The Alpinestars Stella Cascade Gore-Tex women’s glove is warm, soft-lined and usefully bulk-free for winter trail riding, and it's well-made. The shaping is odd, though, with a narrow wrist and fingers that can restrict blood flow – ironically leaving you with cold hands despite the effective fabrics.
After a very warm review (so to speak) of the Stella F-Lite, I was keen to try Alpinestars' Stella Cascade this winter. With its Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper outer and a thinnish palm for decent bar-feel, this cold weather glove looks ideal for mucky winter mountain bike rides.
The fleece-backed windstopper fabric is reinforced with a soft, grippy synthetic suede across the palm and anywhere else likely to scuff when you go for a little roll around in the mud. It's low-profile and comfy.
Alpinestars' site claims there's silicone on the forefingers for lever grip, but ours certainly didn't have it, and while the wrist opening is quite small the Velcro closure is still too short for a really secure overlap.
The Stella Cascades are comfy at first. The palm is roomy enough and the material isn’t bulky at all, which means good dexterity on the controls and a connected feel through to the grips and bars. The windstopper material does its job well, the fleece inside is comfy without being too hot and sweaty, and they breathe well.
The fingers, however, are very narrow – enough to squeeze my digits and reduce blood flow, leading to cold hands that struggle to warm up on cold rides. When working hard I tend to find my hands swell slightly, at which point the tight fit causes some discomfort and restriction.
Sizing up may fix the issue, as something seems to have gone wrong here (these are too small for me in Medium, while Alpinestars' own F-Lites fit me in Small).
At £45 the Stella Cascade Gore-Tex isn't the cheapest, but if the skinny wrist and fingers fit it's a warm, well-made and good-looking choice. The slinky palm and lack of bulk are a real benefit for winter trail riding – just make sure to try them on before you commit.
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