Troy Lee Designs’ Swelter Glove has been designed to protect riders’ hands in cooler conditions, thanks to a three-layer softshell fabric on the top of the glove, a fleece liner and a long, snug-fitting cuff with a Velcro closure.
The palm is made from a dual-layer fabric, with toughened sections that spend the most time in contact with the bars. There’s a silicone print on the fingertips for improved brake-lever grip, while the index finger and thumb are conductive for touchscreen compatibility.
There are rubberised blocks to provide knuckle and finger impact protection too. However, there is no dedicated microfibre wipe panel on the thumbs, as featured on some other winter gloves. Our pair of medium gloves (size 9) weighed 76g.
Troy Lee Designs Swelter Glove performance
The Swelters have a tight, close-fitting design that moulds to the shape of your hand and feels great when you’re clutching at the handlebars. The fit isn’t restrictive, however, and they have enough stretch and give without feeling baggy.
The palms aren’t thickly padded, so plenty of the bike’s feel is transmitted into your hands, and these are very close to how regular summer gloves feel out on the trails. Equally, no numbness or hot-spots were created by the additional stitching and secondary layers of material on the palms.
The padded and insulated top side of the gloves didn’t restrict movement, either, adding to their credentials.
The fingers felt quite long, and I struggled to fill them out to the ends. This may not be an issue for everyone, however. General fit was average, and their sizing didn’t feel unusual one way or the other.
Fitting and removal with sweaty or damp hands was not problematic, thanks to the liner staying put in the glove.
The thin, long cuff with Velcro adjuster meant jackets fitted neatly over the top of the gloves, creating an effective weather seal. The warmth they provided was good on milder days, or when I was out on a physically intensive ride, but their insulation isn’t the thickest and couldn’t be relied on when the temperature really plummeted.
They would be well-suited to people who run hot, experience milder winters, or like to go hard when riding.
Although Troy Lee Designs doesn’t claim them to be waterproof, the Swelters offered no extra protection over summer gloves in the wet.
Windproofing was good, however, and only a small amount of cold air could be felt entering the gloves on the biggest main knuckles, where they were stretched tight over my hands. This was refreshing on high-intensity rides, but highlighted that they couldn’t be relied on to provide increased warmth on very cold days.
Touchscreen operation was possible thanks to the conductive finger and thumb sections, but lacked accuracy.
How we tested
We tested five pairs of winter gloves back-to-back in the widest variety of conditions we could find. Temperatures ranged from a mild 10 degrees celsius, right the way down to a positively chilly -5 degrees celsius. We endured cold, crisp and sunny days and the wettest rain the great Scottish mountains could provide. We tested the gloves on low-intensity ebike rides, through to heart-pummelling cross-country epics to really get a handle on performance.
Also on test
- Altura Polartec Waterproof Glove
- Giro Proof Glove
- Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove
- Specialized Men’s Trail Thermal Gloves
Troy Lee Designs Swelter Glove bottom line
The TLD Swelter Glove is well suited to riders who run hot or like to push themselves physically, keeping warm.
It’ll also be a good fit for riders who want a bit of extra insulation without the bulk of deep winter gloves, and don’t want to sacrifice any of their dexterity or feedback from the bike.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €55.00GBP £50.00USD $45.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 76g (M (9)), Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Troy lee designs|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: 3 layer fabric w/ Fleece Liner
Colours: Black; Charcoal
|Gender||br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Men's|