The Dainese Veleta gloves are an interesting new design for 2014.
The design is a successful mashup of features cribbed from motocross, adventure-touring and street touring gloves.
The Veleta gloves passed the webBikeWorld "Bucket Test" with flying colors; that is, they're completely waterproof, due to the Gore-Tex 3-layer X-TRAFIT technology.
The X-TRAFIT liner system also makes the Veleta gloves feel comfortable to wear.
Although there is no ventilation system in the gloves, the Gore-Tex membrane works under most conditions, keeping hands comfortable in temperatures ranging up to 31 C (87 F) as long as air passes over the gloves to help the wicking process.
The Veleta gloves are also officially CE certified to the CE Category 2, EN 13594/2010 Standard at Level 1 and this fact, combined with the Gore-Tex guarantee, definitely add value.
We'll both admit to being somewhat skeptical of the Dainese Veleta gloves at first, because like many other motorcyclists, we're programmed to think "hot and sticky" if we don't see leather and vents on a pair of motorcycle gloves.
But the latest Gore-Tex membrane types have been outstanding performers when included in the various gloves, jackets, pants and accessories we've reviewed over the last few years, so here was another chance to prove it.
webBikeWorld has been around long enough that we remember the days before Gore-Tex, believe it or not. We had mixed reactions to the stuff when it was first included in motorcycle gear, but now we can't imagine motorcycle life without it.
The bottom line on the Veleta gloves is that the Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT (info) system is efficient, although there's a catch and you can read more about that below. We've been using the gloves in riding temperatures that so far have been around 30 C (that's mid- to high-80's in old money).
The Veleta gloves are also very comfortable to wear, with a roomy fit and no seam irritation on the inside. This is due to both the high-quality Dainese construction and attention to detail and the X-TRAFIT liner system that has a bonded internal layer specifically designed to improve tactility.
First things first -- it's always fun to decipher the Dainese product name codes. In this case, we're assuming "Veleta" refers to the mountain in southern Spain of the same name. The word "veleta" apparently means something like "weather vane", so combine both and it's a good indication of the design intent for the Veleta gloves.
The Veleta gloves are different from other motorcycle gloves, mostly due to the variety of special features. One of those features -- the protective Dainese "Techno" inserts -- is unique enough to have a patent.
This is a technology that combines a stainless steel mesh between two layers of thermo-formed knuckle protector inserts for added protection without using stitches that might weaken that area.
The outer shell of the Veleta gloves is also different; it's a type of slightly elastic textile that feels like a cross between...well, it's hard to describe exactly. It's not like Cordura, but more like something you'd find on a high-end jacket shell from one of those high-end mountain climbing outfitters.
The gloves have a "stealthy" look because the knuckle protectors are hidden underneath the outer shell, outlined by a type of impressed silicone hash mark surround that adds to the high-tech, stealthy and purposeful look of the Veleta gloves.
They're available in the black/gray color shown here or a lighter anthracite/black/gray pattern, but in this case, the black/gray color looks best in our opinion.
It's not all textile however; some leather is included in the Veleta gloves, with the waffle-like "digital" leather added to the first and second fingers on the palm side of the right glove and as a large insert between the thumb and forefinger, both of which add to the grip levels.
The left glove has strips of silicone grip material on the first three fingers and both gloves work very nicely for the "two finger cover" of the clutch and brake levers.
All of the seams on the palm side are double-stitched and have outstanding quality and the seams on top are all hidden, which adds to the streamlined look of the gloves and meets the very strict Gore-Tex construction requirements.
Besides the Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT technology described in the following section, the other big plus for the Veleta gloves is that they are CE certified to Category 2, EN 13594/2010 Standard at Level 1. This covers things like knuckle protector impact performance, seam strength, tear strength, cut and abrasion resistance, attenuation of impact energy and more.
This is all good stuff and you'll pay a bit more but you also get the Gore-Tex "Guaranteed for Life" waterproof promise and the gloves come with the official CE documentation and test results, unlike the too-many fake "CE approved" motorcycle products out there. If you don't get the official documentation with your gloves, jacket, protectors or whatever, then it's not official.
We first described the Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT (info) technology in a webBikeWorld news release in late 2012. The first Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT product we reviewed was the Eska Indianapolis GTX Gloves (review) in 2013.
X-TRAFIT was designed to add a minimum amount of thickness specifically for gloves and to add a sense of "tactility" or "feel", while still providing the familiar Gore-Tex waterproof, windproof and breathable barrier.
In our experience, all of the Gore-Tex membrane types (report) work as designed and keep the products completely waterproof while also allowing moisture to escape...guaranteed. You'll pay a slight premium for this but it's definitely worth it.
We put the Veleta gloves through the standard webBikeWorld "Bucket Test", which means wearing the gloves while submerged in a bucket of cold water. The gloves were completely waterproof, with no leakage even after 4 minutes. This is an extreme test but it's a good indication of future on-bike performance.
The special textile outer shell of the Veleta gloves doesn't absorb much water and although the shell felt damp, it quickly dries after a soaking, especially when subjected to air movement (like riding a motorcycle) or in the sun.
Dainese rates the Veleta gloves for summer use, which may seem a bit odd at first since you won't find the usual perforations or vents. This is where we were most skeptical at first, but after riding in a variety of conditions and temperatures (up to the maximum we've experienced so far in this rather cool summer), we can report that the Gore-Tex works pretty much as expected, but there's a catch.
