by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com.
A match for the new REV'IT! Infinity suit with many of the same features.
Part 5 of a 9-part series.
The REV'IT! Tempest H2O gloves are new for 2009 and they're loaded with features that just happen to be a perfect match for the REV'IT! Infinity one-piece suit (review).
The REV'IT! catalog indicates that the Tempest and the REV'IT! "Genius" gloves are their top of the line for 2009. Both glove types have similar specifications, but the Genius is clearly the top dog, with four whole pages in the 2009 catalog.
But other than the Genuis' double cuff system (one under, one over), the specifications of both gloves are similar.
This includes all the latest REV'IT! fabric technology, like the Schoeller NanoSphere treatment (described in our REV'IT! Infinity review).
It also includes Exkin air and Phase Change Materials for insulation; the Hydratex membrane; Pittards Armortan WR100X goat leather; SuperFabric covering the knuckle protector and more.
Yep, there's even some cow hide in there! Polyurethane coated, of course.
We just finished a review of the REV'IT! Kelvin winter gloves and, you might ask, what's the difference between the Kelvin and the Tempest? Other than some of the specifications, not much, as far as we can tell.
Some motorcyclists may want the higher-spec (and more expensive) Tempest gloves for their contrasting shades of black and gray, a perfect match for the Infinity suit.
Me? Truth be told, I'm rather partial to the Kelvin version myself.
Much of what was said about the Kelvin gloves regarding their fit can be repeated for the Tempest gloves. However, I've also worn both and think that the fingers and the thumb in the Tempest gloves have a slightly smaller length.
This may be due to a manufacturing tolerance, or perhaps due a difference in liners or construction, styling or materials.
It's a minor difference, but the tip of my thumb does press against the end of the glove thumb when I'm riding.
The reason I think this may have something to do with the liner is that I also feel that the Tempest gloves have slightly more bulk than the Kelvin gloves.
This seems to make a difference after 40 minutes or so of riding in suburban traffic.
I can feel it in my right hand because there seems to be more resistance in the Tempest gloves when I'm stretching my hand to cover the lever, a resistance I haven't noticed when wearing the Kelvin gloves, so I thought it should be mentioned.
The slight size difference will probably not be a factor for the vast majority of Tempest owners and it's probably a circumstance unique only to my particular hand shape, finger size and handlebar arrangement.
Otherwise, the main body of the glove and the four fingers seem to be sized identically to the Kelvin gloves in all other respects.
Comments from REV'IT! that have been added to the Kelvin review indicate that the Phase Change Material gloves should fit as closely as possible to allow the PCM to function.
Also, the standard caution for waterproof gloves applies: 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! top-of-the-line treatment is apparent in the Tempest gloves, with the PCM and pretty much every other fabric technology you can name.
Most of these technologies have previously been described in our Infinity review and also in the Kelvin gloves review, thus I'll refer you to those articles for the details rather than repeat it here at length.
But one of the major differences between the Kelvin and Tempest gloves is the use of the Schoeller NanoSphere treatment on the outer fabric of the Tempest version.
As I reported in the REV'IT! Infinity review, NanoSphere is a 21st Century wonder stof (wonder fabric), which, according to Schoeller, improves abrasion resistance, waterproof and windproof capabilities, breathability and even the ability of the fabric to stay clean.
The base fabric on the Tempest gloves is called "schoeller-dynamic" [sic], a "comfortable all-around fabric for any season" with "quick drying and good shape-retention" that is also "permanently elastic, durable and breathable", according to Schoeller.
The Tempest gloves also include features like Pittards "Armortan WR100X" goat leather; SuperFabric suede leather covering the knuckle protectors and including a water resistant finish; and Pampas cow hide.
And don't forget the REV'IT! "Hydratex Z-Liner, which is used in both the Kelvin gloves and the Infinity suit.
This membrane meets the same waterproof and breathability specs; that is, tested to resist a 5,000 mm high column of water and passing 5,000 grams of moisture per square meter over 24 hours.
These specifications are nearly identical to those of the REV'IT! Infinity suit, so if you're going to spring for an Infinity (and even if you aren't), a pair of Tempest gloves would be a nice addition.
And the styling of the Tempest gloves is similar also.
The Kelvin and Tempest gloves passed our "bucket test" -- wearing the gloves while holding them in a bucket of water up to the beginning of the gauntlet.
But the Tempest gloves seemed to absorb less moisture in the outside layers of the glove, thus allowing the glove to dry more quickly than the leather on the Kelvin glove.
I also notice no moisture buildup when wearing either the Kelvin or Tempest gloves, so the technology works very well indeed.
Here's a curious thing: even though the Kelvin and Tempest gloves have nearly identical specs when it comes to insulation, waterproof integrity and breathability, my hands feel colder in the Tempest gloves than they do when wearing the Kelvin gloves in the same weather and temperature conditions.
The fit is almost identical, so it can't be that, but during back-to-back rides and several tries, I decided that I can notice the difference.
This is one of the reasons why I prefer the Kelvin gloves.
They are $30.00 cheaper yet they were just as waterproof and they keep my hands a bit warmer. They feel more pliable and comfortable to me and I also prefer the styling of the Kelvin gloves, an admittedly subjective criteria.
The price is close enough that if you want the NanoSphere treatment, the SuperFabric protection and perhaps the matching style and color for your Infinity suit, go for the Tempest gloves.
