Before we came to make our selections for this best adventure motorcycle glove review, first we had to define – and agree on – what an adventure motorcycle glove is.
Our review criteria
We set a fairly stringent review criteria for this adventure bike gloves showcase because if we didn’t, then this review would end up featuring all sorts of gloves that many people aren’t interested in. From long-cuff touring gloves to motocross gloves, we’ve tried to set a criteria that excludes these.
If you buy into our thinking, then this review will help you find a great pair of gloves for your adventure motorcycle exploits.
- A short motorcycle glove
- Must feature leather in its construction
- More protection than an MX glove but less than a racing glove
- Good ventilation
- High-quality technical materials
- Bonus points if it has CE approval
- Bonus points if it has Adventure styling, so it fits in with a typical adventure-bike rider’s gear
We also came to the conclusion that most adventure-bike riders have space to, and most likely will, carry a couple of different sets of gloves with them. Perhaps a more all-weather glove for road riding and a lightweight vented glove for any off-roading, green-laning or sunny spells.
This shortlist features our top picks but if they don’t float your boat, we’ve also listed a handful (!) of other great options that made our shortlist.
There is a CE-standard for motorcycle gloves, EN 13594:2015. It is broken down into two categories, Level 1 and Level 2.
Motorcycle gloves with Level 1 performance provide a lower level of protection but offer greater flexibility than Level 2, whereas Level 2 gloves provide increased protection but due to their increased amount of protective armour, they may not be as flexible as a Level 1 glove.
Before you buy
When it comes to buying, the usual mantra of buying the best you can applies to gloves as it does any product. Always look for the certification tabs (even if, annoyingly, some still don’t state exactly which they adhere to…).
Some people also like the RiDE magazine reviews. You can find some gloves with a RiDE Recommended rating or a RiDE Best Buy which might be all the validation you require.
If you’re mainly riding on the road, you’re probably looking for a slightly more road orientated adventure glove, perhaps with more leather than fabric and more weather protection too.
Do your homework before purchasing and try on as many pairs as you can, to get a good understanding of what works for you.
The best adventure gloves for you
It’s impossible to say ‘this is the best adventure glove’ as different gloves fit different riders in different ways.
However the best gloves all have build quality, protection and comfort in common.
Your gloves need to be comfortable, you’ll be wearing them for a long time. When it comes to comfort, price isn’t always the best gauge. Some of the most expensive gloves pack in a whole host of armour and clever retention systems but there’s no getting away from the fact they’re not as comfortable as other gloves that haven’t gone all out in the protection stakes.
As you have seen from our strict criteria above, all the gloves in this review have met a very high bar.
Adventure Motorcycle Glove Buyer's Guide
It's a good idea to try on different sets of motorcycle gloves from different manufacturers in order to find the best set for you. Every glove is different and they're all built to a standard defined by each manufacturer. If you buy the first pair you try, you'll never know if it really is the best glove for you.
If you're looking for the best adventure motorcycle gloves, these are the features that we think you should be looking out for.
- Wrist strap: A cuff strap is mandatory but a wrist strap will keep the glove in place in the event of an accident and by doing so, keep it comfortable too.
- Hard armour: Hard armour on the knuckles on the back of your hand will reduce the impact force if you slap your hand down in an accident. If this is a single piece it won't be as comfortable as a split-piece protector.
- Finger bridge: This is where the little finger (pinky) is joined to the ring finger. This reduces the chances of your little finger being dragged back when sliding and ending up broken.
- Ventilation: Any ventilation will create airflow and reduce the sweat build-up. Sweaty hands are uncomfortable and they could be the cause of blisters.
- Double-stitching: Double stitching in impact areas (or ideally across the majority of the glove), will help prevent the glove from bursting in an impact.
- Double-layered leather: If your glove features any panels of double-thickness or dual-layer leather then it'll help the glove hold-up to any abrasion tears caused by prolonged contact with the tarmac.
From under £100 to £300
There’s quite a difference when it comes to the cost of adventure motorcycle gloves. There are plenty of great options around the £80 mark, which might make you wonder why some cost £300. As you’ll see from our review below, the most expensive gloves aren’t just down to brand snobbery – they often pack in more features. It’s up to you to decide what you must have and what’s nice to have.
Although the price has been a factor in our considerations, we’ve recommended the gloves that we think are the best available right now – we haven’t just gone for the most expensive.
If our picks don’t work for you in terms of budgets, brands or features, then refer to our shortlist where you’re sure to find another great option.
Our Top Picks
Leather and textile vented adventure glove
If comfort, feel and protection are top of your list, then look no further than the Rev’it Dirt 3. Featuring top quality protection in the form of drum-dried goats leather which is tough yet supple, TPR hard-shell knuckle, palm-slider and finger knuckle armour. They’re also touchscreen sensitive, meaning you don’t have to take them off when you’re checking your sat nav. Plus, they have a great adventure-tough look.