We may be dreaming this, but it sure seems like once the bike starts moving, the air passing over the shell of the Veleta gloves pulls the moisture through the Gore-Tex membrane. This isn't surprising actually, as that's the way it's supposed to work and it's the reason you'll usually find front and rear vents in a jacket with a Gore-Tex liner.
The air flowing over the Gore-Tex liner helps to pull the moisture through the membrane and whisk (wick) it away from the wearer.
But in slow-speed city riding, the Veleta gloves can start to feel warm and there is some moisture buildup. Both of us have worn the gloves in a variety of conditions in warmer temperatures and this fast/slow speed phenomenon is noticeable.
As long as the bike is moving, even during extensive rides in 30-33 C temperatures (85 to 92 F), the Veleta gloves feel comfortable and the moisture buildup isn't that noticeable. A little bit of residual moisture that can be felt on the hands, but that's because the hands continually release moisture.
Of course, this also depends on the motorcycle and the exposure of the hand grips to the wind. But the moisture wicking is noticeable even on the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS (Blog) with its dual-sport style hand guards.
The bottom line here is that the Dainese Veleta gloves with their special outer shell textile and the Gore-Tex membrane technology work well and possibly even better than some "ventilated" motorcycle gloves without these features. The guaranteed waterproof feature of the Gore-Tex membrane is a plus and the gloves do feel very comfortable inside, so there is somewhat of a tradeoff, considering the slow-speed or city riding moisture buildup issue.
The textile used in the Veleta gloves yields light weight. Each glove weighs only 92 grams (3.25 oz.), which adds to the comfort level.
The protective features of the gloves include the "Techno" main knuckle protector, hidden underneath the shell.
All of the knuckle protectors are hidden this way, which helps with the styling but also eliminates stitching on the outside of the gloves, which helps maintain the overall integrity.
The main knuckle protector feels comfortable over the hands because of its design and also because it's above the internal lining layer of the gloves.
There are more knuckle protectors over the middle knuckles, with a single added protector over the first knuckle of the third finger.
The outer part of the glove over the fourth or "pinky" finger has an external TPU slider that Dainese calls "Distortion Control".
It acts as both a slider and as the middle knuckle protector for the pinky finger, while the hidden knuckle protector farther down also serves to protect the first knuckle of that finger.
There are no protectors on the outside of the thumb or the palm, but there is some extra padding, covered by the futuristic-looking Dainese stretch textile that appears to have a combination of silicone and fabric.
There's also a very large section of padding over the back of the wrist; this one is covered by the silicone hash mark pattern that works as the styling feature of the Veleta gloves.
So while the Veleta gloves don't have the array of protectors found on a "race" style motorcycle glove, what's here seems adequate and more than other textile "touring" gloves.
Also, remember that the Veleta gloves have the CE certification, which counts for a lot compared to other gloves.
The fit of the Veleta gloves is a bit of an enigma also. This pair is a size large (9) and at first the gloves felt more like a size XL. There is some extra room in the fingers and the "ceiling, floor and two walls" finger construction -- typically found on touring gloves -- usually adds some extra girth and height.
But other than a very slight bunching under the palms, the extra room inside actually isn't that noticeable for the warm-weather riding that is the target of the Veleta gloves. In fact, the extra space may actually help the moisture transfer and it certainly makes the on-and-off the hands procedure easier than it is with a pair of hot, sticky leather gloves.
So although the "different" sizing has drawn some complaints from owners, it doesn't bother us at all and, in fact, we think it adds to the functionality of the gloves.
Here's another area where the Veleta gloves are different and perhaps even controversial. The short gauntlet means that with some motorcycle jackets, the gloves will be more comfortable when worn under the sleeve cuff.
Some owners have said that the wrist closure doesn't fasten the Veleta gloves securely. But there's a trick, as illustrated in our video: the wrist strap is a "V" shaped band of elastic. You have to pull the elastic tight and then secure it and the gloves will stay in place.
If you simply place the strap on the "loop" part of the hook-and-loop that is located on the gauntlet, the elastic can't keep the gloves secure and can be pulled off the hand. Again, this is all illustrated in our video.
The only problem here is that that loop part of the hook-and-loop isn't long enough, so when the elastic strap is pulled tight, half of it hangs off the end of the loop section. Dainese needs to extend the loop section about another 25 mm or so to fix this problem.
Note that if the Veleta glove gauntlets fit over your jacket sleeve cuff, there will probably be enough extra thickness so that the strap will fit correctly on the loop.
This mis-match of "hook" and "loop" is a common problem on motorcycle clothing that we've seen many times. You'd think that a tester would catch this problem during the prototype stage, but we've seen it time and time again.
The Dainese Veleta gloves are very nicely made, as is always expected of a Dainese product. The gloves are very comfortable to wear -- that is, the inside feels nice and comfy with no seam irritation (more of an issue with gloves designed for warm weather). The roomy fit may feel a bit odd at first but it makes sense for a warm-weather glove.
The gloves are also perfectly waterproof and they have the Gore-Tex lifetime guarantee, which is always a value-added bonus. Add in the official CE approval and the slightly steep price starts to seem more like a bargain.
All told, the Dainese Veleta gloves are good-looking and they perform better than we expected, given the parameters and constraints outlined above. In fact, we both liked them so much we bought another pair and these are "keepers".
|wBW Review: Dainese Veleta Gloves|
|Manufacturer: Dainese S.p.A.||List Price: $159.95|
|Colors: Black/gray; anthracite/black/gray; silver/black/blue.||Made In: Vietnam|
|Sizes: XS to XXL||Review Date: August 2014|
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