by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
Waterproof over-gloves that can be a bit fussy to wear.
You'd think the word "waterproof" would mean, uh...waterproof?
As in no water gets through, never?
I mean, how many definitions of the word "waterproof" do we need?
Seems like there shouldn't be much controversy over its definition...
But in Motorcycle World, things are different.
How many "waterproof" jackets, pants and gloves have you tried that are, well...not?
Now I have to admit, our (latest) favorite winter motorcycle gloves are Roadgear's Waterproof Gloves, and they really do seem to live up to the definition in its most basic form.
I'm not sure how they do it, because they're made from leather, but my mitts do seem to stay dry in the dampest of climates when I'm wearing them.
Although I will admit that it does seem to take a few days for the leather to get back to normal after the gloves have been exposed to a real downpour.
So what's a motorcyclist to do? Well here's an interesting solution: the Rain-Off waterproof over-gloves. They will definitely keep your hands dry and the best part about them is that you can wear any old favorite gloves underneath.
In fact, you could wear the Rain-Off gloves over your best motorcycle gloves and stick your hand in a bucket of water and sit there all day or all week or all month and you simply will not get wet.
If that doesn't meet every criteria for the definition of "waterproof", then I don't know what does.
And even if your motorcycle gloves are semi-you-know-what-proof, the Rain-Off over-gloves will still help keep the leather in good shape.
A side benefit of the Rain-Off over-gloves is that they act as a perfect windbreaker, which helps to keep hands warmer in cold (and/or wet) weather.
Rain-Off gloves are available in four sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL. The Rain-Off folks have a sizing chart that shows how to measure your hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.
We followed the chart and ordered a size medium to fit over a men's size large hand and gloves, but the Rain-Off over-gloves seem to be about one size too big. So based on our admittedly small sample size of one, I'd say that it might be a good idea to either order one size smaller or to choose the smaller size if your hand measurements are borderline?
One problem that I didn't anticipate is caused by the elastic string and friction style keeper that's used inside the cuff of the Rain-Off gloves to secure them on the rider's arm (see bottom photo). The keeper has a button that's supposed to be pressed to release the friction, then the keeper can be pushed up to tighten up the cuff.
However, I find it nearly impossible to work the keeper with my other (gloved) hand, so I have to grab the elastic string in my teeth and then press the button on the friction keeper and slide it down so the cuff is tight.
Think about it -- since you need one hand to pull the elastic tight while cinching up the keeper with the other hand, that sort of means you'd need three hands to work the thing! Kind of strange (see note below on other methods).
I guess one could get used to tightening up a pair of gloves with one's teeth, but there must be a better design?
Other than that, the three-fingered Rain-Off gloves feel slightly clumsy when operating the controls, but I've become used to them. One thing can definitely be said about them -- they're waterproof!
From Rain-Off: "There are a couple of points that we would like to clear up though.
Firstly, there is a knack to tightening the toggles. Put both over-gloves on, grab the elastic end on the right glove with the left hand, pull tight and then slide the toggle down with your right hand.
Do the same for the left. It's easy and only takes 13 seconds!
And this was doing it quite casually. I timed it on a stop watch. I'm used to doing this so it might take you a couple of seconds longer initially. Try it?"
(Editor's Note: I did, but can't get this method to work).
If you want to get the toggles real tight, loop the end of the elastic (at the knot) over your clutch-brake lever then pull tight and slide the button down.
Then if need be, pull the elastic between the button and over-glove a second time and slide the toggle down again to get them real tight. Don't cut off your circulation though!
This will keep the water from running down your arm and into your gloves except in extreme cases, then you'll need to wear your over-glove under your rainwear.
I only do the later if I'm going on a decent ride somewhere." (Editor's Note: This method seems to work).
Also, Rain-Off says "In extreme cases, (you may) need to wear your over-glove under your rainwear."
From "C.F." (October 2011): "I've given these overgloves a good working out over the past few years.
And although I've figured out how to pull the drawstrings as tight as I like by looping the string over the handlebar, pulling and using other hand to slide the button down, I have yet to experience dry gloves for more than an hour or so.
If its wet, the rain creeps down between the overgloves gauntlet and my rainsuit and within a couple of hours riding I have wet cold gloves.
I wear a Frogtogs rainsuit and it keeps the rest of me really dry but there's no way I can fit my leather gloves and these overgloves under the cuff of the Frogtogs.
The overgloves have to go over the top and despite cinching them really tightly. That's where the water comes in.
It's the rain running down your arms that's the problem; you definitely could hold your hands in a bucket of water and stay dry but that's not how the leaking happens on a wet ride.
These overgloves seemed simple enough to work well and they're better than some I've tried but after 2 hours riding in the rain yesterday my leather gloves inside were soaking and cold."