Review: Castelli Chiro 3 winter gloves

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When you have to pedal during winter, there’s little room for error. Your apparel must do its job and keep you warm during your rides, but fortunately you don’t have to worry too much about this since the fabrics developed in the last years ensure this by default. Even more, they come with a high level of comfort, featuring numerous traits, and if you inspect the Italian companies’ offers you might even find very nice details. And let’s face it – only Italians could have pimped a simple pair of gloves the way Castelli did with the Chiro 3!

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Being a rather simple item of apparel, the first question that can pop up in one’s mind is: “what can be so special about a pair of gloves?”. Of course, following the same line we can also ask “what’s so hard about cycling since you only have to pedal?”, so that’s about how logical the first question is. Coming back to Chiro 3, yes, they do have a lot points-of-parity with other gloves that keep you warm and probably cost less, but in the same time they have just as many points-of-difference compared to them.

The Gore-Tex membrane, in itself being a wind-stopper fabric, is a must on any winter clothing’s list of features, still Castelli used it only as a core layer for the Chiro 3. On the inside, the manufacturer lined it, while on the outside it took things separately. The palm is composed of several panels in order to ensure the best anatomical fit possible, while above the thumb, above the first two fingers’ upper parts and in the corner of the palm there’s a mesh–like layer in the form of a net that offers extra grip. Also, the cuffs are longer with the purpose of covering the wrists, and there’s a longer piece of material which you can grab for pulling the glove onto the hands.

Castelli didn’t stop here, however, adding a few more sections, each with a clear role. For instance, around the thumb there is a piece of chamois that can be used to wipe any delicate surface, starting with your nose and ending with your eyewear’s lenses or smartphone’s touchscreen. The arch between the thumb and the index finger has a rubber-like padding for extra grip when holding the bike’s grips or levers, and the hand’s knuckles can be flexed or clenched freely thanks to the flexible part of the glove.

Chiro 3 also line-up to the “enhanced visiblity” trend that more and more manufacturers adopt, which can only be a good thing, since there are drivers out there that have a hard time spotting cyclists on the road. The gloves not only feature green fluo inserts, but they also have a reflective panel on the side of the smallest finger, so that chances of being seen when you stick your hand out for signaling increase. Last, but not least, Chiro 3 could only come from an Italian manufacturer since it found the way of making these gloves lovely while keeping a simple design, even if it includes lots of technical features in it.

It’s quite obvious that Castelii Chiro 3 have all the features of a quality cycling apparel. They kept the hands warm even at 5 below 0 degrees Celsius, kept them dry and allowed them to freely move according to our desires, saving us from doing contortionist tricks in order to pull out different items from our pockets, like the phone or energy bars. Also, it’s hard not to notice that there aren’t any misplaced panels or rebel fibres sticking out of it, small things that indicate quality items. The gloves haven’t taken too much abuse this winter, but the almost inexistent wear after several rides points to a durable pair, unless you crash and tear them, or wash them in warm water, that will destroy the Gore-Tex membrane. So, if you’re too poor to afford cheap stuff, and have a thing for Italian cycling clothing (a completely acceptable guilty pleasure, by the way), Chiro 3 are waiting for you.

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