Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves


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Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:33 pm



I have three sets of gloves. For warm weather, I use Spidi Jab-R leather/textile gloves. In really cold weather, I switch to my Gerbing's T5 Microwire heated gloves. And for wet weather, I used some cheap (not so) waterproof gloves - and I have no recollection what they are, or from where they came.

I decided I needed an in-between glove. Something that was warm enough to use in cooler temperatures, but not in bitter cold. And it would be great if they served double-duty as waterproof gloves.

I spent almost a year trying out various gloves. At motorcycle shows, bike shops, online retailers, I tried glove after glove. None of them really fit the bill...until I found the Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves. That's quite a name for a glove!

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I've now been wearing these gloves for about a month and a half, in weather from 40 degrees to 85 degrees, bright sunshine and pouring rain, over about 2,000 miles or so. I have always worn a large size in gloves, and my first impression upon putting on these gloves was that they were too small. In fact, I almost sent them back - they were tight, and the fingers seemed to be a bit too short. However, that was when I stretched my fingers out straight. When I curved them into a natural riding position, the finger length seemed adequate, so I figured I would give them a go. Over the course of the last month or so, they have broken in, and what felt a bit too stiff now feels just about right.

The palms of the gloves are one of the most important parts, as this is all that is in between your hand and your bike's grips. Any kind of seam or bumps in this area will soon become painfully sore after extended riding. No such issue here - the leather on the palms is very soft and supple, with no apparent seams inside. There are reinforced areas on the palm and outside the pinky finger to protect against road abrasion, and the palm area has extra padding. There is a grippy patch on the thumb and inside grip of the first finger to give you a solid, nonslip grip on your bike's handgrips, even in the wet:

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The tough abrasion-resistant layer continues onto the top of the pinky and ring finger, along with a unique feature: webbing between the last two fingers. This prevents your pinky finger from being wrenched away from your hand during a crash, so that it isn't sprained or broken.

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There are two excellent velcro fasteners: the larger cuff, which fits over the end of your jacket sleeve, and the smaller wrist strap, which snugs the glove around your wrist and prevents the glove from being pulled off your hand during a crash. Both have easily grabbed tabs to allow quick donning and removal.

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The knuckles of both gloves have a hard plastic insert to protect against impact injury. Unlike a lot of gloves, this is actually comfortable on the inside, and is well formed to my hand.

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The inside of the glove is a soft fabric layer, and does not pull away from the inside of the fingers when your hands are damp and sweaty like a lot of gloves.

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My overall thoughts on these gloves: I definitely like them. They are waterproof, even in an absolute downpour. The left thumb has a small rubber wiper which can be used to clear your helmet face shield. They are extremely comfortable and allow sufficient movement without effort once they are broken in. They are insulated and provide decent warmth down to about 40F or so (4C). Above 75 degrees, they are uncomfortably warm, causing your hands to sweat a lot. That said, when you do sweat, the liner absorbs the moisture, and because the glove upper is fabric and breathes, the glove dries out - unlike my old waterproof gloves, which were like putting on a pair of plastic bags, and quickly became cold, wet and clammy inside.

Pros:
- Comfortable
- Waterproof
- Very good impact and abrasion protection
- Wearable in wide range of temperatures
- Excellent quality and workmanship

Cons:
- Sizing runs small
- Stiff at first until broken in
- Cuff could be slightly larger in order to accommodate bulkier jacket sleeves

Overall, I'm a fan of these gloves, and would definitely recommend them.



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Re: Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:22 am

A follow-up to this review, now that I have had (and used) these gloves for six months or so.

They are still my favorite go-to glove. They are extremely comfortable but with excellent protection. They are a bit warm when it is above 75 degrees or so, and I will usually switch to my mesh gloves at that point.

As the name "Drystar" states, they are waterproof.

Sort of.

I have worn them through several wet rides and my hands stayed warm and dry.

On a recent six-hour ride through rain the entire way, my hands stayed warm and dry. I was surprised and delighted.

