REV'IT! Kelvin H2O Gloves
Rev'it "Kelvin H2O" Winter Motorcycle
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com.
Summary: Typical Rev'it high quality, fit and protective
features in a high-end winter glove.
Frequent webBikeWorld visitors know about our fondness
for Rev'it gear.
The company offers an excellent
combination of quality, performance and technology, but
unlike some other high-end motorcycle gear
manufacturers, Rev'it products are readily available
through a worldwide retail network.
And before you ask, the
answer is "No". We never get bored of reviewing
more Rev'it gear.
I've chucked most of my old gear
because now my entire riding outfit, including boots,
pants, jacket and gloves, is Rev'it branded. Even
Rev'it socks! If they made Rev'it helmets, I'd
probably be wearing one too...
So Number 4 and 5 (in our
seemingly never-ending 2008 comparison of winter
motorcycle gloves) is devoted to two brand-spankin' new
Rev'it products for 2009: the Kelvin H20 gloves
described here, and the Rev'it Tempest H2O gloves that
I'll cover next. Can they beat the
Storm Rider gloves I reported on in our installment
Number 3? Let's see...
Rev'it publishes a hard-copy
catalog each year, overstuffed with photos, descriptions and
specs on their entire product line. Massive is
the only word for this thing -- it's kind of like the
Encyclopedia Britannica of motorcycle gear.
At 1.1 kg (2 lbs. 8 oz.),
the catalog costs about $25.00 to print and probably as
much to mail. Good thing the pages are printed on
thick glossy stock -- it keeps the paper from curling
I'm not sure if most
motorcyclists realize the huge array of gear that Rev'it
pumps out each year. Most of it is either new,
upgraded or revised to include the latest technology and
techniques. How they make any money doing this is
beyond me -- perhaps there's a behind-the-scenes
benefactor that does it all for fun?
For instance, the 2009
catalog lists 42 pairs of gloves in every size, shape,
color you can imagine. Summer, winter, women's,
men's -- even "lobster claw" over gloves. And pure
race gloves, like the "Jerez" model worn by Randy de Puniet.
Rev'it Kelvin Glove
I'm not sure if Randy wears Kelvin gloves
when he's out for a ride on his Honda Ruckus, but he
couldn't do much better.
The Kelvin gloves passed our
waterproof bucket test, so no problems there. All
of the gloves in this comparison have nearly the same
level of comfort, which makes it rather like splitting
hairs trying to pick a winner of the comfort category, but I'd say the Rev'it Kelvin gloves are
similar to the Alpinestars Storm Rider gloves in
terms of feel and fit.
The Kelvin gloves fit
exactly to expected size, in my opinion, but I probably could use
just a touch more room in the fingertips.
This is only because I
always cover the front brake lever when I ride, and I
usually need a bit of extra room to account for this.
Motorcyclists who keep both hands on the grips for the
majority of the time will probably find that the Rev'it
Kelvin gloves will be just fine.
[ADDENDUM: The Kelvin
gloves are also available in a women's version, the
Kelvin H2O Ladies' Glove, in sizes ranging from S to XL.
They are shaped specifically for a woman's hand; all
other specifications are identical.]
Hydratex Waterproof Liner
Rev'it uses their own
"Hydratex" liner, so the Kelvin gloves don't have that
"crinkly paper" sound or feel when I'm wearing them that
can be caused by the Gore-Tex or other waterproof
membrane liner. The Hydratex liner is also used in
the new Rev'it Infinity suit.
According to Rev'it, the
Hydratex liner in the Kelvin gloves has been tested to
resist a 5,000 mm high column of water in the standard
waterproofing test (see the webBikeWorld
suit review for details on this test), and it works.
The Hydratex "Z-Liner" also meets the Rev'it
breathability tests, passing 5,000 grams of moisture per
square meter over 24 hours.
These facts and figures may make your
eyes spin, but the vast majority of other motorcycle
glove companies probably don't even know what this
means, much less make and test their gloves to the
Gauntlet barely covers the large cuff of the Rev'it
Cayenne jacket. Note texture on palm.
