A pair of three-season gloves are a staple in most motorcyclists' wardrobes. They offer excellent versatility and can be had for a reasonable price, as well as offering very good protection and comfort.
Three season means that they will look after your hands from spring through until autumn. In fact, some will even keep you protected and warm into winter if your bike has a set of heated grips.
Being aimed primarily at the warmer seasons, they are not as thick as full winter gloves so offer better feel for the bike and its controls. However, they are not as thin as summer-only items so you will feel slightly more disconnected. They also won’t have the venting that summer-only gloves do, so you should be looking for a breathable membrane if possible, to stop your hands from getting too sweaty.
A three-season glove also wants to be waterproof. You might not need the protection in the height of summer but there is a very real chance it will come in handy in spring or autumn while, of course, a British summer can always bring a downpour.
As with any gloves, look for protection across the knuckles and on the palm – the ‘landing zones’ – and any additional features, like visor wipes or device touchscreen-compatible fingertips. Finally, also look for CE ratings where you can – gloves are rated either 1 or 2, 2 being the better. Also, look for ‘KP’ in the rating; it’s Knuckle Protection and is optional for level-1 gloves but compulsory for Level-2.
The best three-season motorcycling gloves:
Alpinestars WR-1 Gore-Tex
Alpinestars WR-1 Gore-Tex
MCN Rated: Best waterproof motorbike gloves
Tested by Chief Road Tester, Michael Neeves
"Made from Gore-Tex-lined soft leather, I’ve worn them in all weathers, on every kind of bike, from sportsbikes to scooters – and they are still going strong after two years. Ready to start their third year of service, there’s no signs of wear or tear, they’re just nicely bedded-in and fit me like a, well...
They’re warm in all but sub 5-degree C conditions, comfortable, waterproof and aren’t too thick, so it’s easy to feel your bike’s controls. A useful rubber wiper blade on the left thumb makes clearing your visor a piece of cake. Here’s to another three years."
Furygan Midland D30 37.5 Lady
Tested by Emma Franklin for three months, 1000 miles. Quality 4/5, Value 4/5.
"Women with small hands rejoice - these are the three-season gloves for you. Designed for smaller female paws, the Midland Lady sizing starts at a teeny 15.2cm palm circumference (XS), whereas most unisex gloves start at around 17cm. The fingers, too, are also proportionally shorter than those of unisex gloves. With that in mind, the sizing is somewhat unique, with my fairly average-sized lady hands only just managing to squeeze into an XL/9 size, when I’m usually a S/8 in unisex gloves, so I’d strongly advise that you head to a showroom so that you can try a few pairs on.
Away from the female-specific fit, the Midland are a great value pair of everyday riding gloves. There’s a goatskin outer that provides a reassuring level of protection as well as masses of feel, all backed up with a soft D30 knuckle armour and Velcro wrist strap.
But their special skill comes by way of their thermal regulatory properties, courtesy of the clever 37.5 Technology embedded on the super-soft fleece layer inside. 37.5 features active particles that is claimed to remove perspiration from the skin at the vapour stage before liquid sweat forms, both preventing hands from getting too hot and clammy or cold and wet. And, based on my experience, the science works.
Considering these gloves are closer in terms of bulk to summer gloves than winter mitts, they do keep hands warm down to temperatures as low as about 6°C. Likewise on warmer days, I’ve yet to experience the dreaded ‘sweaty lining’ syndrome, although I do feel that the 37.5 Technology would be overcome on the hottest of summer days, or when riding abroad.
And on the subject of the lining, unfortunately it does have an annoying habit of becoming wrinkled up inside the fingers when you take the gloves off, meaning that you have to fight to straighten it out when it’s time to put them on again – a problem that would only get worse if your hands were to get a bit clammy. These gloves also have a waterproof/breathable membrane, but being a very short-cuff design, they’ll only ever keep you dry in a shower – as rain will quickly get in at the wrist."
MCN Rated: Best motorbike gloves for touring
Previous winners of a RiDE magazine Best Buy Award, these winter-weight touring gloves tick all the boxes. Warm enough to keep the chill at bay during the cooler months and also promising 100% waterproofing via the internal Hipora membrane, the gloves also offer decent crash protection with hard armour at the knuckles, a scaphoid slider on the palm, as well as a Velcro wrist restraint.
