Orina 118 Motorcycle Gloves
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycle Glove Reviews | Owner
Summary: Completely waterproof in the webBikeWorld "Bucket
Dunk" water trials. The liner and thick insulation makes the gloves
feel stiff, numbing control feel and making for a longer reach to the
No knuckle or wrist armor. Decent but not outstanding cold
The most discussed winter glove this
season seems to be the Orina 118.
Why this particular brand and model has
become popular is a mystery. The gloves seem to
have a very limited distribution outside of Europe, so
the difficulty in finding a pair may actually be fueling
the buzz, the same psychology that prompted the
Schuberth Concept helmet rage a decade ago.
The strange thing is that we're not even
certain Orina still makes the 118, because I can't find
them on their website. So the 118's sold today could very well be
leftover inventory from last year, still waiting for
customers to pull them from the dealer and distributor
Orina Sporthandschuhe GmbH is a German
company, which has a certain cachet in some circles and
probably adds to the "must have" buzz psychology.
Who knows -- maybe it was all started by some North
American tourist, returning from a motorcycle tour of
Europe with news about Orina?
One thing that may
have helped promote this glove in particular is their
recommendation by RIDE
Magazine (UK), which is usually a pretty good indicator
of a best-in-class and functional product.
The Orina brand is known in Europe, but
it certainly isn't a motorcycle household word in the
U.S.A. The company is relatively new; they've been
selling gloves and other outdoor clothing for only about
20 years. Orina headquarters are located located
in Eschweiler, Germany, between Köln
and Aachen, west of the Rhine River, which is primo
riding country for sure.
So why Orina? One of the
differentiators is the signature materials used by the
company and the Orina 118 incorporates their entire
arsenal of technology. Orina uses leather on the
entire palm and grip side of the 118's, while the back
side is made from a textile called "TECCON", a Cordura competitor that's claimed to
have good abrasion resistance. The leather on the
Orina 118 gloves also is treated with a process called "Techalin", which is
supposed to help make the leather softer and easier to
Other materials used in the Orina 118
include "Nibo", a membrane claimed to keep moisture out
while letting perspiration escape and "Thermolite"
insulation (from Invista;
see our Leather With Lycra report), which "delivers
warmth without bulk" and is claimed to maintain its
insulating properties even when wet.
118 gloves also have a touch of "Thermax"
fleece in the lining, a hollow insulating
fiber used in clothing that's also used for insulation in the
building industry (more on Thermax below).
The Nibo waterproof membrane liner is one of the most-talked-about features of
the Orina 188. Nibo is apparently a Gore-Tex
membrane competitor, designed to act as a waterproof barrier while allowing
perspiration to escape through zillions of tiny little
holes, or pores, in the material. How the membrane
knows to let the perspiration water molecules out while
keeping the rain water molecules from coming in is
So one of the first things we did was to
give the 118's the ol' webBikeWorld Bucket Dunk. I
have no idea if this super-low-tech evaluation has any relation to
reality, but we've used it before with the waterproof
Roadgear "Boss" winter gloves (wBW Review).
By the way, since the Roadgear Boss gloves are still my
favorite all-around winter motorcycle gloves, so I'm
using them as a benchmark to compare with the Orina 118
gloves in this report.
Here's how it works: I fill a bucket with water and
trick the Mad Dog into wearing
the gloves while holding his hands in the water.
That may sound funny, but the best part is that I went into the
office to work on a review and a few minutes later he
yells "Can I take 'em out now?" I yelled back
"Hang on, I'll be right there" and then the phone rang
and I forgot all about him.
About 40 minutes later I remembered,
and there he was, still sitting there with his hands in
the water! "Uh, you can take them out now", I
"How do they feel inside?" I asked.
"I don't know, my hands fell asleep."
