Showers Pass is a Northwest company. If you need something to wear on a rainy, 45-degree day, they have you covered literally head to toe. And now down to your fingers too.
What Are They? Crosspoint Waterproof Gloves, by Showers Pass, Portland OR
Linkage: Via Showers Pass website. Retail cost $45.
What’s Special About Them? Fully dry, smart construction.
Downsides? Below 40 degrees F, not that warm.
Verdict: My favorite winter gloves.
You may remember Showers Pass from such Cafe Fashions posts as the jacket everyone here rides in and the pants I wear to ski, bike and hunt for mushrooms. Their repertoire, generally on the high-end, high-quality side, is engineered for the relentless wet of our Pacific winters. The thing about our winters is, it’s not that cold, which means you can ride all the time, which means you need clothing to deal with day after day of getting drenched. This is not a complaint, by the way. We don’t hate the rain, we just get a little tired of dealing with it sometimes.
Another Northwest staple is skiing, typically right along the edge of freezing temperatures, and if you don’t own six or seven different pairs of gloves, you might not be a cyclist/skier. For both sports it’s good to have a traditional pair of thick, puffy mitts, but more often the trick is staying dry, not warm. Just as often as you need those lobster claws, you probably wish you had gloves that were more focused on grip and feel. That’s the 40-plus degree wet weather day demand, and it’s right in Showers Pass’ wheelhouse.
This year’s answer is the Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Glove, a three-layer entry that emphasizes stopping moisture both inside and out. Externally, the wear-resistant knit fabric repels the rain better than anything I’ve owned, and internally a layer of Coolmax FX moisture-wicking antibacterial fabric keeps your hands from sweating, for both comfort and odor reduction. In between is an Artex membrane that provides the final defense against moisture. Oh, and silicon bits on the palm are there to firm up your grip.
I’m not going to tell you that they feel as cozy as a pair of wool mittens; that’s not available in a lightweight waterproof glove as far as I know. You can trick yourself into thinking beforehand that they might not be warm enough. But once you start riding, it’s clear that the Crosspoint gloves are plenty warm, on any day above 40 degrees, and probably too warm once you hit the mid-50s, which doesn’t generally happen in winter unless the sun comes out. Lots of layers come off then.
Back in the winter window, however, the function is what makes them so ideal. They simply don’t feel wet on the inside, and just barely moist externally. On a relentlessly rainy day my fingertips have gotten a bit cold, but not in any debilitating way, which is an improvement over the more basic waterproof gloves I’ve tried.
The construction is another selling point, firm and solid, which combines with the silicon on the palm to give you as good a grip as possible in the cold rain. My cyclocross season just wrapped up, and the Crosspoints were there with me every step of the way, except for that weirdly warm day in early November. In fact, I can’t help but think that the name is no accident. Cyclocross is the most demanding activity I do when it comes to gripping the bars, and the Crosspoints do that better than any glove I know, including several pairs of waterproof ones I’ve owned over the years.
Past experience has taught me that making gloves of this nature last means careful cleaning, no dryers. I don’t see any warnings on these to that effect but would live by that maxim anyway. They will probably need an occasional wash, particularly in spring when the longer rides happen, but air drying is adequate to keep them clean.
These can’t be your only pair of winter gloves no matter where you live, but if you ride (or cross-country ski) a lot in winter, they should be part of your lineup. And if you live in a climate that is at all like ours, they’ll be the ones you pick more than any other.