The iXS "Vidar" gloves may look fairly basic but the details and execution are what make the difference.
First off, the Gore-Tex waterproof guarantee is the headliner here.
But there's a lot more than that...
The Vidar gloves are not heavily lined, so they're not necessarily designed for ultra-cold weather.
But they are excellent all-around touring gloves that are indeed waterproof.
They would be a good pair to have available any time of the year for when the weather turns sour.
And unlike too many motorcycle gloves made today, these actually fit correctly.
The proportions, the cut and the fit of these Vidar gloves in size large are perfect for my size 9 hands.
There's enough room all around, including at the fingertips, for touring comfort, yet the gloves aren't too bulky.
The second big headline feature is the CE certification to the EN 13594 standard as Personal Protective Equipment under Directive 89/686/EEC.
The correct documentation is provided with the gloves, again unlike too many other motorcycle garments claimed to be "CE Approved".
The Vidar gloves have been tested at a CE approved facility and they are certified as both CE Level 1 and Level 2 for features like tear resistance, seam burst, cut resistance, abrasion resistance and impact mitigation.
(See the webBikeWorld article "CE Certified vs. CE Approved" for more information).
The Gore-Tex manufacturing process certification and the CE certifications, testing and approval all add cost, but in this case, it's worth it, as you're getting gloves that fit and are proven to meet the claims.
The Vidar gloves are new to the iXS product line. iXS is a Swiss-based company and traces its heritage back to 1906.
The products are relatively well known in Europe and as we described in the iXS Criton jacket review, iXS has made a big investment in the U.S.A. to distribute and retail an extensive line of clothing, including boots, gloves, jackets, leathers and more.
The Vidar gloves have a relatively unassuming appearance at first, but it's all in the details.
First of all, these gloves have a genuine Gore-Tex liner with the famous "Guaranteed to keep you dry" pledge. That immediately puts the Vidar gloves in a different class.
These are classified as touring gloves by iXS, with a cut and fit that works for general street riding, touring and cruising. And since that's what you do 99.99% of the time, the Vidar gloves have you covered.
The construction is a hybrid combination of textile over and between the fingers and along the inner and outer wrist areas, plus goat leather on the rest of the gloves, including the main knuckles, palm and underside of the fingers.
The Vidar gloves are light; each size large glove weighs but 90 grams (3.125 oz.) and this is an additional comfort factor.
There's also some extra Clarino synthetic leather double-stitched on the palm side, at the heel of the hand and as a one-piece patch between the thumb and forefinger added as extra grip wear.
Accordion pleats on the back of each finger and along the top of the wrist add some nice flexibility and an elastic strip at the wrist helps to keep the gloves in place.
The name Vidar may originate in Norse mythology, but whether or not the Vidar gloves were named in his honor is unknown.
It's sort of a strange name for a non-winter glove and I'll admit to being mildly underwhelmed when I first laid eyes upon the Vidar gloves.
Like many other streety/sporty motorcyclists, I'm programmed to first look for massive main knuckle protection and these don't have it.
Of course, we all know that a jacked-up main knuckle protector doesn't necessarily mean a good pair of gloves, so it takes more than a first glance at the Vidar gloves to come to an understanding of their raison d'être.
The addition of leather helps to avoid the "crinkly" feeling apparent with some textile waterproof gloves. Waterproof liners can sometimes give the gloves a "plasticky" feel and even a sound, unlike all-leather types.
So it was with some trepidation that I first slipped a mitt into a Vidar, but the soft goat leather helps mask that textile feel.
The Vidar gloves actually feel very comfortable, for a couple of reasons.
There's a soft and thin fabric inner liner that feels something like micro-fleece and the light weight of the gloves and the perfect fit help make my hands feel instantly at home.
Also, besides the Gore-Tex guaranteed waterproof and breathable membrane, these gloves also feature something new to motorcycle gloves: Gore Grip.
I wasn't familiar with this technology so I looked it up on the Gore website.
To paraphrase, Gore Grip is "a special feature" that provides "the feel of direct grip and high tactility."
To quote: "The innovative combination of these characteristics has been made possible by a special layered construction which attaches the normally loose layers of the glove to each other, preventing movement between them. They thus provide optimum tactility and better dexterity for a sure grip."
That sure makes sense for motorcycle gloves and it's probably one of the reasons why the Vidar gloves have such a nice feel.
Some of the special Gore Grip attachment system can be seen inside the glove gauntlet, where there is a fabric binding strip around the inside with the "Gore Grip" label.
Just for reference, here's a webBikeWorld report describing the different Gore-Tex membranes.
Gore-Tex has very specific manufacturing process constraints for any company using Gore-Tex technologies and offering the Gore-Tex waterproof guarantee.
This means that the garment manufacturer has to pay very close attention to the pattern cut and sewing of the product -- in this case, gloves.
So it mostly (but not always) results in a better fit.
That's because the haphazard pattern cutting and slap-dash throw-em-together-fast sewing techniques won't make the grade -- another reason why genuine Gore-Tex lined products are more expensive.
The attention to detail on the Vidar gloves means an unusually good fit -- at least for me with this single example of size large gloves.
Everything is just right: the width, the length and especially the fingertips, with what for me is the perfect amount of room.
Not too tight; not too loose and just enough length to account for holding the hand grips on the bike.
Now that may sound logical, but it's rarely the case with motorcycle gloves, so the fit alone -- for me anyway -- with the Vidar gloves is a big deal.
Note that the wrist entry is pretty snug, which is just the way I like it because it helps keep the gloves on the hands. I'll get more into the protective features in a minute.
The Vidar gloves are not insulated for winter, which is one of the reasons why they're light weight.
This also gives a good grip feel and the byproduct is that they work very nicely with heated hand grips.
