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Racer Traveller Gloves Review

Racer Traveller Gloves Review

Waterproof Gloves for Women and Men

by Carmen B. for webBikeWorld.com

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Summary

The Traveller gloves strike a good balance of protection and comfort in a touring style glove.

The mcFIT liner system adds comfort and ensures that the gloves remain waterproof.

Background

In case you're wondering, the word "Traveller" is the British spelling of the word, which means "someone who is traveling or who travels often", according to Merriam-Webster.

That's an apt name for these gloves, made for both women and men in appropriate sizes.

Racer Gloves USA is the distributor for Racer Outdoor GmbH out of Austria. Racer sells more than just gloves in other markets, although motorcycle gloves are the focus of the business in the U.S.

Racer Gloves USA offers a good variety of motorcycle gloves for men women, although the men have eighteen choices versus the seven we women get.

Racer sells the women's "High Racer" race gloves; the "Grip", "Feeling" and "Racer" gloves in the Summer collection; the "Traveller", "Queen" and "Warmup" gloves in the waterproof collection and the latter three are also listed in the Racer Gloves “Winter” category.

Racer Traveller Gloves
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Racer Traveller Gloves Overview

The Traveller Gloves come in both a men’s and women’s version and they are available only in black.

These are touring or cruising gloves designed for general street use when waterproof gloves are required in cooler weather.

A closer look reveals hard protectors over the knuckles, as well as soft protectors on the fingers and the heel of the palm.

Goatskin leather covers the entire outside of the glove except for where the knuckle protector is present. The leather feels stiff right out of the package but not terribly so; other motorcycle gloves I've owned are stiffer and some are softer.

The Traveller gloves are claimed waterproof and as such they don’t really have a provision for ventilation, which makes these gloves well suited for the cooler times of year.

The styling is nice and subdued and there are no large branding logos present. Instead there is a “Racer” logo embossed in the leather near the base of the gauntlet. A smaller racer logo is also present at the end of the wrist strap.

Racer Traveller Gloves Palm Stitching
Construction

The goatskin leather panels making up the chassis of the glove are stitched together in a very neat and tight manner, mostly. Unfortunately I found an inch long (24 mm) thread hanging from between the little and ring fingers of the right glove, marring an otherwise well-sewn piece.

Many of the areas are double stitched for extra durability including the palm, the main seam of the thumb, and other areas where extra leather is attached for extra protection.

The Traveller gloves are gauntlet style, with a large strap that starts on the outside of the wrist and comes over the top. It is sewn against the chassis over the top of the wrist and ends in a large patch of hook and loop fastener.

A smaller strap runs under the wrist to secure the glove on the hand in the event of a slide on the pavement. This strap fastens with hook-and-loop fastener after passing through a plastic D-ring.

Nearly all the way around the wrist is a seam of elastic that keeps the wrist area close to the skin. This is likely to help ensure water doesn’t easily run down into the main part of the glove when in the rain.

Taking a close look at the Traveller gloves, there are a lot of details present that at first glance can be missed.

Accordion stretch panels are placed at the base of the fingers, excepting the little finger, to allow for a snug fit that stretches when holding bike grips.

Another accordion panel is located behind the knuckle protector as well.

Racer Traveller Gloves Palm
mcFIT Glove Liner

Being a waterproof glove, the Traveller gloves are completely lined with the mcFIT system to attach the liner. It works with the mcTEX waterproof membrane to created a specially bonded waterproof liner system that is also found in some of the other Racer gloves reviewed on webBikeWorld.

It was first introduced to webBikeWorld readers in the introduction to the VQuattro gloves review.

The mcFIT (Maximum Comfort Fit Technology) system is a system to bond the liner to the glove. It works "hand in hand", if you can stand the pun, with the mcTEX waterproof and breathable liner membrane.

Both are manufactured by the MCTECH Corporation.

Here's why mcFIT is special: a waterproof/breathable liner can not be sewn directly to the inside of the glove body because any holes would immediately compromise the integrity of the liner. But the liner must be attached to the glove or it will pull out when the rider's hands are removed.

The mcFIT technology employs a special manufacturing technique and a special type of adhesive to attach the membrane to the inside of the glove.

It uses a separate full-length liner and adhesive that adds almost no additional thickness to the glove.

It eliminates the tabs used in traditional methods of attachment and it allows the mcTEX membrane to move with the fingers and to slide within the outer mcFIT layer.

This provides more dexterity and a "softer" feel without the bulk or the typical "plastic" feel of most gloves lined with waterproof/breathable membranes.

The waterproof / breathable membrane is bonded to the chassis in a manner that reduces bunching inside. While the liner will not pull out of the glove it still has areas that are loose inside making bunching possible, but less likely than other lined gloves I’ve owned.

Racer Traveller Gloves Fingers Close-up
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Waterproofing

Since the Traveller gloves are advertised as being waterproof, they needed to be put to the webBikeWorld “Bucket Test”.

