Alpinestars T-SP W Drystar Gloves Review: Waterproof After Hours of Rain?

After testing the Alpinestars T-SPW gloves in heavy rain, I was impressed with their waterproofing technology.

But how well do they truly stand up to hours of torrential downpours? Can they keep my hands dry even when utterly soaked? Do they lose performance after repeat wet rides?

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!

Alpinestars T-SP W Drystar Gloves

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Key Takeaways

The Verdict: Excellent Waterproof Sport Touring Biker Gloves

For riding in wet conditions above 50° degrees Fahrenheit, the Alpinestars T-SPW Drystar gloves provide impressive water protection without compromising grip, feel, or airflow. After hours of testing through relentless rain, they kept my hands comfortably dry and protected.

So if you battle frequent rain in warmer weather, need waterproofing for touring, or desire glove versatility across different disciplines, the T-SPW gloves deserve strong consideration. Just beware of potential sizing quirks and account for break-in time if ordering your normal size.

Alpinestars T-SPW Drystar Overview

The Alpinestars T-SPW Drystar gloves feature a sport-touring design with a focus on weather protection.

They have a full gauntlet-style cuff, abrasion-resistant polyurethane grip panels, and foam padding in the palm. The back of the glove is textile with foam reinforcement.

Here are some key features and specifications:

  • Drystar waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Hybrid construction with goatskin leather and textile panels
  • Pre-curved finger construction
  • Padded palm with PU grip panels
  • Hard polymer knuckle protection
  • TPR Hook and loop wrist closure

I chose the black version of these gloves in a size large based on the Alpinestars sizing chart.

Glove SizeHand Circumference
S7.5 inches
M8.5 inches
L9 inches
XL10 inches
XXL11 inches

With a 9-inch hand circumference, I opted for the large, according to the chart. However, I found them to run a little small, so ordering a half-size up to XL may be wise for those between sizes.

Putting the Biker Gloves to the Test in Heavy Rain

I tested these gloves over three rides in moderate to heavy rainfall ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours in duration.

I rode through heavy downpours with water dripping down my helmet, spray coming off cars in front of me, and plenty of large standing puddles in the road.

Throughout the testing, I paid close attention to how dry my hands remained, as well as factors like fit, dexterity, grip, and comfort.

Quick Ride Impressions

Here are some quick takeaways from my testing:

  • Kept my hands dry in heavy rain for rides up to 2 hours
  • Excellent grip and tactile feel through handlebars and controls
  • Very comfortable even when soaked
  • Touchscreen-compatible fingertips worked flawlessly
  • Easy to get on and off when wet

So, even after lengthy testing in the rain, I came away quite impressed with the performance of these gloves. But let’s take a deeper look at how they stacked up in key areas.

Rider’s Gloves Protection and Weather Resistance

First and foremost, the big question is how well these gloves keep moisture out? I’m happy to report that the Drystar membrane provides solid, waterproof, and windproof performance. After 2 hours of riding in heavy rain, my hands remained comfortable and dry inside.

The exterior of the gloves does get wet, which is expected. But that moisture never penetrates inside. As long as you have a snug fit at the wrist, the gloves provide an impressive barrier against the elements.

Fit, Comfort, and Dexterity When Soaking Wet

I’ve tried many gloves over the years that seem waterproof when dry but quickly lose performance when soaked through. The Alpinestars T-SPW gloves maintain their protection and wearability even after hours of riding in wet conditions.

The snug TPR wrist closure keeps water out, while the stretch textile fabric and pre-curved fingers ensure great flexibility and comfort when soaked.

I never experienced any restrictive tight spots or lack of feeling in the handlebar controls, even with the gloves thoroughly drenched.

Grip and Control Through Torrential Downpours

Wet weather riding means compromised traction and grip. But these gloves help counter that with strategically placed polyurethane grip panels running along the inner fingers, thumb, and palm heel.

The grip material features a tactile raised diamond pattern that grabs nicely when wet without feeling sticky or stiff.

Combined with the curved fingertips and responsive glove inner lining, I felt connected to the bike controls even during intense downpours.

Breathability and Venting When Soaked

While waterproofing is great for wet weather, breathability is also important to prevent your hands from becoming uncomfortable.

The backhand features venting at the knuckles to allow moisture and heat to escape. This helps reduce sweating when working the controls for extended periods.

The glove’s outer shell also features flexible textile panels that appear to aid breathability when totally soaked.

After hours of riding in the pouring rain, my hands never became overly warm, clammy, or uncomfortable inside them.

Durability and Waterproofing Over Time

After three wet rides, the glove’s outer shell showed wet dirt marks and scuffs, which is expected. However, so far, I haven’t noticed any leaking, thread issues, or other durability concerns that would make me question the construction quality.

Only extended long-term testing will reveal how well the Drystar waterproof lining holds up over hundreds of miles.

However, my initial testing encounters gave me confidence that this glove can handle regular soggy adventures while keeping my hands dry.