Rev'it Kelvin PCM: "Phase
Rev'it wouldn't be Rev'it if they didn't figure a high-tech
angle for the
Kelvin gloves; the
insulating liner is Schoeller "PCM", for Phase Change
Material, which works very well.
We've reported on Phase
Change Materials in the past. Known generically as
materials offering "active thermal regulation", this
type of modern insulation is used in products like the
Roadgear Boss gloves, the BMW windproof vest and more.
Phase Change Materials are
designed to "actively balance out too cold or too hot
temperatures", according to Schoeller. The
material actually goes through a transmogrification
(how's that for a word?) where it "changes (it's) state
of matter at a certain temperature: from liquid to solid
and vice versa".
In the vernacular, heat is sucked
off and stored when the temperatures are higher and
released when the temperatures are lower. It may
possibly due to an overactive imagination, but it sure seems to me
that if I keep the Kelvin gloves indoors before going
out for a ride on a cold day, my hands feel more
It's certainly not anywhere
near the level of warmth provided by a heated glove, but I have noticed
a higher level of comfort when I'm wearing any one of
the PCM garments I've tried. Very subtle, but it's there.
The Schoeller PCM is a bit
schizophrenic when it comes to bulk though.
Although the Kelvin gloves don't feel as bulky as the
Freezer gloves or the Olympia Ultima 1 gloves
(review coming) in this
comparison, they seem to blunt my feel for the grips
more than I'd expect.
I'm not sure why this is,
but it's really only a matter of tiny differences, as
basically any of the gloves in this comparison would
make an excellent choice for cold- or wet-weather
riding, which demonstrates the amazement at how far
motorcycle gloves have come in such a short time.
The Kelvin glove liner
material is comfortable also; it has what I can only
describe as a very "neutral" feel. When my hands
are in the gloves, I don't really feel the lining
material at all, which is a bit different than some of
the other gloves in this comparison. I guess it's
a combination of the material "hand" and the nap, which
somehow meshes very closely with my skin.
are a couple of interesting comments on PCM from Rev'it:
"With the PCM insulation it is vitally important to have
the gloves warm when you put them on. I made a
mistake of leaving a pair in my top bag and they never
However, I got in the habit on really
cold days (30 degrees and less) of putting them on my
radiator for a few minutes (not too hot, or you'll ruin
them) and they stayed extra warm for the whole trip.
It's also vital with a PCM glove to have a close fitting
shape. Otherwise they will get cold. When
used the right way, they rock. Give the preheating
a try...you'll love it."]
Fit, Comfort and Warmth
So overall, I'd place these Rev'it Kelvin H2O gloves
among the "most comfortable" group
in this comparison. The Phase Change Material
really does seem to work to maintain warmth, with only the
very ends of my fingertips starting to feel slightly
cold, but not uncomfortable, after about 45 minutes at
around 6 C (42 F) on an open bike with no fairing.
The other feature of note is
that the Kelvin gloves seem to have excellent windproof
qualities. In fact, I'd say they feel like they let in less air than
probably and other glove here.
I believe this
results from the combination of the quality
construction, the Hydratex wind/waterproof liner and the
near-perfect fit, which doesn't allow room for leaking
Very tight "blind" stitching used on the fingertips of the
Rev'it Kelvin H2O gloves.
Finger, Thumb and Overall
Much of the stitching on the Rev'it Kelvin gloves is
"blind", which I think is the term for "inside-out"
stitching. So the stitching is nicely hidden along
the fingers an nearly all over the glove, with the
exception of the outside double-row stitching on the
additional leather wear patches.
It's difficult to say that
this gives the gloves a sleek look, because gloves have
many different parts that make up the complex design,
but it certainly helps give the gloves a "professional"
look, and you don't have to worry about any loose stitch
worms hanging off the seams, because there are
The fingers are constructed
and sewn together with what I think is probably the
highest level of quality I've ever seen in a motorcycle
The pinky finger is the one
that gets me -- the leather on the inside of the ring
finger and pinky is all one-piece, and it continues
around the tip of the pinky in a half-moon dart shape,
providing the necessary room for this small finger.
