Olympia Gore-Tex Motorcycle Gloves
Olympia 4150 Gore-Tex All-Season Gloves
By H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycle Glove Reviews
Summary: Extremely comfortable, flexible, warm, lightweight and strong.
Supple, with the feel of quality leather, soft cushioning insulation for
warmth and waterproof even under prolonged wet conditions.
use over the 4C/39F to 25C/77F range (Spring, Fall and Winter, depending on
These gloves, when used with hand-guards and/or electrical
hand-warmers should also be satisfactory down to at least 0C/32F.
It is strange how weather
can be a great motivator, especially up here in the
(somewhat) northern climes. While the Olympia Gore-Tex
All-Season gloves were added to the seemingly ever
expanding pile of gloves late last winter,
procrastination has continued to win out, until today.
Today was a bit different.
It actually felt like our long spring into summer into
fall sequence could be coming to its final steps. Maybe
it was the high-flying flocks of geese overhead which
like most aviation indicators, usually indicates a long
haul flight, in this case south.
Although this could be
depressing to many, to the "Three-Amigos", it was just
another opportunity to get away from all the other
chores and head towards the hills for a day of spirited
Given that it was just 6C (43F) at departure,
the riding kit consisted of an
Olympia Phantom Neon
Yellow suit, complete with its jump-suit liner, a fairly
new pair of Sidi Sympatex On-Road boots, a
helmet and the Olympia Gore-Tex gloves.
First Things First
Olympia Sports has been manufacturing gloves for
motorcyclists, skiers and snowmobile owners for over 60
years. They also
manufacture many other types of gloves as well. Their
objective is to offer consumers a quality product at a
value oriented price.
The Gore-Tex All-Season
Glove is part of the Olympia Glove premium All-Season
glove line, and as I've found with so many Olympia products, they
more than live up to their billing.
The All-Season gloves are
made from drum dyed cowhide for greater durability and
flexibility and abound with features. As noted, the
shell is supple drum-dyed cowhide, insulation is
provided by a Gore-Tex insert that is waterproof,
windproof and breathable. Lightweight all-season Thermolite insulation is also used to provide warmth
and heat retention.
The Gore-Tex insert allows
the hand maximum breathability while keeping the H20 and
wind out. The Thermolite insulation layer provides a
warm snug feeling over a wide range of temperatures.
Olympia 2x Auto Cuff, where the thumb side toggle
loosens and the pinky (small finger) toggle tightens, is
quite unique and very functional, with some practice.
Two small round tags, one red and one yellow, are
included with the information material which clearly
describes use of the toggles. The “Flex knuckles”
provide protection while allowing dexterity. Integrated
reflective piping provides increased rider visibility
and last but not least, a Thumb goggle wiper strip is
In The Real World…
As with choosing a pair of
summer gloves (see the
2007 Summer Glove Comparison), choosing
a pair of gloves that will fill essential comfort,
warmth and protection needs can be a time consuming
activity and somewhat expensive, as many all season
gloves can be two to three times more expensive than the
average pair of gloves.
My current all-season favourites are a pair of original Joe Rocket DryTech
gloves and a equally aged pair of Alpinstars DryStar
gloves, along with a set of the Joe Rocket Ballistic 5.0
gloves, although they are a much lighter glove and do
not provide the same range of temperature protection.
All three sets are warm and comfortable in their own
right, but none of them, despite their claims, have been
found to be completely "waterproof". Accordingly, late
last winter it was time to go searching for something
Showing perfect timing, our
local Olympia retailer had just gotten in a shipment of
Olympia gloves, including the Gore-Tex All-Season
items, which were were just going out on display when we walked
in one cold winter evening. Considering the Olympia
Gore-Tex All-Season glove was an easy decision for me, as
I have found
previous Olympia gloves to be well made and
extremely well suited to the tasks for which they were
selected. Add to that the touted features and the
square-one feel of quality and the choice was pretty
The gloves fit like, well, a
fine pair of soft-kid leather or deerskin gloves – they
are that soft, even when new and are comfortable from
the first use.
In fact, this soft feel, due to the high
quality leather and the cushioning insulation layer,
puts off many potential owners - the gloves just do not
look like they are capable of doing everything
advertised. A soft, pliable glove is desirable for many
reasons, first and foremost being good fit = comfort and
a good grip, with feedback.
