Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves
Not Very Waterproof
Wore these gloves to a track day yesterday thankful that I had a pair of waterproof gloves. They ended up soaking through, and it wasn't even raining that hard. So merely from spray and some drizzle, by the end of the day you could feel the wet inside. Even today they are still wet (admittedly I left them out in the garage).
If it weren't for that, I'd say they were pretty good, but they aren't as warm as I was hoping, and they don't keep the wet out very effectively. Sadface.
December 1, 2014
Now my favorite gloves
I have three sets of gloves. For warm weather, I use Spidi Jab-R leather/textile gloves. In really cold weather, I switch to my Gerbing's T5 Microwire heated gloves. And for wet weather, I used some cheap (not so) waterproof gloves - and I have no recollection what they are, or from where they came.
I decided I needed an in-between glove. Something that was warm enough to use in cooler temperatures, but not in bitter cold. And it would be great if they served double-duty as waterproof gloves.
I spent almost a year trying out various gloves. At motorcycle shows, bike shops, online retailers, I tried glove after glove. None of them really fit the bill...until I found the Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves. That's quite a name for a glove!
I've now been wearing these gloves for about a month and a half, in weather from 40 degrees to 85 degrees, bright sunshine and pouring rain, over about 2,000 miles or so. I have always worn a large size in gloves, and my first impression upon putting on these gloves was that they were too small. In fact, I almost sent them back - they were tight, and the fingers seemed to be a bit too short. However, that was when I stretched my fingers out straight. When I curved them into a natural riding position, the finger length seemed adequate, so I figured I would give them a go. Over the course of the last month or so, they have broken in, and what felt a bit too stiff now feels just about right.
The palms of the gloves are one of the most important parts, as this is all that is in between your hand and your bike's grips. Any kind of seam or bumps in this area will soon become painfully sore after extended riding. No such issue here - the leather on the palms is very soft and supple, with no apparent seams inside. There are reinforced areas on the palm and outside the pinky finger to protect against road abrasion, and the palm area has extra padding. There is a grippy patch on the thumb and inside grip of the first finger to give you a solid, nonslip grip on your bike's handgrips, even in the wet.
The tough abrasion-resistant layer continues onto the top of the pinky and ring finger, along with a unique feature: webbing between the last two fingers. This prevents your pinky finger from being wrenched away from your hand during a crash, so that it isn't sprained or broken.
There are two excellent velcro fasteners: the larger cuff, which fits over the end of your jacket sleeve, and the smaller wrist strap, which snugs the glove around your wrist and prevents the glove from being pulled off your hand during a crash. Both have easily grabbed tabs to allow quick donning and removal.
The knuckles of both gloves have a hard plastic insert to protect against impact injury. Unlike a lot of gloves, this is actually comfortable on the inside, and is well formed to my hand.
The inside of the glove is a soft fabric layer, and does not pull away from the inside of the fingers when your hands are damp and sweaty like a lot of gloves.
My overall thoughts on these gloves: I definitely like them. They are waterproof, even in an absolute downpour. The left thumb has a small rubber wiper which can be used to clear your helmet face shield. They are extremely comfortable and allow sufficient movement without effort once they are broken in. They are insulated and provide decent warmth down to about 40F or so (4C). Above 75 degrees, they are uncomfortably warm, causing your hands to sweat a lot. That said, when you do sweat, the liner absorbs the moisture, and because the glove upper is fabric and breathes, the glove dries out - unlike my old waterproof gloves, which were like putting on a pair of plastic bags, and quickly became cold, wet and clammy inside.
- Very good impact and abrasion protection
- Wearable in wide range of temperatures
- Excellent quality and workmanship
- Sizing runs small
- Stiff at first until broken in
- Cuff could be slightly larger in order to accommodate bulkier jacket sleeves
Overall, I'm a fan of these gloves, and would definitely recommend them.
Pictures of my gloves: http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24208
November 17, 2014
Not really a Winter glove...
Bought this glove for fall-through-spring riding in the Seattle area. My experience with them has been mixed.
-Very comfortable, and true-to-size. Feels like you don't really sacrifice any dexterity with this glove.
-Quite stylish and well-made for the price (I got the grey color and the look is spot-on)
-Reinforcements on the palm and the 3rd-4th finger bridge seem to provide good protection (though i haven't crashed in them).
-They aren't all *that* waterproof. When I ride in the rain, my hands generally stay dry while I am riding. However, after I take the gloves off and hang them to dry, they seem to soak through... so I either wait several hours for them to fully dry, or I ride back with cold, damp gloves. Hugely disappointing.
-The cuffs are too short, which makes it kind of a hassle to pull them over my jacket sleeves. Also, the shortness of the cuffs allows water to easily run underneath them and get my wrist wet in heavy rain.
-They breathe a little too well for cold temps. Anything below 50 degrees F, and my hands get too cold after 15 mins or so. Please note that I am not using heated grips so far (though I just ordered some).
These are nice spring/autumn gloves - for light rain and moderately cold temps they are wonderful - but I bought them for warmth and water resistance, and they fall short on both counts.
November 12, 2014
Comfortable.. Order size up!
Very comfortable gloves! Too warm for summer, but not a bulky winter glove... Perfect three season for us Nor-Cal folks, but will not make the cut for winter in places that actually have a real winter.. Good feel of controls... Useless (for me) wrist strap (promptly removed) and decent velcro cuff... Cuff does not fit over my jackets, but I prefer that... Sizing- Order larger than chart... I wear about forty pairs of gloves every day... US glove size 10 / Large... On the chart provided, I would be a size Large in these gloves... Thankfully I found a warning elsewhere and I ordered XL... A tiny bit tight, but will stretch/break in... Large would never have fit... Anywho, perfect cool weather glove for my world...
November 11, 2014
This product is high in quality.
These gloves work great in sub 40 temperatures. They are comfortable, stylish and easy to use. I would recommend them to anyone.
September 29, 2014
Gloves with membranes bonded to the outer a-la gore-tex xtra-fit are few and far between - the feel through this glove is right up there with the real thing.
For some reason, I missed the really tiny bullet point about the "insulated membrane". The glove doesn't feel incredibly insulated, but it definitely feels warmer than some of my summer weight waterproof gloves (at least sitting around my house).
I'd wager it's a late fall-early spring glove. Since i'm looking for more of summer glove, i'll be sending it back, but it's definitely on the short list to consider in the future
May 13, 2014