Altura Thunderstorm gloves
This year’s upgraded version of the Altura Thunderstorm gloves come with a full hi-vis back for great road presence on dark rides. You get good waterproofing for more comfort in the rain too, although the padding is on the bulky side.
The hi-vis fabric, which runs from the fingertips to the cuffs, lights up like a beacon in headlights, so there’s really no excuse for other road users not to notice your hand signals, making the Thunderstorms a good choice for the commuter.
The palm of these gloves is made of a synthetic leather material, with just a few thin silicone lines spidering across its centre. These are well positioned and I found that they gave a surprisingly secure grip on the bars.
You also get touchscreen active pads on the thumb and forefinger, so that you can work your electronics. There’s no extra padding over pressure points and the thumb-forefinger gap is not reinforced either. That’s a stress point on gloves, which is often reinforced to increase durability.
The Altura Thunderstorm gloves lack any adjustment on the cuffs, making them a bit more awkward to get on and off than some other options, and less easy to overlap with jacket sleeves.
Altura’s padding is quite bulky, too. The close fit of the Thunderstorms means they don’t get in the way too much, although it does handicap dexterity somewhat. The padding also tends to ruck a little where you bend your fingers to hold the bars.
That happens particularly at the inside of the knuckles, where there’s a seam. There’s no built-in curvature to the gloves, increasing the tendency to rucking when your hands are positioned to ride.
The connection between the lining and the outer doesn’t feel as close as with some other winter gloves. I didn’t ever invert the liner when taking the gloves off – something that can be a pain to sort out afterwards – but I felt as if this might be a possibility.
Altura’s waterproofing seems very effective, with the hi-vis fabric in particular repelling water well. This doesn’t seem to inhibit breathability though; my hands felt comfortably dry even on mild, damp winter rides.
The Altura Thunderstorm gloves are well priced. Their warmth, waterproofness and above all their reflectives would make them a good choice for the all-seasons commuter.
If your interest is in winter training, however, you would probably be better served by other glove options which are more performance oriented.