Pearl Izumi may not have broken any new ground with how the PRO Softshell Lite gloves are made, but the execution is so good that they stand out nonetheless.
The Pearl Izumi PRO Softshell Lite gloves are very thin, but the Primaloft insulation goes a long way toward extending their comfort range toward the freezing mark.
The 1-7°C (35-45°F) temperature feels spot-on for general road riding, and if anything, feels slightly conservative to me. My hands stayed reasonably warm down to the freezing mark at the lower end, but didn’t overheat even when it was over 10°C (50°F). Breathability is also very good for the level of warmth provided — a key attribute for your hands to stand a chance at staying warm when you’re working hard.
Riders who prefer padded gloves will undoubtedly be disappointed with the paper-thin palm, but those that place a higher priority on bar feel and control will find much to like. Silicone appliqués on the outer edge of the palm and on the index and middle fingers provide noticeably good grip on bare metal (or carbon fiber) surfaces, too, and the conductive fingertips actually work as advertised on touchscreen-equipped computers and smartphones.
The conductive fingertips work well on touchscreen devices.
The long cuff isn’t as elastic as I’d prefer, which makes it a bit of a challenge to get the gloves onto your hands. But once there, they stay put and don’t shift around while riding — a major pet peeve of mine — nor are there any exposed seams on the inside to irritate your fingers or excess material to bunch up under your palms. And even though these are insulated gloves, Primaloft’s excellent compressibility means they pack down nicely and easily fit in a standard jersey pocket (with room to spare).
The only major downside is how these gloves work in wet conditions. The DWR coating helps initially, but it doesn’t take long for these to get properly soaked in steady rain or when riding on wet roads.