Earlier this year I took a look at the Alpinestars SP Air gloves as an option for a protective hot-weather glove and they provided a good balance of protection versus ventilation. However, they had some other issues that kept me looking for another summer glove option.
2020 has not only been a year of massive changes and reassessment of what is normal, but it has also been very hot and humid here in Middle Tennessee. This heat and humidity have been a driver for me to look into a pair of gloves with increased ventilation.
Back in 2018, I reviewed a pair of Sand 3 gloves from REV’IT! and while they ticked a lot of the right boxes, I decided to let them go in favor of keeping the Knox Orsa Leather MkII gloves I already owned.
A couple of months ago I heard (OK, read) on the ADVRider forums about the Dirt 3 gloves from REV’IT!. The Dirt 3 gloves were described as similar to the Sand 3 gloves but with some different armor and ventilation features.
These I had to see.
The REV’IT Dirt 3 Gloves
From the start, I was intrigued by the Dirt 3 gloves. They have a decidedly technical appearance and the Black/Red colorway I thought looked pretty sharp. Of course, I’m not sure why REV’IT! doesn’t mention the gray color as part of the scheme since there is much more of it than there is red but it wasn’t up to me.
Above images from the REV’IT website showing the two available color schemes
Along with the Back/Red color scheme is an all-black color for those who might want something a little less flashy. I felt the lighter colors of the Black/Red would make for a slightly cooler glove in direct sunshine and they do offer a little more visibility as well. You can see below how the black version is very much on the stealthy side of the equation.
The gray color does make it easy to show where most of the mesh material is located on the Dirt 3 gloves with panels on the first three fingers as well as wrapping the back of the hand and around the base of the thumb. There is also an additional panel of mesh on the back of the hand and the little finger but these are in black.
Branding is very subtle with REV’IT! logo in place on the back of the hand in a flocked polyurethane material. It would be pretty easy to miss if one wasn’t looking for it. The three-sided REV’IT! logo is shown on a PU protector located on the mesh on the top of the wrist.
That’s a good amount of mesh and it makes up about 30 to 35% of the overall construction. That should make for a well-ventilated glove. How well they vent is something we’ll be getting to shortly but first, let’s see what these gloves are made of.
Note: The Dirt 3 gloves are available in women’s sizes for the same price as the men’s version reviewed here however they are only available in the black color scheme.
The Dirt 3 gloves would appear to be simply a leather and mesh hybrid but there are actually several different materials in use here. To start with, the majority of the glove construction (%60) is drum dyed goat leather. The leather is used for the palm, a portion of the cuff, and the underside of the fingers.
The thumb also gets some leather love as do portions of the back of the hand surrounding the knuckle protector. An extra layer of leather is also present in the palm which can be spotted easily thanks to the red stitching used in that place.
REV’IT website diagram showing the placement of various materials in the Dirt 3 gloves
The rest of the materials are scattered around the shell and before going into the details I’ll share a convenient diagram from the REV’IT! website. I wish other manufacturers would provide something like this. It makes me feel better that I can verify what material is whereas I describe it for readers.
While the total count in the above diagram shows seven materials these are mostly variants of leather and polyester with some polyurethane thrown in for good measure. This clearly shows all the mesh areas yellow and it does take up about 30% of the overall shell.
Mesh material at the base of the thumb.
The fingers use leather on the underside and half of the tops for the first three fingers with the little finger getting a mostly mesh top. The index and little fingers have leather on their outside-facing side (ones that don’t face another finger). Between the fingers, the finger box sides are made from a corduroy style fabric. This fabric gives way to leather for the upper half of the fingers leaving the fingers covered in roughly 70% leather give or take (take more on the little finger).
To make things a little more complicated, the first three fingers also have small accordion panels at the first joint above the knuckle using a polyurethane-coated fabric. The index finger gets a special reflective coating on this knuckle as well. It’s not much but I suppose it’s better than nothing but why not put it on all three?
Finger boxes made with a mix of mesh and leather
But wait, there’s more! Sewn inside the 3D mesh on the top of those first three fingers are small foam pads to provide some impact resistance in that area of the fingers. Like the above reflectivity on the one finger, it’s not much but better than nothing at all.
And if you order now, or really anytime for that matter, one will find the tips of the thumb and index fingers on both the left and right gloves use “connect” leather. This allows one to use their mobile device without removing the gloves. Unlike some other capacitive friendly materials, this leather looks just like regular leather with just a finer grain. It also works better than most other types of materials said to be device friendly.
