2013 Rukka Clothing Series:
▪ Rukka Armaxion Jacket Review
▪ Rukka Armas Jacket Review
▪ Rukka Armas Pants Review
▪ Rukka Airway Jacket Review
▪ Rukka AirVision Pants Review
▪ Rukka Argosaurus Gloves Review
▪ Rukka Lobster Gloves Review
▪ Rukka R-Star Gloves Review
▪ Rukka Vauhti Gloves Review
The Rukka Argosaurus gloves are designed for street or sport riding, but they are also waterproof.
This is a somewhat rare combination of features.
The waterproof capability is assured with the high-end Gore-Text X-TRAFIT technology liner (report).
You'll pay for it though; the list price of the Argosaurus gloves seems a bit steep, all things considered.
Also, the gloves fit tighter than expected. And the gauntlet is too narrow.
Otherwise, the Rukka Argosaurus gloves have a useful complement of features. I'm just not sure that the price/value equation is quite where it should be.
The first thing I just had to do after we received the Rukka Argosaurus gloves was to see if the word "Argosaurus" had any meaning. One just never knows with these sometimes-strange product names that the European motorcycle clothing manufacturers seem to favor.
I quickly found what might be the root: "Aragosaurus".
With the extra "a", this isn't quite the same spelling, but perhaps that's what Rukka intended?
The Wikipedia entry states that the Aragosaurus, or "Aragon lizard", was a "of sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous period of ... Aragon, Spain."
Perhaps the hidden meaning intended by Rukka has something to do with protection? But, as we all know, all the protection in the world didn't help the dinosaurs...
Or perhaps Rukka meant that the Rukka Argosaurus gloves are a relatively rare breed; that is, a street/sport motorcycle glove with a fully waterproof lining. After all, the weather isn't always sunny, dry and warm, even in summer -- and even in Aragon.
It would be nice to have some waterproof gloves that are also protective...
Since one of the main features of the Argosaurus gloves is the Gore-Tex "X-TRAFIT" waterproof liner, a technology that was specifically designed for motorcycle gloves, we immediately put it to the test.
The Gore-Text X-TRAFIT technology liner (report) was designed to provide the same waterproof and breathable qualities of standard Gore-Tex membranes, but without deadening the rider's feel for the grips.
We have reviewed one or two other pairs of motorcycle gloves on webBikeWorld that included the X-TRAFIT liner system and it works.
I'm happy to report that this pair of Argosaurus gloves are absolutely waterproof, no doubt about it. Even the leather seems to dry more rapidly than expected. I didn't feel a drop of water during a 5-minute dunking.
One of the benefits of using Gore-Tex technology is that Gore keeps very close tabs on the manufacturing process and they have no qualms about pulling the Gore-Tex license if the manufacturer doesn't meet the quality specs.
After all, it's Gore who is giving the "Guaranteed to Keep You Dry" product replacement or refund guarantee, so you can't blame them for wanting to make sure their products are being used correctly.
As we noted in the Rukka R-Star gloves review, it is very difficult to fit a waterproof membrane intact inside a motorcycle glove without penetrating it with an errant stitch.
This was proven in the "real world", as more than one pair of "waterproof" gloves reviewed on webBikeWorld have failed the "Bucket Test".
The Argosaurus gloves do feel slightly thicker than, say, a pair of high-quality race gloves with goat-skin palms. But they have excellent feel, despite the liner.
Also, the membrane liner does not have that "plasticky" feel or "crinkly" sound we've noticed in other "waterproof" gloves with lower-tech liners.
So the bottom line here is that Rukka chose wisely and the Argosaurus gloves are not only waterproof and windproof but breathable and they provide good grip feel also.
Besides the techie Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT membrane, the remainder of the Argosaurus gloves build is a fairly standard specification for this type of glove.
Where other manufacturers would surely pile on the adjectives in their promotional descriptions, Rukka lists the Argosaurus gloves only as "leather".
This laid-back approach to marketing seems to be typical for Rukka; I noted the same paucity of information in the Rukka R-Star glove review and the Rukka Lobster gloves review, which are part of this Rukka glove review series.
Thus, I don't know much about the type of leather and can only say it's black and it's soft. It looks and feels to be of good quality, comparable with gloves like the Rev'it Alaska GTX (review) and a few other high-end street/sport/tour and waterproof gloves.
The stitching is also of good quality; about half of it uses hidden seams and the other half -- including the fingers -- is exposed.
Another notable feature of these gloves is the number of leather sections that were used to create the glove body, which seems higher than normal. There's even a sewn split up the center of the palm, which attaches the inside of the thumb.
This thumb split disappears under a small double-stitched wear section between the thumb and forefinger, while the outer part of the thumb has a separate section sewn with hidden stitches up and around the center of that finger.
Even the pinky finger uses three separate pieces of leather, sewn together with a mix of 2/3 blind and 1/3 exposed stitches.
