Sportful Giara Thermal Gloves review – nicely made mid-temperature gloves

They’re not all that thermal, but as general spring gravel gloves they’re just fine

Off-road cycling gloves in front of a hedge
(Image: © Sean Fishpool)

Bike Perfect Verdict

With a good fit and construction, useful grip and padding, and a screen finger that actually works, the Giara Thermal Gloves are great as far as they go. Only you can decide whether you need a glove that sits between winter gloves and all-round gloves.


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    Comfortable on the hand and on the bars

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    Nice grip


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    Not all that warm

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    Premium price

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Sportful is a long-established Italian brand from the Dolomites, which sits in the same family as Castelli. Their stuff is detailed, functional, usually a pleasure to use, and occasionally a bit niche. 

There’s not that much that’s niche about the comfortable Giara Thermal Gloves (even if Sportful says, ‘A new concept for your gravel rides – the thermal protection of Sportful gloves, applied to the off-road world’), other than the fact that their ideal temperature range felt relatively slender – they were too cold to be winter gloves, and too warm for year-round gloves. 

That’s obviously the same for lots of kit, from socks to jerseys, but it’s something to bear in mind, especially given the name. I get cold hands relatively easily, and my main finding in looking for the best gravel and bikepacking gloves was that in cooler temperatures there wasn’t a huge difference between the Giara Thermal Gloves and a thinner more spring-summer off-road glove (like Sportful’s Full Grip Glove). 

Underside of off-road cycling gloves in front of a hedge

A mostly unpadded underside, with decent silicone grip (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)

Design and Specifications

The Giara Thermal Gloves have an unpadded synthetic suede underside with gel padding at the side of the palm and grippy silicone stripes across the top of the palm. The topside  of the gloves has a windproof outer face and a soft-brushed inner face. The cuff is a snug, stretchy double layer and the seams are unobtrusive both against the hand and between the fingers.

There’s a reflective logo and reflective dots all the way along the outside of the glove, and there are no specially abrasion resistant sections, all of which reflects the glove’s intent for gravel and adventure rather than MTB.

Cuff of Sportful Giara Thermal Gloves

The cuffs are soft and snug with a pull tab (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)


I found the Giara Thermal Gloves were at their ‘wear and forget’ happy place from about 8-11C (46-52F). Much above that and they’d get a bit warm on the efforts, especially in the sun. From 4-7C (39-45F) they were fine on shorter rides – a more dextrous alternative to more wintery gloves – but they weren't warm enough to wear for more than 40-60 minutes, or on rides which threatened more than light drizzle. 

I was testing Sportful’s much thinner and more breathable mesh-backed Full Grip Glove at the same time as the Giara Thermal Gloves – sometimes with one on each hand – and the curious thing was that there wasn’t a night and day difference in how the two models performed in that 4-7C range. The Giaras must have been keeping more wind off, and they held off drizzle better, but I was okay with the airier feel of Full Grips for shorter rides and I wouldn’t have wanted to have worn either pair for longer rides. Moving into spring, the Full Grips definitely became more versatile as the temperatures nudged double figures

In terms of fit and comfort, the Giaras were good to pull on, with a snug soft cuff, a nicely brushed inner and no prominent seams. On the bike the mostly unpadded underside gave a communicative bar feel, and the synthetic suede and silicone overlays caused no problems with grip. Refreshingly, the screen finger actually worked, too.

Off-road cycling gloves in front of a hedge

They were at their happy place from about 8-11C (46-52F) (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)


If I could only have two pairs of gloves to span my year-round off-road cycling, it’s fair to say that these probably wouldn’t be one of them – I’d look to a more cosy and rainproof pair for winter, and in spring I’d put up with an airier pair that took me through to summer. 

But that might be an artificial construct. And it’s fair to say the ‘thermal’ label is the main distraction in terms of expectations.  As a late fall/mild winter/early spring glove for gravel and road, the Giara Thermal Gloves were an agreeable bonus pair to have around.

Tech specs: Sportful Giara Thermal Gloves

  • Price:  £55 / $50 / €50 / AUD 79.95
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL
  • Colors: Black
  • Key materials: Polyester, polyamide, polyamide, polyurethane 
  • Eco credentials: Sportful doesn't highlight any specific eco credentials for this product but as an organisation is acting on its use of energy and emission, materials and packaging, and supply chain. More details at 
Sean Fishpool
Freelance writer

Sean has old school cycle touring in his blood, with a coast to coast USA ride and a number of month-long European tours in his very relaxed palmares. Also an enthusiastic midpack club cyclocross and XC racer, he loves his role as a junior cycle coach on the Kent/Sussex borders, and likes to squeeze in a one-day unsupported 100-miler on the South Downs Way at least once a year. Triathlon and adventure racing fit into his meandering cycling past, as does clattering around the Peak District on a rigid Stumpjumper back in the day.

Height: 173cm

Weight: 65kg

Rides: Specialized Chisel Comp; Canyon Inflite CF SLX; Canyon Aeroad; Roberts custom road bike