January 24, 2010

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Readers' Reviews

Reader Product Review: Hugger Gloves
By Denise L. Glassman, Arlington Heights, Illinois  
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It isn't hard to find a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm for winter riding. I must have five pairs of them. But it is hard to find a pair that fits a woman's hand properly and isn't so bulky that you feel like you're wearing boxing gloves. Like many women, I have small hands, and most gloves are cut for a man's hand. Women have to buy size small or x-small if they're available. But even if you get a size small, the glove is usually too roomy across the palm, and the fingers are too wide and loose fitting. That usually leads to a blister or two from rubbing on a seam. And bulky gloves make you loose all road feel and feedback from the handlebars and grips, and if you have small hands, it makes it more difficult to reach the brake and clutch levers comfortably.

The "Diane" Classic Gauntlet gloves made by Hugger Gloves are made of butter-soft leather.

But I've been riding with Hugger Gloves "Diane" Classic Gauntlet glove this winter, and they're great for riding in weather down to the freezing mark. And best of all, they are specifically designed for a woman's hands, and they aren't bulky. Actually, they allow me to maintain the feel almost as well as with an unlined summer glove.

The "Diane" Classic Gauntlet is made from premium butter-soft leather treated with Technaline, which makes the leather waterproof. However, I learned from talking to a really nice woman at the company, that even though the leather is waterproof and won't allow water to soak into the leather, water can still seep into the gloves through the needle holes of the seams. So Hugger uses a Wonder Dry lining that keeps the wet out and your hands warm, yet it still breathes so that you hands never get clammy inside the gloves.

These gloves fit Denise's small hands perfectly.

That all turned out to be true when I got caught in a cold rain (about 45 degrees temperature) a few weeks ago. I could see the water roll off the leather, and I don't know if it soaked in through the seams, but my hands stayed dry and warm. And the glove also has a nylon extension from inside the glove that goes up the sleeve of your jacket, and pulls tight with a drawstring and slide clasp to help keep the rain from running down your arm and into the glove.

With the leather being so soft, there is no break-in period; the gloves are ready to enjoy from the first time you put them on. Each glove has a wide gauntlet opening that will go over your jacket cuff to keep the wind out, and if it isn't raining, that nylon extension tucks in and stays hidden inside the glove.

Because of the fitted style of these glove, Denise can still put her hand in her pocket. Plus, a drawstring at the cuff keeps her hands toasty and dry.

The fingers are cut narrower than a man's glove, so they fit my fingers nicely, and they are also cut slimmer across the palm, which is lightly padded, for a nice snug fit. The seams on the outside and inside the lining of the gloves are so fine that my fingers didn't get irritated. And since the gloves aren't bulky, you can easily keep them on to work the D-rings on your helmet, or push the buttons on your GPS system, or even pick up a quarter off a table.

The "Diane" Classic Gauntlet sells for $56, which I think is an excellent price for the quality. I saw a lot of other glove styles and weights for spring and summer riding. I will be looking to buy a pair or two come spring. If they're anything like this winter glove, I know I'm going to like the way they fit my small hands.

You can buy Hugger gloves online, but I ordered them through my local dealer, because they have a rewards program which gets me discounts after I spend a certain amount of money. The web site is HuggerGloves.com and their phone number is 859.245.8445.

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