While not really long enough to be considered a proper gauntlet, the wrist cuff is a decent size at about 2 inches (50mm) long. The closure is handled with a tapered polyurethane strap that’s 1.5 inches (38mm) at the widest point and uses hook and loop to fasten. The material here is “flocked” giving the PU a soft textured appearance similar to suede.
The cuff opening is pretty narrow and is clearly designed to go inside a jacket sleeve cuff. Wearing gloves this way is a bit more popular in Europe but not as much here in the United States. There are advantages to wearing these gloves inside the sleeve cuff in this case.
Glove cuff unfastened
If I cinch the strap down snugly on my wrist I can only pull the glove so far off of my hand before it stops sliding off. If I wear the gloves with the glove cuff wrapped around the jacket sleeve, one reasonable tug can remove the gloves in one easy pull which can be a liability in the event of a slide on the pavement.
A thin polyester lining is present throughout the interior which is something I saw in the recently reviewed Alpinestars SP Air gloves. While I understand the benefits of the lining which can make the interior feel smoother by covering seams and other internal structures, I prefer the most direct feel I can get when wearing motorcycle gloves.
I would like to see at least the underside of the fingers be unlined so as to provide the least obstructed feel. Of course, this is subjective and others might really appreciate the feel of the interior liner. The lining is very thin so feel free to consider this nit-picking on my part.
They may not look like it in photos, but the Dirt 3 gloves have a robust appearance in person. This is backed up when handling and wearing them. They have a durable feel for a short cuff, summer glove. The stitching is very tight and pull-free, if not the most straight lines I’ve seen. There is generous use of double stitching for durability in many of the potential impact/abrasion zones.
Fit and Comfort
I went with a size medium in these gloves as I read that the Dirt 3 gloves have a little more room than most other REV’IT! gloves and I found the fit very much in line with other European brands. They fit a bit smaller than brands like Joe Rocket or Icon but not really enough, in this case, to suggest a larger size in most cases.
The entry point is a bit on the narrow side and it takes up all the elastic stretch in the cuff opening to get my hands into the gloves. The snug fit in this spot is actually a good thing but if my hands were much wider I’m not sure I could get them on. I feel REV’IT! really missed an easy win here. If they included a pull strap like the one included on the Sand 3 gloves it would make donning the Dirt 3 gloves much easier.
Knuckle protector is backed with thick foam for impact absorption and comfort
Fit is very subjective so while these size mediums fit me they may not be for everyone. My fingers are on the longer, thinner side of average and the Dirt 3 gloves fit rather closely to my digits. Those with thicker and/or shorter fingers may not like the fit in this case. Otherwise, the Dirt 3’s are available in a wide range of sizes from extra small all the way to 4 extra large.
The Dirt 3 gloves were stiffer than I expected straight out of the packaging. Especially since they are only about 60% leather. A few rides over several days saw them breaking in and becoming more pliable but they have never reached a point where I would refer to them as very soft and/or supple.
For the most part, the gloves are comfortable but there are two areas that could stand improvement. The extra leather on the side of the little finger can easily be felt when wearing the gloves and it makes itself more noticeable when the fingers are wrapped around the grips. It has improved a little after breaking in but it still isn’t great.
Less disruptive is the way the top of the cuff over the wrist tends to bunch up when rotating the hand back. It’s not something that affects the street rider that much (for me) but adventure and off-road riders might notice this as they tend to move around on the bike more.
Neither of these issues are dealbreakers but they do keep the Dirt 3 gloves from “disappearing into the background” and becoming simply an extension of the rider’s hands. Maybe that’s too aspirational for a $119.00 (USD) glove?
According to the tag in the gloves, the Dirt 3 gloves meet EN 13594: 2015 level 1 for protection. Of course, providing the number and level doesn’t really give one a lot of information so a little searching of the interwebs (a technical term) turned up this nice graphic with some specs from AFNOR.
CE level 1 isn’t something I’d recommend for the race track but it does mean that these gloves meet some recognized measure of protection for the rider. I hope I never have to test them but having these gloves in hand and looking at the specs, my opinion is they “feel” like they should meet the standards.
