Advancements in glove technology construction have moved at a snail’s pace for what seems like forever. As a supplier of waterproof seat covers, I’ve had my share of wet-weather riding as I test my product in all types of conditions. I’ve learned a few things over the years about gloves and what a rider needs from this sometimes overlooked piece of equipment. Gore-Tex introduced the world to the waterproof/breathable membrane. Along with others in the industry, the membrane has reached a near perfect state of the art. While the breathable part of the equation can be a bit iffy at times, the general level of competence is so well developed that functionally the membrane works as intended.
So, if the membrane is so good, why this review? The problem with most motorcycle rain gloves is in the construction technology and lining materials. Most waterproof gloves are constructed with an outer shell of leather, textile, or some combination, a waterproof membrane, and a glove liner; in essence, the glove is a waterproof “baggie” captured between the shell and the liner. This method of construction results in a perceptible feeling of disconnect between the rider’s hand and the motorcycle grip due to slippage — the “baggie” free-floats between the shell and liner. This was the only way to construct the glove, until now.
Gore Grip is a newly developed construction method that effectively bonds the waterproof/breathable membrane to the shell of the glove. With the membrane no longer free-floating, any feeling of disconnect has been eliminated. The effect is a glove that feels no different from your regular riding glove.
The other big issue with old glove construction technology is the liner used. A ride in wet weather of any significant length usually results in at least one remove/replace glove cycle and can introduce moisture into a glove. Gloves are often the last thing put back on at any sort of stop (after wet helmets, wet jackets and what have you) and results in a damp hand or a completely wet hand inserted into the glove. A lightly fleeced liner becomes like Crazy Glue when wet, and the glove liner seems to have supernatural resistance to having the human hand inserted. And when a wet hand is withdrawn it can bring the glove liner out with it! At best, the liner simply twists as you struggle to insert your slightly damp hand into your glove.
Those days are also gone with the new Gore Grip assembly method. Because the membrane is bonded to the shell, it doesn’t move, dislodge, or resist a slightly damp hand.
Gore Grip technology is showing up in more and more offerings, and you’ll find it described in some first-generation products as Gore-Tex X-Trafit. Either way, your older glove technology has been replaced with something much better. Like most things Gore, the price reflects the quality and innovation Gore is known for. It’s worth it. My HELD rain gloves with either of these names work fantastically and have eliminated any and all problems of both wet hands and liner integrity or the lack of it.
[Originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2019 issue of On The Level.]