Bondo and ‘arris get a pair of Alpinestars gloves each as part of our long term gear testing. First off, a little bit about them and first opinions.
Alpinestars Apex DRYSTAR Touring Gloves – Steve Bond
It appears that Editor ‘arris has a size larger hand than myself. Not breaking news unto itself, but it meant that the 2XL Alpinestars Apex DRYSTAR Gloves that he’d been sent were just a bit too snug and so I became the default tester thanks to my altogether daintier digits.
These gloves are marketed as all-weather, all-season touring gloves with a goat skin chassis with padded textile palm reinforcements. The knuckle protector is molded plastic while fingers are protected by extra foam padding.
For extra flexibility, the gloves have accordion-style textile material on top of the hand and around the thumb area. They have a full-length wrist gauntlet with dual wrist adjustments and another accordion textile panel on the large wrist closure tab.
The soft, insulated velour lining isn’t bulky, yet provides extra insulation. And, so you know whose gloves you’re wearing, there is a heat-molded A-stars logo on the wrist strap, with an embroidered A-stars logo on the forefinger.
I’m not overly anal about any particular piece of riding gear … except gloves. I don’t like my fingers to be cramped, I like the gloves to be flexible but most of all, I don’t like bulky. I hate it when several layers of leather, synthetics or goalie padding comes between my sensitive digits and the controls.
I’ve only worn the Apex Drystar gloves a couple of times and never in the pouring rain, but as far as comfort goes, so far so good.
List price is C$109.95 at Parts Canada dealers. Colours are Red/Black, Blue/Black and just Black, with sizing from Small to 2XL.
Alpinestars Thunder Gloves – Editor ‘arris
I was a tad miffed to say the least to have to pass over the Apex gloves to Bondo. I was missing two gloves for my riding season – a touring/waterproof pair and a cool/dual-sport pair.
Having ‘generously’ passed on the waterproof pair I thought I’d try my luck and see if Alpinestars would also ship us a pair of shorty gloves and a week later had a pair of their new Thunder Gloves.
Unlike most shorty gloves, the Thunder gloves come down the wrist further than most and they’re designed to breathe (thanks to a mesh upper surface) with decent protection (synthetic leather palm and some padding) including a real carbon-fibre knuckle guard.
Little thoughtful bits include two rubbery strips on the index and middle fingers for better grip of the leavers, a Velcro strip at the wrist for a sealed fit and an extended tab to help pull the gloves on.
This style of glove is not only perfect for when I take the KLR out in the trails on a hot day, but also for a road ride when a standard pair of gloves are just too hot but you don’t want to sacrifice the protection.
Unfortunately Alpinestars told me that they only go up to a 2XL in the Thunder glove too, but reckon that a different enough fit and made with material that has more stretch, that they should give to my bear-like hands.
So far they fit well enough to not have to find another dainty fingered tester to take them off my hands, but oddly they are a little short on my middle finger and a little long on my pinky.
Of course I may have deformed fingers and only just found out about it, but the gloves do feel like they’ll give somewhat but we’ll see just how much over time.
List price is C$99.95 at Parts Canada dealers, and they come in Black, Blue, Red, Sand, Black/White and sizes small to 2XL.