The advances in the technical garment industry constantly provides new, improved materials to protect us from adverse weather conditions, as well as having an improved feel so that our motorcycle riding is optimum, even in winter.
Now that the winter months are upon us, it is important to maintain the warmth and feel in our hands for safe riding. To this end, one of the most usual solutions amongst glove manufacturers is to opt for the Gore-Tex brand in their products.
Now, this brand also includes the X-TRAFIT technology. This is an innovative design with various layers of gore-Tex membrane bound by internal grip straps that keep them in place, thus notably reducing the thickness of the glove, as well as providing optimum feel, great softness and flexibility. Therefore, the great difference as regards standard Gore-Tex membrane is that it is bound to the outer leather or fabric, thus providing greater sensitivity for perfect control, improving our feel without sacrificing the thermal protection of a winter glove. We’ll appreciate this feel when carrying out routine actions, like adjusting a zip, opening a backpack or putting on glasses.
To this end, today we’ll present three different models from three different manufacturers that have incorporated the Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT technology in order to offer winter gloves that do not sacrifice feel when riding: the Dainese Carbon, the Rukka Argosaurus and the Alpinestars Archer.
Dainese Carbon Gore-Tex X-Trafit
These Dainese are mainly made of cowhide, although the palm area is made of goatskin with suede reinforcements, which provide better abrasion resistance.
They also include a carbon fibre protection in the knuckle area, polyurethane inserts in the palm and the metacarpus area, as well as the soft areas which require greater mobility.
Also, the little finger has small TPU reinforcements on the sides and the “Distortion Control” protection, as a slider. On the other hand, the stretch fabric inserts guarantee a high comfort level, whilst the double Velcro fastening ensures an optimum and secure closure. Finally, to highlight that the reflective elements incorporated are very useful for night riding due to their optimum visibility under situations of poor light.
Rukka Argosaurus Gore-Tex X-Trafit
With the Argosaurus, the Finnish manufacturer has a product devised to be 100% waterproof and to protect us from the wind without losing one iota of feel. These are one of the most sensitive gloves incorporating this technology, with a finer layer between our hand and the bike’s grips.
They have titanium protection on the knuckles. Also, this area is conditioned with ventilation thanks to a double air vent. Each finger has its own reinforcement, looking to protect the metacarpus in the event of a fall and there is a specific one on the little finger against possible lateral abrasions.
A practical detail incorporated by the brand, thinking that the gloves will almost certainly be used under wet conditions, is a reinforcement on the left thumb that functions as a visor wipe.
The area of the palm has a double layer of leather with Kevlar stitching and TPU protection in the heel of the hand and foam of the same material inside the thumb. The fastener is of Velcro on the lower part, with an additional Velcro band that envelopes the wrist in order to avoid the glove coming off.
Alpinestars Archer Gore-Tex X-Trafit
Made of top quality leather, the Alpinestars Archer have a very high protection level and their protections have been tested on the track.
The knuckle protector is made of double composite TPU and incorporates air vents with an exit port. This system, baptised by the brand as Dynamic Friction Shield, has Poly-foam padding for a better fit. There is also a TPU slider on the “heel” of the hand and foam of the same material on the palm and side of the hand, which contribute to the abrasion protection.
One of the unique characteristics of these gloves is found on the bridge that joins the little finger with the ring finger, an Alpinestars patented solution to prevent their twisting and separating in the event of an accident. The left thumb also includes a TPR screen wipe to remove dirt or water from the visor. To finish off the set we have reflective elements and perforated EVA foam padding in the quest for comfort and greater ventilation.
The fastener is double Velcro system with a Velcro strap for fitting, the same as found in most of its competitors.
As we have seen, each manufacturer places their differential seal on their gloves in spite of them incorporating the same technology.
The Dainese Carbon are those with the thickest fabric, providing more protection against the cold. However, the Rukka have more feel than its rivals, due to them being thinner. The Alpinestars Archer are halfway between both, aiming at a compromise in protection, weatherise as well as against impacts.
It’s the user’s job to choose the gloves according to their bike (we don’t need the same wind protection if we are on a large touring bike compared to a naked one) and the weather conditions where we live. You will always have the last word, so don’t forget that the ergonomic parameters are different for each need and that any of these three pairs will provide the ideal solution, but different according to your needs.