I pulled the gloves off his mitts and
they were totally waterlogged on the outside but the
insides were as dry as a
bone. So if you're looking for waterproof
gloves, you found 'em.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here; I
wore the Orina 118 gloves on several rides in
temperatures ranging from about 40 degrees F (4 C) to 60
F (15 C). Comfort is a very relative concept, but
they feel like they offer about the same level of
comfort as just about any other decent pair of winter
motorcycle gloves I've tried.
They do seem to allow more perspiration
to escape than some other winter motorcycle gloves,
like, for example, the
Tourmaster Synergy gloves we reviewed recently,
which seem to get very swampy inside whether they're on
or off (and there isn't much of a difference, as we
reported in the review).
But when the ambient temperatures start
climbing above 55 F or so (13 C), the Orina 118 gloves
do seem to get warmer than I'd like. But since
they are winter motorcycle gloves after all, this isn't
a knock, just a statement of interest.
Down below 40 F (4 C), my hands don't
feel any warmer than they do with any other winter
motorcycle glove I've worn. So I'm not sure what
the conclusion is here; if owners are expecting a decent
winter glove, they've got it. If they're expecting
something very out of the ordinary that offers comfort
above and beyond the norm, my feeling is they'll be
Orina uses the "box" style finger
construction on the 118 gloves; this is a type of glove
construction where the material on the fingers looks
like it's sewn together with walls on each side and a
ceiling and floor. Take a look at the first two
photos below of the palm and the back side of the gloves
and you'll see what I mean.
Box construction has some advantages and
disadvantages, just like any other type of motorcycle
glove construction. It usually allows more room
for thicker fingers; more finger separation with easier
finger movement because of the vertical "walls" between
each finger; and it separates the top and bottom layers
of material, allowing for things like waterproof
membranes and insulation to be more evenly installed.
The Orina 118 gloves are pretty
comfortable to wear, and the construction looks very
good. You can also see in the photos below that
the patterns used for the 118's are pretty basic; no
high-tech computerized pattern sections are apparent,
and the result is a basic style and shape with some
bunching in the palms whilst riding.
The basic shape of the 118's may again
be due to the constraints necessary to maintain the
integrity of the membrane and insulation, but the
Roadgear Boss gloves use a more adventurous design while
offering the same levels of protection from water and
cold, and they're more comfortable, in my opinion.
That's the good news. The bad news
revolves around two issues. First, the Orina 118
gloves feel bulky and stiff. They feel more like a
10-year-old winter motorcycle glove design than a pair
that uses the modern, high-tech, lightweight and
flexible materials available to manufacturers in the
It's been our experience that some of
these moisture barrier membranes do have a sort of plasticky feel and
they can lend an overall stiffness to the
garment in which they are used. I think the
Roadgear Boss waterproof winter gloves serve as a good
comparison for the Orina 118's, but the Roadgear
gloves are much softer and more pliable; I'm not sure if
the Hipora membrane used in those gloves is softer, or
if the insulation is less stiff or if the leather used
in the Roadgear Boss gloves is more supple, but they feel much more like
"normal" motorcycling gloves than the Orina 118's.
And the second issue? The
combination of the box section fingers, the stiff Nibo
membrane and the Thermolite insulation makes the Orina
118 gloves feel bulkier than the Roadgear Boss gloves.
The extra bulk and the way the palms bunch up slightly
means that my reach to the levers has been lengthened.
I usually ride with my first two fingers
covering the front brake lever, and I blip the throttle
with the other fingers while simultaneously braking with
the first two. I have no trouble doing this with
either the Roadgear gloves or others I've tried, and I
can do it with the Orina 118's, but it's much more
This may not be an issue with some
riders or for those who have adjustable levers, but I
think it is certain that grip feel will be reduced and
reach will be lengthened wearing these gloves.
The added bulkiness may be due to the
Thermax insulating lining. The Adventure
Motorcycle Gear website has a glossary of terms used in
the products they sell, and their description of Thermax
reads "The special microfibers create a soft
material with an almost infinite number of air pockets.
