Picking the perfect winter riding glove is never that simple. When it’s especially cold & wet, I tend to pick one pair, then carry a second alternate in my jacket pocket to hedge my bet. Now though, I just layer up with the Dissent 133 ultimate glove cycling pack, adding or peeling off layers as needed. There is a waterproof shell, a windproof shell & two different insulating liners, that together offer more functionality than any other winter glove setup I’ve ridden with.
Dissent 133 Ultimate Glove Cycling Pack for winter riding
We first got word of the Dissent 133 glove layering system a little too late last year to really give them a thorough winter test. But the basic layering idea seemed sound. I’ve ridden with a number of other layered cycling gloves over the years, and they have tended to be some of the best solutions for riding at or below freezing temperature, and especially in cold+wet conditions. But most of them lacked in broad versatility, or suffered from just being a pain to use.
Dissent 133’s system promised to do exactly what we do with clothing on our upper bodies – start with a wicking baselayer, add an insulation layer when it gets a bit colder, then add a light shell to block wind, or finally add on a technical waterproof shell when it was cold & wet. In between, you can essentially mix and match layers to suit a wide range of temperatures. Dissent recommends their system from <4° up to 13°C (<39°-55°F).
We rode comfortably down to about -8°C (18°F) for extended periods of time when it was dry, with several multi-hour rides below freezing in heavy rain & wet snow. Sticking with just the insulated liner, the gloves transitioned up to when we didn’t need gloves to stay warm at all. Beyond say -10°C/14°F was a limit for the gloves, but if you ride in weather that cold you know you need some more extreme gauntlet, bar mitts, or creative solution to stay warm.
Dissent 133 Choose Your Own Adventure… and gloves
The most complicated part about the Dissent 133 gloves is that if you get the complete £95 (~$121/106€) Ultimate Glove Cycling Pack, you actually end up with four individual pairs of gloves. Then when it’s time to ride you need to pick and choose which combination to wear.
Dissent ships their gloves in a zippered clamshell case about the size of a compact laptop, and inside is this helpful diagram suggesting how to combine the silk baselayer liner, the insulating layer, the ShowerLite wind shell & the OutDry Lite rain shell. It was unsurprisingly a helpful tool for the first time you wear the glove system, but after a couple of cold & wet rides I haven’t looked at it again. (Note: We have been using the original DeFeet insulating layer, which has since been replaced with a similar but apparently better fitting Cordura Touchfit insulating layer that claims a bit more warmth too.)
One note in particular, all of the coldest range of temps suggest that you wear both liners plus a shell for the most warmth. While that generally worked for me riding a road dropbar in the coldest weather, the bulk of three layers on a mountain bike bar felt like too much for me, and I had warmer fingers by dropping the silk liner for a bit more breathing room inside the glove. The takeaway from that is, the Dissent 133 layering system works best when you do a little trial & error to figure out what works best for you. A few rides carrying one extra layer in my pockets helped really dial in my personal preferences.
In the end, I also liked to ride with just the silk liner alone, especially on extended climbs when it wasn’t super wet out. Sure, I occasionally ended up with the silk liners covered in snow if I wasn’t careful. But since the layers of gloves were so easy on & off, I could quickly shed a layer and not overheat going up, then pop the shells back on for protection on the descents.
Long-term Impressions – Fit, Feel & Durability
One of the things that really makes the Dissent 133 system work are two shells that hold up over time, and are easy to get the liners in & out of. After a year of riding, the shells never turn themselves inside out (a plague of many layered, laminate glove shells). And the only real wear & tear has been on the windproof shell which has lost about half of the silicone grippers that were on the thumb, ring & pinkie fingers (mostly on my right hand for some reason), and a couple of scrapes on the finger tips from riding through brush.
We’ve actual had a few of the Bikerumor team riding with the Dissent 133 glove system, as we all ride year round and hunt for a versatile glove setup. Tyler calls the gloves “a killer modular system that’s easy to regulate your temps during the ride. It’s like the rest of your riding kit… you have a base layer and a shell that can be added or shed during a ride.”
His only complaint is “that the closure system’s Velcro doesn’t seem to want to fully close with even a mid-weight sleeve resting under it. The glove’s length is great for coverage and easily slides over your sleeves, but it could use a slightly longer strap overwrap design to accommodate the added girth that sleeve adds. That, and the rough side of the Velcro tends to grab other fabrics you’re wearing when it’s open.”
I’ve been able to close my size large OutDry gloves over my sleeve with no problems, but that’s maybe also because I tend to only put one insulating layer inside – remember trial & error. The velcro does like to grab knit fabrics, but luckily it stays in place securely once you do get it closed.
Each of the layers claims touchscreen capability, but together it’s certainly less effective (Tyler calls touchscreen use “limited at best”). Since you have all of these individual layers aligning, getting conductivity through is a big ask. With that said, once I’ve worked up a little sweat (or *cough, licked the fingertip of the glove), I’ve been able to operate my iPhone with any two layers combined. Three layers didn’t work, but apparently the new Cordura Touchfit liner is supposed to improve that.
All in all, the layering concept has made the Dissent 133 my go-to glove since around mid autumn when temps first dipped near freezing – they are the best cold weather cycling glove solution I’ve found to date. I’ve pretty much dialed in which combinations I prefer for all sorts of cold and/or wet winter weather. Then when they do get wet, the gloves dry super fast since you can separate them all. And since the silk liners pack down smaller than an energy bar, it is easy to always pack an extra layer for when my fingers get cold mid ride.
Dissent 133 sells the setup in three different kits £58 windproof, £80 waterproof, or £95 windproof & waterproof. I think the greatest feature is the flexibility of the complete windproof & waterproof Ultimate Pack. All you just have to do is manage four more pairs of black gloves in your closet.