Alpinestars introduced a new sport touring glove that is perfect for spring riding. The XT-5 Gore-text gloves strike a careful balance between winter warmth and cooling breathability in milder weather. With spring just around the corner, this is a good time to take stock of your old gloves and consider upgrading.
The XT-5 gauntlet cuffs extend approximately two inches above the wrist. In cold or wet weather, the cinch cord can be used to close the glove opening against the jacket sleeve, or under the sleeve if preferred. A significant benefit of the gauntlet style glove is the wrist. In a crash, the strap helps prevent the glove from tearing off. Alpinestars took an unusual approach here. They attached a first strap at two points on the top of the hand, and then used a second strap to evenly pull the glove snuggly around the inside. The result is a more even and comfortable fit.
But the real design innovation here is the glove inside a glove. The team at Alpinestars incorporated a shorter glove inside the outer gauntlet glove. The inner glove is comfortable and does the work needed to keep hands warm and comfortable while the outer gauntlet provides a lightweight waterproof shell and crash protection. However, unlike the thermal liners in Alpinestars Range 2-in-1 gloves, the XT-5 inner glove cannot be removed.
Alpinestars used 7 distinct materials in the construction of the XT-5 glove. The first 4 are all about rider comfort.
The shell is constructed with a ripstop synthetic material. Woven spandex at the index and middle finger joints add flexibility to make a long day working the controls enjoyable.
The palm and inside finger surfaces are covered with synthetic suede and woven spandex for flexibility. Finally, a GORE-TEX membrane works to keep water out but still allow the glove to breath; an ideal combination for spring riding. Like most gloves today, the XT-5 has touch-screen sensitive conductive material woven into both thumb and index fingers.
Like many high-performance gloves, Alpinestars put a bridge across the ring and pinky fingers to improve ergonomics and provide greater stability and control under aggressive riding conditions. The bridge also affords greater protection for the pinky finger, which is often injured in a crash.
Plenty of Rider Protection
In addition to the 4 materials chosen for comfort, Alpinestars XT-5 gloves incorporate 3 other materials to protect riders in a crash. First, the knuckle area is protected by a molded high-impact resin compound that Alpinestars calls SP Lite. These protectors are not as pronounced as those on race gloves, but more so than what you find on typical touring gloves.
The palm itself is covered by a leather pad. In addition, the impact area is protected by a panel that Alpinestars calls AR Shield without explanation. As it turns out, the panel is made from aramidic fiber, a strong heat resistant synthetic material used in a variety of applications including military equipment and body armor.
The XT-5 has been tested and certified to meet European safety standards for intermediate-level motorcycle personal protective equipment and specifically meets level 1 knuckle protection requirements.
But Not Perfect
There’s a lot to like about these gloves, but a couple things that could be better. First, the gauntlet cuff falls on the mid-length end of the spectrum. If you like wearing the cuff outside your jacket sleeve, you may not be happy with this product.
Secondly, Alpinestars did not add a visor wiper on the left thumb (or the right for that matter). The weather can be unpredictable on a spring ride, and that simple ridge of rubber makes seeing through rain a whole lot better. This is a big oversight on a glove designed for sport touring.
Finally, don’t be misled by the product description some retailers are using. These are not true leather and suede gloves. Yes, the palm is leather, and there are suede inserts, but much of the shell is made from synthetic ripstop nylon fabric. This isn’t a product problem, just a possible misconception that can lead to unmet expectations.
A Solid Choice for Spring Rides
The XT-5 GORE-TEX gloves from Alpinestar are an excellent choice for spring sport touring adventures. Yes, there are a couple minor shortcomings, but overall Alpinestars’ product quality is first class. On top of that, testing and certification to meet European safety standards is further assurance that these gloves will deliver when it counts.
Alpinestars XT-5 gloves are available now at brick and mortar and online retailers. The manufacturers price at the time of this review is $179.95. Sizes range from small to triple extra-large. Use the size guide on the Alpinestars website to find the correct size based on the circumference of your hand. If you happen to order the wrong size, Alpinestars will exchange the gloves provided they are returned within 30 days with the original tags attached. Alpinestars also provides a 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects.
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