Cycling Product Review Corner: Pearl Izumi Elite Series Cyclone Cold Weather Glove Falls Short of Expectations

I have not received any monetary compensation from either Amazon, Pearl Izumi USA, Shimano or Sierra Trading Company. These opinions are my own and all the products in this article are paid for by myself.

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Pilling polyester. Not so “Elite”.
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Shoddy Stiching
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Pilling polyester. This doesn’t look so good.

Now that winter has come and gone all the deals on winter gear have arrived. I snagged up a nice pile of gear from Amazon.com and my favorite gear site Sierra Trading post. One of my purchases was a pair of nice cold weather gloves. The last two years I have been using Sugoi LT Firewall gloves. Those are finally starting to fall apart after two years of use and abuse. The Pearl Izumi Elite Cyclone glove had a very good initial quality check, but has seriously failed in many departments. Here is the good first. The price on these gloves is very good. I snagged mine from Amazon for under $18.00 which is pretty good for the highest rated cold weather glove that retails for $40.00.  After very little use these gloves seem tired and look like they are as old as my Sugoi LT Firewall gloves. The polyester on the fingers is pilling and the synthetic leather on the fingers is already cracking and falling apart. The high visibility parts of the glove are very useful when it comes to indicating lane changes but get dirty easily. The cuff length is great and the comfort of the glove is exceptional. The padding is in all the right places and the glove has a very luxurious feel. Unfortunately the stitching in the palm is falling apart after less than 300 miles and I expect it will get much worse during the cold months. The glove has many features, but quality is not one of them. The sweat wipe feels like sand paper compared to the silky sweat wipe on my Pearl Izumi Select Gloves. You can not use touch screens with any finger except your index finger. There is a Large Hi Vis Power Icon on the tip of the finger to indicate which one is touch screen compatible. I don’t really get why Pearl Izumi feels the need to show us what finger to use on our smart phone, but that must be an engineering thing. The good news is that I did a double century on a cold and rainy weekend and the gloves stayed fairly dry although I wouldn’t say they were exactly made for rainy days. They were comfy the whole time and getting the gloves on and off is fairly simple once you unstrap yourself. In the winter I don’t see this glove providing much warmth below the 32 degree fahrenheit mark. The “Elite” Soft-shell fabric is comfy, stretches well and has reasonable wind stopping abilities.

Flaky fingers
Flaky fingers

To call this glove “Elite” is quite comical considering the quality is abysmal. Overall this is a good value for the money, but I am definitely keeping my Sugoi LT Firewall gloves on backup. I also wanted to address the Pearl Izumi Warranty protocol. Pearl Izumi expects the customer to send in a clean product for returns and pay for shipping. This seems kind of excessive considering the products are not going to be used again. I attempted to execute a warranty on these gloves since they are falling apart after less than a month of casual use. Unfortunately it’s not worth the time, money or the hassle to get a new pair of gloves that will fall apart in a month. Sorry Pearl Izumi, you have failed.

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