Showers Pass Crosspoint Glove and Beanie Review
It’s easy to be a fair-weather bike commuter. For those of us that commit to riding in to work during the colder months, there are some formidable natural elements to contend with: the cold, the wet, and worst of all, the cold AND wet.
From my house in Denver, Colorado to my office downtown is about 3.5 miles, mostly downhill. This is great on a summer morning, gliding beneath the trees in the cool air before the day heats up, but from November to May, this commute presents the challenge of staying warm for 20 minutes of a downhill rush through frigid air.
In the spring, when we can get a light drizzle or even some sleet, it feels even colder. I’ve made the ride mostly comfortable with a high-collared jacket (like the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Jacket) and a buff around my face, but the thing I struggled with for a long time was my hands.
Unlike running, cycling doesn’t offer much blood flow to the hands, and mine suffer. I’ve tried Kinco construction gloves and burly ski gloves, but they don’t offer much dexterity. My commute rides down a few steep hills with stop signs at the bottom, often right next to cars, so having sub-par control of my brakes felt really sketchy. I wore some thinner gloves to have better control and just ended up with painful, numb fingers.
When I tested the Crosspoint softshell waterproof gloves, I immediately recognized a glove designed specifically for cycling. They are warm like a ski glove, but shaped in the curve of a hand resting on handlebars, with articulated knuckles that allow your fingers to reach for your brake levers with no resistance. The OutDry waterproof fabric is effective, and Velcro wrist closures seal these gloves around your hands – you can ride straight through the rain and stay dry.
These gloves also were built with an important consideration for cycling: not only is the entire glove assembled with low-profile, flat stitching, there are no specifically no large stitches on the palm under the thumb, where we place most of our weight while on the handlebars. I’ve gotten some really bad pressure points from riding in ski gloves; not a concern with these gloves. Overall, I’m really impressed with the build quality, design, and dexterity – a bike glove that’s warm like a ski glove, and my go-to cold-weather cycling gloves.
Showers Pass continues to display their ability to take a traditionally non-waterproof piece of clothing – like socks – and make a functioning waterproof option. This is a warm, good-looking knit beanie, and it’s totally waterproof. I’ve been wearing it around on snowy and sleety days, and it’s cut long enough to cover my ears. The waterproof membrane inside the knit fabric makes this hat feel a little bit weird, like a constant crinkly feeling on your head. Because of this sensation, I find this beanie is fine for active pursuits outdoors, but if I’m just hanging out it can be a little bit distracting.
It’s worth noting that the fabric of this beanie is really thick – the thickest of any warm hats I own, and doesn’t really compress, so it might not fit under a bike helmet. If you helmet is large, and has ample room to cinch down onto your head, this is a great hat for really cold bike rides or chilly morning bike commutes, but if your helmet doesn’t have much wiggle room and you only wear thin, ‘skull cap’ style hats, this likely wont fit. It does, however, work great for general winter wear and skiing, since it’s total wind-proof as well as waterproof.