Stuff Fatty Loves: Pearl Izumi Convertible Glove / Mitten

03.8.2011 | 2:01 pm

I am a sensitive person, and do not like to be the cause of sadness, distress, disappointment, or even melancholy. And so I feel it is my duty to tell you, up front, that while this post is about a product that I really, really like, the post ends on a sad note. So if you don’t like sad things, you should stop now.

If on the other hand, you are into sad things, I should probably point out that on the sadness scale of 0 to Edward Scissorhands , this is probably a 2.

In short, this post ends sadly. But not very. And in the meantime, you’ll learn about something I love: my Pearl Izumi glove / mittens.

[UPDATE: Okay, the sad part is no longer all that sad. So as soon as you're done being sad, you can be immediately happy again. This blog is a huge emotional rollercoaster today.]

They’re Gloves. No, They’re Mittens

The Winter months are difficult for cyclists in cold places. The likelihood of the temperature and weather being the same for the duration of your ride is, well, nil. So you layer up, or at least have layers ready, for when the temperature drops.

As you warm up, you strip down a little. When you get to the top of a climb, you layer back up. If you change direction — so your tailwind becomes a headwind — get ready for everything facing the front to get much colder all of a sudden.

I’m pretty good at this layering business. But what to wear on my hands in cool-to-cold weather has always been a problem. Sure, I can start with a pair of light gloves under heavier gloves, but peeling layers of gloves is not easy.

And re-layering is even harder, especially if you don’t want to pull over and put a foot down.

So I love the solution Pearl Izumi came up with.

[Full Disclosure: I bought these gloves at a bike store and got no special discount on them. Same thing goes for The Runner.]

Here’s the palm view:


And here’s the back-of-hand view:


It’s a nice, lightweight glove with good tacky grip on the palms and lightweight insulation on the back.

So, what’s so special about these?

Well, that reflective stripe on the back of the glove is actually a pouch, containing an attached (so it can’t be separated or dropped) lightweight nylon pocket that slides over your fingers, changing the gloves into mittens in less than two seconds:


And here’s what this looks like from the palm view:


And they can be converted back into mittens just as easily and instantly. Here’s how the glove looks with the mitten part stuffed partway back in the pouch on the back of the glove, so you can see where the mitten pocket goes:


The Gimmick is Not Gimmicky

You might think that a thin little nylon mitten stretched over your glove wouldn’t make much of a difference, but you’d be wrong. That thing serves as a terrific windbreaker for your hand and makes a huge difference when you’re riding into a headwind.

It also does a great job of retaining heat, and is good for keeping your fingers at least a few degrees warmer than they otherwise would be.

And since that shell stuffs away into the glove, you can easily swap it on and off — while riding — as often during the ride (or, in The Runner’s case, during the run) as you like.

These gloves / mittens are, in short, an elegant and effective layering solution that have made my winter riding (and — I confess — running) hugely more pleasant. These are my go-to Fall/Winter gloves, and having used them frequently for about five months now (I bought them at Mellow Johnny’s during the Austin LiveStrong Challenge and have been using them at least twice a week since), I can wholeheartedly say I love these gloves.

And The Runner feels just the same way about hers.

And Now for the Sad Part

As part of the extensive research I did for this post, I went to the Pearl Izumi site, so I could link to these gloves.

But they aren’t there. They used to be, but they aren’t anymore.

So I left a voicemail with Pearl Izumi asking them to call me back and tell me if I’m not looking in the right place.

Heck, I even tweeted, asking if anyone knew where to find these gloves. Nobody has replied.

But honestly, as soon as I searched the Pearl Izumi site and came up empty-handed, I knew what had happened: these gloves I love have been discontinued.

I would express my surprise, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not even remotely surprised.

It’s a simple manifestation of what I shall hereby dub the “Discontinuance Principle:” I.e., the likelihood of a product being removed from the market is in direct proportion to how much you like that product.

This has happened to me countless times, with products ranging from breakfast cereals to magazines to soft drinks.

