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December 6, 2010

Winter Glove Review and Giveaway: Manzella Hatchback and Sprint Gloves, Saucony ViziPro Gloves

A few updates before today’s review and giveaway post …

1) You’ve got a little more time to enter the Drymax trail running socks giveaway, which ends Tuesday at 5PM PST. Winners will be announced in a separate post Tuesday night.

2) Remember to enter the VIVOBAREFOOT Dharma, Oak, and Kali contest for a chance to win a great pair of minimalist work shoes. Be sure to get extra entries by sharing links and using capital letters! The winner will be announced Friday evening.

3) The contests and announcements will be popping up with increased frequency this week and next … so if you haven’t subscribed yet, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss something. Just sayin'.

That’s all for today … and now for a post to keep your fingers warm.


When it comes to running gloves, I’m something of a Goldilocks: These ones are too cold. These ones are too bulky. These are too scratchy, or slippery, or fuzzy, or something else that never quite feels Just Right. So whenever I have opportunities to try new models, I’m always eager to take them for a spin.

This fall I’ve been testing three different gloves from two different companies, which are suitable for conditions from “sort of chilly” to “pretty darn cold”. True to my Goldilocks form, I found something to nitpick about each one of them, but they’re all pretty solid choices. Brief reviews follow below, and one winner will have the chance to try two pairs for him or herself, because that’s the prize for today’s giveaway. But first, the reviews.

Manzella is a New York-based company that specializes in one thing: making great gloves. They have a diverse product line broken into three activity categories - hunting running, and general outdoor – and three temperature categories, ambiguously designated as warm, warmer, and warmest. Throughout the fall I’ve tested two of their running models: the Sprint from the warm category, and the Hatchback in the warmer category.

Manzella Sprint glove

I started wearing the Sprint glove as soon as temperatures dipped into the 40s a couple of months ago, and I’ve been very impressed with its overall comfort. The glove is made of 4-way stretch polyester that conforms nicely to your fingers to provide good dexterity with zippers, headlamp buttons, and other gear. The fabric has great moisture-wicking properties, and is thin enough to fit underneath a thicker glove or mitten if necessary.

My only complaint about the Sprint is that the Control Trax rubber on the palms and fingers, built to provide outstanding grip in multiple conditions, feels fairly scratchy against my face when I’m wiping sweat off my forehead or cheeks. But at a price point of $15, you’ll get your money’s worth from these in no time, and they’re ideal for cool-weather marathons or other long-duration aerobic activity.

Once the weather grew colder, I turned to Saucony’s ViziPro Glove, which has some nice innovations that make it stand out from your standard running gloves. Truthfully, they could probably stand out based on color alone: a high-visibility orange that Saucony has applied to a whole product line this winter. However, Saucony wants to make absolutely sure that these gloves are visible; they have reflective accents on the backs of the hands and fingers, and a cool little LED that can be set to a steady beam or blinker.

ViziPro glove with LED on

The light rests on the right-hand glove and is oriented so that it faces oncoming traffic if you’re running on the proper (left-hand) side of the road. It’s not nearly enough light to see by, but just enough to catch a wandering eye from approaching drivers. The whole light can be removed from the glove, and it recharges via a USB port on your computer. Another nifty innovation on these gloves is a tiny magnet embedded on each cuff, so the gloves stick together in your drawer more easily – but truthfully, their bright orange color would make them pretty easy to pair up in the event that they got separated.

USB-charging LED

The only drawback I’ve experienced with these also has to do with wiping: aside from the thumb, the entire surface of the glove is a polyester material that doesn’t absorb moisture at all, so it feels a little too slick when you run your fingers across your face. Temperature-wise, I’ve worn the ViziPro comfortably into the mid 30s, and they’re fairly comfortable for a couple hours of intense activity. They typically retail for $40 from the company website (linked above).

The coldest-weather glove of this review is another Manzella product, with another cool design innovation. The Hatchback glove is convertible, allowing use as a water-resistant mitten or a microfleece stretch fabric glove. In colder temperatures, you keep the fingers inside the windproof finger hood, and if the morning warms up or if you need to get in and out of a zipper pocket, you peel back the hood to let your fingers function independently. There’s a stowaway pocket on the backside of the hand for tucking the hood when it’s not in use.

