by "Smalls" for webBikeWorld.com
See Also: Firstgear Glacier Men's Gloves Review
The Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves are comfortable and waterproof winter gloves.
No insulation in the palms increases the effectiveness of heated grips.
A heel skid on the palm and padding on the side of the hand and wrist give added protection, and reflective piping adds nighttime visibility.
One fall day, I stared out my home office window at the beautiful, deep-blue Montana sky -- Montana is called "Big Sky Country" for a reason.
I decided to blow off work (one of the benefits of being self-employed) to take the Ninja out for a spin. After all, winter was quickly approaching and my riding days were numbered.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day; I threw on my gear (all of it -- I wear boots, riding pants and a jacket, gloves, and a helmet EVERY time I ride), jumped on my bike, and took off.
Several deer got spooked and ran away as I eased down my 700 foot long gravel driveway and onto the paved road beyond. Still watching for deer, I heeded the 35 MPH speed limit.
The sun was shining, the roads were dry, and I was on the open road -- temporarily without a care in the world and grinning like an idiot. I reached the main drag and a minute later was on the freeway. A twist of the wrist and my bike surged forward, carrying me closer to the next exit and a winding, back road.
It suddenly occurred to me that I was a little chilly. Duh Ė itís much colder when Iím going 75 MPH (120 KPH) on a motorcycle than when Iím standing on my porch and I had failed to take that into consideration in my haste!
I rode for another thirty or forty minutes until I reached my destination, a bridge in the middle of the mountains, overlooking a river. By then, my hands were pretty cold. I was wearing my Alpinestars Stella SP-3 gloves (review) -- just leather, no insulation. I warmed my hands by the engine and exhaust pipes and enjoyed the view before turning around and heading for home.
I was in the shade of the mountains then and since I was already chilled, I quickly became cold once again -- especially my hands. I still had a distance to go before I got home, and the colder my hands got, the stiffer they felt and the slower they worked.
The moral to this story? Itís so important to stay warm, and especially the hands because when your hands are cold, reaction times are slower. And when youíre on a motorcycle, itís critical to be able to respond and act quickly in any given situation. Even one second can make a difference in avoiding an accident.
Not to mention that cold hands can be a distraction and itís vital to remain focused when riding.
Okay, that was a long story (I have the gift of gab) to get to my point: I needed a pair of cold-weather riding gloves.
Thereís actually a pretty decent selection of womenís motorcycle gloves available and many have padding or knuckle guards for added protection. But if you're looking for womenís cold-weather riding gloves, then there are fewer choices and if you want them with knuckle protection, itís slim pickings indeed.
As usual, the selection of womenís gear is not as extensive as menís. For example, one website I looked at offered 38 pairs of menís cold weather gloves (that were non-heated) and 27 pair had some form of knuckle protection.
The same site listed 14 pairs of womenís cold-weather gloves (non-heated); six pair with knuckle protection (five of those were REVíIT! brand); and two other pair had no knuckle protection but additional finger protection.
What I found interesting was some manufacturers offered a menís and womenís glove in the same style and in a few cases the menís glove had knuckle protection, yet the womenís version didnít. Why? Is this because a large percentage of female riders are passengers only? Even so, protection is just as important for passengers as it is for drivers.
What about us women who pilot our own bikes? Yeah, we want to look good but we donít want to sacrifice protection in the process.
Alright, letís talk specifics about the Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves. ďBurnĒ already did an excellent review of the menís version, so I won't duplicate the details that he already covered, such as the Hipora lining and hook-and-loop closure system.
However, there is one noticeable difference between the menís and womenís TPG Glacier Gloves: the menís version has a ďribbed panel across the knuckles for impact protectionĒ, but the womenís glove doesnít. I am baffled by this decision and donít know why this feature is not on the womenís version.
The Firstgear TPG Tundra Gloves (review) are the same -- knuckle impact protection on the menís gloves, but not on the womenís. I donít understand why -- am I missing something?
Focusing on the positives, the Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves -- like the menís version -- have finger padding and padded sections on the side of the hand and wrist for impact protection. A hard heel skid on the palm gives additional protection as well.
Normally, I would also like leather reinforcements at the top of the palm below the fingers for added protection in a slide; perhaps additional leather on the palm was left off to keep the effectiveness of use with heated grips.
However, Iíll admit I did some test dives on the floor and the heel skid seems to keep the upper palm from hitting the ground, so leather reinforcements on the upper palms may not be needed after all. I just hope I donít have to test them in real life! In fact, if the heel skid works as well as it seems it will, it would be a great addition to any motorcycle glove.
For tips on fitting gloves, see my Alpinestars Stella SP-3 Gloves review.
Generally, I need a size large glove and that is what I purchased. The medium Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves felt great until I wrapped my hands around some grips.
They width fit me but it was a little short in the fingers. Also, the heel skid in the size medium ended up between my palm and the grips when I grabbed the handlebars. With the size large, the heel skid did not get in the way.
When fitting winter gloves, itís especially important to not have any pressure points that might restrict blood flow, thus also affecting warmth. The size large fits the length of my hand and is slightly wide in the palm, but the little extra width is not an issue when riding.
Like any good pair of motorcycle gloves, the fingers on the Firstgear TPG Glacier Gloves are pre-curved and do not restrict movement or blood flow. Even though the gloves are leather, they are very soft and pliable.
I agree with ďBurnĒ that these gloves are comfortable and very well made. Even the inside of the glove is finished nicely. The absence of insulation in the palm makes them more effective with heated grips and also makes it easier to operate controls because the gloves are not bulky by any means.
The Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves are warm enough until about 45-50 degrees (7-10 Celsius). However, as Iíve mentioned before, my hands get cold easily, so someone else might find them comfortable in even colder weather.
My motorcycle doesnít have heated grips (yet) so I cannot comment on how well the gloves work with them. A couple of other small details: the gauntlet on the size large is 3.5 inches long (9 cm). The gloves also have a convenience clip that secures the gloves to each other and to a jacket when not riding.
Free replacement if damaged in a crash!? Firstgear has a two-year crash protection policy on their TPG line. As ďBurnĒ mentioned, this is their top-of-the-line gear.
If a TPG jacket, pants, or gloves are damaged in a crash, Firstgear will replace it for free. Wow! I guess they really stand behind their three favorite words: "never stop riding."
Excellent construction, quality, and free replacement if damaged in a crash (within two years) make these glove a great value.
With womenís specific sizing, impact protection, and nighttime visibility, the Firstgear Womenís TPG Glacier Gloves may be just what youíre looking for during those cold rides.
See Also: Firstgear Glacier Men's Gloves Review