I have a feeling the slightly unusual construction may be due to the fitment of the X-TRAFIT lining system, and since our pair is completely waterproof, I'm not complaining.
As long as the stitches hold up -- and I have no reason to believe they won't -- the gloves should provide good protection.
The liner is full-length and very comfortable and I can't feel any stitches, lumps or bumps inside, which is a plus.
Rukka gloves are sized to fit numeric hand sizes, rather than using the simplified S, M, L, etc. routine.
Whether the gloves are in numeric or alpha sizes may not make that much of a difference however, although it's possible an owner may find a better fit with a measured size. That is, as long as the numerically-sized gloves fit true.
This pair is the same size as the Rukka R-Star gloves I reviewed previously; both are labeled as size 10. However, we noticed right away that the Argosaurus gloves have a tight fit. Our pair fits about 1/2 to 1 size small.
This is most noticeable when my hand enters the glove (it's a tight fit) and in the tightness across the palm and when my hands are on the grips.
The gloves are tight at the wrist juncture, where the glove body narrows slightly where it is attached to the gauntlet. I have to really push to get the gloves on, especially if my hands are damp.
There just isn't a lot of extra room in these gloves and the leather is stretched tight across if I make a fist.
I'm not sure how a size 11 Argosaurus gloves might have fit; probably better and perhaps perfect, I'll guess.
I don't know if the other smaller or larger sizes of the Argosaurus gloves also have a smaller-than-expected fit, but I can say that this pair of size 10 definitely fits tighter than the size 10 R-Star gloves from Rukka.
Thus, a good buying strategy, if you can swing it, might be to buy the size you think you need and one size larger, then return the pair that doesn't fit. Just make sure you try them on before removing the hang tags though!
The fingers of these size large gloves are also a bit tight, although they have a length that feels normal for my usual size large.
I'd guess that the gloves were a standard size when designed, but then lost some internal room after the X-TRAFIT liner was installed. Rukka should have added some dimension to the gloves to account for the liner perhaps.
One feature that is unfortunately similar between the Argosaurus gloves and the R-Star gloves is the diameter of the gauntlet. I noted it was too small on the R-Star gloves to fit over most winter jacket sleeve cuffs, a no-no for a winter glove.
While the Argosaurus gloves aren't necessarily designed for winter (they do not have an insulating liner), the gauntlet is still too narrow by a half, making it difficult to place it over the top of anything but a thin summer unlined jacket.
This is one of the most unfortunate and disappointing features of both Rukka gloves I've reviewed, and one that could very easily be solved. Are you listening, Rukka?
Although the titanium insert on the main knuckle protector is a nicer-than-expected feature (although perhaps not at this price), it's too bad they didn't make the secondary knuckle protectors out of the same stuff.
The titanium is the silver-colored wing-shaped piece that is placed over the top of the plastic main knuckle protector nicely sewn into the full-width floating section over the back of the hand.
The gloves also have rubbery/plasticky protectors over the top or tip knuckles on the first three fingers.
They are the light gray triangular-shaped sections you can see in the photos. It's not terrible, and it feels thick enough, but just doesn't seem appropriate on a pair of two-hundred-and-fifty-buck gloves.
Then the middle knuckles have small open "vents" that also serve as protectors. These also have an unfortunately cheap feel, similar to what you might find on very inexpensive gloves. The vents are surrounded by donut-shaped leather sections sewn on top of the fingers.
These "vents" aren't really necessary. In fact, there is no reason at all to have vents on these gloves, because of the full-length X-TRAFIT waterproof liner does not have any entries for air to flow through.
So putting something that looks like a vent on the fingertips doesn't do much.
Perhaps it could be said that some air on the outside of the waterproof/breathable membrane is required to pull away the moisture that gets through, but the entire glove body is leather, which is porous, so that should do it.
Besides, I can try blowing through the vent and very little air gets through anyway.
So Rukka would have been much better off in my opinion by putting some nice titanium or other protectors over the middle knuckles, rather than the plastic. Not only would this have looked better, it would potentially provide much better protection than the small plastic open vents that were employed instead.
Other protectors include a type of plastic or TPU scaphoid slider that is nicely attached on a separate section of leather on the heel of the hand. Another small section of plastic or TPU sits on the outside of the pinky finger, also on a separate leather swatch for more protection.
A padded leather dimple is located at the base of the thumb, but this appears to have been added more for looks than protection.
The outside of the thumb has one of the small plastic "vents" only, on its own donut of leather, with no other thumb protection added.
The Argosaurus gloves have a wrist strap across the back of the wrist that works well to secure the gloves. The tight fit of these size large, combined with the snug entry and the wrist strap definitely keep the gloves on my hands.
A single hook-and-loop closure across the bottom of the gauntlet secures the lower part of the gloves, but as I mentioned in a previous section, the gauntlets are too small and not long enough to fit over many motorcycle jacket sleeve cuffs.