Manzella Hatchback, with R hood tucked

The hood comes in either a high-visibility yellow color or basic black, and the remainder of the glove has small reflective accents for enhanced visibility. A NanoSphere protective coating on the hood provides a bit of water resistance, but it’s not a true rain glove, since the portion that’s not covered by the hood will get soaked pretty quickly if you’re in a heavy downpour. The palms and fingertips of this glove score pretty high on the “grip vs wipeability” scale, with just the right amount of rubberized material in key locations, and soft surfaces everywhere else.

Just-right amount of grip

This was my favorite glove of the three in this review, mainly for its versatility in a wider range of temperatures. As a fleece glove with the hood tucked in, it’s comfortable in the low 40s, and with the hood in place I’ve been able to tolerate sub-freezing runs. (And this is only the “warmer” category of Manzella’s lineup; they have warmest models that look ideal for true hardcore conditions). The Hatchback retails for $30 from the company website (also linked above).

And now for the giveaway! One winner will receive two pairs of gloves: the Saucony ViziPro, and the Manzella gloves of your choice based on availability. I’ll put you in contact with reps from each company, and they’ll assist you with sizing and give you instructions for how to claim your prizes. We’ll make this contest easy: one comment, one entry, with the winner announced on Thursday night, December 9th. Enter by 5PM PST on the 9th to be eligible.

Thanks very much to Manzella and Saucony, and good luck to everyone!

*Sprint and Hatchback gloves provided by Manzella
**ViziPro gloves provided by Saucony.

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Boris Terzic 12/6/10, 7:24 PM  

Gloves are my biggest announce when it comes to winter running. I have cold hands but they sweat a lot.... So I freeze or I have really sweaty palms that are not comfortable.

Maybe I am just using bad gloves, hope I win!

Jeff C,  12/6/10, 7:31 PM  

Always looking for a pair of running gloves.

Thanks for the chance to win
Jeff C

The BIG E 12/6/10, 7:32 PM  

got to beat my cotton gloves I currently wear....

Nathan Seibt 12/6/10, 7:42 PM  

Those LED gloves look awesome.

Caleb 12/6/10, 7:42 PM  

I'm sick of frozen hands! Pick me!

Turi 12/6/10, 7:42 PM  

Cold hands are my nemesis too. I've got about three pairs of gloves of different thicknesses I choose depending on temperature, but they're getting ratty...

Erik 12/6/10, 7:48 PM  

Gloves look sweet! Thanks for the opportunity!

wirehairedrunner 12/6/10, 7:56 PM  

Donald, great glove review. I might have you beat in the "goldilocks" department. Happy running.
Kim Neill
Boise, ID

Gianna 12/6/10, 8:03 PM  

Love the Vizi Pro!

mo 12/6/10, 8:05 PM  

Your giveaways rock!

TK 12/6/10, 8:08 PM  

I agree...gloves are perhaps the most difficult thing to get "just right." I'd love to give these a try!

The Dude 12/6/10, 8:25 PM  

More giveaways, what fun! I need some gloves, so sign me up!

Jim E,  12/6/10, 8:36 PM  

I definitely need some gloves. Would love to try these.

adam 12/6/10, 8:54 PM  

After my run in the sub 20 degree weather this morning I was thinking that I need something a little warmer than my Mountain Hardware gloves. A pair of these would be awesome!

Josh 12/6/10, 9:29 PM  

I need some new gloves. Pick Me!

JimDog 12/6/10, 9:30 PM  

I only have one pair of running gloves. Would love to win another set! Count me in!

samur 12/6/10, 10:46 PM  

Manzella Hatchback sounds great :) I would love to try them! Count me in :D

Jobu007 12/6/10, 11:08 PM  

I hate cold hands, these look like they are just what I need..

Sean 12/6/10, 11:57 PM  

I just lost my gloves... it was meant to be. Thanks.

Joey Cohen 12/7/10, 2:34 AM  

Thanks, Running and Rambling (and Saucony and Manzella)!

Fast Punx 12/7/10, 2:49 AM  

It's getting c-c-c-c-old her in Maine, need some toasty gloves! Great reviews btw!

stazza 12/7/10, 3:04 AM  

Heavens yes I could use a pair of running gloves.

Jesse - Run To The Border 12/7/10, 3:21 AM  

I've been looking for some new running gloves, but this past weekend I couldn't find any that I thought would work. Both of these look great. Thanks for the review.