CE label information
One of the most distinctive differences between the Sand 3 and the Dirt 3 gloves is the style of the knuckle protector. Where the Sand 3’s have a 3D design, TPR (thermoplastic rubber), flexible protector, the Dirt 3 gloves use a more traditional style, semi-rigid, knuckle protector also made from TPR with a matte finish. The actual TPR protector is a bit oversized and extends about .25 to .375 inches (6 to 9mm) outside the seam that fastens the protector to the glove shell.
Underneath the knuckle protector is a 3 to 4mm thick pad of Temperfoam® material which helps absorb the shock from impacts. It also has the side effect of creating a comfortable cushion between the hand and the stiff protector.
The three larger fingers get TPR protectors by the first joints backed with Temperfoam® with a bit of the same foam padding sewn into the mesh at the second joints of those fingers. The little finger gets no extra top protection but has an extra patch of leather on the side with two small foam pads sewn in for some extra protection.
Protection for the thumb is more on the minimal side of things. The base is covered only with the 3D mesh material of which there is a smaller section closer to the tip. The leather that wraps around the middle of the thumb has some more of the Temperfoam®material padding sewn in but no TPU or extra leather layers are present here.
On the cuff (or short gauntlet) of each glove is a section of leather with some Temperfoam® padding underneath. This feels like the same thickness of padding found under the knuckle protector and should offer some impact protection for that portion of the wrist.
Over the top of the wrist is a triangular shaper piece of TPR in the shape of the three-sided REV’IT! logo. I’m not sure if it is designed to offer protection but the material itself does seem like it would offer some impact and abrasion resistance, if not a lot.
The material of the aforementioned triangle/logo seems like it would work well in the form of a palm slider as it is somewhat rigid and smooth. However, REV’IT! chose to go with a softer and more flexible version of TPR for the palm slider.
Essentially the same as found on the Sand 3 gloves, this hexagonal patterned TPR may look cool and fits around the curve at the heel of the hand well, but the soft and flexible feature can be a liability. It will help with a direct impact but since the rubber can grip the pavement in a slide, it could cause damage to the bones of the wrist if one hits the ground in the right (or wrong?) way.
I feel this is a bit of a letdown but at the same time, it is better than simply having just the leather (or mesh) in this place. I wouldn’t focus on it so much except that REV’IT! describes this as “palm slider” and I just don’t see that soft rubber material “sliding” that much on a road.
Note: Since these gloves are geared towards adventure riders as well as touring riders, there is a case to be made that the palm sliders will slide in off-road situations. I still think adventure riding includes some road riding in addition to off-road riding so I just want a hard plastic slider there.
I always like to include any features that improve visibility as part of the protection space of a review. In the case of the Dirt 3 gloves, there’s not much to report. Certainly, the light gray areas of the Black/Red colorway do help out during the daytime but nighttime reflectivity is about as minimal as it could be.
On the index finger, the accordion joint on top of the finger uses a reflective gray material that is reflective, but not very. Frankly, it’s just not that bright and I while I say something is better than nothing, I”m not sure this is the case here
With a lot of mesh used in the shell of the Dirt 3 gloves, one would expect some good airflow and the ventilation is definitely there. Airflow through the tops of the fingers is good and can be felt at lower speeds as well as on the highway. This bodes well for when the road turns to gravel or dirt and the pace decreases.
I also found the stretch material on the side of the finger boxes flows air nicely too when at speeds over 30 mph. One can feel this by spreading out the fingers a bit when underway but of course, if the fingers are wrapped around the grips, this doesn’t help much.
These flow more air for sure than the Sand 3 gloves but those gloves also have less mesh in their construction so this isn’t a surprise. Overall venting is very good when considering the protection that is in place.
For hot weather riding the Dirt 3 gloves offer a good balance of ventilation versus protective features while leaning decidedly on the ventilation and comfort side of things. Being that they are targeted at the adventure rider (they are called “Dirt”) the protection in place would serve very well in off-road situations.
When it comes to the touring rider, which REV’IT! also includes in the target audience, the Dirt 3’s could come up short on protection against the abrasiveness of roadway pavement and the speeds associated with street riding. Like most things involving motorcycle riding, one has to manage their risk and find the gear that meets their needs.
The quality of the construction is very good and the asking price of $119.00 (USD) seems appropriate. The range of sizes means most riders should be able to find a size that fits well assuming the long and thinner cut for the fingers suits them.
- Manufacturer: REV’IT!
- Price (When Tested): $119.95 (USD)
- Made In: China
- Colors: Black | Black/Red
- Sizes: XS to 4XL
- Review Date: August, 2020