The 3 Types of Motorbike Gloves You Should Own For Riding All Year Round

The 3 types of motorbike gloves you’ll probably end up owning (based on our sales data): We’ve got your hands covered with the best motorcycle gloves all year round

The three types of gloves you will find yourself in need of on the bike are for three types of climate conditions:

  • All-season gloves for most of the year
  • Thermal gloves for winter months
  • Shorty gloves for high summer

The first two will be lined, to protect your hands from the elements, with different levels of insulation. The third will be unlined and designed to keep your hands as cool as possible.

All-season motorbike gloves: Your number one pair of motorbike gloves

This is your mainstay. As the name suggests, all-season motorbike gloves are designed to be worn in all weather conditions.

General features of all-season motorbike gloves:

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof

They will have a waterproof and windproof climate membrane as part of their construction, making them ideal for riding most of the year. Protection from windchill all the difference when you're riding to work in the spring or autumn, even if it isn’t raining.

They won't be the warmest, with little to no insulation, so they aren't as bulky as thermal gloves. Some all-season gloves offer additional insulation across the back of the hand. That serves to improve the protection from windchill without affecting the grip of the palms. However, none of these gloves are thermal enough to see you through coldest part of the year.

Some all-season gloves we love:

Our best-seller every year is the Rev’It! Hydra H2O Glove. It’s lightweight, warm, and sleek, making it the perfect all-rounder. If you’re a fan of Alpinestars, or just want something geared more towards warmer weather, the S-Max Drystar Gloves are perfect. The Drystar lining means they protect you from wind and rain but are highly breathable.

Nothing beats Gore-Tex when it comes to waterproof gear

What makes Gore-Tex unusual is that it is the name of a manufacturing method as well as the name of the membrane. Gore-Tex garments are constructed to be 'waterproof for the life of the garment'. That is an actual guarantee that applies to all Gore-Tex gloves and garments!

In addition, the Gore-Tex membrane is more breathable than other membranes, by some distance. That means that the air inside your gloves is drier and so you remain warmer in the cold and less sweaty in the heat.

Should I buy a pair of Gore-Tex motorbike gloves?

That level of guaranteed technical performance does come at a premium price. If you ride a lot, it's worth it without a question. If you only ride 5 miles at a time, perhaps less so. Regardless of how often you ride, if you have the cash and want to guarantee dry hands no matter the weather, Gore-Tex is the way to go.

Some Gore-Tex gloves we love:

A popular budget-friendly Gore-Tex all-season glove is the Richa City GTX glove. With a short cuff and tri-fleece lining, they’re super comfortable. A more high-end all-season Gore-Tex glove is the Alpinestars Jet Road V2 GTX Gloves, which have back of the hand adjustability and Gore-Tex grip that makes them feel thinner.

Winter motorbike gloves: Thermal gloves for December to February

Not just a fair weather rider? Then thermal gloves are a type of glove that is specifically designed to keep your hands warm in cold weather. They typically have a layer of insulation material between the outer shell and the lining.

Once the temperature drops significantly, the grips and the levers get cold to handle. Changing the gear, breaking, or simply controlling the motorbike cools down your fingers to the point of pain. The answer is a pair of properly insulated winter-grade thermal motorcycle gloves.

General features of winter motorbike gloves:

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Thermal

Types of insulation: You get what you pay for

The type of insulation is critical to how these gloves 'feel' when you are riding. Primaloft Gold or Silver, or Thinsulate G provide insulation without bulk or sponginess. Cheaper alternatives quickly make the gloves feel soft and comfortable, but reduce the feel you have for the road and the precise control of the grips that you are used to.

Some winter gloves we love:

One of our favourites is the Rev’It! Kryptonite 2 GTX glove. They have a Thinsulate lining, making them less bulky than other winter options, and the best breathable waterproofing on the market. A more budget-friendly winter glove is the Richa Arctic WP Glove, which has a Hipora waterproof membrane instead of Gore-Tex (although the Arctic does come in a GTX version).

A tip for winter riding

If you ride in cold weather and are looking for a way to keep your hands warm, then thermal gloves are the way to go, of course. But for the depths of winter also consider in addition a warm mid-layer such as an insulated gilet vest, in order to keep the torso warm, which in turn helps keep your hands warmer. This combo could also work when it’s not quite the coldest weather and you’re still wearing your all-season gloves.

High summer motorbike gloves: The unlined shorty

Summer is not summer without your favourite short-cuffed gloves.

Your all-season, or mid-season, gloves will keep your hands dry and protected from windchill for most of the year, but you definitely need an unlined pair to stop yourself overheating in the hottest weeks of the year.

General features of summer motorbike gloves:

  • Thin material improves grip
  • Cooling effect on hands

Summer motorcycle gloves typically deliver better feel and dexterity when operating the bike's controls, because they have no insulation or climate membrane. In an ideal world, your winter gloves would be as lightweight as your summer ones!

There are plenty of options when it comes to summer motorbike gloves

When choosing summer motorcycle gloves, it is important to consider the conditions you'll be riding in and what type of riding you plan on doing.

The two main camps for shorty gloves are retro and sporty. The main difference is the materials they’re made from.

  • If you’re a cruiser who rocks the vintage heritage look, then a leather glove is for you. Many styles come in black, brown, or tan, with subtle design features, like the Brown Weise Victory Glove
  • If you’re commuting in the city then a textile shorty would be great. Add a splash of colour and some interesting textures, like the Red Rev’It! Spectrum Gloves.

Mesh motorbike gloves: Another summer option for the highest heat

These are perfect if you plan on touring in a hot country, or if you overheat easily. A motorcycle glove with a mesh construction will maximise airflow to your hands, which actively cools them when the weather is warm.

Some mesh gloves we love:

Again, consider the type of riding you plan on doing. A sporty mesh glove will have a sleek urban feel, for riding around the city, like the RST Rider Gloves An adventure touring mesh glove will look more rugged, often with breathable knuckle protection, like the Rev'It! Sand 4 Gloves.

The GetGeared Best Buy motorbike gloves

Every year we pick out what we think are currently the best gloves available for your money. Cut out the uncertainty and shop the Best Buys at GetGeared.

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