Kovas Palubinskas 12/7/10, 3:40 AM  

Fun giveaway, besides the gloves I covet the reps' info!

Running With The Devil 12/7/10, 3:46 AM  

Gloves? Yes, Please. It's 14 degrees with the wind chill this morning in NY. The gloves I own now (Sugoi-Courtesy of Wilderness Running Company) are great to about 25 degrees. I'd like to return from my cold runs this winter with all of my digits intact when the weather drops into the teens and beyond!

Corey Singletary 12/7/10, 4:35 AM  

I'm about to go run in 0 degree temps. Gloves please.

Josh 12/7/10, 4:39 AM  

These gloves all sound like a step up from my Under Armor gloves . . .

nwgdc 12/7/10, 4:40 AM  

Northern Wisconsin winter running means I'm always looking for more gloves. Thanks for the review!

Tony 12/7/10, 4:41 AM  

Great looking gloves!

Eddie 12/7/10, 4:46 AM  

C'mon baby, daddy needs a new pair of gloves!

runputt 12/7/10, 5:04 AM  

Now that it has dipped into the twenties I have started to think about pulling out the old gloves again. A new pair could come in handy for when it really gets cold.

Mike E 12/7/10, 5:13 AM  

Toasty hands this winter? I'm definitely in!! Thanks!

fetish4running 12/7/10, 5:16 AM  

Getting cold in Michigan...I need some warmer gloves!

mattcraig100 12/7/10, 5:20 AM  

It's definately time for gloves where I am. I would love to win some nice ones instead of the cheapies that I use.

Audrey 12/7/10, 5:33 AM  

My hands are always freezing no matter the outdoor activity. Gloves please! Thanks.

Chris 12/7/10, 5:36 AM  

I need some gloves. Thanks for the chance!

Tammy 12/7/10, 5:49 AM  

Oh.. great gloves! Would love a pair of these! Running in the Coastal BC mountains requires unique and innovative gear in the winter!

51feetunder 12/7/10, 6:02 AM  

Excellent, decent gloves are one thing I haven't really delved into yet, and my dollar store ones are about to explode on me!

RD Jim 12/7/10, 6:03 AM  

Tis the season for gloves!

Trailrat 12/7/10, 6:30 AM  

Need gloves please! I have asked Santa also.

Brad K,  12/7/10, 6:31 AM  

I could really use some new gloves. Please put my name into the hat.

Chris 12/7/10, 6:36 AM  

Winter has hit the Midwest and I need some new gloves.


Matt 12/7/10, 6:37 AM  

Like the stowaway mitten idea...

Justin Nunez 12/7/10, 6:44 AM  

In desperate need of some quality gloves

thefantasyknowitall 12/7/10, 7:01 AM  

If the glove does not fit, you must... let me win a couple pair!

Chanin 12/7/10, 7:13 AM  

Winter SUCKS, but warm gloves help.

Gretchen 12/7/10, 7:35 AM  

Thanks for the chance to win! I was just looking at getting a warmer pair of gloves.

baybum1 12/7/10, 7:54 AM  


Mikey 12/7/10, 7:58 AM  

I live in Colorado, and while we haven't had many cold days yet (stupid la nina), I did get out for a nice 11 degree run a few weeks ago. My cool weather gloves just didn't cut it, I ended up pulling my jacket over them for most of the run, which was quite awkward! Would love to try the mitten/glove combo!


Toshi Moshi 12/7/10, 8:01 AM  

I ripped my glove when I fell last week. Hope I get a new one!

haystack 12/7/10, 8:02 AM  

Thanks for the reviews and thanks for sharing the gear.

Dug Deep,  12/7/10, 8:04 AM  

I can't find my gloves so this is good timing

-Dug Deep

DoubleA 12/7/10, 8:05 AM  

Thanks for the review. Love the viziPro line.

ScottyRev,  12/7/10, 8:08 AM  

C'mon...my hands are freezing here!

Hall 12/7/10, 8:12 AM  

Considering I ran with socks over my cheap cotton stretch gloves this morning, I could definitely use a pair of decent gloves.

Come to think of it, so much of my winter running gear is just an amalgamation of random gear.

Shoeless Joe 12/7/10, 8:21 AM  

needing some gloves

John Nguyen 12/7/10, 8:57 AM  

Even if I don't win anything, it is cool to participate and these products are very interesting. I might have to put some of them on my wishlist!