And now, of course, to a pair of very useful gloves.

But you know, I wouldn’t even mind so much except that now that I know these gloves are no longer for sale, another principle will come into play: “The Irreplaceability Effect.” Specifically, the likelihood of an item being destroyed or lost is in inverse proportion to the ease with which that item can be replaced.”

Too bad, too. I really love these gloves.

And Now for the Happy (And Kinda Embarrassing) Part that Follows the Sad Part

Almost the very instant I posted today’s entry, Lana commented with the name of the gloves. They’re called “Shine Wind Mitt Gloves,” evidently. Which is a mouthful, but that’s not the point. The point is that armed with that knowledge, it took all of three seconds to find that these gloves are in fact still available from Pearl Izumi, right here at this here web page.

Trying to figure out how I possibly missed seeing these gloves, I tried to reconstruct my problem. My problem, as it turns out, is that I went to the top-ranked promoted site Pearl Izumi advertises (, which does not have the gloves. However, their more current, updated site does of course have these gloves.

In short, if you want a pair of these gloves I like so much, go here, or just search for “Pearl Izumi Shine Wind Mitt” at your favorite retailer.

Thank you. I am now going to go take a nap.

PS: Be sure to check out the new header photo today, sent in by StuckInMyPedals — a photo of her and her brother Pete. Photo courtesy of Chris Flentye.


  1. Comment by Fat Jeff | 03.8.2011 | 2:06 pm

    Cool glove-mittens…

    But I will have achieved one of my life’s goals if I can die never having ridden in a climate that requires this kind of hand protection.

    With regards from Hawaii,
    Fat Jeff

  2. Comment by Lana | 03.8.2011 | 2:08 pm

    They are called Shine Wind Mitt Gloves from what I could find and are available here (among other places) with limited sizing –

    Lana “I went to grad school to learn how to surf the web better” K

    Thanks, Lana! I’ve updated the post. Wish I’d gone to more college! – FC

  3. Comment by kyle. | 03.8.2011 | 2:10 pm

    even in sunny southern california a good pair of gloves is a lifesaver on early-morning winter rides.

  4. Comment by Franky | 03.8.2011 | 2:14 pm

    Better hurry up before they are all gone:

  5. Comment by Peter | 03.8.2011 | 2:20 pm

    Now that you have the name “Shine Wind Mitt Glove” easy to find in Google search. Here is link to Amazon:

  6. Comment by CLB | 03.8.2011 | 2:28 pm

    Fatty: they are still on the pearl izumi site:

    or (shortened)

  7. Comment by George | 03.8.2011 | 2:29 pm

    Let’s give a big hand to the finders of the gloves! Way to help Fatty out!

  8. Comment by Resurrection | 03.8.2011 | 2:31 pm

    They are on the website…
    and you can buy them online…

  9. Comment by Resurrection | 03.8.2011 | 2:33 pm

    sorry…mitt not gloves…

  10. Comment by Lauren Lindley | 03.8.2011 | 2:41 pm

    YAY Pearl Izumi! I’m sorry no one returned your call or answered your questions… I actually receive rollover calls from headquarters at my store when they boys are busy and had you been rolled over to me I might have flipped out. Haha.

    Shameless self promotion: or you can call the South Lake Tahoe Pearl Izumi Factory Store and I’ll be more than happy to ship a pair out to you. In fact, since they’ve been discontinued, they are now marked down to $22.50.

    When the automated system told me it was shunting me over to a store I hung up. Now I wish I hadn’t! – FC

  11. Comment by katie | 03.8.2011 | 2:42 pm

    i am going to run out and buy a pair right now. i have pearl izumi gloves that look almost exactly like these, but no mitten, and my fingers HURT.

  12. Comment by JLB | 03.8.2011 | 2:44 pm

    This is a great post for a few reasons:

    1. The gloves look great. I need something like that for my winter/fall commute.

    2. A happy ending.

    3. The discontinuance principle–a brilliant description for an all-to-frequent event. Examples: Peanut Butter Twix and PurleSaurus Rex KoolAid.

