra gloves, if I didn’t like them, then that’s a challenge for a company that only makes gloves to overcome. The positive side for Hestra is that, they’ve spent about 80 years just making gloves and I’d wager they’d be confident they’re as good as anybody at it.
Fortunately for both Hestra and myself – first impressions are extremely positive. The gloves look great, the materials feel fantastic and they feel terrific on my hands. I’ve done 3 or 4 rides on the Tracker gloves now with temperatures between 2 degrees and 10 degrees and they’ve been superb. The Tracker are windstopper gloves (Gore fabric) with neoprene cuffs. I choose the Yellow/Black colour scheme as I thought the yellow would be a plus when I’m indicating and you know, flouro is all the rage.
One of the things I learnt when I got the gloves from NordicLife is that, I’ve typically bought gloves too small. You need to have enough room for air to fit around your fingers as it’s the air that’s crucial to keeping you warm. If your gloves are too tight, when you grip the handlebars you’ll be forcing warm air out and be defeating a lot of the purpose of the gloves. With that in mind I’ve sized up a touch and I’m reaping the benefits of warmer hands. Of course the other bonus of wearing gloves with more room in them is that you might be able to use a liner glove for really cold days.
For me the tracker is now my go to glove for Spring/Autumn riding when the ride starts cool and warms up a bit as you go on. That 5-10ish degree range needs a good glove that works well when it’s at the colder end of things but doesn’t make your hands too hot and sweaty when it hits 10 degrees or so. So far, the Tracker has been perfect for this kind of riding.
You can find out more about the Tracker here:
At the time of writing there’s a good special offer on the Trackers at Nordic Life, which is an even better reason to get some J
I also got a pair of Hestra C-Zone gauntlet gloves for cold days out on the bike (or for walks). Rhodri from Nordic Life suggested that these come into their own at below 5 degrees (unless you suffer from really cold hands) and to date, the weathers warmed up and I’ve not had a chance to ride them yet – I sure that’ll change soon enough though.
The C-Zone gauntlet are a softshell, waterproof and windproof glove that’s also designed to be breathable. Once again the build quality is superb at first glance the materials feel very high quality. I went for the gauntlet version over the regular cuff to give me a bit more coverage at the wrist and with my riding/winter jacket. A pleasing aspect of the C-Zone gauntlet is that they’re not bulky. My last winter gloves were quite thick and padded and that restricted movement a touch and feel. The C-Zone gauntlet is surprisingly thin given it’s cold weather credentials so there’s very good movement while you have the gloves on.
You can find out more on the Hestra C-Zone gauntlet here:
My first impressions of both of these gloves is excellent – really high quality, well designed, great looking and a pleasure to own. Gloves are another important part of winter riding and these gloves give me confidence that they’ll be essential companions from now on.
No doubt the British weather will give me some opportunities to test the C-Zone gauntlet soon as well as spend some more time in the Tracker !
Thanks for reading