The Argosaurus gloves feel pretty much like a standard pair of leather street/sport gloves. The too-snug fit of this size large sort of clouds my overall opinion, and I wish I had a larger pair to try.
But overall, they're nice gloves, the protective features aren't too "in your face" and they also are subdued enough to not interfere with riding, holding the hand grips, etc.
While not insulated, the Gore-Tex membrane does an excellent job of blocking the wind and, of course, the water, all while keeping my hands feeling dry due to the one-way moisture transfer out of the gloves.
The special X-TRAFIT liner also doesn't interfere with grip feel and if you didn't know better, it would be difficult to impossible to know that these gloves were fully waterproof.
Like the Rukka R-Star gloves, the Argosaurus gloves have an accordion pleat in the leather at the thumb, which is a nice design detail, probably difficult to sew and works well.
Also, there are small slivers of reflective material over each finger, as illustrated in the photo above.
I kind of feel bad about this and I probably sound like a curmudgeon. But after now living with three completely different pairs of Rukka gloves, I'd have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed.
I just assumed that this highly-regarded, high-tech manufacturer of (expensive) motorcycle clothing would have something new, exciting and different to bring to the party.
The three pair of Rukka gloves I have tried so far just seem to have a few "almost there" features. The designs are much more conservative that I expected from Rukka, to the point of being a "me too".
And the gauntlet issue on both the R-Star and Argosaurus gloves is disappointing and especially puzzling when you consider that surely this Finnish company must understand the realities of wearing cold-weather motorcycle clothing?
Both the R-Star and Argosaurus glove gauntlets are difficult-to-impossible to fit over a typically thick winter motorcycle jacket sleeve cuff.
The Argosaurus gloves are well made, I'll give them that. But, so are a half-dozen other pair I can think of. And the Argosaurus gloves are certainly not cheap by any means, with a list price of $249.00.
That's a lot of dosh for a pair of gloves.
To be dead honest, for less money, I'd much rather have a pair of Rev'it Alaska GTX (review) ($169.99 list) or the fantastic (but difficult to source) Eska Indianapolis gloves (review) (€169 list) to name two similar styles.
From "J.R." (February 2013): "Rukka Gloves (are) designed to Rukka Jackets where is water- and wind-proof cuff inside the wrist. It much easily wear gloves over cuff if gauntlet is bit tighter and shorter than normally gloves. In my opinion Rukka products is cheap. If you buy new Rukka products you can use it next 10 - 15 years."
Editor's Reply: While the sleeves on the Rukka Armas jacket (review) may be optimized to fit over gloves, there is nothing on the Rukka website or in the information that came with the gloves to indicate that the gloves are designed only to fit under a sleeve cuff or a recommendation that they should be worn that way.
Indeed, if this was the case, then that would have brought another set of issues; namely, why wouldn't Rukka have then designed the glove gauntlet specifically to fit under the sleeve only?
And even then, the gauntlet could still have been made larger to fit either over or under the sleeve cuffs, depending on the owner's choice. This would have made the gloves more usable under more conditions and with different style jackets. A feature such as this would also help justify the $249.00 list price of these gloves.
If the printed information in the gloves had said "For use only under sleeve cuffs", our evaluation of the product certainly would have taken that into consideration.
Also, Rukka surely wouldn't mind if owners of other brands of jackets would buy Rukka gloves, which may or may not have sleeve cuffs designed to fit over gloves, so the design should have then been optimized to work equally well, whether they are worn under or over.
And finally, our conclusion was that we see nothing in these gloves that indicates that they are made in such a way that would make them last any longer than other brands of similar gloves.
From "B.S." (February 2013): "I've been riding with a pair of BMW Atlantis 3 gloves with the Gore X-TRAFIT technology for about a year. From you detailed review, both pair of gloves seen to share a lot of features.
The gauntlets on the BMW's are longer and have kept me dry and warm(worn on the outside) during a few extended rainy rides. I paid about $ 140 which while not inexpensive is about a third less than the Rukkas.
Among the many things I like about the BMW gloves is the very subtle branding. I have a Harley and a Ducati and no one has yet noticed. Love your site."
From "K.R." (February 2013): "This is not a defense of the Rukka gloves but just an observation. The quickest way to get your hands wet when riding a motorcycle is by having the gauntlet on the outside of your sleeves. Water runs down the sleeve and straight into the glove (even with a close fitting gauntlet).
Putting the gauntlet on the inside of your sleeves goes a long way to keeping your hands dry. I dislike large gauntlets that are difficult to fit inside my Roadcrafter's sleeves."
Editor's Reply: We addressed the issue of "in" vs. "out", once or twice in past reviews. But the vast majority of riders wear the gauntlet on the outside of the cuff and it can be very difficult to secure all the fastenings on the sleeve cuff when wearing both gloves. Also, a large/wide gauntlet can usually be made small enough to fit under a jacket sleeve but a small/narrow gauntlet can't be made larger.