NerdRunner 12/7/10, 9:07 AM  

EPIC! Great timing on the review given that my current pair fell out of my pocket the other day!

Anonymous,  12/7/10, 9:16 AM  

I have yet to find a pair of gloves that meets my running needs here in the Aleutians. I have been considering a pair of mitten shells. We range from very windy and rainy to windy with snow or sleet this time of year. It is hard to keep my hands warm and dray with out suffocating them.

Eric Evans,  12/7/10, 9:16 AM  

I have yet to find a pair of gloves that meets my running needs here in the Aleutians. I have been considering a pair of mitten shells. We range from very windy and rainy to windy with snow or sleet this time of year. It is hard to keep my hands warm and dray with out suffocating them.

jbgodfrey,  12/7/10, 9:31 AM  

I need new gloves now. Sprints look nice.

GRChi 12/7/10, 10:09 AM  

It's 10 degrees in Chicago. Would love some new gloves.

Chris de Vos 12/7/10, 10:32 AM  

Gloves would be a good thing for me.

Chad 12/7/10, 10:57 AM  

Since they are forecasting highs in the single digits next weeks these gloves would be great!

Jen 12/7/10, 10:59 AM  

I have some gloves, but these are high tech things! Hope I win!

Brent 12/7/10, 11:24 AM  

I have the same "Goldilocks" problem with gloves. Maybe -- just maybe -- one of these will be juuuuuust right. Hope I get a shot at trying them out!

Trail Clown,  12/7/10, 11:25 AM  

Cookie monster needs gloves

N 12/7/10, 11:29 AM  

Thanks for the review and the opportunity to win! Count me in!

robb 12/7/10, 11:39 AM  

Count me in for the giveaway!

Rob 12/7/10, 11:53 AM  

Me too!!

Love the blog, thanks for all your work!


Yakov 12/7/10, 11:54 AM  

I'd love to check out either pair. Thanks!

Andy 12/7/10, 12:34 PM  

The rubber nubs feel "fairly scratchy" on your face? That's the primary complaint? These must be awesome.

Malinda 12/7/10, 12:43 PM  

It's getting cold in Wisconsin! I would love some new gloves!

shel 12/7/10, 12:51 PM  

always in need of gloveage!

Jason D. 12/7/10, 1:12 PM  

So many contests! I'm going to pull a comment-muscle! Better sign me up for this one too. :)

Steph 12/7/10, 1:35 PM  

They look so much better than my pathetic home hacked wool gloves/mittens!

Giuseppe 12/7/10, 1:44 PM  

You have the greatest stuff on here, I'm glad I found your site!

Timothy 12/7/10, 2:47 PM  

I've been using a pair of Burton's for a few years now, and they have been excellent. Hopefully I can add to my collection!

Woodrow 12/7/10, 2:51 PM  

As the weather has been cooling my current choice of "Turkey Trot" white knit gloves is not working too well. I suppose I have to go back home and pick up another pair soon.

Erpara 12/7/10, 3:12 PM  

great gloves for running would be awesome!!!

msimpson 12/7/10, 4:01 PM  

Gloves! Neat! Sign me up!

jonnyb 12/7/10, 4:37 PM  

I'm in for 1. I've found ibex merino wool gloves to be great liners--i'm in the market for an outer shell glove that's nice and rainproof.

Doug 12/7/10, 4:51 PM  

Still looking for the perfect running gloves.

mweston 12/7/10, 4:57 PM  

Maybe it's time to replace the gloves I originally bought for cycling, probably in the mid-90's...

Jeff 12/7/10, 5:03 PM  

Count me in on this one, too! I'm always looking for a glove upgrade!

Tess 12/7/10, 5:05 PM  

The convertible gloves look cool! Now, do you have any good suggestions for hats that don't make your hair stand on end with static?

My Life and Running 12/7/10, 5:07 PM  

Funny, I briefly looked at the Saucony pair, but was turned off at the price. I hadn't realized there was an LED with it. Might have to take a second look. Thanks for the review!

Seb@ pedometer watches 12/7/10, 6:12 PM  

Great reviews. My hands and ears are the first things that get really cold. I find that as I get older most gloves don't do the job. I have to run with mits so that my fingers can warm each other up. Two weeks ago we were at -18C 0F, thankfully we are around 8C now.

