AGV and Dainese 2012 Summer Style Series:
▪ AGV Grid Helmet Review
▪ Dainese Aspide Jacket Review
▪ Dainese Air Frame Jacket Review
▪ AGV K4 EVO Helmet Review
▪ Dainese D1 Kevlar Jeans Review
▪ Dainese Asphalt Shoes Review
▪ Dainese Druids Gloves Review
The Dainese Druids gloves are a street-sport type that is lightweight and with high levels of protection.
Features include a large knuckle protector, carbon fiber sliders over the secondary knuckles and TPU protectors on the outside of the hand.
The quality level is high and the Druids gloves come in a variety of colors to match any outfit.
They are also available in a short gauntlet version, called the Druids S-ST.
This is the final installment in our 2012 "Summer Style Series", featuring AGV and Dainese outfits.
The concept was to bring you a selection of mix-and-match outfits that are more than just functional.
After all, little style never hurt anyone...as long as it doesn't get in the way of safety!
Another important criteria for all of the gear in this Series was comfort when riding in hot weather, while keeping in mind that all-important protection factor.
As we have mentioned several times, there are always compromises and choices to be made. I find it more difficult to ride in hot weather than cold, so any gear that performs in summer gets my interest.
The all-leather Dainese Druids gloves do not include mesh or textile, but they do have a nice combination of light weight and a surprising number of protective features borrowed from the huge Dainese race glove catalog.
I'll have to assume that the Druids gloves are named for the famous corner at Britain's Oulton Park race circuit rather than those mysterious priests who left nary a trace. When you have 56 (count 'em) different gloves in your product lineup, finding unique and suitable names probably isn't all that easy, but Druids is fine with me.
The Druids gloves are new for 2012 and I'd classify them as a street and/or sport glove, with a different mix of protective features than appeared on the Dainese Carbon Cover gloves (review) we reviewed last year on webBikeWorld.
The Druids gloves don't lack for very much at all when it comes to protection, as you'll see. In fact, these may be a near-perfect compromise of light weight and good protection. And I do mean light: a single Druids glove in size large weights only 127 grams, or about 4.5 ounces in old money.
To pare down the avoirdupois, the gloves are made from goat hide, which is said to be lighter, thinner and stronger than its bovine equivalent. The goat skin feels softer than heavy cowhide also, which means it doesn't require a lining in the palms.
A thin layer of lightly-padded synthetic fabric runs along the top of the inside body of the gloves and it all comes together with comfort while giving the wearer an excellent feel through the grips, "can't feel 'em" heft and some transpiration of moisture besides.
The Druids gloves shown here match the Bela Oxmyx styling of the bianco/nero/bianco Dainese Asphalt shoes (review) and, surprisingly (to me anyway), the white and black pairing looks pretty flossy.
Who every thought about matching your riding gloves with motorcycle boots? Not me...but that's exactly the sort of thing this Style Series is meant to do.
We actually consulted a local style maven about this and she said (more or less): "Tying together the boot and gloves colors is a good way to "anchor" the outfit, bringing some order and echoing a theme that demonstrates thought has gone into the clothing selection."
Now you may not think that's important or you might not care a whit, but again -- this is about stylin', so there you have it; a tip from the pros...
The light weight is deceiving, because the Druids gloves really lack for nothing when it comes to the protective features webBikeWorld readers demand.
Most noticeable, of course, is the big honkin' main knuckle protector on the back of the hand.
It's made from carbon fiber and it's actually split horizontally across the middle.
The split is covered by rolled sections of leather, which act as a sort of hinge to add some flexibility to this big protector.
The carbon fiber feels solid, appears to be thick and generally has that overall "Dainese quality" look.
Compared to the cheaper stuff found on, well, cheaper gloves, the carbon fiber on the Druids gloves wins hands down, if you'll pardon the pun.
The carbon fiber is repeated on the middle knuckles of each finger, plus once more over the first knuckle of the third finger on each glove.
All of these carbon fiber bits are sewn under the leather, with the stitches going through a rim around each carbon fiber section, so it's unlikely they will come loose in a crash.
The gloves have a large thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) slider on the outside at the heel of the hand, along with another TPU protector over the main knuckle of the pinky finger. this one is called a "DCP" (Distortion Control Protection) slider and it also helps keep the pinky finger from rolling under during a slide.
An extra section of leather is double-stitched on to the palm and a small section runs up along the outside of the hand. Extra leather is used also along the outside of the hand at the pinky finger and in the palm for wear protection in the hand grip area.
The Druids gloves come in sizes ranging from XS to XXL and in all black or black with white, red, gray, green or blue. The colors replace the white sections seen on the gloves in these photos.
These are size large and they fit as expected. This particular style and leather type (the goat skin) will stretch a bit. The body of the glove felt just a bit snug at first on my "normal" size large hands and the finger length is perfect except the length of the pinky finger, which feels a couple of millimeters short for me but it hasn't been a problem.
The fingers are a bit unusual in that the index and second fingers have the "two walls, floor and ceiling" construction design found on the Carbon Cover gloves, while the third and fourth fingers and the thumb have the top and bottom sections of leather joined, ending in a semi-circle at the fingertip in a downward taper.
The "walls, floor and ceiling" construction is usually found in touring gloves and the combined methods used in the Druids gloves are a good hybrid and it works well, especially since I always keep my index and second fingers covering the brake and clutch lever, so the extra room comes in handy.
The Druids gloves have a nicely sized gauntlet that fits over the sleeve cuffs of any of the lighter-weight summer jackets I've tried, including, of course, the Dainese Air Frame jacket (review) and the Dainese Aspide jacket (review) included as part of this Summer Style Series.
The gloves have a wrist cinch strap on the inside; it feeds through a metal D-ring attached to a short length of leather at the top outside of the wrist and it uses hook-and-loop fastener to attach.
The gauntlet has a padded section that folds around the outside of the wrist as a separate double section for added protection, then secures underneath with a large section of hook-and-loop material. The location of both the wrist strap and the fold-over gauntlet, on the outside of the wrist, keep them from interfering with good motorcycle control and they also do not interfere with the bending of the wrist, both of which are important.
This is a very good security system and the gloves should not pull off if secured correctly. It's also a better system than found on most summer gloves, and I'd much rather have this security than not.
The leather or goat hide used on the Druids gloves is nearly all solid, with a half-dozen or so small perforation holes on the inside of each finger.
The goat skin is light and naturally breathable, so more ventilation really isn't necessary. I haven't noticed that the Druids gloves feel warmer than other mesh gloves and the protective quality of these is an excellent tradeoff in any case.
Some of the mesh or "summer" gloves I've tried don't flow much air anyway, especially if they include heavy foam padding on the inside, which tends to trap heat and act as an insulator. Natural leather -- or in this case, goat skin -- has some breathability through the pores.
Although I don't feel air flowing directly through the gloves, the pores apparently let the moisture transpire to the outside and it all seems to work very nicely.
The Dainese Druids gloves have typical Dainese quality and the combination of light weight and protective features carried over from race gloves make an excellent compromise for hot-weather riding with very good protection.
The price is probably a bit more than you'd pay for a cheap pair of mesh gloves, but considering the features and the comfort of knowing they provide more than a minimal amount of protection, the extra cost is acceptable.
And don't forget how well the Druids gloves match with the Asphalt boots, the perfect finishing touch for any of our Summer Style Series outfits!
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From "D.W." (June 2012): "I really agree with the assessment of goatskin feeling cooler than you might expect. I recently picked up some Sedici Rapido Leather Motorcycle Gloves and the goatskin really cools the gloves better than most mesh gloves I have used, with the added benefit of good protection!"