Best Summer Motorcycle Gloves: Stay Cool While Protecting Your Hands
These top summer motorcycle gloves are breathable, comfortable, and highly rated
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PUBLISHED ON September 4, 2019
Gloves are an essential part of your riding gear, even in the summer. If you crash, there's a good chance your hands will hit the pavement, which can be very damaging, especially at high speeds. The best summer motorcycle gloves will help you avoid painful road rash that can harm your skin, bones, and soft tissues. Check out our summer motorcycle gloves review to find the best products in the industry.
- Best OverallAlpinestars SMX-1 Air Mens Motorcycle GlovesSummarySummaryThese gloves are lightweight with molded hard knuckle protection for strength and durability. They are nylon and leather with 3D-mesh inserts on the top of the hand to enable airflow.ProsProsThe thumb and palm are reinforced for protection and durability without compromising grip control. They're thick, tough, breathable, comfortable, stylish, and true to size.ConsConsThey may stain your hands, and the Velcro on the wrist may pop off after minimal use. The gloves may also tear after a short period of time.
- Best ValueKemimoto Breathable Carbon Fiber GlovesSummarySummaryThese gloves have a shell on the knuckles made of carbon fiber for optimal protection. The thumb and forefinger are touchscreen-compatible, and the company provides a lifetime warranty.ProsProsThe palm of the gloves are made of a non-slip material and shockproof SBR foam for better throttle control. They are also comfortable, breathable, and cool.ConsConsThe gloves may run small, so they may not be true to size. The manufacturer recommends not putting them in the dryer or exposing them to direct heat during storage.
- Honorable MentionMilwaukee Men's Summer Cruising GlovesSummarySummaryThese gloves are made of soft, thin premium leather and are infused with a gel-padded palm for comfort. The cuffs have an adjustable Velcro closure to ensure proper fit.ProsProsThey are really comfortable, and they provide good protection against road rash should you become involved in an accident. It's relatively easy to use your bike's hand controls with them on.ConsConsThey may get slippery when it rains, and the color may run when they’re wet, which can stain your hands. Also, the Velcro may lose some of its stickiness.
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Benefits of Summer Motorcycle Gloves
- Be safe. When you ride, it's important to protect all of your body parts, including your hands. If you have an accident, your hands can get ripped up unless you're wearing the most protective motorcycle gloves on the market.
- Stay cool. Lightweight motorcycle gloves will both protect you and keep your hands cool in hot weather. If you wear thick gloves meant for colder temperatures, it will be uncomfortable and hot. They can block air from reaching your palms and fingers, causing them to sweat.
- Prevent numbness. If you ride barehanded and your hands are stuck in the same position for a prolonged period of time, they can go numb. Breathable motorcycle gloves shield your hands from the air, prevent cramping, and dampen vibrations.
Types of Summer Motorcycle Gloves
Short-Cuff Versus Gauntlet
For enhanced ventilation, the best short cuff motorcycle gloves will do the job. They will make your hands feel cooler and provide slightly more mobility than gauntlet (full-cuff) gloves. Short-cuff gloves, however, offer slightly less protection than summer gauntlet motorcycle gloves. Fortunately, many motorcycle jackets will cover the area of your wrist that isn't protected by a short-cuff glove.
Leather craftsman Sante Mazzarolo founded Alpinestars in the small Northern Italy town of Asolo in 1963 as motocross started gaining popularity in Europe. The company manufactures a variety of road racing products, including boots and leather suits. One popular pair of gloves are the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Mens Motorcycle Gloves.
Joe Rocket was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in California. Its products have FreeAirTM mesh technology for riding in extreme summer heat without sacrificing protection, as well as the SureFitTM adjustment system which provides protection in an impact. We recommend the Joe Rocket Men's Eclipse Gloves.
Childhood pals William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson founded Harley-Davidson in a small shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1901. In addition to motorcycles, the company also designs clothing and protective equipment, such as gloves. One of its popular products are the Harley-Davidson Official Men's Removable Pad Gloves.
Summer Motorcycle Gloves Pricing
- Under $25: You can find a decent pair of summer riding gloves in this price range. They offer adequate protection and ventilation, but may not be as durable as more expensive brands. The dye on cheap summer motorcycle gloves may also be more apt to stain your hands.
- $25-$75: Expect to pay a little more if you want the best summer motorcycle gloves. Products at this price point will last longer and tend to come from more well-known designers.
- Over $75: Summer riding gloves can cost as much as a couple of hundred dollars. Pricier brands tend to have added features such as armor and are often used by people who motocross or spend a lot of their time on a motorcycle.
Summer bike gloves are much different than winter motorcycle gloves. They are rather lightweight and are typically designed with a softer material. Vented motorcycle gloves are particularly lightweight and are more flexible than winter ones, which tend to be heavier and bulkier.
