SNEWS has been holding out on you. We nabbed a pair of these Manzella gloves to test months and months before they hit the market. We liked them so much, they found their way into the workout bag and never came back out to our desk so we could write a review to share the joys. So it's about time to share.
These gloves -- in both men's and women's sizing -- are made of a Gore-Tex Windstopper N2S fabric that is a breathable, wind-stopping, water-resistant very lightweight laminated fabric. With nary a fuzzy or brushed lining, it seems strange these would be the base layer and one that would actually be comfortable and warming. But base layer they are, and a fine one at that -- one that is intended for high-output aerobic activities such as running, snowshoeing, road biking or cross-country skiing.
We have worn them on runs, walks, and hikes -- some pretty high-output indeed, some in drizzly and wet weather, some with temperatures below freezing, and even in a 50K ultra trail run -- all this mostly by a tester who is probably the queen of cold hands.
The beauty of these gloves, we have found, is their breathability and wicking nature. What often chills the hands is a layer of sweat that causes evaporative cooling. These gloves wick the vapor away, then breathe well enough to keep them from getting soggy and causing the chill.
We ran into another runner recently (OK, not literally..) who had them on, and asked what he thought: He just glowed as he said, "These are The Best!" Wow, so it's not just a woman with ice cube hands who appreciates them!
Now, we also have to admit on days with temps into the low or mid-20s, we have actually worn a really really thin soft woven liner (like Capilene or polypro) underneath these for a tad more insulation -- although that's a no-no in the N2S (next-to-skin) instruction manual. Right or wrong, that worked too. Another option perhaps would be to wear a light fleece glove over the top. And this potential need for additional layering could be a drawback for some activities, for some people for in some really much colder or really wet conditions.
The gloves also have a very low profile grid-like gripping surface on palm and fingers that is hardly noticeable -- until you need it.
4.5 Hands clapping
Suggested retail: $30