Merlin Shenstone D3O Gloves Review: Old School Meets New Tech?

I’m always on the hunt for equipment that balances protection, comfort, and killer looks. That’s why I was eager to test out Merlin’s new Shenstone summer motorcycle gloves, which seem targeted at riders like me seeking lightweight warm-weather hand protection.

In this hands-on review, I’ll break down whether these dual-sport summer motorcycle gloves live up to their promise of “two to three-season functionality” for the café racer and vintage bike crowd.

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

Merlin Shenstone D3O Gloves


Key Takeaways

  • Vintage cafe feel
  • Armored knuckles
  • Cowhide durability

Merlin Shenstone D3O Gloves – Our Verdict

If you made it this far, chances are you’re still debating whether these gloves (1) deserve space in your gear bag. Let’s recap the key considerations:

Biggest pros

  • Low-profile armor for unexpected crashes
  • Mashup of protection and laid-back style

Potential drawbacks

  • Snug fit and break-in period
  • Limited weather protection

Given the reasonable price point, I believe the Shenstone summer gloves strike a winning balance for riders focused on looking good while enjoying a little insurance against road rash.

For vintage bike and cafe racer loyalists wearing this iconoclastic style of glove, the occasional discomfort might be worth the attitude.

Think of the creaking leather and popped snaps on a well-worn motorcycle jacket. Sometimes, imperfection only adds to the appeal.

In closing, if your rides involve short weekend jaunts rather than continent-crossing marathons, then the Merlin Shenstone motorcycle gloves should serve you handsomely during the fairer seasons.

Key details:

  • Perforated cowhide leather and mesh construction
  • D3O armor for impact protection
  • Relaxed styling for cruiser comfort
  • Touchscreen-compatible fingertips

Let’s delve into the specifics of whether these gloves are worth adding to your seasonal riding gear rotation.

Who Are the Shenstone Gloves Designed For?

Taking one look at the Shenstone gloves, it’s clear they aren’t made for the hardcore sportbike track day fanatic.

Instead, the aesthetic screams “custom café racer” with its distressed leather and mesh touches. I’d liken the styling to what you might see from British motorcycle icons like Norton or Triumph.

But the old-school vibe doesn’t mean the gloves scrimp on modern protection. Subtle armor allows the Shenstones to bridge the gap between fashion and function.

So, if you ride a Bonneville Bobber or restored Ninja 250, these may appeal to your retro sensibilities while keeping your paws safe.

How Do the Shenstones Fit and Feel?

Finding the right size is critical with any riding glove. After breaking out the tape measure, I opted for an XL in the Shenstone based on Merlin’s sizing chart. And I’m glad I didn’t size up despite normally wearing a XXL glove.

The extra room of a larger glove would have made these feel bulky, especially in the fingers. That’s my main gripe with the gloves’ construction.

The external cowhide stitching and leather choice give the fingers a stiff, stubby feeling until broken in. Goatskin or kangaroo hide would likely feel more supple. Having said that, the glove palms do incorporate some elasticity.

On the plus side, the mesh paneling provides ample airflow to the backs of the hands. The perforated fingers and relaxed cut allow for good maneuverability.

So, while they might not feel like a second skin, for most cruiser duties, the comfort hits the spot. Just be prepared for some break-in time if you prefer a slimmed-down fit.
Click to view sizing specs:

  • Available sizes: S – 3XL
  • Measure hand circumference across knuckles
  • Break-in period required
  • Relaxed cafe racer fit
  • Runs smaller than the labeled size

How Much Protection Do You Actually Get?

Given their vintage styling, I was skeptical whether these gloves could protect as well as their sport-focused counterparts. But the Shenstones incorporate some vital armor where it counts most.

The upper fingers and backs of your hands get reinforced with D3O padding. This innovative material dissipates and disperses impact