  13. Comment by ZJ | 03.8.2011 | 2:46 pm

    Too bad they don’t make shorts that convert so easily into tights, or thermal jerseys that fold down to short-sleeve summer jerseys with the same ease. If only….

  14. Comment by Jim | 03.8.2011 | 2:48 pm

    Elden, you’re slipping here. I didn’t catch any references to you getting free stuff. What’s going on? It’s not early onset Alzheimers, is it? Because you’ve clearly lost a step…

  15. Comment by etiberius | 03.8.2011 | 2:49 pm

    Another option that I use all winter long is the Descente Wombat glove. The mitten section is even rubber/neopene magic and feels super warm. The glove flap also packs tight enough that I even raced cyclocross with them.

  16. Comment by Dan O | 03.8.2011 | 2:57 pm

    I laughed, I cried.

    I read about convertible gloves.

    I thank you.

  17. Comment by CGinAKR | 03.8.2011 | 3:05 pm

    Have ‘em. Love ‘em. Hope I never lose ‘em.

  18. Comment by BigHurt | 03.8.2011 | 3:31 pm

    I use the Descente Wombat glove/mitten. It’s like putting an oven on your hand.

    That sounds like it would hurt like crazy. – FC

  19. Comment by Squirrelhead | 03.8.2011 | 3:44 pm

    I have the Descente Wombat gloves as well and I have been happy with them. Good to know that Pearl Izumi has a good one as well.

  20. Comment by Paul Guyot | 03.8.2011 | 5:52 pm

    Jay-zuz, Fatty.

    I’m smiling, then sobbing, then laughing.

    My heart can’t take it. This blog has more emotional highs and lows than that movie where all the frogs fell out of the sky.


  21. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 03.8.2011 | 7:16 pm

    Fatty, thanks for putting my pic as your header. It was the only time during that century that I was ahead of him. :)

  22. Comment by Kristy Hart | 03.8.2011 | 7:22 pm

    hmmmm, sad to see no women’s specific version with a cute pink convertible cover…that might lure me in more…glad to see the happy ending.

  23. Comment by kyle | 03.8.2011 | 9:02 pm

    and the rubber grips work on my iphone screen…

  24. Comment by Greg | 03.8.2011 | 10:34 pm

    Saucony makes a similar product. Their gimmick upon a gimmick is that they come with a USB rechargeable blinky light that mounts to the back of the left glitt. (Glitt? Glomitt? Milove?)***4*******90223-VP00*XS&stockNumber=90223-VP&showDefaultOption=true

  25. Comment by hartofak | 03.9.2011 | 1:14 am

    That’s great for you, but when will they ever bring back Post Fortified Oat Flakes, the best cereal ever?

  26. Comment by Jenn | 03.9.2011 | 1:29 am

    @JLB – purplesaurus rex kool-aid discontinuance ranks one notch ABOVE Edward Scissorhands on the sadness scale. I love stuff that makes my mouth purple.

  27. Comment by Franky | 03.9.2011 | 6:52 am

    I wish they would do something similar for shoes. I went on a late afternoon ride yesterday at about 38° and forgot to put my shoe covers on. The frozen toes during the ride didn’t really bother me but the hot shower afterward was a bit painful.

  28. Comment by RandoBoy | 03.9.2011 | 8:22 am

    Dude! Thanks! My hands get far too cold far too often, and for us ultra-nuts something that can layer without taking up extra space is HUGE! I ordered three pairs!

  29. Comment by Zach in a cubicle | 03.9.2011 | 10:08 am

    So apart from needing to shave your half-squatch forearms, you are a superb hand model. Well done.

  30. Comment by roan | 03.9.2011 | 10:33 am

    Thanks Fatty, so many things I’ve liked and now gone. Probably why I buy 2 or 3 of the same items so often.

    One commenter, hartofak, really struck a lost chord.
    To those too young to experience the taste of Post Fortified Oat Flakes…breakfast bliss. Since its demise my only milk comes from ice cream.