Thermax does not retain moisture but allows it to
evaporate. The minute pores of this fabric provide a
controlled exchange of body heat and outside air keeping
out the cold but also preventing perspiration. Thermax
is much more voluminous compared with other similar
fabrics of equal weight."
Note that last sentence: "Thermax
is much more voluminous compared with other similar
fabrics of equal weight." This may be the reason
for the bulkiness that I feel in the Orina 118 gloves.
The Orina 118 gloves do not have armor
or any type of extra padding that I can distinguish.
Knuckle armor or padding doesn't seem to be used as
often in winter motorcycle gloves -- I guess riders
don't crash in the winter? But I'm rather
surprised that there is no extra padding or protection
at all on these gloves.
There is an extra slice of sueded
leather sewn on to the heel of the palm and between the
thumb and forefinger; the former acts as an extra
measure of abrasion protection and the latter as a wear
point for gripping the handlebars.
The gauntlet on the 118's is out of the
norm also. Some elastic is used on the underside,
and the gloves do have a nice, wide hook-and-loop
closure over the back of the wrist, which is a plus
because it helps keep the gloves secure on the rider's
What's odd is the zipper on the back of
the gauntlet. It is designed, I think, to avoid
the typical gauntlet flap used on most motorcycle
gloves. The gauntlet is slightly narrower than
average, but I have no problem fitting it over the
tightened cuffs of either the
Tourmaster Advanced jacket (wBW Review), the
Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 (wBW Review) or the
Rev'it Cayenne 3/4-length (wBW Review) jackets.
It can be slightly tricky to get the
zipper secured if the gauntlet is pulled tight over a
sleeve, and it would be nice if the zipper had a larger
pull, but the system is acceptable. A leather
backing behind the zipper prevents it from being opened
too far and keeps the waterproof integrity of the gloves
The Orina 118 gloves are waterproof; that I will give
them. So if that's your primary concern, these
gloves may be for you. Otherwise, they're a decent
pair of winter motorcycle gloves but not a breakthrough.
I'll still take my Roadgear Boss gloves, and for
temperatures below 40 F, it's time to break out the
electrically heated gloves anyway.
Product Review: Orina 118 Motorcycle Gloves
From: Orina Bike Wear
Retail Price: $59.95
Sizes: XXS to XXL
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From "R.C.": "I have been a skier since
1960, and a motorcyclist since 1970, with 28 bikes in my
background, and 15 years of full-time teaching and coaching
skiers, so I have had a LOT of experience with all sorts of
water resistant and waterproof outerwear, and gloves in
I now live in Vancouver, British Columbia, (formerly in
Banff, Alberta) and I ride all year around, unless the roads
are icy... These Orina gloves look a lot like most of
the current ski gloves, with combos of synthetic materials,
hollow-fill insulation, leather palms and zippered
gauntlets... In my experience, everything you describe
about the Orina 118's is also true of ski gloves... and I
have tried a dozen brands and styles of motorcycle gloves
over the last couple of winters here, and I usually end up
back in my favorite Reusch ski gloves(I have 5 pairs), made
They have biased cut profiles, great insulation on the
backs, but with leather, thinner palms for gripping and
control, and of course, Gore-tex membranes. I have
never found any motorcycle specific gloves that can
outperform my Reusch favorites ( I have 5 pairs as I need to
cover temps from +10C, down to -30C). I have never found a
pair of cold weather gloves (below -20C) that can be worn
above -5C without overheating... you just have to buy
multiple pairs if the temperatures are changing... when I go
to Whistler, I usually bring 2 pair, just so I am warm
enough, or cool enough...
Here's a great deal on Reusch (remember they have 30+
models). As ski racers need back of the hand
protection from impacting slalom gates, a lot of ski gloves
have the kind of armor that's showing up on more and more
motorcycle gloves. So, I think your readership,
especially in Snow country, would be well-served to check
out their local ski shops...and I have found that in
general, ski gloves sell for less than motorcycle
versions... and I have seen the exact same glove in both
shops here in Canada. Happy HOHOHO!"