The ION Haze Amp full-finger gloves are designed to fend off the colder elements. Although packed with some neat features and technology, I feel the overall design really held these gloves back from achieving their mission - keeping my hands warm and dry.
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When it comes to the construction of the ION Haze Amp gloves, there's minimal information available; under "Materials", ION's website states, "No sew abrasion element." I can tell you that the back-hand panel feels more abrasion resistant than the seemingly suede-like palm. There's also a slightly thinner material between the fingers, which is assumed to improve breathability.
The cuffs are made from Neoprene for water-repellency, and the Velcro tab closure helps cinch in the cuff for a close fit. Another cuff feature, which I think is quite neat, is the integrated Claw_Guard Rain Cover. This waterproof sheath is stowed under the lip of the cuff and extends to fit over your fingers when it rains or to "protect fingers from severe weather," as ION claim.
Available in ocean blue and black colourways, the Haze Amp gloves are available in sizes XXS to XL and are not gender-specific.
Haze Amp Gloves - How they ride
As the Welsh winter has been particularly cold and wet thus far, suffice to say the Haze Amp gloves have been tested in the ideal conditions for their intended purpose.
The fit of the gloves is spot on, which isn't a surprise considering the welcomed variety of sizes on offer. I particularly like the extension of the cuff as it completely bridges any gaps between your jacket and wrist, so there are no draughts for channels for rain to travel up. The Velcro closure does a good job of allowing you to cinch in the fit while securely holding the cuff throughout the ride.
As for the finger-sleeves, I actually found these rather uncomfortable, and this was due to the inside seams. Where the top, side and bottom materials meet, the seams feel prominent against the skin, causing a rubbing feeling. As for the palm area, there are some silicone dots to help with grip, but they're so flat and sparse that I didn't find them to make much of a difference.
When it comes to the weather, I didn't feel much protection with the Haze Amp gloves. My fingers got cold, and the numbness would soon creep in. The back's of my hands were somewhat protected from the wind, but not the fingers themselves. When the rain descended, the moisture would make its way through the fabric in little time, and the suede-like material on the palms became saturated.
However, this is where the rain shield comes into action. Once unrolled from under the cuff, the cover extends over the four fingers; 3 in a mitten-like covering leaving your index finger within its own sheath, free to actuate the brake and gear levers. Admittedly, I quite like this feature. It's different, and it adds a level of versatility. While in place, the rain cover did a much better job to keep my fingers warm and dry without affecting my ability to ride and engage with the cockpit. Sadly, this cover doesn't extend to the thumb area, leaving it prone to the elements.
Value & verdict
At £58, the ION Haze Amp gloves are considerably more expensive than the highly acclaimed Brisker and Hydromatic winter gloves from 100% at £27 and £38, respectively. While the Hydromatic pair are geared towards waterproofing your hands, the Briskers focus on warmth. Both pairs of 100% gloves would set you back £65, which is just £8 more than the Haze Amps.
It appears that ION has attempted to offer both water and wind protection with their Haze Amp gloves but fail to really encompass both traits as well as if they'd have been separate gloves. While I really like the idea of them, with the packable rain cover feature, leaving the thumb exposed is a real shame. It's as if ION had a great idea for the Haze Amp gloves, but the execution hasn't met expectations.