Form is very important,
especially when trying to come up with a glove that will
fit the majority of hands and do it without compromise. My hand size is typically a large or XL, depending on
the brand and cut of gloves. However, I have found with
Olympia Gloves, the XL sizing is a consistent fit for
me, something I cannot say for some other brands.
This glove is a snug fit in
the fingers, the thumb piece is a bit longer than my
thumb (bonus) and it fits taut on the palm (you don’t
want much or any excess in this area) and it has a bit
of flex along the back, minimizing pressure and allowing
the hand and wrist to be easily moved or exercised.
One of the best features is
the reinforcement insert on the pressure portion of the
palm which extends up along the inside of the thumb
piece – the external stitching is totally unobtrusive
and the extra layer works wonders for equalizing
pressure between the grip and the palm.
Speaking of stitching, all
seams and reinforced areas are tightly stitched with
single or double rows and to date there has been no
pulling, broken stitches or stretching along the seams
It is virtually impossible to feel any seam or
stitching from the inside, thanks to the workmanship and
the comfortable Thermolite and Gore-Tex layers between
the hand and the leather shell of the glove itself.
Raised ribs running across
the back of the glove provide basic knuckle protection
and there is an additional expansion panel or “Flex
knuckle” sewn in as the middle rib allowing additional
flexibility and reducing the pressure of the rib section
on the back of the hand. This expansion rib feature is
found on the finger pieces as well.
The wrist elastic is well
pronounced, but not obtrusive and does a good job of
providing another seal against the elements. Wet or dry,
the glove is easy to put on or take off, despite the
medium length gauntlet.
Short or limited function
gauntlets seem to be de rigueur these days. For some
conditions a medium to long gauntlet is not critical:
for most all-weather applications it is. To some degree
the Olympia Gore-Tex glove suffers the same design
approach, but its implementation still provides a medium
gauntlet length -- adequate to cover riding jackets/suit
The bottom part of the
gauntlet features a wide (hook-n-loop) adjuster flap,
allowing the middle of the gauntlet to be tightened up
completely with or without using the Olympia 2x Auto
The gauntlet opens to about 14cm (5.5 inches) in
diameter, which should be sufficient to accommodate most
These two features provide
two ways to seal the glove and outer layer and protect
the inner layers and thus the rider. The gauntlet can be
tightened up completely, minimizing the bulk of the
gauntlet which is useful for those who wear their gloves
inside of the outer layer and, for securing the glove to
the lower wrist/hand, a safety feature that is often not
appreciated, nor used by the wearer.
The integrated reflective
piping is very subdued, but the piping does light up
when energized, although the overall effect is pretty
muted and not as evident (effective) as piping or panels
used on other brands of gloves.
Ad-Hoc vs. The Real World…
As the gloves have been
subjected to heavy use in consistently cold and wet
conditions, all, without letting the owner down, I did
not undertake any other type of detailed evaluation.
While the gloves are
extremely lightweight when dry, they are much heavier,
probably twice as much, after being exposed to a few
hours of constant (heavy) rain. While all that moisture
is in the (leather) glove, where it is not is in the
inner shell. As a result hands stay dry and warm at all
At the lowest temperature
observed (0C/32F), the fingers, depending on
circulation, can get chilled after an hour or so, in wet
or dry conditions. The use of hand-guards and/or
electric hand warmers serves to extend the comfort range
of the gloves down to these temperatures. A silk liner
glove, room permitting, would also provide some
additional protection from the cold.
Feedback from two other
riders who own the same glove has tended to support the
assessment that the gloves are indeed (very) good for
cold and wet weather use, but not totally suited for
extreme cold conditions, at least not without guards or
hand warmers of some sort.
Reluctantly I have not had a
chance to try the
"Boss" Gloves for comparison - the Editor
won’t give up his pair, c’est la vie.
The Gore-Tex All-Season
Gloves are stylish in appearance, extremely comfortable,
warm, windproof, waterproof and apparently, pretty
rugged. Outside of some sheen lost from the leather,
they are showing no wear or tear despite constant use
last spring and now this fall, all on three different
motorcycles (two without hand guards) which equates to
lots of use.
These gloves have been just
about perfect, more than living up to their billing and
doing it all in style. If the gauntlet was a bit longer
and wider, the gloves would be close to a perfect 10 in
the category they represent.
Product Review: Olympia 4150 Gore-Tex All-Season Gloves
||Suggested Retail Price: $99.95
CAD; $79.95 USD
Sizes: S to XXL
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