VQuattro is a new company, based in France, with an extensive line of motorcycle, scooter and street gloves and boots.
The company was started by a group of people experienced in the glove industry through their work for other glove manufacturers.
To paraphrase the marketing information in the VQuattro product catalog, the goal is to produce "no compromise" gloves using the best quality materials and construction techniques for motorcycle and scooter riders looking for both protection and style.
We have three pairs of the new VQuattro winter gloves for review, the Lazio goat leather gloves; the Venture textile and leather gloves and the Squadra leather and textile wireless heated gloves.
We'll cover the basic technologies included in the VQuattro gloves in this introduction, then each of the three winter gloves we have will be reviewed on their own page, describing the features unique to each.
All VQuattro gloves meet the CE 13594 standard for motorcycle gloves (the CE motorcycle clothing safety standards are described in this webBikeWorld report and this Satra Technology Centre article) and have been tested and approved by a certified testing laboratory in Europe.
Each of the three gloves we are reviewing also include the high-quality Primaloft insulation and a waterproof/breathable insert. Primaloft is a synthetic insulating material that comes in various types, depending on the use (clothing, gloves, etc.).
VQuattro uses the Primaloft ONE insulation in the gloves. Primaloft compares it to down insulation, but claims that it dries faster than down; it's wind- and water-resistant; breathable; as warm and soft as down insulation; compresses like down; and is thermally efficient.
The "warm as" and "soft as" are pretty much right on the mark, based on our observations from riding with the gloves this winter. The Primaloft has a different feel when it's compressed; more like down than some of the other synthetic insulating materials we've experienced in motorcycle gloves.
Besides the use of Primaloft ONE, this is the "secret sauce" that distinguishes the VQuattro gloves from the competition.
The waterproof and breathable liner employed by VQuattro uses the special "mcFIT" (Maximum Comfort Fit Technology) attachment system, manufactured by the MCTECH Corporation.
mcFIT is a unique technology that is used to attach the liner to the glove.
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.
There are various solutions to this problem and 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's especially important where the membrane attaches to the gloves along the sensitive fingertips, since there is very little extra room in this area between the glove body and the liner.
Other membrane attachment techniques involve more bulk or they attach the liner in a way that inhibits movement between the liner and the glove shell, which affects the motorcyclist's feel for the grips and the ability to manipulate the throttle and levers. Typically, a small tab is glued to each fingertip of the membrane and then one end of the tab is sewn or attached to the inside of the glove.
The special mcFIT technology uses a separate full-length liner and adhesive that adds almost no additional thickness. It eliminates the tabs used in traditional methods of attachment and it allows the membrane to move with the fingers and to slide within the outer mcFIT layer, providing more dexterity and a "softer" feel without the bulk or the typical "plastic" feel of most gloves lined with waterproof/breathable membranes.
We can definitely confirm this in our riding evaluations with the VQuattro gloves. In fact, we didn't realize the gloves even had a waterproof/breathable membrane until we read the product literature. Usually, you can tell a glove has a membrane by the feel, but there is no noticeable difference between these VQuattro gloves and gloves without a membrane. That's quite an advance in motorcycle riding comfort!
All of the gloves in this review use the special VQuattro "V4" slider, which covers the outside of the heel of the hand.
This is a unique design with a couple of interesting features.
The slider has a lip around the perimeter that fits under the leather, which provides a hidden platform for stitching, which is sewn directly on to the glove.
The design hides the stitches and it makes the slider appear like it's part of the external glove leather.
But more importantly, it also protects the stitches from abrading, so it's altogether a very clever and different design.
Although the three gloves we are reviewing are designed for winter or cold-weather motorcycle wear, each is very different. The VQuattro Lazio gloves (next photo) are all leather (goat skin) with Primaloft insulation and the waterproof/breathable liner.
The VQuattro Squadra gloves (photo below) are the top-of-the-line product, with a beautiful combination of goat leather and textile. They include the Primaloft insulation, the waterproof/breathable liner and a wireless heating system.
The Lithium-Ion battery fits neatly into the gauntlet and a clever button on the back of the gauntlet that starts and stops the power to the heating elements. The button has two small red LED lights; two for high and one for low. This makes for a very streamlined and very easy-to-use wireless heating system.
The VQuattro Venture gloves (photo below) are textile with leather palms, designed for wet-weather riding. In addition to Primaloft insulation and the waterproof/breathable liner, they include a double-cuff liner system and Outlast phase-change lining system.
Our job is to bring you the information on unique and interesting motorcycle products, wherever they may be throughout the world.
That doesn't always mean that every webBikeWorld reader in every country and territory that visits webBikeWorld (8 million+ from 230+ countries and territories!) will have access to a shop right down the street to buy all the cool goods.
In fact, part of the fun is in doing the legwork to acquire the products and then showing off your unique find to your riding friends!
That's just by way of saying that VQuattro is a new company. Their products are distributed in Europe but they are currently looking for UK and U.S. distributors and a retail network.
They're not inexpensive, but on the other hand, they're not the most expensive gloves we've seen. The Lazio and Venture gloves are priced about what you'd expect for a glove of this quality.
The Squadra heated gloves are a bit expensive, no doubt, especially depending on your local Euro exchange rate. They're roughly comparable to the Gerbing Hybrid heated gloves (review), but the VQuattro Squadra gloves have better build quality, a smaller battery, CE-approved safety and style and comfort that pretty much best the Gerbing gloves in every way.
All we can say is this: if you can find a source for VQuattro gloves, you're lucky, because these are some of the highest-quality, nicest winter motorcycle gloves we've found. They check all the boxes: comfort, warmth, flexibility, style, construction quality and safety.
Congratulations to VQuattro for pulling this all together and we look forward to more products from them in the future.
|wBW Review: VQuattro Motorcycle Gloves|
|Manufacturer: VQuattro Design||List Price: Squadra: 279€. Lazio:129€. Venture: 139€.|
|Colors: Black.||Made In: Unknown|
|Sizes: M (8); L (9); XL (10); XXL (11); XXXL (12).||Review Date: February 2012|
From "J.L.W." (February 2012): "I don't know why I have such a hard time with gloves. All my riding gear is pretty much dialed in but the one place I come up short s trying to find a decent cool/cold weather waterproof glove that is warm, waterproof and doesn't feel like I'm wearing boxing gloves.
The closest I've come is a pair of Harley-Davidson gloves that you can wear with the palm portion of the lining either under your palm for more warmth or over the back of your hand for more grip feel. They're pretty warm and waterproof but the damn gauntlet is too short. Oh well."
Editor's Note: How about a pair like the VQuattro Squadra gloves, keeping the waterproof/breathable liner and battery heated fingertips, but with minimal insulation for a sort of medium-weight heated glove?