By November 10, 2008

Rev’It Fahrenheit H2O waterproof winter motorcycling gloves

Here’s the problem. You stay pretty motionless while riding a motorcycle. This makes it hard for the body to generate heat to keep warm. This is a major problem while riding at high speeds in cold temperatures. I got frostbite my first year of riding on my toes because I wasn’t adequately protected from the elements.

It’s been a major struggle of mine to keep my hands warm in anything below 40°F at highway speeds. Heated grips and handguards help, but you really need special purpose gloves to keep your hands warm. The problem with buying winter gloves is that they tend to be very bulky. The insulation material makes the gloves look more like a ski mitt than a motorcycle glove, and the fine manipulation required to work the throttle can become lost. I own a pair of Tour Master winter gloves, and it feels like I am not touching the controls at all.

Rev’It makes several winter gloves. Thanks to Dennis over at Beach Moto, I selected the Fahrenheit H2O waterproof winter motorcycle glove. He helped me with the sizing, suggesting an XL that fit perfectly.

Would Rev’It’s high technology help me overcome my cold hand blues?

Fit and finish
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The first thing I liked about the Fahrenheit gloves is that they weren’t bulky like the Tour Masters I owned or other winter gloves I’ve seen. The Rev’It gloves use Schoeller’s phase change insulator (PCM) to manage heat. Schoeller-PCM utilizes tiny spheres that liquefy at warmer temperatures to allow heat to pass, and solidifies at cooler temperatures to keep heat in. In theory, this cuts down on the bulk of insulation needed to keep warm.

The gloves also a fleece-like material called “Dexfill” as a base insulator. I couldn’t find anything about this product online, but it is VERY soft and comfortable.

If the relative thinness of the gloves was the first thing I saw, the first thing I felt was how nicely the gloves fit. The insides feel very plush. The pre-curved fingers aid in a near-perfect fit right out of the packaging. The Fahrenheit H2O gloves had the shortest break-in time of any glove I’ve owned (two pair of Held Ninja, Teknic Speedstars, Firstgear mesh gloves, Motoport kevlar race gloves, and the Tour Masters). I would say the gloves felt completely comfortable within the first sixty miles I wore them — just one day’s commute to and from work.

My Rev’It Cayenne Pro jacket has a lot of nice touches, and the Fahrenheit is no exception. Case in point: the added hook-and-loop material on the wrist strap. It may not seem like a big deal, but the extra amount of material helps keep the gloves securely on my hand. For people like me with skinny wrists, this is a major detail often overlooked in other designs.

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Armor and safety
The Rev’It Fahrenheit glove has a lot of the safety features I’ve come to demand. It has carbon fiber knuckle armor underneath the leather and waterproof membrane. There is silicone on the palm, pinky and wrist areas to absorb impact. It has a full-sized gauntlet for wrist protection. It’s no Speedstar, but it is probably the second most armored glove that I own.

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The gloves have Pittards leather on the palms and fingertips. One of the drawbacks to a leather waterproof glove is that leather can lose some of its protective qualities after being wet — up to 20% according to textile safety gear manufacturer Motoport. Pittards is known for its durability as well as retaining more of its protective qualities after being wet.

So, the Fahrenheit H2O glove looks great, fits great, and has great features. Was this enough to keep my hands warm?

Unfortunately, no. The glove isn’t hardy enough for the conditions in which I ride, and it suffers from a drawback all leather waterproof gloves share.

Cold resistance:
My “winter” bike is a 2004 BMW R1150R. It has factory heated grips and handguards. It is the most protection one could get from a motorcycle without a full fairing. I believe the bike has more protection against the elements than the bikes of most other winter riders. You’re looking at a full-fairing bike like a Goldwing or my old K1200LTE for more protection. Keep that in mind as I knock the Fahrenheit’s inability to keep my hands warm.

The gloves are quite capable at keeping my hands warm as long as the ambient temperature is no lower than 45 degrees. This is with my heated grips on “high” and on my BMW with its handguards. I have to put my silk glove liners on after the temperatures dip below 45, but even then my hands are not comfortable. I rode for about two weeks when it was 40°F or below in the morning. I had to wear a nitrile glove over my silk glove liner to keep as much body heat in as possible. The Fahrenheit gloves were definitely not up to the task.

I also had trouble with the gloves when it rained. The leather got saturated, and then my hands became extremely cold. The wind and the ambient air temperature made me fear for frostbite. I had to stop on my way home from Savannah, Georgia because I couldn’t feel my finger tips. This is a problem with all waterproof leather gloves in general: the waterproof membrane is under the leather. This would happen no matter what brand of leather glove I owned.

It doesn’t change the fact that I need a glove to keep my hands both dry and warm. Unfortunately due to design and performance, the Fahrenheit fails to do so at any temperature less than 45°F.

Summary
The Rev’It Fahrenheit H2O glove is a very comfortable, well-made glove. If you are a technology geek like I am, you will be intrigued by the schoeller-PCM phase change insulation in the glove. Unfortunately the gloves aren’t what I need in most wintery conditions.

If you live in an area that doesn’t get below 45°F during the winter: recommended.

If you live in an area that gets colder than 45°F during the winter: not recommended.

A special acknowledgement for Beach Moto, who stocks a wide selection of Rev’It gear. They have great customer service.

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Posted in: motorcycling, review

4 Comments on "Rev’It Fahrenheit H2O waterproof winter motorcycling gloves"

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  1. Gremlin says:

    Electric vest. You hands will never stay warm until your core temperature is stable. Make or buy an electric vest and ride down into the teens feeling toasty warm.

    I’ve got a write up on building my electric vest around here somewhere….

  2. Rockiestwin says:

    Excellent write up on the Rev-it glove and I agree 100%. I was incredibly disappointed that even staying dry, with heated grips, and hand guards that my hands froze in these. And to what Gremlin says .. even having a heated jacket didn’t help my hands.

  3. ricdavis says:

    I’ve been pretty impressed with the Hein Gericke two fingered gloves for cold weather riding. Interesting to get used to, but warmer than any glove I’ve tried with 4 fingers.

    http://www.hein-gericke.co.uk/shop/product_info.php/cPath/6_144/products_id/3688

    I’ve no idea about US availability though. 🙁

  4. ricdavis says:

    Oh yes, if you can live with the looks, bar muffs make a huge difference as they put your hands in still air.