REV'IT! Summit H2O Gloves Review
Being a 4-season commuter, I spend a lot of time in my gear and value comfort above most other features. It also means I’m not as likely to stretch a summer pair of gloves into the winter, or vice-versa. Instead, I cycle 3 sets of gear between summer, spring / fall, winter. The REV’IT! Summit H20 Gloves are my spring / fall choice.
Originally, I compared the Summit H20 Gloves heavily with the Phantom GTX. While the Phantom offered Gore-Tex waterproofing as a superior feature, I ultimately ended up with the Summit because of their fit and finish. The leather at the palm is goatskin which is stronger and thinner than traditional cowhide so when putting on your Summit H20 gloves for the first time, they feel like butta’. So smooth, so comfy, they make you want to curl up next to the fireplace and take a nap with them. Ok, well maybe not quite that far, but still... The combination of leather and textile allows them to drop a lot of bulk in areas that usually bunch up, while still remaining protective and effective against wind and cold when it matters. Plus, how awesome is that wiper blade built into your left index finger?
The protection basics are covered with the TPR hard shell knuckle, but you also get an additional TPU protector at the pinky as well as a palm slider. Combine that with the PU injected finger knuckles and the foam along the base of the thumb and palm and you have 360-degree protection. The only thing lacking is any protection or padding at the wrist. I have crashed in these (on my second pair now). Considering that I did a super-man and a summersault onto the pavement, the minimal amount of damage is impressive.
In regards to temperature, I am most comfortable wearing the Summits between 50-75 degrees. They block the wind quite well for cooler mornings and evenings, but breath well enough to handle some sun. The waterproof liner adds just enough bulk to be a barrier to feeling your controls, however, the added grip-paneling on the palm compensates nicely for this.
So now for the tricky part! If you’ve done a lot of research on the gloves, you’ll find that many people say they are not waterproof. Many others will say that they’ve had no problems. Here are my two cents; waterproofing is not an on/off switch! These gloves are consistently waterproof to a point, but will eventually take on water in certain conditions.
The reason for this has to do with the type of leather exterior. The leather is fairly porous (helping with breathability) and the outer skin eventually gets a bit waterlogged. Many people feel this sensation through the Hydratex liner and exclaim -- not waterproof! However, if they were to pull their hands out at this point, they would find them dry. Once the leather becomes soaked, the water has a tendency to creep around the glove a bit more. If you reach the leather-soaked point, you have about 15 minutes before you’ll start to feel some wetness.
The good news is that this doesn’t happen unless you’ve been in a soaking rain for over 45 minutes. It takes a lot of water and time to get the leather waterlogged. My commute is 30 minutes and I’ve never had my hands get wet, even in heavy rain. I’ve also been in light rain for an extended period of time, without any water getting through. The achilles is when you are in a heavy rain for an extended period.
A piece of advice: in heavy rain, wear your sleeves tightly OVER your gloves. This prevents the water on your shoulders and arms from running down into the backside of your glove as you ride. The water is much less likely to work its way under your sleeve from the front, as long as you have a tight wrist enclosure.
For me, the REV'IT! Summit H20 gloves succeed at their intended purpose. They keep me comfortable in spring/fall and keep me dry on my 30 minute commute. Their strength outweighs their weakness for my riding style.
-- Chris K.