Waterproof Motorbike Gloves: Choosing The Right Type of Waterproof Motorcycle Gloves for You

Lined Motorcycle Gloves: Choose The Right Type of Waterproof Motorbike Gloves for You

During any part of the year other than summer, it's important to make sure your hands are protected from the elements. Waterproof motorcycle gloves are a great option for keeping your hands warm and dry, no matter what the weather throws at you.

How do waterproof motorbike gloves work?

Climate membrane

This is the internal lining of a pair of motorcycle gloves that provides protection from the elements. Not to be confused with the inner lining, which provides comfort to your hands, the climate membrane is worked into the construction of a glove.

The main functions of a climate membrane are to protect your hands from windchill, and from moisture. It is a physical barrier against the elements that comes in different types and materials depending on what type of riding the gloves are designed for.

Materials used in waterproof motorbike gloves

Different brands and manufacturers use different types of waterproofing membranes. Gore-Tex is the most well-known, and for good reason. Its waterproofing and breathability are unmatched, and it is therefore usually the most expensive.

Brands such as Alpinestars and Spidi have developed their own versions, called Drystar and H2Out respectively. The general principle is to maximise rider comfort through being lightweight and breathable while providing reliable waterproofing.

What are the different types of waterproof motorbike gloves?

There is huge range of waterproof motorcycle gloves on the market, so it's important to choose the right pair for your needs. Lined motorbike gloves fall into 2 broad camps:

Thermal waterproof motorbike gloves: Your winter motorcycle glove

These have effective insulation, geared towards keeping your hands warm in the coldest weather. They are bulkier, reducing dexterity on the bike, but not as much as frozen fingers would!

Non-thermal waterproof motorbike gloves: For all-season riding

These have little to no insulation. While they aren't as thin and ventilated as unlined summer gloves, you won't want to be riding with these in the depths of winter.

Thermal waterproof motorbike gloves (coldest winter gloves)

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.

It's quite difficult to make a padded pair of motorbike gloves that is not spongy or at minimum reduces the direct connection between you and the bike.

As a consequence, there is a big difference in how winter gloves feel and perform while riding between budget winter motorbike gloves and premium winter motorbike gloves.

Check out our range of thermal waterproof motorcycle gloves here.

Non-thermal waterproof motorbike gloves (everything-but-summer gloves)

Even if it is not raining, a morning ride to work or for fun can fast become an irritation if the windchill gets to your fingers. Stiff fingers and cold hands do not make for an enjoyable motorbike ride.

The answer are all-season motorcycle gloves that bring protection from windchill as well as rain.

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.

Check out our collection of all-season (also called mid-season) gloves here.

What do I need to consider when choosing the best waterproof motorbike gloves?

The climate you will be riding in

A fair-weather rider won't need a pair of heavy duty thermal waterproof gloves, but may appreciate a pair of waterproof gloves to protect their hands from light rain and windchill.

At the same time, a rider who plans to commute come rain or shine will see the benefit of a pair of thermals to prevent their hands from getting cold on those icy mornings.

Grip, feel and dexterity

You might think it makes sense to buy a pair of unlined summer gloves, and a pair of thermal waterproof gloves. However, this leaves you with at least two seasons of milder weather. If you use your winter gloves from September through to April, you will find that they are unnecessarily warm and bulky when it isn't the dead of winter.

It is best to choose a pair of all-season waterproof gloves that will allow you more dexterity on the bike for most of the year. You'll definitely feel the difference.

Waterproof motorbike gloves are also windproof

Waterproof motorbike gloves, thermal or all-season, by definition are also windproof motorbike gloves. A climate membrane is a windproof barrier. That applies across the board, from gloves to motorcycle clothing.

So, even if you are not planning to ride through rain and wind, a lined pair of motorbike gloves will protect you from the effects of windchill in the early morning or on colder days.

Materials: Nothing beats Gore-Tex waterproofing

Gore-Tex is a material that is often used in waterproof gloves. The Gore-Tex climate membrane is known for its ability to keep water out while still allowing the glove to breathe.

What is Gore-Tex?

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 to you that the air inside your gloves is drier AND therefore you remain warmer in the cold and less sweaty in the heat.

Should I buy Gore-Tex motorbike glove?

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.

Materials: Textile usually beats leather when it comes to waterproof motorbike gloves

Textile motorcycle gloves are a great option for those looking for waterproof gloves. They are typically made from a breathable abrasion-resistant outer material that help to keep your hands dry and comfortable in all weather conditions. As a result they also offer good protection from falls and other injuries.

The key reason textile gloves lend themselves to being used in waterproof gloves is that textiles dry faster than leather. The natural water-resistant nature of leather doesn't match up to the textile membranes specifically engineered to dry out quickly.

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