Super slim and totally waterproof
The Specialized Deflect H2O is a weather resistant glove that manages to keep your hands protected without the normal bulk that comes with winter gloves.
When the temperature drops and precipitation in all its forms become the norm, those lightweight trail gloves can leave you looking like you’ve just stepped out of a bath in a freezer. What you really need is a proper winter glove like the Specialized Deflect H2O. This is a glove with exactly the right features that should be top of the list for riding in the wet and the cold (pretty much 8 months of the year in the UK).
Specialized Deflect H2O glove review
Put the glove on and what strikes you first is how thin the Deflect H2O feels. I’ll be honest and say it felt almost paper-thin, plus I had doubts about it’s cold weather performance. But I’m pleased to say that in practice the Deflect H2O performs much better than expected. To the point where I’ve ditched my normal bulky winter gloves and switched to these, thanks to the freedom the slim design brings.
Waterproof and breathable
At the heart of the Deflect H2O is an Outdry membrane. Similar to other products such as Gore-Tex, this is a layer of waterproof and breathable material that creates a barrier preventing larger rain droplets from permeating the glove but at the same time allowing sweat vapour to escape. On top of this, the material makes for a fully windproof glove (cold wind is often the worst thing about winter riding).
Warm and inviting
Inside and the Deflect H2O is an enticing place to shove your hands into thanks to the brushed fleece lining. This not only makes the whole experience more comfortable but it also traps warm air, increasing the glove’s thermal properties. Talking about warmth, the one thing to remember is owing to the thin design, the Deflect H20 isn’t the warmest glove on the market. It’s not even the warmest glove Specialized make, that honour goes to the Element 3.0. But if, like me, you tend to suffer with hands that overheat quickly, then the Deflect is more than warm enough to keep you going into sub-zero temperatures. You could even squeeze in a thin pair of liner gloves to increase the range further.
Probably the best feature to be found on the glove though is it doesn’t suffer from ‘glove prolapse’. As the lining is stitched to the outer, rapidly pulling your hands out doesn’t result in a mess of inside and outside bits becoming tangled, preventing re-insertion. Simply pull off and put back on again.
Get a grip
Riding in the Deflect 2.0 is never going to be as dextrous as in a pair of summer gloves but the thin material and grippy palm covering make them about as good as a waterproof glove gets. Even the ends of the digits (normally a nightmare for this style of glove) aren’t too bulky so you can shift gear and feel for the brake almost as well. Sizing is reflective of the style, there is a little bit of bagginess to the material but the width of the palm and finger dimensions certainly don’t feel too loose.
The other great thing about the Deflect 2.0 is how well it interacts with a jacket. The cuff is nice and long and has a wide velcro adjuster, but thanks to the design it sits close to the wrist. This snug fit makes it easy to put even tight jacket cuffs over the glove without too much effort and closes that problematic gap for rain to seep in.
In fact, the only thing I could fault the Deflect H2O on was its exceptional waterproofing almost overpowered its breathability, not allowing 100% of my sweat to escape. But even here, when compared to other waterproof gloves, the Deflect didn’t fill me with the usual nervous trepidation when about to stick my hands into cold wet gloves after a rest stop on a ride.
The Specialized Deflect 2.0 is one of the most versatile waterproof/winter gloves to date. Not as bulky as most, it performs exceptionally well against rain, wind and cold temperatures. These should be right at the top of the list for the current riding conditions.