Hands are often the first body parts to hit the ground in the event of a crash or tip-over, so properly fitting gloves with ample protection are a must-have in any motorcyclist’s wardrobe. The problem with gloves is that they’re usually tailored to one or two types of riding weather. Unlike many of today’s motorcycle jackets, riders simply can’t take liners out of their gloves and zip open vents to increase breathability (at least not yet).
Fortunately, Alpinestars has made several positive changes to their Apex Drystar Gloves for 2016. The prior model was praised for being high in quality and functionality at a low price point. Astars follows the same formula for the updated model, packing the gloves full of features while remaining budget friendly.
I have several pairs of gloves and gauntlets by Alpinestars, all sized in small to fit snug against my girly hands. The Drystar Gloves, however, run a tad too long in the fingers, though not long enough to snag when reaching for the clutch and brake lever. The length also causes the touchscreen-compatible index finger to become useless for me, as it mushes against my phone like a soggy French-fry.
In the 2016 model, I was pleasantly surprised with a bridge across the third and fourth finger, a feature Alpinestars usually uses on their higher-end sport gauntlets. This small patch of leather could save a couple of your fingers in a crash and Astars was thoughtful to include it on this fairly inexpensive glove.
The new Drystars performed as expected during rainy conditions, as my hands stayed warm and dry while foam padding on stress areas of the palms prevented cramping on long rides. The disappointment came during sub-freezing commuting. Even though the glove offers 100g/sqm Thinsulate lining on the backhand, it just wasn’t enough to keep my fingers from getting frosty on the highway. Alpinestars decided to replace the old model’s leather with Polyamide, which I think set the cold resistance back a few notches, making it a fantastic early spring to late fall glove, but unsuitable for winter.
It’s hard to find hard knuckle, high quality gauntlets of this caliber for less than $100. Whether they’ll be your main commuting gloves or back-up rain gloves, as long as it isn’t too cold and your hands aren’t too small, you’ll stay happy and dry. MSRP: $89.95 Alpinestars.com
|▲ Low price point||▼ Not warm enough to wear in the winter|
|▲ Abrasion resistance on key impact zones||▼ One color
|▲ High water resistance that works|
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