They are still a high-quality item, but I don't think you'll feel like you're missing out by going for the Kelvins.
The overall construction of the Tempest gloves is of the same high quality we've come to expect from Rev'it, with perfect stitching and construction and an overall feeling of quality.
As with the Kelvin gloves, all of the stitching on the Tempest gloves is blind other than the double rows of external stitching used for the wear patches and the "loop" portion of Velcro on the underside of the gauntlet.
The Tempest gloves are designed differently than the Kelvin gloves however. If you looked at the construction of each pair without knowing about the materials, you'd probably think the Kelvin design was the more expensive of the two.
The Kelvin seems to have a more complex overall shape with many leather intricacies that, I would think, must take more time to construct and sew.
Also, to me the Kelvin feels "organic", while the Tempest has more of a "synthetic" feel, even with its class-leading ingredients.
There are fewer parts that make up the Tempest, possibly to improve water resistance.
The black colored material covering back of the gauntlet all the way up to the fingers is a single piece, and I think this is the material which gives the glove its synthetic feel.
The darker gray of the palms does feel like soft leather, and the first two fingertips, the palm and the heel of the hand have added material sewn on for abrasion and wear resistance.
But this is all very subjective and probably way too fussy -- I'm sure if you gave a pair of each of these gloves to a group of 100 motorcycle owners, you'd get 50 preferring one and 50 preferring the other.
As you can see in the photo directly above, the main knuckle protector and the back of the hand are covered with "SuperFabric", which I believe was first pioneered by REV'IT! for use in motorcycle clothing.
Small sections of SuperFabric can also be found on the backs of the fingertips and the side of the pinky finger on the Tempest gloves. These sections are attached using the REV'IT! thermal bonding process.
SuperFabric is used in some very high-end outdoor clothing, such as the popular (and expensive) ArcTeryx brand. And, according to a SuperFabric press release, it's even being used in the prototype space suits being designed for a Mars landing.
We've discussed the product before on these pages; in addition to providing increased levels of abrasion protection it also adds cut resistance, sharp and blunt puncture resistance and flame resistance.
It is even claimed to improve grip, which is one of the reasons that SuperFabric is being used on the palms of the Mars space suit gloves.
It's expensive stuff though, thus limiting its incorporation into motorcycle clothing for the time being.
The padding on the heel of the hand and between the first and second knuckles in the Tempest gloves is EVA foam, which feels less substantial than the polyurethane protectors on the Kelvin gloves.
The absence of the polyurethane is perhaps due to a possible improvement in abrasion resistance in the different fabrics used in the Tempest gloves.
The Tempest gloves use a Velcro attachment at the gauntlet and a strap that secures under the wrist, similar to the Kelvin gloves. This allows the Tempest gloves to also pass the "pull off" test; that is, I can not pull these gloves off after they are properly secured.
And the Tempest gloves include a slash of reflective material along the outer edge of the hand 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 makes it difficult to fit either pair over the worst-case scenario REV'IT! Cayenne jacket cuff when all of its liners are installed.
The controversy remains regarding the "Innies" vs. "Outies" with regards to gauntlet placement. The comments section of the Kelvin review already includes feedback from both parties.
I almost always wear glove gauntlets on the outside, although in the past couple of days I've tried them on the inside and I can see where it may be more comfortable under some conditions and with certain types of gloves.
REV'IT! has told me that their winter gloves are designed to be worn under the sleeve cuff, which works better with the Cayenne jacket and other jackets with cuffs that are too large to comfortably fit under the gauntlet.
But I have noticed that wearing the gauntlet underneath the sleeve cuff is not always a guaranteed success.
Depending upon the design of the cuff closure, some jackets will not close tightly enough to create a proper seal over the top of the gauntlet.
So the answer is that there's no right answer. Do what makes you feel most comfortable, and if your jacket sleeve is designed to allow the glove gauntlet to be worn underneath, that's fine. But realize this may change depending on the jacket and the type of motorcycle you ride.
Even if the jacket cuff is a loose fit over the gauntlet, if you're riding a touring bike with a big fairing and your hands are completely protected from the wind, you may be fine.
But I'm here to tell you that if the sleeve can not be secured properly, and if you're riding something like a Ducati GT1000 in a leaned-over position with 70 MPH air blowing at your sleeve, it's quite a different story.
So as of today, I still remain to this side of the "Outie" camp, only because of my preference in motorcycles.
Like many things in life, there's no single correct answer. But think about this: a gauntlet that is too narrow can not be used on the outside, while a gauntlet that is wide enough to be used on the outside can probably also be used on the inside.
So my plea to manufacturers remains: give us larger gauntlets!
As described above, the REV'IT! Tempest H2O gloves (the H2O designation in a REV'IT! glove means it's waterproof) passed the "bucket test".
The REV'IT! Tempest H2O gloves are an excellent choice for a winter motorcycle glove. They are priced the same as the Alpinestars Storm Rider gloves, but they offer a bevy of the latest technologies in motorcycle and outdoor clothing fabrics.
Although the Storm Rider gloves are very nice, they seem almost quaint in comparison to the high-tech Tempest gloves.
My personal preference though is with the REV'IT! Kelvin gloves for reasons stated above, but I am very interested in hearing from Tempest owners who feel differently.