Is there such a thing as a fully waterproof motorcycle glove?
In years of riding, I’ve found that it’s down to how you wear your gloves as well as what they’re made from. It’s no use having totally waterproof gloves if the rainwater runs down your jacket’s sleeves and back into the gloves. You’ll end up with wet fingers, just the same.
Waterproofing is a bit of an art. I’ve found that when you’re kitting up for a long ride where you know the conditions aren’t great, it pays off to take your time making sure everything is as sealed as possible. From your neck tube and storm collar to the way your gloves are tucked into (or out of) your jacket.
That said, Gore-Tex gloves offer you the best protection from wet (and cold) hands when you’re out on your motorbike.
Of course, you don’t have to be riding through torrential rain in order to benefit from Gore-Tex gloves. Although most of the gloves that use a Gore-Tex lining are winter thermal gloves, you can also get summer gloves and short-cuff touring gloves that use Gore-Tex. These gloves are ideal for coping with a shower but also ensuring your hands can ‘breathe’ and not get clammy.
Can one pair of gloves do everything?
As with everything motorcycling, there’s rarely a single bit of kit that covers all conditions. So if you’re after Gore-Tex motorcycle gloves, you might find the best compromise isn’t in having one pair of gloves, it’s in having two!
My approach is to put the most I can justify into a Gore-Tex winter glove that’s going to be waterproof and warm. Then I carry a cheaper set of short-cuff summer gloves for dry-weather use.
What you need to spend
Cheap and Gore-Tex aren’t usually found in the same sentence. However, there are gloves that use a Gore-Tex lining and are very well priced. We’ve also featured some gloves that are cheaper than regular gloves that only use a waterproof coating.
In our experience, you need to pay around 50% more for a pair of Gore-Tex gloves compared to a regular pair of waterproof gloves. So if your upper limit for a pair of gloves is £80, you need to be looking at gloves for around £120 to get something of similar quality.
From under £80 to £250+
There’s quite a difference when it comes to the cost of Gore-Tex motorcycle gloves. If you don’t want to spend more money than you would on a regular glove, you’re far better off spending a bit more on a pair of normal waterproof motorbike gloves than buying the cheapest pair of Gore-Tex gloves.
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 and are made from better materials. 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 Gore-Tex gloves that we think are the best available right now. If there are two pairs of gloves that offer very similar performance but one’s half the price of the other, then, of course, we’ve recommended the cheaper pair.
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 a great option.
Our Gore-Tex gloves review criteria
We’ve set strict criteria for this gloves buying guide because with 100s of pairs of Gore-Tex gloves on the market, we can afford to be picky.
- Every set of gloves has to be full length. A waterproof glove that doesn’t reach your jacket sleeves is no use to anyone.
- Minimum CE Level 1 Certified
- Bonus points if they have a wrist strap in addition to the standard cuff strap
- Bonus points if they have knuckle armour
- Bonus points if they have a little-finger bridge
There are a lot of Gore-Tex gloves on our longlist but we boiled this down to 5 great gloves for the shortlist.
The best gloves for you
It’s impossible to say ‘this is the best motorcycle Gore-Tex glove’. As mentioned above, different gloves work for different riders in different situations.
However, the best gloves all have top-quality construction, 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.
Ticks all the boxes, RiDE magazine Best Buy
Richa have pulled out all the stops with their Street Touring Gore-Tex gloves. They’re made from leather with a Gore-Tex internal membrane. The glove is constructed with double-stitching for added abrasion protection and it also means the gloves will last longer in daily use. There is a wrist and cuff strap for a secure fit and hard armour on the knuckles and soft armour in the finger areas. If I only had one pair of gloves for all my riding needs, I’d go for these.
Mixed leather and textile full-length gloves
When it comes to winter riding, it’s not so much the rain but the biting cold that does you in. These full-length Rukka Fiennes gloves allow you to layer them with your jacket sleeve to stop the cold (and rain) creeping in. They’re made from leather and textile mix and are waterproof and breathable. There’s knuckle and scaphoid armour and a wrist strap for added protection and a more secure fit. The visor wipe on the left forefinger is a nice touch. If you hate cold hands, these are well worth a look.
Gore-Tex Adventure glove with D3O armour
Aimed at the adventure-bike rider who rides in summer, these mid-cuff Gore-Tex gloves are a decent 3-season option. The Gore-Tex lining means they’ll deal with heavy showers and remain breathable even on the hottest summer days. They’re touch-screen capable, include a visor wipe, a wrist strap and they have D3O armour in the knuckles. For hardcore winter treks, you’ll probably need a pair of gloves with a longer cuff to stay completely dry.
Two gloves in one, 5-year guarantee
If you’re looking for one pair of gloves to do it all, then these are what you need. The clever concept sees you slide your hand into the glove down one ‘channel’ to have a sports glove with loads of feel thanks to the thin but strong kangaroo hide palm but if you slide your hand into the other channel you’ve got a Gore-Tex lined fully waterproof, windproof and breathable all-weather glove. It sounds weird but it works. They also include hard knuckle protection, wrist and cuff adjustment, a visor wipe and come with a 5-year warranty. What more do you need?
The best cheap Gore-Tex motorcycle gloves
You don’t need to spend £200 on a pair of Gore-Tex motorcycle gloves; there are lots of decent sets around the £80 mark. This pair of Richa Gore-Tex Gloves costs just £65 and represent great value for money.
But while the Richa gloves above have a great spec and get good user reviews, we’d recommend spending a tiny bit more to get an even better glove. For around £20 more, these Rev’it Stratos motorcycle gloves are a brilliant feature-packed option from a well-respected brand. Made from goatskin leather with a Gore-Tex lining and Thinsulate fleece lining, they include flexible Seesoft knuckle armour and are a solid choice if you’re looking for a quality year-round Gore-Tex glove.
CE Approval for Motorcycle Gloves
There is a CE-standard for motorcycle gloves, EN 13594:2015. It is broken down into two categories, Level 1 and Level 2.
The areas tested include The cuff length, resistance to removal, knuckle impact protection, abrasion resistance, cut resistance, seam strength and tear strength. So as you can see, a lot goes into the CE approval.
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 qualities, they may not be as flexible as a Level 1 glove.
If your glove features the KP symbol on the CE approval label it means it has been tested on the Knuckle Protection test.
While you don’t have to wear CE approved kit in the UK, it’s worth noting if you ride in France you legally have to wear CE-approved gloves. That includes pillions!
Comfort vs Protection
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…).
Be cautious of sites like Amazon where sellers can claim CE approval willy-nilly. You should be asking what level of CE approval they have, what sport are they CE approved for?
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 looking for a set of Gore-Tex summer motorcycle gloves, then you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of feel as the Gore-Tex lining, although thin, will add a bit of bulk.
Do your homework before purchasing and try on as many pairs as you can, to get a good understanding of what works for you.