The mcFIT liner that provides the waterproofing is one part of the equation, but even if it is effective there is still the chance of it getting damaged if not carefully attached to the chassis. If the stitching of the glove has pierced the liner at any point during the construction, the waterproofing will fail.

So did it? I performed the “bucket test” by putting my gloved hands into a bucket of water for a full five minutes. While my hand did starting feeling cooler after two minutes in the water the interior never got damp.

Use of a liner for waterproofing does end up allowing the leather chassis of the glove to absorb water and they were pretty heavy from their soak when I pulled them out of the water. Letting them sit overnight with a small fan did seem to dry them out thoroughly.  

Protection

The protective features of the Traveller gloves are mostly of the soft variety, save for the main knuckle protector.

The main knuckles are covered with a formed plastic (TPU?) protector that has a foam backing between the protector and the liner. The protector has some flex, which is what makes me think it is some kind of TPU rather than a carbon fiber piece which would be very stiff.

A unique feature of this knuckle guard is that it is covered with Kevlar for extra abrasion resistance. This is something I haven’t seen before on a pair of gloves.

Other protection throughout the glove construction is made from foam sandwiched between layers of leather. There are protectors on the first three fingers with the little finger getting by with an extra patch of leather.

Two more of the “foam sandwich” protectors are in place at the heel of the palm.

At the top of the palm under the fingers is additional patch of leather (no foam here though) which runs up the inside of the thumb.

Overall, the protection on the Traveller gloves is good and what I would expect for a touring or cruiser glove or even maybe a little better.

The nice thing about all of the soft protectors is that it makes the gloves easy to fold and store in a purse or tank bag.

Also, the gloves have a separate wrist strap for extra security. This is often missing on "touring" gloves and women's gloves.

Racer Traveller Gloves Knuckle Protector
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Fit and Comfort

Racer gloves advertises their gloves as “The best fitting motorcycle gloves you can buy”.

I used their sizing chart on the Racer Gloves USA website and determined that size medium would be correct for me. At first they were a bit snug but after wearing them several times they have broken in and fit a bit better.

Some people like a close-fitting glove but I tend to prefer a little more wiggle room. I would probably order one size up for a more comfortable fit next time.

For reference, most brands of gloves fit just right for me in size medium.

The mcFIT liner of a relatively light weight and is not as bulky as other lined gloves I’ve worn. This liner also makes these gloves more suited to cooler temperatures of Spring and Autumn rather than Summer.

For Winter riding, the thin insulation would likely need the help of heated grips when it gets really cold.

The gloves provide good feel for a fully lined glove and the fingers are pre-curved so they are comfortable when holding onto the bars.

Racer Traveller Gloves Wrist Gauntlet
Gauntlet

The gauntlet opening on the Traveller gloves is what I would call medium in size. The gauntlet will fit when closed around the sleeve cuffs of my mesh jacket but getting them around my leather jacket sleeves is literally a bit of a stretch.

There's also the separate wrist strap, which adds to the security of the gloves.

One thing I find a bit of a nuisance is the long white labels in the gloves. They can feel a bit scratchy against the skin and tend to work their way out of the gauntlet, requiring me to tuck them back in now and then. I'll probably cut them off with a scissor.

Conclusion

Racer Gloves USA has put together a very good pair of gloves with Traveller gloves designed with fit and sizing for both women and men.

The subtle styling and good protective features make them versatile enough to handle commuting, touring and cruiser duty as well as sport riding.

Overall the construction is very well executed and they seem like they should last for a lot of miles.

The fact they are truly waterproof is welcome, when a lot of other “waterproof” gloves haven’t passed our "Bucket Test" regime.

Racer Gloves also offers a very generous return/exchange policy which keeps you from paying for the shipping back and forth and there is something to be said for that also.

On the value side, I’d say the Traveller gloves are reasonably priced at $149.99 considering the mcFIT liner and overall construction. This price also places them in an arena with some serious competition.

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wBW Review: Racer Traveller Women's Motorcycle Gloves
Manufacturer: Racer Gloves USA
List Price (2015): $149.99
Made In: China
Colors: Black
Sizes: M-XL (Women's)
Review Date: September 2015
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From "K.H." (September 2015): "I’ve read several reviews from various sources that indicate that a pair of gloves from a reputable manufacturer are tight and uncomfortable. I then try the gloves on at a store and find that they fit snug. This is a good thing!

As indicated in this review, all gloves are designed to break in to some degree. And no glove should be uncomfortable. That’s a complication that nobody needs while riding.

On the other hand (har), a good set of gloves will fit the fingers closely, hopefully with a bit of curve built in. If your gloves fit closely but are still comfortable, then you should be glad, because that means that they will provide maximum protection.

If you can pull your gloves on quickly, then they can pull off just as quickly in a crash. Ideally, your gloves should not pull off easily, even before you cinch-up any Velcro.

You will see this kind of tailoring in all race gloves and in almost all protective street gloves.

Loose gloves are like mesh gloves. They’re better than nothing, but not much better.

Well-tailored protective gloves are worth the money. This is a lesson that is best learned the easy way, take my word for it."

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