Alpinestars SMX-Z Drystar Gloves Review: Are They Actually Waterproof?

I’m always researching the latest gear to keep me protected. When I came across Alpinestars’ new waterproof SMX Z Drystar gloves, they intrigued me but made me skeptical. Could these slim riding gloves truly keep hands dry in heavy rain while retaining flexibility?

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Are these the best waterproof motorcycle gloves for you? Let’s find out!

After thoroughly testing them out on wet rides this season, I have an authoritative verdict.

Alpinestars SMX-Z Drystar Gloves

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Key Takeaways

  • Heavy rain is no match
  • Supple dexterity retained
  • Waterproof protection assured

How Do the Alpinestars SMX-Z Drystar Gloves Measure Up?

I find that Alpinestar motorcycle gloves have a snugger fit than most. The slim design provides excellent control and feedback.

I typically wear large gloves, and the size large SMX Z gloves have some slight excess material in the thumb and index finger.

For motorcyclists seeking a glove with a tighter wrap, consider going down one full size. The spandex gussets and leather accordions offer plenty of flex room while eliminating bulk. Overall, the reduced volume creates a “broken-in” feel right out of the box.

What Are the Key Characteristics of These Biker Gloves?

Gear for motorbike riders should ideally blend protection, flexibility, comfort, and versatility. As I evaluated the specifications of the Alpinestars SMX Z Drystar gloves, several beneficial properties stood out:

  • Lightweight and Low Profile: Weighing only 0.45 lbs, these gloves have a slim design with flexible panels for unmatched dexterity. The mica suede palm offers abrasion resistance without bulk.
  • Waterproof and Breathable Drystar Membrane: Alpinestars utilizes a waterproof yet breathable Drystar liner to keep hands dry in wet riding conditions. No more soggy gloves!
  • Carbon Fiber Knuckle Protection: The SMX Z gloves incorporate injection-molded carbon fiber protectors on the knuckles. This advanced technology allows for impact energy distribution over a larger surface area.
  • Goat Leather Construction: Premium full-grain goat leather comprises the majority of the glove for heightened abrasion resistance in key areas. Goat leather balances durability, suppleness, and comfort beautifully.
  • Touchscreen Capability: Conductive fingertip material on the thumb and index finger allows easy smartphone and GPS use while wearing the SMX Z gloves. No need to remove my gloves each time I want to change a playlist!

Evaluating the Protection Level: Are the Alpinestars SMX Z Gloves Sufficient?

Protection is paramount for motorcycle gloves to prevent injury in the event of an accident. Here’s how these Alpinestars riding gloves stack up regarding safety:

  • Abrasion Resistance: The full-grain goat leather construction resists abrasion exceptionally well in key impact zones. The mica suede heel of the palm provides extra abrasion protection.
  • Impact Protection: Injection molded carbon fiber protects the knuckles from direct blows. Less rigid than true carbon fiber, this advanced shielding allows dexterity while still absorbing and distributing impact.
  • Wrist Support: An integrated wrist closure, elastic gussets, and Velcro tab securely lock down the SMX Z gloves to prevent shifting and keep wrists supported.

For regular street and commuter use, I find the level of protection wholly reasonable. The blend of premium leather, shields, and supportive closures offers peace of mind against road rash without compromising comfort.

How Does Waterproofness Hold Up?

The standout feature of the Alpinestars SMX Z Drystar gloves is the waterproof and breathable Drystar® liner. Based on my testing, these motorcycle gloves excel at keeping hands dry while promoting airflow for comfort:

  • Total Water Impermeability: During extended rides in moderate to heavy rainfall, my hands stayed completely dry wearing the SMX Z gloves.
  • Wind Protection: The snug leather and membrane construction locks out cold air beautifully. Fending off wind chill keeps my hands warmer and less prone to cramping.
  • Moisture Wicking: While waterproof, the Drystar membrane still enables sweat evaporation so my hands don’t turn clammy after hours of wear.

The only thing missing? A handy visor wipe would have completed the water protection. Still, the Drystar integration is flawless for guarding bikers’ hands against the elements.

Final Verdict: Yay or Nay on the Alpinestars SMX Z Gloves?

When reviewing motorcycle protective gear like these biker gloves, I focus on quality, effectiveness, wearability, and value for riders. Given my criteria:

⛑️ Premium materials provide substantial abrasion resistance

⛑️ Injected carbon fiber shields against impact

⛑️ Drystar makes them fully waterproof

⛑️ Sleek low profile design boosts comfort and dexterity

Based on my first-hand testing and experience, Alpinestars nails all the factors with the SMX Z Drystar gloves.

I give them my stamp of approval for street riding and commuting use. While not winter-insulated, they excel as wet-weather gloves.

For riders seeking versatile, do-it-all motorcycle gloves with exemplary protection, the SMX Z model is a fantastic choice to keep hands guarded season after season.

Given the performance level, exceptional construction quality, and reasonable price tag, I believe most bikers would be thrilled with these Alpinestars gloves.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other inquiries about the Alpinestars SMX Z Drystar gloves! As an avid fellow motorcyclist, I’m here to provide more info. Ride on!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical price range for motorcycle gloves?

The price range is quite wide when it comes to motorcycle gloves. Entry-level options typically retail between $20 to $50.

Mid-range gloves span from $50 up to around $150, while premium protection motorcycle gloves usually cost over $200+ in many cases.

Do motorcycle gloves make it harder to grip and control bikes?

While any type of glove can potentially interfere with bike control, good motorcycle gloves are designed to allow proper grip and easy manipulation of levers/controls.

Features like lycra or spandex flex panels, curved finger construction, and minimal seams in key areas ensure excellent dexterity in quality gloves.

How thick/armored should motorcycle gloves be?

The ideal amount of armoring depends on your riding style and bike type. For casual street use, lightly padded gloves focus more on abrasion resistance and flexibility.

Performance gloves feature sections of rigid plating for amplifying impact protection during aggressive sport riding. Overall glove thickness stems from extra layers like insulation, waterproof membranes, and viscoelastic foam.

Do touchscreen-capable gloves lose protective abilities?

Touchscreen functionality in motorcycle gloves simply involves conductive stitching on the index finger and/or thumb tips.

The conductive thread interacts with capacitive screens without compromising abrasion resistance or reducing impact protections elsewhere.

Choose touchscreen gloves with leather, kevlar, or reinforced palms for the same great protection as any quality non-touchscreen glove.

How easy are motorcycle gloves to clean?

Most premium leather or textile motorcycle gloves include minor stretch panels to aid removal. Lightly wiping down leather gloves with a damp cloth keeps them fresh.

For more thorough cleaning, use gentle soaps and specialty leather cleaners, then allow your gloves to air dry away from direct heat to maintain the shape and prevent cracking.

And Finally… Why Invest in Motorcycle Gloves?

Hopefully, this breakdown has explained why having a quality pair of motorcycle gloves is a vital protective measure.

Sure, stylish riding jackets and sturdy boots grab attention, but our hands are equally susceptible on bikes. Investing in properly armored gloves leads to reduced injuries by:

  • Safeguarding hands from abrasion & burns
  • Shielding knuckles & joints from impact
  • Allowing riders to firmly grip handlebars
  • Delivering crucial wrist support

Bottom line: motorcycle gloves literally lend bikers a hand. Treat hands as the first line of defense on bikes. Select gear designed specifically to shield hands without compromising critical feel and dexterity for controls. Ride on safely!

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