Size and fit are extremely important when it comes to selecting the best summer motorcycle gloves. If they are too big, they may prevent you from properly gripping the handlebars and pulling the brake and clutch levers. If they are too small, they will be uncomfortable and may tear.
- Extra Protection: Some warm weather motorcycle gloves are built with extra protection around the knuckles and palms of your hands. This may include molded foam, neoprene, or an extra layer of material. These little reinforcements can make a big difference when it comes to shielding your hands should an accident occur.
- Material: Summer leather motorcycle gloves are very popular as are products made of mesh, polyester, and nylon. While summer bike gloves come in a variety of fabrics, we recommend gloves made of soft leather or with reinforced knuckles. Even the best cheap motorcycle gloves may not be very durable or last beyond one season.
Best Summer Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Mens Motorcycle Gloves
The SMX-1 Air gloves are lightweight, touchscreen-compatible, and feature molded hard knuckle protection for strength and durability. They are made of nylon and heavy-duty goatskin leather with 3D-mesh inserts on the top of the hand to enable air flow. Suede reinforcements are paired with foam cushioning for abrasion resistance.
One great feature about these gloves is that the thumb and palm are reinforced for protection and durability without compromising grip control. The stretch material between the palm and thumb is great for hitting all the controls without bounding up. They are ideal summer riding gloves because the air flows through them. Overall, they're thick, tough, breathable, comfortable, stylish, and true to size.
One problem with these gloves is they may stain your hands if you sweat or it rains. In addition, the Velcro on the wrist may pop off if you move your wrist too quickly. There have also been some complaints that the gloves, particularly the stitching, wear out or tear after a short period of use.
Best Value: Kemimoto Breathable Carbon Fiber Gloves
The Kemimoto gloves have a shell on the knuckles made of carbon fiber for optimal protection. The thumb and forefinger of the gloves are touchscreen-compatible, making it easier and more flexible to use your smartphone or other electronic devices. The company provides a lifetime warranty to all of its customers if you are not satisfied.
The palm of the gloves are designed with non-slip material and shockproof SBR foam to help you better control the throttle. They are comfortable, breathable, and cool. The gloves are also reinforced in areas that might get more wear, prolonging their lifespan, and while they are somewhat thick they do not hinder movement. They're intended for those who ride motorcycles, all-terrain-vehicles, dirt bikes, and utility vehicles.
One problem with the gloves is that they tend to run small, so they are not exactly true to size. Also, if they get wet you should not put them in the dryer or expose them to direct heat when storing them because that may cause issues with their construction.
Honorable Mention: Milwaukee Men's Summer Cruising Gloves
These gloves are made of a soft, thin, premium leather, making them ideal for summer riding. They are also infused with gel-padded palms for comfort. They provide a nice grip and resist friction, and also have adjustable Velcro closures on the cuffs so you can ensure proper fit.
The Milwaukee leather gloves are some of the most comfortable on the market. The gel palms absorb vibrations, which helps with fatigue, and they provide good protection against road rash should you become involved in an accident. Overall, they are well-constructed, and it's relatively easy to use your bike's hand controls when wearing them.
One downside is that these summer gloves may get slippery when it rains unless you coat the surface with a waterproofing product. Also, the color may run when they’re wet and temporarily stain your hands. In addition, there have been some complaints that the Velcro closure loses its stickiness over a short period of time, and the stitching easily comes apart.
- To make sure your motorcycle gloves fit properly, measure your hands and make sure to match up the measurements with the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
- Velcro closures enable you to adjust the size of the gloves to your wrist. Make sure your gloves are loose enough so you can move your fingers easily, but tight enough to securely use the controls on your bike.
- You need more than gloves to ensure that you're fully protected on your motorcycle. Be sure to pair them with a high-quality helmet, jacket, and boots.
Q: Can I get a touchscreen-compatible pair of motorcycle gloves?
A: Yes, some of the best motorcycle gloves are touchscreen-compatible. Just be aware that on some brands, only the pointer finger can manipulate touchscreens on electronic devices.
Q: Are all summer motorcycle gloves waterproof?
A: No. Some brands may repel rain and are water-resistant, but they aren't necessarily waterproof unless it’s stated in the product description.
Q: If my motorcycle gloves are too small, will they stretch out over time?
A: It depends on the glove's material. Some summer leather motorcycle gloves will stretch slightly the more you wear them. However, it's best to select the proper size when you make a purchase in case they do not expand over time.
Our pick for the top summer motorcycle gloves is the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Mens Motorcycle Gloves. They are lightweight, provide good grip control, and are comfortable and breathable.
If you want a more budget-friendly pick, consider the Kemimoto Breathable Carbon Fiber Gloves.