A winter glove's main jobs are threefold: block the elements, manage internal moisture, and impede bar feel as little as possible. Pearl Izumi's Elite Softshell Gel Gloves score strong marks in all three categories, combining the brand's Elite Softshell material with 100g insulation and a relatively modest bulk. They're not as protective as full-on ski mittens, nor are they as minimalistic as Pearl's summer-weight Elite gloves; however, they do strike the ideal balance for the days when bright winter afternoons let you detach the bike from the trainer and get outside for some base miles.
Elite Softshell fabric is the gloves' main active ingredient, and Pearl engineered it to ward off wind and water from the outside while allowing breathability to keep your hands dry on the inside. The softshell is backed up with 100g of Primaloft Gold insulation, and the inner face is finished with a soft fleece liner. The palms are also lightly padded, which alleviates pressure points during long base miles spent on the hoods.
Pearl's 1:1 Glove Fit and conductive synthetic tips on the thumb and index finger help ensure that your reach on the bars is less restricted and you can still scroll through touch screen menus without expose your delicate digits to the wintery air. After all, once your hands get chilled on a bike ride, the only way to warm them up is to stop.