The Best GPS Watches

Travis 12/7/10, 6:36 PM  

I'm always game to try to a new pair of gloves. Love the led light in those saucony gloves. What a great idea.

wch 12/7/10, 6:53 PM  

The Saucony ViziPro stuff is awesome. I haven't been hit once while wearing my jacket... The LED lights however are practically guaranteed to get destroyed in the washing machine when one forgets to remove them. Still a good idea, though.

I look forward to winning some gloves!

jraridon 12/7/10, 7:05 PM  

can always use better gloves.


Pinkcorker (Renee) 12/7/10, 7:20 PM  

Wow! I need a new pair of gloves for winter.

Stuart 12/7/10, 8:36 PM  

Those Manzillas look sweet

I am in!

vcsnover 12/8/10, 3:24 AM  

Gloves are one of the things that I just can't seem to find the perfect pair of for cold running temps.. .I either freeze or my hands sweat too much! Maybe these will solve my problem if I win! Thanks!

Carla 12/8/10, 4:47 AM  

OH-OH PICK ME, PICK ME! I've been looking for gloves like the Manzellas for over a year now. Something to wear on a not so bad day and something with a little more coverage on the days you wish you weren't dedicated!


Kirstie 12/8/10, 6:34 AM  

Always looking for a pair of running gloves. Love the LED gloves. Thanks for contest!

Alex 12/8/10, 6:36 AM  

Gloves -
Great review

dirkericson 12/8/10, 8:29 AM  

Usually I just pull my sleeves over my hands, gloves other than ski or cycling gloves would be nice

Amanda - RunToTheFinish 12/8/10, 2:41 PM  

suhhweeet. I have learned that with good gloves I can handle many differeing degrees of cold much better!

Mr. Liporto 12/8/10, 6:01 PM  

This is my first winter running, and didn't realize how important gloves would be! I thought my old Freaky-Freezies would be good enough!

Tanya Patrice 12/8/10, 7:55 PM  

My 1st winter running too and some good gloves would be great!

Lisa 12/8/10, 7:57 PM  

Ah, gloves are the one thing I haven't bought to prepare for running this winter... this would definitely help. Thanks!

Carl,  12/8/10, 8:09 PM  

Here's hoping!

John 12/9/10, 1:59 AM  

need some gloves. . .thanks

Al D. 12/9/10, 5:36 AM  

Here in Alabama, I need all I can get when the sun goes down. Now, with these COLD temps (low 20's)I don't know what to do. Gloves would be great!!

D-A-D-D-Y,  12/9/10, 7:43 AM  

Gloves are on my list of excuses for not running these days. Need to get back out there, so help me cross them off my list!

Luke 12/9/10, 7:44 AM  

Gloves are on my Christmas List

pontdo 12/9/10, 7:53 AM  

Would LOVE to try these! Thanks...

rbrown10 12/9/10, 8:05 AM  

They would probably work better then stretching my sleeves over my hands.

Angie Bee 12/9/10, 8:24 AM  

I would love to win some gloves! I am now currently wearing the hubbies gloves. Although warm, they are a bit big for me.

Josh 12/9/10, 9:08 AM  

bad gloves are the worst. good gloves are great. Deep thoughts, no?

ajones 12/9/10, 11:50 AM  

fingers crossed...hoping to win!

brent boyle 12/9/10, 12:05 PM  

the hatchback is genius!

freyfarm 12/9/10, 12:26 PM  

OH YEAH. What a nice giveaway. I could sure use some warmer gloves. I am laying two gloves right now. Love to have the Mazella Hatchback with the hood. They look awesome.

C-Dog 12/9/10, 12:29 PM  

Gloves!! No more cold hands :)

Keeley 12/9/10, 12:50 PM  

My good gravy, snuck in at the last minute on this one. I love your detailed reviews.

Campbell 12/9/10, 12:58 PM  

Need these bad boys here in Chicago! Thanks!

Jenna Z 12/9/10, 1:20 PM  

Those mits look like they would keep my digits toasty warm!!

JimG,  12/9/10, 2:07 PM  

I could use a new pair of gloves- just in time for winter!

bcripps 12/9/10, 3:20 PM  

I just ran my first marathon, and now its cold! Please pick me!

Payam 12/9/10, 3:32 PM  

hope I win, thanks!! :)

purrx3,  12/12/10, 2:13 PM  

my hands are always cold. These sound perfect! Pick me :)

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