PRODUCT EVALUATION: LEATT GLOVES
Three models to cover all weather By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Leatt is a protection company that has bridged into riding clothing. We have been using three different Leatt gloves extensively—the 1.5 GripR, the Moto 2.5 Windblock and the Moto 2.5 SubZero. All share a design so close, they are hard to distinguish just by looks alone. As soon as you pick them up or try them on, you are aware that they are different. The prices range from $29.99 for the minimalist 1.5 Gripper to $37.99 for the cool and cold weather gloves.
DESIGN AND BUILD
Leatt’s 1.5 GripR, Moto 2.5 Windblock and Moto 2.5 SubZero are all snug-fitting, streamlined gloves constructed of 90-percent polyester. Padding is very minimal, consisting of the characteristics of the material and thin, literally printed-on pads. The pads are probably more to protect the glove material at high-wear points than to provide hand protection. There is little material that is not strictly necessary. None of the gloves have much impact protection. Leatt suggests, “If you are looking for impact protection, check out the Leatt 3.5 or 4.5 gloves.”
MicronGrip synthetic leather in the palm of the three gloves is ultra thin for great control feel. The MicronGrip also allows you to use your touchscreen phone with the gloves on. There is no padding and only a tiny seam near the web of the thumbs in the palm area or the face of the fingers.
Despite the thin MicronGrip material, it wears great. When the gloves get dirty or stiff, washing (but not machine drying) them makes them feel like new.
The 1.5 GripR comes in six colors/patterns and is available in small to XXL. In addition to the letter sizes, they are listed in American numerical sizes 7 through 12. As a general rule, your glove and shoe size are the same. Sizing on the 1.5 GripR is accurate for our hands.
MOTO 2.5 WINDBLOCK
While the design and look of the Windblock glove is the same as the GripR, the GripR feels light as air, and the Windblock is a tiny bit more substantial. Both are what Leatt calls second-skin soft-shell gloves. The back fabric is a wind-stopping material. It works amazingly well for how thin and form-fitting the gloves are. It doesn’t have as much stretch as the thin material in the back of the GripR glove, so it is important that you get a large-enough size. We could wear an XL on the GripR, but a XXL is the correct size. The XL in the Windstop was snug.
The story is the same for the 2.5 SubZero glove. The design is similar. Like the Windstop glove, the SubZero comes in only two colorways, but it offers the same S to XXL sizing options.
There is still no padding in the palm, but the back of the glove is a more substantial weather-resistant and wind-blocking material that has an insulating micro-fleece surface inside. For a cold- and weather-resistant glove, the SubZero is remarkably light and thin, but it is heavier and has less stretch than the GripR or Windstop gloves.
That means that it is even more vital to get the right size. We found the XL too snug, but the XXL felt fine.
PUT THEM ON
All three gloves have a small but effective Velcro wrist closure, but it is almost not necessary. The gloves are tight going on and stay snug but comfortable. The wrist closure does stop the gloves from pulling off without force. We had some good winter cold temps to test the gloves, but no cold rain or snow. If it is even cool, we head out with the Windstopper glove. Colder or night driving or riding have us digging for the SubZero gloves.
The history of cold- and wet-weather gloves is filled with options that don’t work or do work but are too bulky to easily ride with.
Some wind-stopping gloves are loose or baggy, with wind-stopping material having little inherent stretch. Leatt has solved those weak areas and come up with exceptionally comfortable and light gloves.
If you want cold or weather protection, you don’t need restrictive gloves to get the comfort you need in the cold. The palm is not insulated on any of three gloves. They are designed for riders working and generating their own body heat. If you are not working that hard, you will get cold through the palms. We suspect that the same is true if the palms get wet. If you are working, your hands will stay warm.
Whenever possible, handguards are a plus with a non-padded or armored glove. Guards will also extend the length of time you can ride before the palm gets soaked in wet conditions. We are once again impressed with Leatt’s innovation and drive to offer impressive riding gear. Light, form-fitting gloves like these are what we look for in gloves. Finding ones that are weather-resistant is a bonus at this price. Go to www.leatt.com or call (800) 691-3314 to get your hands on your own!