The method used to cut the
leather, piece it together and blind stitch it along the
pinky is pretty remarkable. You'll have to excuse
us I guess -- we get excited about details like this,
especially on gloves, where details mostly go unnoticed.
Here's an extreme close-up
of the pinky finger, taken from about 75 mm distance,
showing the high-quality stitching around the tip and
the beautiful incorporation across the tip of the single
piece of leather that starts at the tip of the opposite
finger and wraps around, ending in this wedge.
By the way -- those white
dots you see are dust specks! :
Extreme close-up of pinky finger stitching.
About the only external stitching on the Kelvin gloves
is to attach the large
knuckle protector and the leather wear patches.
Security: Armor and Protection
The leather on the Kelvin gloves is, according to the
Rev'it catalog, a combination of cow hide, "Pampas" cow
hide (according to Rev'it), goat skin and suede leather
with a water-resistant finish.
The Kelvin gloves have near-race glove styling
and design, much like the
Alpinestars Storm Rider gloves, with a big hard main
knuckle protector that appears to be covered in
The Kelvin gloves include stiff-feeling polyurethane
injected into the padding on the backs of the second and
third knuckles on each finger and an additional large
section on the heel of the palm and back of the wrist.
On the backs of each finger, between the second and
main knuckle, Rev'it has constructed one of these
complex flex areas that also will go unnoticed unless
you're inspecting the gloves carefully. This type
of dart adds a lot of time and complexity to the
construction of a glove finger, but it's worth it in the
end for the added flexibility and also the added style.
As you can see in the detail photo above, the leather
on the palms and underside of the fingers has a texture.
I believe this is the Schoeller Keprotec
abrasion-resistant material -- either that or goat skin
-- and it yields excellent grip. The palm also has
the obligatory extra leather wear patch sewn in one
piece up and on to the thumb.
The Kelvin gloves have a Velcro attachment at the
gauntlet and a strap that secures under the wrist.
I can not pull these gloves off after they are properly
secured, so they pass the security test. There is
also a slash of reflective material along the outer edge
of the gloves for added safety at night.
The Rev'it Kelvin and Tempest gloves have the second
narrowest gauntlets in this comparison at a 145 mm width.
This unfortunately makes either pair difficult to
fit over the worst-case scenario Rev'it Cayenne
jacket cuff with all liners included.
The gauntlets on both pair
are long enough, but they could definitely use
additional width or circumference, possibly with a dart
that adds about 40 mm at the end.
Now there's a bit of a
controversy as you may see in the comments section of
several webBikeWorld glove reviews, with some riders
preferring to wear the gauntlets inside the sleeve,
while others wear the gauntlets on the outside.
I'm an outside guy, and about the only place I've seen
motorcycle riders wearing a gauntlet on the inside of a
sleeve is in Europe.
I find it very difficult to
put on a jacket, then the gloves, then try and fit the
cuffs over the glove gauntlet and zip everything up.
I'm not sure why glove manufacturers would put long and
wide gauntlets on gloves if the gloves were meant to be
worn under the sleeves.
In any case, it would be
nice to have larger gauntlets on the Kelvin gloves,
although this is only an issue on heavy, thick sleeves
and jacket cuffs.
Rev'it USA also send these comments on the gauntlets:
"We make all our winter gloves to be worn under the
cuffs, therefore we keep the cuffs slender". They
said that the gauntlets also have to be long enough to
fit up under the sleeve to keep out the water.]
As described above, the Rev'it Kelvin H2O gloves (the
H2O designation in a Rev'it glove means it's waterproof)
passed the "bucket test".
[ADDENDUM: Be careful
when removing winter motorcycle gloves that have a
waterproof liner. To maintain the waterproof
integrity of the membrane, the liner is not normally
attached to the body of the glove. It is possible
for the lining and the waterproof membrane to turn
inside-out if the hand is pulled out of the glove too
quickly, especially if the hand is moist or sweaty.
To help prevent this from occurring, remove the glove by
gently pulling on each fingertip of the opposite hand as
the glove is slowly removed by loosening one fingertip
at a time.]
