As I have mentioned, this is going to be my winter of figuring out my cold weather riding glove problem.
Whenever I Googled or asked around about riding gloves, the SSG 10 Below gloves came up. They’re the warmest things you can ride in! people said. They’re the only thing I’ll wear in the winter! people said.
Those people must not live in Vermont. Or actually ride in the actual winter. Or…I don’t know…use their fingers when they ride. Or their hands. Or their wrists.
But let me start at the beginning.
These gloves retail for $43.95, and I bought them from Riding Warehouse for $26.36. Which puts them among the most expensive riding gloves I have ever purchased. (Hi, have you met me? I’m cheap.)
As soon as I put them on, my heart sank. These gloves are huge. They give bulky a bad name. They are so thick I felt like each individual finger had tripled in size. They were so thick I could not really wiggle my fingers, let alone flex them.
Making a fist required actual exertion.
Holding the reins with them was an exercise in frustration. Not only could I not really feel the reins, I couldn’t get a good tight grip, either. The reins kept slipping out from my fingers, and I couldn’t tell it was slipping, and forget when Tristan tried to yank the reins out from my hands. When he coughed they fell out of my hands.
Oh, and what’s more: they’re not warm. My fingers were cold and numb during the warmup until my actual body warmed up and then blood flow got to my fingers. Which, for those of you following along at home, is exactly what happened with the other SSG gloves I bought this year for 1/3 the price.
I will give them this: they are well-made. The stitching is tight, the fabric is tough, and it’s got sticky stuff (like sprayed on neoprene or something?) in the right place. It does have a particularly clever design in which there are elastics inside the cuff that you attach before you put on the gloves, so you can pull off your glove but not lose it. Which is good, because there was no fucking way I was doing any buckles while wearing these gloves. Or even reaching into my coat pocket. Or…well, you get the idea.
In summary: seriously, whose hands do these gloves fit?!