Since I commute to work and take mid-distance trips on my motorcycle, dealing with rain is part of the deal. The weather is pretty dynamic where I live, so if I only rode on days that promised great riding weather I would always take my car.
Anyway, as time has gone by I’ve accumulated a fair amount of waterproof riding gear. My Sidi OnRoad boots are waterproof, and I have waterproof liners for my Rev’It Cayenne Pro jacket and Motoport kevlar mesh pants. I also have a pair of Fahrenheit Rev’It waterproof winter gloves. On top of that I have a set of Frogg Toggs Elite Highway rain gear, which I will eventually get around to reviewing.
The problem with waterproof riding gear is that most of the time the waterproof barrier is under the primary material. In the case of my jacket, pants, boots, and gloves, there is a waterproof membrane under the textile or leather. This means that the top layer gets saturated after awhile, even though I may be dry underneath. This isn’t such a problem when it’s warm, but it can be uncomfortable — if not dangerous — when it’s cold.
On my last trip to Georgia I rode back in a rainstorm that drenched my Rev’It gloves. The air temperature and speed of highway travel sucked all the heat away from my hands, even behind my BMW’s handguards and with the heated grips on high.
I started looking for textile waterproof gloves, but there aren’t really any to be found. I turned to the Web for solutions; surely someone else has had this problem, too. My search led me to the Aerostich Triple Digit waterproof glove rain covers.
The idea is pretty simple: the rain covers slip over your motorcycle gloves and serve as a waterproof barrier. They are made out of a rip-stop type nylon; I am uncertain what technology is used for the waterproofing, but it works. You can buy them in either black or orange; I am both a safety dork and like the color orange so the choice was easy for me. There is reflective material on the gauntlet of each glove and a squeegee on the thumb of the left glove. Come to think of it, that might be the only way to tell the left from the right.
The overgloves are held on by a hook-and-loop wrist strap and a nylon loop at the bottom of the gauntlet. The loop cinches down and is held in place by this plastic toggle. The design works really well, but Aerostich should have used a bigger toggle. It’s hard to manipulate with the covers on.
Putting the first glove on is easy, as your other hand still has the use of all of your fingers. When it comes to putting that other glove on, though … man that can be a bitch. I recommend putting your dominant hand on first (in my case, my right). It is easier for me to manipulate the left cover with my right hand than trying to use my left hand to put my right cover on. Does that make sense? Just try it. I also suggest making sure the hook-and-loop wrist straps are at least partially through the plastic retainer ring before putting the gloves on. The only thing harder than putting the second rain cover on is putting it on and then trying to fish the hook-and-loop through that fucking retainer ring. While you’re getting dumped on and the gloves get slick. Trust me, it looks awesome in the company parking lot when it’s raining buckets and I’m fiddling with my wrist.
Riding with the Triple Digits on is only slightly different than riding with motorcycle gloves. True, your fingers are split into two groups like Spock flashing the Vulcan peace sign, but it doesn’t really affect your ability to work the throttle, or the brake or clutch levers. I think it’s much easier to wear normal cycling gloves and the Triple Digits vs. wearing a thick waterproof insulated glove.
My friend Stilts demonstrating his dexterity with the Triple Digits on. He also played a few rounds of Uno with the gloves on, and had no problem with the thin, laminated cards.
I have worn the Triple Digit rain covers through several downpours, and I absolutely love them. They perform very well, are lightweight, and were inexpensive. I highly recommend these to any motorcyclist. I would even go so far as to recommend these and not buying a second pair of waterproof gloves. I really like being able to wear my Teknic Speedstars most of the year and then put the Aerostich Triple Digits over top of them in case it rains. Unlike the Frogg Toggs, it isn’t a big production to put the covers on, so sometimes I wear them even if there’s just a threat of rain.
At $47.00 before shipping from Aerostich, you might think these are pricey. However, they flat-out work, and if you save yourself the cost of a second set of waterproof gloves you’ll probably come out ahead.
Epilogue: Aerostich processed my order promptly, and that was cool. What wasn’t cool was the $8.00 shipping I paid for a pair of gloves that weighed just a few ounces, even in their packaging. Turns out the Aerostich product literature they send along weighs over a pound! I basically paid Aerostich to send me their catalog, a sale flier, and a bunch of promo shit for motorcycling associations. ><