Until...I hit a downpour. And by downpour, I mean it felt like buckets of water being poured over me. Spray from tractor trailers enveloping me, and driving rain hitting my gloves. After a good hour of this, these gloves were WET, and so were my hands. It appears the neon green fabric part that goes around the end of each finger is not as waterproof as the rest of the glove, as this part of the glove became absolutely saturated with water, and the water then permeated into the interior of the glove. The last 2 1/2 hours of my ride I did with cold, wet fingers.

I'm going to try to treat the fabric part with a waterproofing agent...but I will say that despite still being my favorite glove, and being good for riding in the wet, if you're going to spend hours riding in a downpour, the waterproofing of these gloves will not stand up, and you'll end up with wet hands.

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Re: Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby harvey01 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:15 pm

Since this is a thread about gloves, I have found over the last 8 years that these gloves are excellent. They are: Aerostich Elkskin Roper Gloves #420-440 sold by Aerostitch. Although they don't have gaunlets, they work well in winter especially with heated liners.

The really neat thing about these gloves is that they work year round except for the coldest days. They get a little warm in 95+ degree days with our high humidity. It simplifies to only carry one type glove . They are very comfortable, and get better with age. Aerostitch has several models some with special stuff in the fingertips for use with touchscreens and some with gauntlets. These gloves are not cheap at 49 but they last and they work. I have never tried them in a crash but suspect they will do better than most mesh gloves.

Unfortunately they are not waterproof but on a Wing it has to be raining hard to get them wet. This can be avoided by putting on a pair of Playtex type cleaning over gloves.
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Re: Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby FM-USA » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:40 am

I also have tried insulated (Thinsulate) waterproof gloves but alas, the inner liner cracked and therefore leaked. EH, $29.00 gloves, can't expect much.
BUT,...
The old silver lining shown through. I took out the inner glove (what a cheap POS it was) and what was left was a 3 finger glove cover.
Being the enterprising type I took some duct tape and lined the inside. That wasn't water proof enough so removing that I used some "Kitchen & Bath" silicone caulk and very thinly double layered the inside. Well this stuff will still grab skin when dry so I lined the interior (not the palm) with self stick thin Neoprene you get at a hobby shop.
WOO-WEE!!!
Now this works. Waterproof and a great glove cover with any choice of ski gloves inside, depending on the temperature. With my warmest ski glove inside I have not used my Elec-heat gloves inside these glove covers and I road in North ILL. minus-11*F weather 2013-14.

So, all in all I'm now hooked on Glove Covers since it allows any glove you like inside. It definitely cuts back on having several different gloves stored on the bike. I ride carrying 1 pair each, mechanics glove, ski-glove and the glove covers.
I've used just the covers during rain but since my interior handy-work isn't topnotch, the seams do irritate after a while, eh, tradeoffs.
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Re: Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby MikeB » Fri May 01, 2015 12:19 am

There really is no leather glove that is waterproof. The manufacturer may say the gloves are but in fact, animal skin is not. Knowing this, I carry a minimum of two sets of gloves on every ride. Living in the northwest and being a year round rider, I get caught in many rainstorms. Some not so bad and others real gully washers. When the gloves get soaked through, I simply stop, dry off the hands and put on a dry set of gloves.
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Re: Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 01, 2015 8:59 am

MikeB wrote:There really is no leather glove that is waterproof. The manufacturer may say the gloves are but in fact, animal skin is not. Knowing this, I carry a minimum of two sets of gloves on every ride. Living in the northwest and being a year round rider, I get caught in many rainstorms. Some not so bad and others real gully washers. When the gloves get soaked through, I simply stop, dry off the hands and put on a dry set of gloves.


I actually do the same - but in this case, it wasn't the leather that was saturated, it was the fabric (Cordura?) that runs around the finger edges (the neon green portion). On top of this, there is supposed to be a waterproof liner INSIDE the glove to prevent the moisture from getting to your hands - which did nothing of the sort.

That said, I still very much like these gloves for dry weather, and for light rain, perhaps.




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