Dexshell bring you everything you need to put the finishing touches to your Winter outfit; hats, socks and gloves galore. You can take your sock game to the next level with some brightly coloured designs that will also keep your feet warm and dry. There are also some quite eye-catching hats and gloves to make you stand out in the Winter gloom. I was given a few products to test as the weather’s been starting to get grotty.
Thermfit Neo Glove – Dexshell’s Thermfit Gloves have solved the biggest problem my other winter gloves have. When I take these off, even if they are a bit sweaty – which is rare – there’s no liner to get stuck to your fingers and fiddle about with. The inner merino terry liner is woven in to the glove. This also means that the gloves are very dexterous and I can get keys out of pockets and even open gel wrappers with them on; something I struggle with when wearing my other winter gloves.
The Thermfit gloves feel a lot like neoprene gloves except they are a lot less sweaty than neoprene. If I was fussy I’d say there could be a bit more of the rubberised grip material on the inside of the thumb and forefinger for when you’re braking on the hoods but it’s a minor gripe and I managed. Sweat is also well managed and the gloves are breathable. The windproof outer layer prevents your hands from getting too cold. The waterproof properties provided by the Porelle membrane, coupled with the generous wrist coverage also do a great job of keeping your hands warm and dry. The cuffs tuck in nice and far under a jacket to stop rain collecting and seeping down inside the gloves.
The merino lining has done a great job so far of keeping the gloves odour free, it’s also a nice soft material to be in contact with your hands. It’s itch and irritation free, with no annoying tags inside. The washing and material instructions are on a tag on the outside of the left hand cuff.
The colour of the Neo version of the Thermfit glove is striking, the ones I’ve been testing are ‘Blaze Orange’. In low light Winter conditions, they are the perfect thing to help your hand signals stand out. My wife has also been using them to help keep track of me in crowds of Christmas shoppers! I think generally Winter bike gloves can pass for off the bike too and these are no exception.
A big well done to Dexshell for the Thermfit Neo Gloves. I like them a lot. They’re comfortable and warm. They fit well and leave you able to still use your hands for fiddly tasks you might normally struggle with. I’m hoping we get snow this year because I think these are also going to be the ultimate snowball fight gloves! Apart from that I think these could be the only Winter gloves I ever need for both on and off the bike. If you’re using them for standing around and don’t expect to work up a sweat, I’d suggest a pair of silk glove liners to give a little extra warmth.
Beanie Solo Waterproof – My Wife didn’t get a look in after all with this Beanie, I’ve been wearing it on and off the bike. Now we live in Cambridge I spend a lot more time ‘urban cycling’ around the town. What this means is that I wear normal clothes and I don’t want to be carrying anything unnecessary. I don’t wear a helmet if I’m just cycling around doing chores (Chris Boardman says it’s okay!) so this waterproof Dexshell Beanie has been really useful. You might even find it fits under a helmet because it’s not that thick considering how warm it is. It didn’t fit under mine as my helmet is quite tight already.
The Beanie Solo is waterproof, windproof, thermal and light. The outer layer is knitted and the liner is micro fleece which is soft and warm. It looks quite trendy and discrete and comes in black, grey, blue, green, red and even a hi-viz yellow for the safety conscious helmet shunner amongst you. The one size was big enough to cover my ‘Large’ head and even larger ears.
The Dexshell Beanie doesn’t look waterproof. Although you can feel the hint of a membrane, the Porelle membrane used here is not as crinkly as some brand’s waterproof membranes feel. Once on it doesn’t make a nuisance of itself. I’ve ridden in some quite hard rain recently and when I got home the front of the Beanie was damp but it hadn’t soaked through to the inner layer. Rain soaks into the outer layer a bit instead of running straight off. This is great as you don’t get a constant stream running straight down from it, but it means it does need to be put somewhere to dry off after your ride.
The Beanie isn’t as breathable as the gloves I also tested, but it copes with anything but more spirited riding. If you’re riding hard enough to cause a sweat, you probably should have worn a helmet instead. There’s always the option to roll it up and put it in a pocket if you do get too hot.
The Dexshell Beanie Solo is a useful item of head-wear for the urban cyclist. Opinion will be split on the helmet debate, but certainly for any outdoor activities as well as keeping warm and dry before and after MTB, Cyclocross or Winter Crits you can’t go wrong with it. It’s far superior to the current crop of woolly hats that are dotted about my car, garage and various wardrobes.
Cycling Skull Cap – One size fits all and because the Dexshell skull cap has some stretchy panels it has a flexible fit; it was comfortable enough on my ‘Large’ head. Dexshell is all about the water and wind resistance. A skull cap doesn’t need to be completely water-resistant, you’ll sweat despite it being quite breathable. Rain will mostly hit the front and sides of your head as you ride so this is where Dexshell have put their Porelle material. Your head tends to be one of the sweatiest bits so it needs to breathe and it can with the Porelle membrane. This is concentrated at the front and sides, with the thinner stretchy panels towards the rear to allow heat to vent off.
I found Dexshell’s cycling skull cap kept my head and ears at just the right temperature. There are perforated sections around the ears to allow traffic noise through the windproof membrane. These are a nice idea but they don’t do much for the wind noise. I did struggle with wind noise so much that I pulled my neck tube over the perforations on the ear panels. Once I did that the wind noise dissipated and I could concentrate on the comfort. Without the wind noise the cap is barely noticeable, just as it should be, and gives just the right amount of warmth without being too sweaty. I have given feedback to the guys at Dexshell, they weren’t aware of the noise issue but have now taken the skullcap back to the drawing board to have a look and see how they can improve it so watch this space.
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