  31. Comment by MikeL | 03.9.2011 | 11:15 am

    I think you had better rat-hole 5 or 10 pairs so you will always have some.

  32. Comment by Anon | 03.9.2011 | 11:18 am

    Quote: I bought these gloves at a bike store and got no special discount on them. Same thing goes for The Runner.

    At what bike store did you buy the Runner?

  33. Comment by Patrick | 03.9.2011 | 11:45 am

    They also make a convertible lobster glove model, that has a small amount of padding on the palm.

  34. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.9.2011 | 12:00 pm

    I am gald, Fatty, that in these days of love-induced running, (no dis intended for the Runner – you are a quality individual, Lisa, and I do not blame Elden) you still recognize the need to confess to being a part-time runner.

    Just got my 1-year knee replacement followup Dr. check – My knee performance is in the 100th percentile – niether Dr. or PT have ever seen such remarkable Total Knee Replacement post-op performance in stability & flexion.

    I might just take up r.. rr.. rrr.. running again!

  35. Comment by Patrice | 03.9.2011 | 12:15 pm

    Have to say, I was soooo disappointed in these gloves when they arrived. They weren’t as robust as I expected and the mitten part didn’t block out much wind, especially on my pinky fingers. :-(

  36. Comment by Stan | 03.9.2011 | 12:43 pm

    It’s amazing what a difference a wind break makes in keeping body parts warm on a ride. I’ve done something similar for my feet when it gets really cold. It’s an old trick I picked up when I lived in New Jersey.

    Extra points if the people you ride with say they’re going to call the Weekly World News because they found “Bagfoot”.


  37. Comment by Alex@Pearl Izumi | 03.9.2011 | 1:15 pm

    FC – did you leave us a message here @ Pearl or just hang up? Two of us answer all the consumer calls, and we call everyone back! If we’re on the other line with someone you can get one of our stores by pressing zero and speak to a superstar like Lauren @ Lake Tahoe and they can answer all your product questions as they are surrounded by PI gear all day.

    I bet one of the reasons you didn’t find the gloves on our site the first time around is that the Shine Wind Mitt’s are part of our Running collection. We do offer a cycling version of that glove called the PRO Lobster Wind Mitt. The difference is this glove is padded, and the wind shield that pulls out is split into two like our Lobster Gloves. This allows you to grab brake levers with two fingers while still holding onto the bars with the other two fingers. Alas, we are sold out here at HQ for the season on the PRO (it’s Spring!) but our Factory Stores and lots of dealers still have them in stock.

    Although the current version of the Shine Wind Mitt is discontinued, it will return updated for Fall 2011 with some small changes based on feedback on our first version.

    Keep up the good work FC and thanks for the plug.

  38. Comment by Nick | 03.9.2011 | 4:38 pm

    I’m impressed by the replies by the PI employees, that’s some great customer service you’ve got going on. Maybe i should do a little shopping….

  39. Comment by Stephen | 03.9.2011 | 7:28 pm

    I love these gloves, er, mittens, er, glomits? I have a lighter weight version on which the over-mitt is actually a “lobster-claw”. I use pogies on my winter bikes and can ride with these PI “glomits” even in the coldest months!

  40. Comment by Beccles | 03.10.2011 | 11:08 am

    I have a similar set of gloves made by Cannondale (purchased through Performance Bike), which I also love, that also include a “thumb cover” along with the pull out mitten. Living in the same climate as Fatty (Highland, Utah) I am constantly thankful for this innovation. Don’t underestimate the discomfort of a Cold Thumb — not to be confused with Cold Feet or a Green Thumb!

  41. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 03.10.2011 | 11:18 am

    Two things:

    1. Fatty, you should create a page that aggregates “best of” products in a bunch of categories: gloves, shoes, computers, GPS, bibs, helmet cams, etc. You might have a true best as well as a best value. Have links to the products and get a share of revenue that results.

    2. Off topic, but does anyone know anything about organization of a Team Fatty for LiveStrong Philly in August? No special gloves/mittens required.


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