Back when I was a BMXing teen in Ontario, I decided a good pair of cold weather gloves would be worth buying. A car was still a few years off, and the weather wasn’t going to keep me from hanging out with my friends in June, October or January. I bought a pair of Louis Garneau winter gloves and instantly loved them for being thin but surprisingly warm.
Unfortunately, I lost one of those gloves and missed them dearly for several years. After finding a new home in Pemberton, B.C. and diving into the MTB scene, I finally decided to get another pair for last fall’s final trail rides. I found the updated gloves, now known as the WINDTEX Eco Flex 2 and reunited myself with an old friend. As suggested by the above photo, I’m quite happy with them.
Find out why the Eco-Flex 2 deserves two thumbs up after the jump…
Our trails in Pemberton usually get snowed out soon after temperatures hit the freezing point, but for those few chilly weeks of fall and spring I’m glad to have these on hand. I’ve ridden them in temperatures around 39-54º, and would say they’re ideal for the lower end of that range, or even a bit colder.
The Eco Flex 2’s keep your hands impressively warm as you ride, despite being barely thicker than a standard MTB glove. After a few rides I realized it’s not the light insulation that’s doing the trick, but rather the glove’s ability to completely block out the wind. Louis Garneau uses a fabric called laminated WindDry 12K on the backside of the hands and fingers which I can only describe as an impenetrable force-field. This is the one thing that impresses me most about these gloves.
LG describes the gloves as ‘high moisture transfer’ and the palm features a breathable Ergo-air center panel. My hands got noticeably sweaty on the warmer days I rode, but they breathed well enough that I remained comfortable and never went clammy. For temperatures above roughly 46º, I’d either stick to normal gloves or swap them out after you’re warmed up. As for moisture from the outside, I haven’t ridden them in rain yet but I wouldn’t expect much more than water resistance.
The Eco Flex 2’s feature LG’s thin Biogel padding in the palm to combat numbness and encourage good grip contact, and it’s never felt bulky or bunchy on my grips. The palm material is no thicker than a standard glove, so grip feel and brake modulation aren’t compromised at all. The long cuffs keep the wind out of your sleeves, but the gloves still slip on and off easily.
I found my size medium gloves fit my hands snugly but comfortably, with a bit of stretch for excellent dexterity. There are no sloppy seams or annoying overlaps between the thumb and palm, and with their slim outer profile it’s not at all cumbersome reaching into pockets or fiddling with tools. If they only had touch-screen sensitive finger tips, you’d never have to take them off.
Here’s the bottom line. I don’t feel any sacrifice in comfort or control wearing the Eco Flex 2’s versus my normal MTB gloves, so I don’t think twice about taking advantage of their surprising warmth on colder days. I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone riding any kind of bike in near-freezing temperatures, whether you’re lapping your local trails, clocking miles on the asphalt or just escaping the boredom of being home to go hang with your friends.
The WINDTEX Eco Flex 2 glove sells for $39.99 USD and can be purchased directly from Louis Garneau’s website.