September 17, 2013
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.