5,000 km Review: Alpinestars Stella Radiant Drystar Glove

November 12, 2011

Words by // Photography by Nita Breibish

Finding the right fit and protection all wrapped up into one good mit can get expensive and frustrating. Leather vs. textile, short vs. long, tight fit vs. loose.

The overall feel of the glove can vary from shop to bike and the saying “fits like a glove” can be misleading in some cases. I find if the glove fits too perfectly in store it can manage to feel too tight once you are on the bike for a few hours at a time, step up a size and the material can bunch and feel quite bulky. I like to sense the slight movements of the throttle and easily move back and forth from clutch and break, which is why I tend to lean towards a more fitted feel. This is where the challenge begins. I realized that my once confident “quest for perfection” has become juggling the “lesser of two evils.”

Since first getting my hands wet a few years ago I realized that this is one of the key factors in keeping them warm, which in turn keeps them comfortable. Wet hands in a cold wind spells safety hazard.

I purchased my first pair of real touring gloves about a year ago for our Trans America ride. They were the Alpinestars Stella Radiant Drystar glove and cost about 60 bucks at the time. I have always really liked the Alpinestars brand and it was tried and true in other areas of my riding, from my one-piece leather suits to my track and touring boots. The gloves were lightweight, had a snug comfortable fit and were definitely warmer than anything I had prior, without being stifling on a higher temperature day. I would recommend them to anyone that rides in temperatures anywhere from 2 – 20°C (35 – 68°F).

With comfort and weather protection well intact the only downside I noticed was the lack of attention to other areas of protection. I managed to wear holes into two out of five fingers tips in just under 5000 km, less than a year. With some upper armor in place and an abrasion proof outer shell, these gloves would have been a perfect all around glove.

Still with that said, my hands remained very warm in near freezing temps which was my main goal at the time when I purchased them. I wouldn’t hesitate to have these as an emergency back up pair for colder days on the road.

So if warmth and comfort are your main concerns than I highly recommend these gloves, but if you are the type of rider that is concerned about protecting your hands from more than just the elements, then I would go with something that has extra added structure and strength.


I’ve two passion-driven wheels, two small hands and one big nomadic heart. With my weather-beaten camera I’m looking to change the world one click at a time. In constant awe, I’m a professional dabbler, world traveller and the photographer-half of We Love Motogeo. I love breaking down barriers, challenging travel misconceptions and uncovering new notions of home. Thirty-seven countries and counting…


  1. Comment by Sara

    Sara January 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Hi! I’m considering these gloves for a trip to Alaska this June (2014). I know it’s been awhile since you wrote your review, but do you recall how the gloves were with regards to keeping your hands dry? Most of the other reviews I read mentioned they were not great in the rain. I find that surprising since the product seems to be intended for cold, wet weather. I appreciate your input…thanks! Sara

    • Comment by Nita Breibish

      Nita Breibish January 5, 2014 at 2:50 am

      Hello Sara, thanks for your message and for following along on our journey. I remember loving the fit of these gloves and the comfort. More like that favourite pair of shoes you never want to throw away even when they start to hurt your feet. Once I hit really heavy rain though my hands definitely got wet. I would also say that when they did get wet and the liner on the inside would constantly pull out with my hands, so getting them back on again was always a pain. Trick for this keep a pen or something like this on you. Helps with getting the liners back in place. With this all said, I still managed to wear them until there were holes in three of the finger tips. :) I am riding with the Rev’it! Drifter H20’s now and so far so good. I don’t think any glove is 100% water proof when you are in constant days of heavy rain riding. Water always finds it’s way in. I recommend also to tuck the wrist portion of the glove under your jacket and not over. This also helps to keep the water from seeping into the glove from running down your arm. Good luck Sara and thanks again for the reading.

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