The Rev'it Kelvin H2O gloves list for about $30.00 less
than the Alpinestars Storm Rider gloves, their closest
competitors in this comparison.
Either of these gloves would make an excellent choice
for a solid, long-lasting quality winter motorcycle
glove with high levels of protection (for a winter
glove), but the Rev'it Kelvin gloves I think have a
better fit and, perhaps, better styling.
2008 Winter Motorcycle Gloves Home and Comparison Rating
Product Review: Rev'it Kelvin H2O Winter Motorcycle Gloves
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Rev'it Kelvin waterproof gloves
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||List Price: $149.99
Sizes: Men's: S to XXXL. Women's: S-XL
December 2008 Notes: Gloves provided courtesy of
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►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "K.W." (12/09: "I've had a pair
of these gloves for the past month, through some of the
wettest UK November weather in years. My commute
is 140 miles per day, 3/5's at Motorway speeds with the
rest A-road and some urban traffic. It takes up to
90 minutes for each leg. I ride an FJR1300, so
there is no wind protection for the hands.
Firstly I'd agree with most of your comments in the review. Fit, finish
and style are very good and I've had no problems with overall quality so far.
Top marks for waterproofing, as long as you remember to put the jacket 'over'
the gloves, otherwise water runs down the jacket and into the glove.
I was disappointed with the thermal qualities. In temperatures down to
5C, my hands, especially the fingers, end up feeling cold after a journey.
I can live with that. However, when it rains, the outer leather shell of
the glove gets sopping wet and this seems to drain all the heat out of the PCM
On an equivalent 5C journey my hands and fingers are numb with cold
afterwards - not good. I note in your reviews you mentioned the PCM feeling
cold, this is especially noticeable when the outer shell is wet and you curl
your hand. The glove is noticeably cold and you end up trying not to curl
your hands around the bars/clutch/break levers. Again, not good.
So, I can't honestly recommend these gloves if you ride a lot in the wet and
cold. After paying 100 pounds I am very disappointed. I have a
15yr-old pair of gloves with a Thinsulate layer and these are just as 'warm',
even though they leak and are ancient in comparison."
From "C" (9/09): "After reading your
review of the REV'IT! Kelvin H2O Gloves, I decided to
get a pair, and let you know how I got on with them.
I really like them, they are comfortable, even though
the lining is a bit odd at first, I find you get used to
it quickly. They have nice padding on them to take
the strain off of your wrists if needed.
I was wondering what the different fabric on the left
index finger was for, then it hit me. Literally...
a bug hit me - I used the smooth fabric to wipe it off
of my visor, I think it's intent is for wiping water
off, but this is a nice feature in either case.
I do 130 miles a day on my bike, and my hands haven't
gotten cold or wet yet, hopefully these gloves will keep
me warm in the months to come.
Oh, only point I've forgotten to mention is I think they
are made for people with longer fingers, either that or
I have stubby fingers (probably the latter), so I have a
bit of excess at the end, but they are still
comfortable. I found that I didn't have to order a
size up like with other brands of gloves.
Thanks a lot for your review!"
From "F.M." (12/08): "Regarding the
manufacturer's statement that the gauntlets are designed
to fit inside the rider's jacket sleeve: That is
completely wrong for a wet-weather, winter glove.
Water and the wind propelling it will force its way up
the rider's sleeve.
It's like overlapping shingles on a roof in the wrong
direction on a roof -- you will end up wet, cold, and
From "R.B." (12/08): "I just read
the article about the Rev-it Kelvin H2O gloves.
Burn likes to wear gauntlet gloves on the outside of the
sleeves of his jackets, and suggests that he's only seen
that in Europe.
As a rider who did 48,000 miles last year, primarily
in Ohio, I believe I can explain why wearing the
gauntlets inside the sleeve is better. Unless you
are riding with ape hanger bars, when it rains, your
arms are aimed down, and water can actually fill your
gloves. Water is not a good insulator when it's
cold and dark.
Maybe this will help clear up the mystery as to why
gauntlets are worn inside the sleeve in Europe, and by
some people in Ohio."