I’ve had a couple of pairs of Duragloves in almost daily service for the last five years. They still wash up fine, still fit snugly, and are still one of my default choices for everything from summer and winter bikepacking, cyclocross, commuting, and anything where other gloves don’t seem quite right. They’re also stalwarts for running and hillwalking too.
One of the many appealing things about them is that they work so flexibly by themselves or in conjunction with other gloves in changeable conditions. You can also get them in wool-based variants and more interesting colors than black; more on all this below.
You’re perhaps unlikely to see them in a list of the best MTB gloves because they have no padding or crash protection features, and they’re maybe not skintight enough on the palm for some, although they are impressively grippy, they have great bar feel, and they resist snagging surprisingly well. I wear them quite often for milder MTB-ing.
Design and specifications
All the Duragloves have a knitted construction with long, well elasticated cuffs, and short fingers that stretch to fit snugly.
The original Duraglove ET (Extra Touch) which we’re looking at here is made from 60 percent nylon and 32 percent recycled polyester. There’s also an Adventure Wool Blend version with 20 percent wool and a ‘Wool’ version with 40 percent wool.
On the palms and fingers, the gloves have a rubberized grip pattern, and at the tips of the fingers there’s silver thread woven in for touchscreen compatibility.
They come in more colors than our ‘hide the dirt’ default black. The adventure ones come in mellow red or blue as well as grey, and you can get the core Duragloves in brighter hues, including neon yellow with reflectivity.
The main thing that makes these a nice unpretentious all-round glove is that from the start of autumn through to the end of spring they rarely overheat, and only too cold when it’s time for a proper thermal glove – so, great from around 6 or 7C to 16C or so (43-60F). The knit is dense enough to give a little protection from windchill, while giving plenty of breathability. They stay warm enough through light rain showers, too (though if it’s going to be persistently rainy below 10C or so (50F), you’d want something more protective).
They are great to combine with other gloves, in changeable conditions, multi-day rides or just times when you can’t decide what you want. In spring and autumn they’re usually just fine by themselves, and easily fit in a jersey pocket if it gets above 16C or so. In winter or days with cold starts, I wear them under a more thermal glove or shell, then as the conditions change I can choose whether to wear just the thermal glove, just the Duraglove or both.
This spring I did a few rides with a core Duraglove on one hand and a 20 percent wool Duraglove Adventure on the other, and I noticed almost no difference in warmth or breathability in the dry or the wet. The adventure one was softer as a snotwipe though, and surprisingly seemed to soak up less rain.
In terms of fit, they’re just right for me, though some riders have to size up to get long enough fingers. The touchscreen fingertips work well at first, but over time they become less responsive.
And in terms of durability, while I can’t vouch for the wool based ones yet, the fully synthetic ones are insanely good. After five years of regular use, scraping mud off clogged up bikes, festering at the bottom of boot bags and being washed at the wrong temperatures they fit just fine and haven’t got a thread loose or a lost rubber grip.
I’m embarrassed to write so much about such a simple glove, but honestly it’s a good’un. Even if you don’t expect to wear them much, at less than £20 for the core synthetic ‘Duraglove ET with Grippies’ they’re a smashing ‘you never know when you might need them’ glove to have around.
Tech specs: DeFeet Duraglove ET
- Price: $21.99 / £19.30 / €22.19
- Weight: 57g (pair, size M)
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Colors: Black, White, Process Blue, Neon Orange, Hi-Vis Pink. Also neon yellow with reflective arrows, at $24.99 / £21.99 / €25.22
- Materials: 60% nylon, 32% recycled polyester, 7% Lycra, 1% silver