User Generated Review:
Answer Sleestak Glove
Words & Photos by Jonathan Gillespie
When talking to people about winter riding, one of the most common reasons people claim for not getting out on the trails is cold hands and feet. Thankfully, as the popularity of winter riding has risen so has the availability (and quality) of winter riding gear. Answer may not be the first company that comes to mind when looking for winter gloves, but they’ve managed to produce a high quality winter glove at a great price.
Answer’s Sleestak is a 3-1 mitten, meaning the index finger is separate from the remaining fingers which allows for 1 finger braking. Ripstop Nylon construction on the back of the hand keeps the gloves lasting year after year while an ample filling of Primaloft insulation keeps the hands warm. The palm is comprised of Amara (a kind of synthetic leather) with rubberized Answer logos which provide grip. The back of the thumb gets a soft fleece-like treatment common to winter gloves.
Insulation in the palm is minimal, allowing these gloves to maintain excellent feel and control on trail. The bulk of the insulation is on the back of the hand, keeping the heat in when your hand is gripping the bar. This configuration works great for trail riding, and doesn’t feel like an overly puffed out winter glove. Answer blends insulated warmth with a thinner bar feel. Because of that design, bunching on the palm is minimal considering the warmth offered.
A tall elastic wrist cuff covers a good amount of the wrist, and is intended to be tucked inside a jersey or jacket sleeve. These gloves are water resistant, not waterproof, which is a bit of a bummer but for the intended temperature ranges this glove is used in any water encountered would most likely be frozen.
Speaking of temperature ranges, Answer rates the Sleestaks down to 20°F, however in my experience (this is my third winter using them) I’ve worn them in temperatures as low as 10°F (actual, windchill was down to about -2°F) and my hands were still warm. With a wool liner glove, that range could likely be extended even lower. I’ve used them with both alloy and carbon bars, and the alloy bars were slightly colder in comparison to carbon, likely due to the limited insulation in the palm and the fact that carbon bars are better insulators than alloy bars . In temperatures in the 20’s, I’ve found myself occasionally taking them off to let my hands cool down.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall, the Answer Sleestaks are an excellent winter glove. It feels much more like regular riding glove (with the exception of the back of hand insulation and 3-1 mitten configuration) than many other winter gloves intended for the same temperature ranges. They keep your hands warm well below what is claimed, and could be combined with a lightweight liner glove to extend that range even further. At an MSRP of $39.99, they’re a great value for a high performing glove.
About the Tester
Name: Jonathan Gillespie | Age: 34
Former shop monkey and mid-pack downhill racer, Jon now spends his days as a 9-5’er. Born and raised riding cross country on East Coast Rocks in the great state of Pennsyltucky, he’s ridden everything from BMX to observed trials over the years. After brief stints living on both coasts, he’s back in PA and somehow manages to squeeze in trail riding between work and teaching his son to ride balance bikes (and waiting for his daughter to walk so she can start riding too). He still hasn’t figured out that 26″ wheels are out of style.
Not Waterproof Almost Too Warm
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