A slim, windproof winter glove for chilly but not freezing days
Feb 23 2018
Thin materials give great feel
Suede palm is very grippy
Light and don't retain much water
Thick finger stitching adds unecessary stiffness.
You'll need to cut out spiky packaging loop before riding
Heat is lost quickly
You want a well thought out winter glove with little bulk
The Inferna’s are a new winter glove for women from Giro. With a windproof backing and thin, grippy suede palm they suit cooler days whilst the stiff finger construction means they are better suited to longer and less technical rides.
The Giro Inferna’s features a Polartec® Windbloc® backhand with reflective polka dot print for night time forays and a small, not very useful, snot wipe. The gloves are lined with microfleece making them fit for temperatures in the range from 4 to 10°C, whilst the palm of the hand is made from Giro's grippy Ax Suede™ Echo material, a fabric originally developed for snowboarders and skiers to prevent water uptake and to be tough and protective too. The cuff is of slip on design and made from neoprene, it's stretchy yet tight fitting for a flat finish under the sleeves.
The Inferna’s aren’t your usual winter gloves, they are a lot less bulky than a normal cold weather mitt, but this is in part due to the lack of padding and insulation. The microfleece lining is pretty thin and whilst this aids dexterity, take the gloves much beyond the 4°C recommend range and you’ll get pretty chilly pretty fast.
Gripping the bars and it’s instantly noticeable that the palm is super thin, which I really liked, you get a great feel through the palms just as with a thinner glove. There’s no padding over the palm knuckle area either which is good (I dislike bulk) with only a gel insert at the heel of the hand, no doubt for comfort in different hand position, say on drop bars for example.
I did find the fingers of the Inferna’s quite stiff and although these did start to soften as I wore them, large, multiple seams on the inside ensure the ridity stays put somewhat. The finger seams also leave less room for your digits, a factor I find across the range with Giro gloves, the DND’s being another example with the same issue. This stiffness leads to a little less dexterity on the braking finger, hence my comments that these are best for rides where there isn’t lots of technical braking. I used these gloves to keep my hands warm uphill and swapped to something thinner for technical descenst. I still used the Inferna’s for longer and less technical descents though where they kept the wind off the back of my hands well.
When I did have chilly hands I felt the slim, stiff finger sections prevented blood from flowing around my hands and stopped me from warming up. Removing my hands from the gloves, warming them and re-inserting them in the gloves fixed this but if you can't get warm in the first place the Inferna's are going to be a hindrance, not a help, where the thin fabric doesn't do much to retain heat.
The Inferna’s thoughtfully feature stitching on the finger so you can use them with a touch screen, so as long as you aim right and touch the screen with this stitching, you’ll be able to Instabang and ride at the same time.
One thing to note after your purchase is made and before riding in the Inferna’s - you’ll have to cut out the small loops used on the inside of the cuff to hold the gloves to their packaging. The ends of these loops have been heat sealed to prevent fraying which then sticks in sharply on the front and back of the wrist. Be careful that you don’t cut the actual cuff stitching though. It’s unnecessary faff from Giro, I had two pairs with the same issue, so it’s not a one off.
At £40, they are on par with other windproof gloves of this quality and tech, they are light, they don’t soak up water and provide the most dexterity I’ve seen in a windproof glove. Don’t take them outside the recommended temperature range though otherwise you’ll find the experience rather sweaty or a tad cold. I would only improve them by taking some of the bulk out of the inner seams of the fingers and widening that snot wipe.
Giro say "Cool weather warmth for women. The Inferna™is a brand new women’s glove for cool weather riding. It features a Polartec® Windbloc® backhand with a microfleece lining, which offers high dexterity while maintaining warmth. The new Ax Suede™Echo palm absorbs little moisture and is lined with fleece for warmth. Reflective screen print polka dots across the entire backhand offer stylish visibility. As the temperatures get cool, the Inferna will let you keep your riding season going in comfort."
Once worn in the gloves were more comfortable
If the inner seams were slimmed down I would buy them
Yes, for slim fingered friends!
Deputy Editor here ar off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. She's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!