Review: U.S. Divers Cold-Water Diving Gloves. Wait. What?

For all the high-tech gear that cyclists have at their disposal (and there is a lot!), there is one infuriating omission: nobody makes a waterproof glove. I imagine this is mainly because most riders take the day off when the clouds open up, not leaving many people to sell to. Or maybe it’s really hard to make a waterproof glove. I don’t know.

Since the cycling world has turned it’s back on us we need to turn to other industries that have the same problem with moisture. I got a tip to put medical gloves on under my normal winter gloves. I can definitely see this working in a pinch but like chemical toe warmers, I want something that isn’t disposable. Also the medical gloves will hold in moisture and will not provide much insulation on their own so once your outer gloves get soaked your time will be limited.

The answer ended up coming from another niche sport: scuba diving. After trolling the internet I chose the U.S. Divers Cold-Water Diving Gloves based on positive feedback for build quality and durability. If you read the Amazon reviews you’ll find all kinds of displaced cold and wet people. As a matter of fact, none of the top reviews for this product refer to them being used for actual diving!

U.S. Divers cold-water gloves fit snugly and fit nicely under a gore-text shell

The day after they arrived I got the perfect weather to try them out: 40 degrees and raining. These first thing that I noticed is that they don’t repel water, which you might expect from a “waterproof” glove. Water will bead up on your Gore-tex jacket but soak right into the gloves. Despite this, I didn’t feel the water, or the wind. The next thing I knew, I was 20 minutes into your ride and my hands were perfectly warm and happy!

Fit is very good–unlike most long-fingered cycling gloves they have a little give so can stretch your fingers a little more easily to work with brake levers and shifters and such. They go up past the carpal bone which is more than enough height to tuck up under your gore-tex jacket.

The only place where it shows that this is not made specifically for cycling is the palm. Generally the padding for a cycling glove is minimal and strategically placed. With the diving glove the “padding” is just a natural byproduct of the neoprene material which is an even thickness everywhere. I purchased the 3mm version which ended up making my main contact point with my handlebar feel spongy. Despite this, there is no question that these work and are an essential piece in creating a head-to-toe outfit for adverse weather riding.

Grips on the palm are good, but the 3mm thickness of the gloves make your contact point a little spongy feeling.

Pros:

  • Pre-curved and good fit
  • Great price! Since these aren’t made for cycling you don’t pay the cycling premium. If these were made by Perl Izumi they’d probably be $85
  • They work!

Cons:

  • 3mm thickness is a little too spongy
  • They take forever to dry. Like over a day.

Takeaway:

Simply necessary in the rain, especially between 33 and 55 degrees.

This entry was posted in Columns, Obstructed View on by .
Aaron Deutsch

About Aaron Deutsch

Aaron has always felt a passion for, if not a gravitational pull from, racing. Since being lured from the basketball court onto the track in 1993 he set 7 track & field records and medaled six times at the state level of competition.

He moved to the mountain bike in the late 1990s and won the Penn Cycle Buck Hill race series in 2000 in the sport class. He also placed 4th in the Subaru Cup XC race that year.

After moving to New York Aaron took up road racing and rode unattached for the first year and medaled in 2 races including a 1st place finish in the Kissena Race Series in 2007. In 2008 the Brooklyn Arches Cycling Club was formed and the results were immediate and consistent including winning the Cadence Cup Race Series in Brooklyn. He currently races with the Major Taylor Iron Riders Development Team

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