Constructed from a mix of leather, Superfabric and Keprotec they’re also superbly made and look as though they should cost double their recommended retail price. The gloves also come in specific men’s and ladies’ sizes so you should get the perfect fit.
MCN Rated: Best short cuff motorbike gloves
These are superb short cuff motorcycle gloves. Made from leather with hard knuckle protection and reflective panels to help you show up in a car's headlight beam. In common with most gloves of this length, there's a Velcro closure at the wrist to keep it in place.
Richa Street Touring GTX
When RiDE tested mid-season gloves 18 months ago, these came out top and took a Best Buy triangle. They feature a leather outer with a Gore-tex membrane for waterproofing and breathability and they deliver. Excellent feel and comfort, enough warmth for them to be a genuine three-season garment and completely waterproof. CE Rating 1.
Texpeed All Black
Value for money
These impressive-looking gloves from Texpeed don't get a huge number of reviews, but what they do get are all positive. Leather gloves with Keprotech panels on the heels of the thumb and the palm, these feature a 'polyurethane layer' to keep water out. Carbon-fibre-look hard armour over the knuckles and the fingers are complemented by soft padding on the cuff and grip panels on the palm, but no mention of CE ratings though.
Value for money
Another pair of gloves with good reviews, this time from several hundred buyers, the Islero Professionals are formed in leather with a Hipora lining to keep water out and let the hand breathe. There's also a Thinsulate lining for when the temperature drops and a free pair of inner gloves extend their use into winter. There are hard 'carbon fibre' knuckle protection and padding on the fingers, palm and cuff with a grip panel across the inside of the thumb. Again, no CE ratings.
Best for warm and dry
Another pair of gloves currently discounted by SportsbikeShop (£129.98 instead of £175.99), the Held twin Drys have a trick up their sleeve; each has two compartments to create two gloves in one. One compartment is unlined but has a Gore-Tex membrane, to keep the weather out but let the hand breathe. The other is fitted with a thermal liner as well as the membrane to keep the hand warm as well as dry. The best of both worlds to cover three seasons.
Best for breathability
The Mondial gloves from Oxford use its Dry2Dry laminate, promising to keep water out while allowing the hand to breathe. They are formed in leather with moulded TPU knuckle protector and on the fingers, with padding on the cuff and Superfabric panels on the landing zones on the inside of the hand. They also include a visor wipe and touchscreen-compatible panels on the forefingers and thumbs. CE Rating 1KP.
These gauntlet-style gloves from Spidi may look more like winter gloves but they feature the company's H2Out membrane, allowing the hand to breathe while staying dry. They also feature a 200g Primaloft lining to keep the hands warm when the going starts to get cold. They have padding on the knuckles, palm and wrist and soft padding on the fingers and there's also a visor wipe and touchscreen-compatible sections.
Spada Shadow CE
Value for money
Formed in Analine leather and textile material, the Shadows use a Hipora membrane for weatherproofing and breathability and a Thinsulate lining to keep the hands warm when it gets a bit chilly. They have hard TPU knuckle protection and Keprotech panels for abrasion resistance and impact absorption on the landing zones. There's also a visor wipe on the left index finger.
Furygan Jet All season
Best short gloves
These short gloves from Furygan are designed to carry your riding into Autumn but by the same token, they would also do nicely in spring. There's a leather palm backed with a shell in D3O across the knuckles and padding down the fingers. The palms have a padded grip at the bottom of the fingers and one on the heel of the palm and the index fingers feature touchscreen-compatible sections. There's also a thermal lining for chilly rides.
Alpinestars Vega V2
Best for sportsbikes
The Vegas have a sporty look to them and they ride like it too; feel is excellent and they are warm without the hands getting sweaty, thanks to 100g Thinsulate insulation and the company's DryStar membrane respectively. There's hard carbon-fibre knuckle armour that's backed with foam to absorb impacts and soft padding on the fingers, thumb and wrist. A good all-round glove when tested by RiDE.
Best for touchscreens
Rukka is famous for its weather-beating clothing and these Virium gloves should do the same. The outer is formed in a combination of leather and textile and there's a Gore-Tex membrane bonded inside to keep water out and let the hand breathe. There is a knuckle protector, hard-plastic scaphoid pad and finger pads too and the fingertips are touchscreen-compatible.