Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove Review
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove
Need to keep your hands warm on the coldest of rides? Look no further than the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove.
Are the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove Warm?
The first time I slipped on the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove, I thought these couldn’t be better than my existing cold-weather gloves. Yeah they are “lobster” gloves, so they would keep my fingers grouped together by pointer/middle and ring/pinky, and therefore keep them warmer. But they didn’t feel any thicker or bulkier and in fact if anything they were lighter and thinner, thanks to the Primaloft One insulation. However I still thought there was no way would they be able to keep my hands warm on the coldest of rides. Well boy was I wrong, the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove are some of the warmest I’ve ever worn.
My first test of the gloves came on a blustery Colorado winter day. Because of work and family obligations I tend to ride early in the day so it isn’t uncommon for temperatures to be in the mid to lower 20s when I set out. That particular day was no different at a balmy 22 degrees and windy. I was still sure the gloves wouldn’t be up for the task so I slipped a pair of glove liners in my pocket as an insurance policy against the cold. I purposely started without the liners on just to see how long it would take for my hands to get cold. I was pleasantly surprised that after well over an hour my fingers and hands were still toasty warm. I was even more surprised that at no time during that first 2 and half hour ride were my hands or fingers cold at all. The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove passed their first test with flying colors.
Since that first ride I have worn them regularly whenever the temps drop below about 35 degrees. Anything above that temp and I switch to my Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell gloves.
I’m the type of cyclist that works hard to dial in his kit for each temperature range. I like to know exactly how much clothing to wear so I’m not overly cold or hot on a ride and I’m also not bringing a lot of extra layers that I’ll be stuffing into my pockets later on. With that in mind I did several rides with the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Gloves at varying temperature ranges and for me I found the ‘sweet spot’ for these gloves to be between about 15 and 35 degrees. Anything colder than 15 degrees you’d want to use a glove liner or better yet, not ride at all. Above 35 the gloves are too much and sweating and wetness start to become a problem, and realistically that temp is probably anything above 30 degrees.
Construction & Dexterity
The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove are like all Pearl Izumi products in that they are made with quality in mind. The softshell fabric on the top of the hands keeps the wind out and adds to the warmth of the gloves. The palms feature a natural carbon leather construction with the P.I. design stamped in, and the pointer/middle finger has a raised rubber P.I. design for added traction making it easy to grip the brake/shift levers. There is also a nice soft fleece wiping surface on the thumb for cleaning your glasses. The Velcro strap on the inside of the wrist makes it easy to lock out the cold. The cuff on the glove does take a little getting used to in that it doesn’t taper so it isn’t easy to tuck it into the sleeves of a jacket. It seems as though they are designed to do the opposite and tuck the sleeve into the glove however I didn’t like the bulky feel when I tried that.
Dexterity is a bit of an issue but one that you have to be willing to compromise on when you chose to ride in the cold. The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Gloves are not full-fingered gloves so you are naturally going to lose a little bit of maneuverability, and if you’ve never worn lobster-style gloves it takes a little bit of getting used to. Braking was not problem on both my road bike and my mountain bike but shifting was a little trickier. On my road bike I found that it was actually easier to shift using my ring/pinky grouping rather than the pointer/middle group. I use trigger shifters on my mountain bike so shifting was relatively easy using the pointer/middle finger group.
Grabbing the water bottle was easy enough but taking something out of my pockets required removing the gloves but that would be the case with almost any style of glove. The bottom line is the minor loss of dexterity attributed to using the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Gloves is easily outweighed by the added warmth they provide.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove Final Thoughts
After using the gloves for the majority of the cold weather riding season here in Colorado I have to say they are a great addition to my cold weather gear. I would go so far as to say a must have! If you are looking for a solid cold weather glove you cannot go wrong with the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove.
For more information on all of Pearl Izumi’s gloves and full product line please visit: www.pearlizumi.com