OSI Motorcycle Gloves
The OSI CoolGuard Glove
We must get at least a dozen emails each
week from factories in Pakistan, India and other points
around the globe with interesting offers of motorcycle
gloves, jackets and other apparel.
Since we don't sell any products through
webBikeWorld, the offers end up in the email trash bin,
but not without some regret.
I'm continually amazed at the motivation
and moxie of these global capitalists, and I've also
realized that without them, our motorcycle life would be
We've said it before on these pages, but
the global economy is so competitive and product
information is so readily available that it would be
impossible for any of these businesses to survive
without producing relatively high quality goods.
Some of our younger visitors may not
realize that there was a time when "Made in Japan" was a
generically derisive term used to describe any poorly
made article. Until recently, the same could be
said about products made in Pakistan, India or China.
Only a few years ago, most of the high quality
motorcycle clothing we aspire to as motorcyclists
originated in Europe. But I'm sure you've noticed
that it's very hard to find any motorcycle clothing that
isn't made in China, or gloves from Pakistan.
Most of the emails we get are from
contract manufacturers who are skilled at quickly
designing and manufacturing a variety of motorcycle
gloves to exact specifications. Their skill at
contract manufacturing is exploited by many of the
off-brand names found in motorcycle clothing retail
shops. Add your logo to an existing line of
products and you're in business.
It's not always easy to tell where the
designs originate, and to a certain extent, it doesn't
matter. Price seems to be the most important
discriminator for the majority of motorcyclists, and if
the product looks cool, has decent quality and the price
is right, it will probably sell.
That is, as long as it can be found by
the prospective consumer. Motorcycle apparel is
distributed through a very complex network, and it's not
easy to break in with a new brand and product.
This is apparently the case for OSI -- it took lots of
digging around on the Internet to find their website,
and it's not much easier to find their products.
If I had to guess, I'd say from my
research that OSI is a company set up to import and
distribute a small range of relatively inexpensive
motorcycle clothing sold under their label. I've
seen references to them here and there in print and
online, but it was only recently that I found these
CoolGuard gloves whilst perusing the racks at a local
We've had blisteringly hot weather
pretty much all summer here in the Mid-Atlantic region
of the U.S.A., and I was looking for the coolest gloves
I could find that still might offer decent protection.
We've previously reviewed the
Rev'it! Hurricane mesh gloves and the
Tourmaster Summer Mesh gloves for hot weather use,
but I'm always on the lookout for something new and
different. The OSI gloves were attractive and they
fit very comfortably, so I figured I'd give them a try
to see if they'd make a difference in our steamy
The OSI CoolGuard gloves have a fabric
mesh backing, and the pamphlet that came with the
product states that they're made from a "double weave"
of DuPont's Cordura and Dynafil TS-70, which, as far as
I know, is Schoeller's Keprotec fabric with
Kevlar, sometimes found in higher-end motorcycle gloves,
jackets or pants. The pamphlet does mention the
Shoeller name, and this is good stuff, which at least
gives one confidence that the gloves might offer some
protection against abrasion.
The gloves are unlined, but the fabrics
and stitching don't irritate, and the fabric is very
comfortable and flexible. The mesh flows huge
amounts of air on the back of the hand, so the gloves
meet their primary objective when the weather turns
extremely hot and humid.
The CoolGuard gloves are designed with a
short cuff, which has become popular in some street and
supermoto styled gloves. A short cuff can help
keep the rider slightly cooler, at the expense of
This style of cuff will fit nicely under
a wide motorcycle jacket sleeve, but it can bunch up
against the tighter sleeve of a racing-style jacket,
Joe Rocket Blaster perforated jacket we reviewed
recently. So it's important to consider
which type of jacket you'll be wearing with these
gloves, because the bunching problem may become very
Apparently, it's hard to make a mesh hot
weather motorcycle glove that also provides high levels
of protection. Either that or the market won't
support the costs associated with double stitching and
upper and lower wrist closures. The seams on the
CoolGuard gloves don't look any stronger than a pair of
lightweight dress gloves for the street, so it's unclear
how they would hold up during a serious get-off.
The palms do have a couple of extra
leather sections that are double-stitched, and the back
of the gloves have a nicely shaped carbon fiber knuckle
protector. The backs of the fingers are covered
with a very flexible rubber-like padding that is
probably meant to offer some protection, and are
primarily responsible for the range of flexibility in
Any motorcycle gloves are probably
better than nothing, but unless the gloves stay on the
rider's hand during a fall, they're worthless.
Here's the test: put on the glove and secure it to
your hand using whatever fasteners are provided.
If you can pull the glove off with your other hand while
the fasteners are closed, the glove has a much higher
chance of coming off during a fall and should probably
The CoolGuard gloves pass the test, if
only because the single wrist closure holds the glove
tight under the widest part of the palm. But I
don't have a lot of confidence that the "hook and loop"
fastener will stay closed, especially if I hit the
ground palms down.
One of my primary criteria for motorcycle gloves is that
they are comfortable. If a glove isn't
comfortable, the rider is less likely to wear it, and
the best gloves in the world are worthless if they're
sitting in the drawer instead of on the rider's hands.
The OSI CoolGuard gloves are comfortable and very
flexible, with an elastic-like feeling that works well
for hot weather use. They're among the coolest
I've tried for use during the types of extremely hot
riding weather we've experienced this summer.
The amount of protection they'd really
offer in a crash is questionable, but my feeling is that
the OSI gloves work well for limited use when ultimate
air flow is of paramount importance.
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Review: OSI CoolGuard Gloves
Retail Price: $39.99
|Colors: Black, Blue, Red,
Comments: Comfortable gloves flow lots of air. Mesh is
made from Schoeller Keprotec. Extra leather on the palm is