Comparison To Other Waterproof Gloves

ProductDescription
Highway 21 Radiant GloveMidweight leather gloves with Thinsulate insulation and waterproof Hipora liner for all-weather usage
Rev’it Sand 4 H2O Glove4-season adventure touring glove with removable insulating liner and Hydratex waterproof membrane
Klim Adventure GTX Short GloveShort cuff adventure gloves with Gore-Tex waterproofing and Primaloft insulation for warmth

The Alpinestars T-SPW glove differs from the selected gloves in lacking heavyweight insulation, making them better suited to wet weather above 50°F rather than winter cold. The Klim Adventure GTX glove provides more insulation for frigid temps with its PrimaLoft liner.

The Rev’it Sand 4 H2O glove offers better modularity to adapt to changing conditions with its removable liner, while the T-SPW has a fixed thin liner.

For heavyweight water resistance, the Highway 21 Radiant glove uses a Hipora liner that may surpass the Alpinestars Drystar membrane but likely with less breathability.

So, the T-SPW fills a niche as a highly versatile 3-season sport touring glove focused on maximum wet weather dexterity and sensitivity rather than extreme warmth or ruggedness.

Pro & Con’s

Pros

Cons

  • Runs small
  • No insulation for cold temps

Who Are the Alpinestars T-SPW Motorbike Riding Gloves For?

The T-SPW gloves target sports touring and adventure riders seeking weather protection for long-distance trips. The blend of textile flex panels and rugged leather makes them versatile performers across multiple disciplines.

They lack heavy-weight insulation, so I wouldn’t choose them for cold winter rides. But they offer a solution for battling wet roads during spring, summer, and fall without overheating.

The T-SPW gloves provide a crossover between high dexterity sport gloves and hardcore adventure touring protection. So, they will appeal to riders wanting robust waterproofing without a restrictive heavy-duty build.

Are Alpinestars T-SPW Gloves Right for You?

  • Seek guaranteed waterproofing for wet weather
  • Ride in the rain often or battle exposure touring
  • Need flexibility and sensitivity from gloves
  • Plan long-distance tours or adventure trips
  • Ride in warmer climates above 50°F
  • Desire touchscreen compatibility

I welcome any questions or personal experiences with these gloves from fellow riders. What wet weather gear keeps you comfortable and protected out on the road? Let me know in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions About Alpinestars {Rider’s Gloves}

Do the T-SPW gloves have insulation, or are they just waterproof shells?

The T-SPW gloves use a thin mesh liner and lack heavyweight insulation. So, they focus strictly on water protection and breathability, not warmth. They will be comfortable for spring, summer, and fall riding above 50° F when wetness is the main exposure concern. But they lack insulation for truly cold winter temps.

How is the sizing on Alpinestars gloves compared to other brands?

I’ve found Alpinestars gloves to run slightly small compared to other brands. They often suggest ordering a half size larger if your hand measures in between their glove size chart increments. For the T-SPW model, I’d recommend sizing up if you fall between sizes for the best wet-weather seal at the wrist.

Do the touchscreen fingertips on the T-SPW gloves work when wet or soaked?

Yes, the conductive fingertips on these gloves function flawlessly to operate touchscreens, even when totally soaked during heavy rain testing. You maintain full ability to change music tracks, navigate GPS maps, and use devices without removing your gloves in wet conditions.

How easy is it to take the T-SPW gloves on and off when soaked?

The TPR hook and loop wrist closure make it simple to firmly secure the gloves for excellent water protection. Yet it’s still easy to pull open and slide the gloves off when utterly soaked after hours of riding in wet weather. So you avoid the frustration of trying to peel off tightly-fitting sopping wet gloves with poor adjustability.

How durable is the Drystar waterproof lining over repeated long-term use?

Only extensive mileage will reveal the true longevity of the Drystar membrane performance. But Alpinestars intends it to withstand the abuse of hardcore adventure touring and does back the gloves with a 1-year warranty against defects.

My testing revealed solid build quality that should hold up to consistent soggy rides based on initial impressions. But check back after I’ve logged 500+ miles of wet weather testing for more reliability insights.

And Finally…Staying Visible and Safe When Riding in Rain

Riding in rain poses additional hazards beyond just getting wet. Traction is compromised, visibility is reduced for both riders and car drivers, and stopping distances increase. So it’s critical to take added precautions beyond just waterproof gear like the T-SPW gloves.

Make sure you have excellent tires with adequate tread depth. Consider installing dedicated rain tires for maximum wet weather grip.

Increase the following distance to vehicles in front of you and avoid abrupt acceleration or braking. Strengthen your skills in smooth throttle, clutch, and brake control.

Also critical is visibility. Use bright-colored protective gear, apply reflective decals to your bike (and helmet if permitted), and ensure all lighting is functioning properly. Consider adding auxiliary LED lights to the front and rear for added illumination and visibility.

While testing the Alpinestars gloves, I also utilized new Hella auxiliary lights and swapped them to Michelin Road 5 wet weather tires for maximum safety on my soggy adventures.

Quality tires, proper lighting, and bright gear, combined with defensive smooth riding and the T-SPW gloves’ excellent wet weather grip and protection, allowed me to rack up the mileage in rainy conditions with greater confidence.

Stay safe, and keep the rubber side down out there, my fellow riders! Let me know what wet weather riding gear you rely on below.

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