45NRTH Sturmfist 4
45NRTH’s Sturmfist 4 is their coldest rated cycling glove. It’s recommended temperature is 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) to 15 degrees F (-9 degrees C), although paired with the right gear over and under these gloves, they can be used at colder temperatures. The Sturmfist’s liner is made of merino wool and the pad is made of goat leather and Aerogel.
The Sturmfist 4 is weather resistant, making it an awesome option for days at 20 degrees F and colder. It is not waterproof, so it isn’t the best option for days when it’s 40 degrees F and raining.
I like 45NRTH because so far, I’ve never received a product by them that wasn’t intentionally designed. What I mean is that they really think about their customers and design niche gear specifically for riding in the cold.
My Sturmfist’s maiden voyage was on a two-day winter bikepacking trip. The temperature was between 30 degrees F and 15 degrees F, but the humidity made it feel much colder.
For the price point, I expected these gloves to be comfortable. They couldn’t cause my hands and thumb to go numb from two days of shifting through a glove. They had to be soft on my skin yet grippy on my bars. They had to be warm, yet they couldn’t impede my ability to shift and brake.
That’s a tall order.
Overall, I am impressed with these gloves.
During that trip I found out a few things about keeping my hands warm:
I like that the Sturmfist pairs your ring finger and pinky finger together—and am equally pleased they left the middle finger free. I have really poor circulation, and my hands are cold pretty much any time I’m not climbing a steep hill. During the trip when my hands started to get chilly, I appreciated that my middle finger could help my pointer finger brake once it got cold. I also appreciated that my other two fingers (non-essential to braking, but very essential to me!) were paired together to share heat. The only fingers that ever got a little chilly were my right pointer and middle finger. That’s saying something, because cold hands are pretty much an everyday reality for me.
Of course, I want to emphasize that those two fingers did get cold. For that reason, I suggest pairing the Sturmfists with a heavy duty pogie, like the CobraFist. If you are on a budget, I recommend investing in a pogie first. They are your hand’s first line of defense against the cold. I also recommend a wool liner glove to slip underneath the Sturmfists. The Sturmfists are nimble enough to clip and unclip bikepacking bags, but are too bulky to light a stove with. Make sure that when you take these gloves off your skin is protected. Even a pair of Latex gloves will help keep the cold off.
Originally, I was surprised—even disappointed—that 45NRTH didn’t make a colder rated glove. I thought, “0 degrees F? That’s it?” Considering their boots are rated down to an impressive -20 degrees F, I thought 45NRTH would deliver a similarly rated glove. However, after using them I do not think 45NRTH could make a thicker glove without sacrificing the riders ability to brake and shift. That’s when it hit me: the Sturmfist 4 is a performance cycling glove, not a mountaineering glove. It’s job is to let you handle your bike in the cold, not to insulate your digits to the point of immobilization.
Once I understood that, I gained a renewed appreciation for the glove. For ultra endurance cycling events or days out in the backcountry, I’ll also bring a pair of mountaineering gloves for anytime I’m not physically on my bike pedaling. For anything below 10 degrees F, I’ll keep my hands warm with a set of pogies, liner gloves, Sturmfists, and a chemical warmer.