High-quality construction, serious protection
First and foremost, we’re not going to deny this is a great-looking adventure glove. However, it’s backed up with a proper spec too. Made from leather and mesh, reinforced with suede inserts for added comfort and flexibility. There’s a hard-knuckle protector, and a finger-bridge to prevent your little finger separating on impact. They feature great details; they’re touch-screen ready and the narrow cuff makes them easy to stuff into your jacket sleeves.
The best cheap adventure motorcycle gloves
You don’t need to spend more than £50 on a pair of adventure motorcycle gloves; there are lots of decent sets for those on a budget.
This pair of MX Air gloves from Spada cost just £34.99 and represent great value for money.
They have a motocross style but they’re beefier than a pair of MX gloves. Nylon air mesh and Neoprene construction with added Clarino palms, they’re lightweight and comfortable. Backed up with full carbon-vented knuckles, TPU finger armour and foam inserts for additional padding.
The most expensive motorcycle gloves
Almost two-hundred quid for a pair of motorcycle gloves? At that price, they better be something special.
They’re not cheap, we admit it but these Rev’it Dominator GTX gloves have totally nailed the adventure motorcycle look and not to mention spec.
Made from full-grain leather and goatskin, they are perforated for maximum airflow, feature hard-knuckle TPU armour a palm slider and additional thumb protection. Externally stitched and featuring a Tricot fabric lining to make them super comfortable. Not cheap but fabulously well made.
Whether they’re worth £200 is down to you.
In the same price bracket but slightly more touring than adventure are these Ceres Gore-Tex gloves from Rukka. They’re the top-quality you’d expect from Rukka and like all their kit, they’ll probably last as long as you will but the price tag will be too salty for most..
More armour doesn't always mean a better glove. Some gloves with armour on the palms can be less comfortable than those without.
A finger bridge lowers the risk of your little finger bending back and breaking in the event of a spill. Some people find them restrictive - you can always snip this with scissors.
If you're after improved feel, look for gloves that use goatskin or kangaroo hide as it's thinner and stronger than the equivalent thickness cowhide.
If you get blisters on your palms, this is probably because you're gripping the bars too tightly, but if your gloves aren't ventilated, sweat build-up will quickly cause your skin to become prone to blistering. Vented gloves will help, as will relaxing your grip.
Our shortlist: The best adventure motorcycle gloves
We found over 200 different pairs of short-cuff adventure motorcycle gloves on the market – that’s a lot of choices.
We whittled our list down to 30 different pairs by applying our criteria and then picking a maximum of two pairs of gloves from each manufacturer.
Our target was a shortlist of 5 different gloves for you to choose from.
We removed the gloves that just didn’t quite cut the mustard. So if our two picks above don’t work for you, one of the pairs of gloves from our shortlist will.
Acerbis Carbon Gloves
From off-road specialists Acerbis, these gloves have the MX look but feature hard knuckle protection and finger padding. There are no seams on the fingertips, making them ultra-comfortable. They’re touchscreen capable and they’re CE certified too. RRP £55.
Alpinestars Cross Air Touring
Our Runner Up
First and foremost, we’re not going to deny this is a great-looking adventure glove. However, it’s backed up with a proper spec too. Made from leather and mesh, reinforced with suede inserts for added comfort and flexibility. There’s a hard-knuckle protector, and a finger-bridge to prevent your little finger separating on impact. They feature great details; they’re touch-screen ready and the narrow cuff makes them easy to stuff into your jacket sleeves. RRP £85
Klim Inversion Pro Adventure
A textile and leather glove featuring Gore Windstopper material which prevents wind chill, keeping these thin gloves comfortable in all but the coldest conditions. RRP £100.
Knox Orsa OR3
Knox has to be congratulated on their clever motorcycle gear and these Orsa gloves are no different. Featuring their trademark Boa closure system, the gloves also have seamless fingers, scaphoid and palm protection, alongside a gel honeycomb knuckle shield and a handy visor wipe. RRP £85.
Rev’it Dirt 3
Our Top Pick
If comfort, feel and protection are top of your list, then look no further than the Rev’it Dirt 3. Featuring top quality protection in the form of drum-dried goats leather which is tough yet supple, TPR hard-shell knuckle, palm-slider and finger knuckle armour. They’re also touchscreen sensitive, meaning you don’t have to take them off when you’re checking your sat nav. Plus, they have a great adventure-tough look. RRP £85.
Motorcycle gloves FAQs
Should I tuck my gloves in or wear them over my jacket?
If you’re wearing short gloves then they won’t tuck in or over your cuffs anywhere near as well as a full-length glove. However, for most adventure riders, airflow is important over out-and-out protection from the elements or abrasion, which is why short motorcycle gloves are a popular choice.
Thanks to the following websites which helped us research and write this review of the best adventure gloves
Motorcycle clothing CE Ratings: