MEC Drencher Gloves

5 11 2010

Waterproof seam sealed goodness...

This really isn’t a review since I haven’t put these gloves to the test, but I face a dilema with clothing. Either I tell you about it way too early in the game for me to say for sure how well it works or I wait until I know how well it works and the season you need the item for is over plus the manufacturer doesn’t make the same product next year.  *sigh*  Several times this year I’ve grabbed something I love from my closest and thought I’d do a review about it on this blog only to realize you can’t buy the same product any longer.  So I wonder why spend the time and effort to tell you in detail how great something is you can’t have?

So I’ve decided to do the same thing I did with shoes earlier this year – I’m going to pre-view gear that looks promising when I get it so you know about it when the information is actually useful.  I’ll follow up with posts that discuss how it’s working for me – hopefully early enough you can still get the product.

Okay so back to the matter at hand – literally!.  I’ve struggled with waterproof gloves for many years not really being satisfied.  Until recently I had not found a pair of waterproof gloves I liked for cycling..mostly because all the gloves I have owned were not actually waterproof.  This is due to the real challenge of sealing the many seams inside a glove.  Most companies don’t even bother trying and sell you gloves made of waterproof material that have a zillion holes from all the stitching.  This results in a windproof water resistant glove that eventually gets wet inside and stays wet for a long time – not uber useful.  Since a lot of my nasty weather riding has been warm/wet or cold/dry I haven’t killed myself to find a solution.  However, I’m now face with a lot of cool and wet conditions that demand an effective solution to keeping my hands comfortable or I am not going to be able to ride my bikes.

Fortuitously I came across these waterproof [seam sealed!] lobster shells at MEC recently.  The Drencher Glove offers a nice waterproof haven for your hands and any gloves you want to wear inside.  I like this a lot since I already own several pairs of fleece gloves I like and that I can quickly switch out gloves if they do get a bit damp from sweat or when I pull my over gloves off to do something requiring dexterity.I can also use thicker or thinner gloves depending on how cold it is.

For $29cdn they seem like a good product to try.  They are fairly minimalist in design, but they do have some reflective material and a snot patch on each thumb.  The lobster design is effective at allowing you to operate your bike’s controls while keeping your fingers warmer than conventional gloves.

Glove detail...

Here is what MEC says:

These lobster style gloves are a deadly catch for any cycle commuter or randonneur. Made of waterproof, breathable fabric with fully taped seams, they transform your regular cycling gloves into all-conditions handgear.

  • Waterproof, breathable fabric with taped seams keeps water out.
  • Shingle action cuff slides under your jacket to stop water from running in.
  • Terry moss synthetic fleece sniffle patch.
  • Nylon palm with silicone print for durability and a solid grip on wet bars.
  • Reflective trim for low-light visibility.

 


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14 responses

5 11 2010
Champs

I don’t know that I’ve ever needed a lobster cut for temps above 0C, but if it really is a glove that stands up to cold, soaking rain, then it’s not the worst compromise to make. The fact that it’s just a shell for liners is a nice nod to the fact that there is no miracle waterproof fabric that stays dry outside AND in. Swapping out a sweaty liner for a fresh one has got to be a good feeling.

Falling snow is so much easier to deal with.

5 11 2010
James

Nice! Hope they work out. I have been trying to find something for cold+wet for a while without much success. Those look like they would be great with a wool liner.

5 11 2010
thelazyrando

I actually find sub-freezing temps easier to deal with and seemingly less cold to my perception than rainy weather at a few degrees above freezing. I also don’t find the lobster style design really has any draw backs for riding.

Even the most breathable waterproof fabric will have a hard time pushing water out when the other side is cold and wet so you end up damp inside.

5 11 2010
Randobarf

Those gloves look similar to the Outdoor Research Endeavors that I use, so they should be ok for the wet coast:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/pic/?pic_id=568020

However, aren’t you in Victoria Vik? We shall call you VicVik! It does not get cold or wet enough for long pants in Victoria, let alone gloves. You are going to have to ride to Port Hardy in January to make use of those waterproof mittens.

Ex-Victoria Randobarf

5 11 2010
thelazyrando

@RB – Although I have no doubt you are comfortable in a shorts and a t-shirt through a wet/cold Victoria winter not all of us are made from such tough material!….=-)

9 11 2010
Cycle Jerk

These seem like a good early winter solution for when it starts to get a little too cold for my light weight (autumn) gloves but way too warm for my thinker winter gloves. Throwing something like this over my light gloves might be just the thing.

Great blog.

Cheers

10 11 2010
Eric

Any reviewable experience yet with the MEC Drencher gloves? I commute by bike in Seattle. The rains are coming, and I’m wondering if these live up to their promise.

10 11 2010
thelazyrando

@Eric…sorry no rain riding yet. We don’t enough rain here for me to test rain gear as well as I’d like. I may conduct a hose test tomorrow to confirm how well they are sealed. If they fail that will be the issue.

17 11 2010
thelazyrando

@Eric – wore the Drenchers in 3hrs of moderate to heavy rain today with fleece gloves inside. When I stopped and took them off my fleece gloves were slightly damp, but not wet. The dampness came from 1) my sweat and 2) every time I took off the outer gloves to grab a snack or a drink the fleece gloves touched wet items absorbing a bit of moisture. So I think they are a winner. In all my other outer gloves my inner gloves would have been thoroughly wet under the same conditions.

23 11 2010
alang

hi vik, would you say the size of these gloves is pretty close to your normal glove size and feels ok with your liner? i was about to get some and wondered if i should account for the liner.
thanks for the tip btw. i think this would be a great strategy for portland, or as well. i have tried a few gloves out over the last few years but i’ve never really found anything that works great for wet/cold weather.

23 11 2010
thelazyrando

@Alan – yes they fit true to size. I typically wear Lg or XL goves and I wear a Lg Drencher. I fit some mid-weight fleece gloves inside with no trouble. I could fit a warmer gloves inside as there was still enough room.

23 01 2011
sz

Hi Vik,

Any long-time experience that you could share with us?
After trying a couple of different gloves and being unsatisfied with them, I think that uninsulated, pure wind/waterproof breathable lobster gloves over removable warming liners would be the best bet for the well-being of my fingers. I’m quite disappointed that these mec drencher gloves seem to be the only one on the market that would fit the bill (what are all the other manufacturers doing?!). And even these are only available on the other side of the Atlantic, making too expensive to just try them out. Wish I could ride and brake confidently with mittens on.

Thanks,
Gábor

23 01 2011
thelazyrando

@SZ – I like them and they are working well for me, but Victoria isn’t as rainy as expected so I haven’t used them as much as I’d have thought I would. They will for sure be in my handle bar bag on brevets for rain.

If you want a set you can paypal me the $$$ and I’ll throw a pair in the post to you.

25 03 2011
Chris Cullum

Yeah, Victoria gets almost half the rain of Vancouver. Come over to the North Shore to test them more thoroughly.

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