There's less bulk here than even thin leather gloves and that helps me keep better contact and feel for the bike through the grips.
The absence of any insulating liner means the Vidar gloves are good down to about 60 F (15.5 C) or so, more or less.
Again, heated grips help and there's no insulation to prevent the warmth from seeping through. Also, hand guards that block the wind help also.
The stitching on the Vidar gloves is once more a typical mix of single, double and hidden.
But the overall quality of the stitching is excellent, with no loose threads.
The textile and leather sections have been cut and assembled so that the stitches were not stretched and the result is that the threads don't look like they're under being stretched, as we so often see on motorcycle gloves.
The seams around the fingers are hidden or blind-stitched. The finger construction is the "box" type, which yields a good amount of room.
The hybrid of goat leather and textile seems to be about a 50/50 mix. Goat hide is thinner and lighter than cow leather for the same effect, so when it's combined with the textile, there's a nice recipe for light weight.
Overall, the construction of the Vidar gloves is excellent to outstanding.
I have no complaints at all and the gloves seem to have a sort of intelligence in the way they were put together and that adds to the comfort factor (and helps justify the selling price).
The Vidar gloves also have a very good wrist security system, with a wrist strap under the wrist that attaches with hook-and-loop.
The only thing they could have been done better would be to make the "V" shaped webbed strap that holds the "D" ring out of elastic material to add some stretch at the wrist.
But that's a pretty minor nit to pick.
As I mentioned earlier, the wrist is narrow by design, so you do have to push your hands into the gloves to get them on.
But once they're inside and the wrist strap is secured, there's basically no way the gloves are coming off in a crash, and that's the point.
The gauntlets don't look oversized and, in fact, at first I thought they might cause concern. But they work well over my winter 3/4-length jacket, so no problems there.
A section of hook-and-loop under the gauntlet closure serves to keep everything tight.
The Vidar gloves have been tested and certified to the EN 13594 standard as Personal Protective Equipment under Directive 89/686/EEC.
They have been tested at a CE approved facility and they are certified as both CE Level 1 and Level 2.
That includes testing for tear resistance, seam burst, cut resistance, abrasion resistance and impact mitigation.
This is a big deal, because many motorcycle glove manufacturers don't take the time and effort (and cost) to go through this process.
There are no hard protectors on the main knuckles of the Vidar gloves, just four leather-covered padded ovals.
Apparently, that's enough to pass the CE standard, so I'll have to go with it.
There are hard knuckle protectors over the middle and tip knuckles on the first three fingers, but nothing at all over the fourth ("Pinky") finger or the thumb.
Since these are classified as touring gloves and not race gloves, I guess we'll have to pass that also.
As usual, it's a tradeoff between adding hard protection and comfort. In this case, I'll take the comfort for waterproof street riding and touring.
There are no vents on the Vidar gloves, but the Gore-Tex breathable membrane does a good job at transferring moisture, which is why the textile is needed on the gloves to let the moisture out.
The lining doesn't pull out either, even when my hands are wet or sweaty.
The Vidar gloves are good for anything but the coldest weather. They would be especially useful to have in the tank bag or luggage in case it started to rain in any season.
The Vidar gloves are available in an expanded size range, from XS to 3XL.
This pair is size large and they feel perfect for my size 9 measured hands. I'm assuming that the rest of the iXS size lineup fits as expected also.
The Vidar gloves passed the webBikeWorld "Bucket Test", with no leaking after being completely immersed in cold water while being worn.
That is to be expected with the Gore-Tex liner and the guarantee.
So if you're in need of truly waterproof gloves, these are an excellent choice.
The new iXS Vidar gloves are comfortable and have the Gore-Tex waterproof guarantee.
That's enough to recommend them but iXS also went the distance and got the full CE certification. You don't find that too often and it just adds to the overall quality of these gloves.
The Vidar gloves make an excellent all-around street riding choice, especially for wet climates such as the Northwestern U.S.
Or, buy a pair just to carry with you if the weather turns bad unexpectedly.
The price may seem a bit steep but it is justified by the combination of the CE certification and the Gore-Tex guarantee.
Bottom line? These are the non-insulated waterproof touring gloves to have!
From "D.H." (November 2016): "A very useful review. Quick comment on visor wipes (Editor's Note: See "B.W." comment below):
the presence or lack of one in my experience is not a good predictor of how well my left hand will clear my visor.
My BMW gloves with visor wiper do not do as good a job as my Held Sambia gloves (review). It boils down to shape of the glove or the squeegee blade.
In a downpour, the two brands perform nearly the same, but in what for me is the worst situation -- light mist forming a nearly opaque layer on the visor -- the Held gloves give a much cleaner and larger wipe despite lack of a rubber wiper blade.
So the iXS gloves look to be very good and the lack of a wiper may not be a deal killer at all."
From "B.W." (November 2016): "The lack of a visor wipe on a waterproof glove is very hard to overlook.
Regarding bucket testing in general, it would be interesting to know how long it takes for the glove to air dry sufficiently or perhaps how much they weighed before and after the bucket test.
My one pair of waterproof leather gloves would get saturated on my way into work and still be wet for my ride home. My hands stayed dry but they weren't warm.
I live in Seattle and ride to work daily. From October to May, I rely heavily my visor wipe. Traffic often moves too slow to let the wind clear the shield even when freshly coated with Nikwax Visor Proof.
Aerostich house-brand gloves have a decent wiper.
With my wiper-less gloves I use a Bob Heath Vee Wipe. It works great but just another piece of gear to worry about losing."
Editor's Reply: I don’t know for sure on these but I don't think they absorb much water at all.
Personally, I’ve never found a visor wipe to be useful, so it’s not a feature I miss at all myself and it can make the gloves less flexible. Not sure why they didn’t add one though.