Held Warm n Dry Gore-Tex Gloves
[This Held Warm n Dry Gore-Tex Gloves gear review was originally published in the March 2011 issue of Rider magazine]
by James Parchman
Blame an unpredictable El Niño, an upsurge in solar sunspot activity or Mother Nature’s ingestion of too many trans fats, but weather around here has been anything but normal. Not so good for underequipped tailgaters or trail hikers, but great for an evaluation of a product called Warm n Dry.
In America, gloves lagged other articles of riding gear in benefiting from the inclusion of Gore-Tex and other miracle fabrics. Quite the contrary in Europe, especially northern Europe, where motorcyclists can encounter extreme weather conditions year ’round. German company Held virtually pioneered the premium-quality/premium-price motorcycle glove. Edgar Held was a glove maker by trade and began manufacturing motorcycle gloves in the Bavarian town of Burgberg in 1946. In the subsequent 60-plus years, through an emphasis on innovation and quality, the Held brand expanded to include the full spectrum of motorcycle riding apparel and accessories. Held USA started servicing the American market in 2005.
Right out of the package, the Warm n Dry gauntlet touring gloves seemed special. Sizing is important. Held USA Product Manager Tommy Kincaid advised that these gloves should initially fit relatively tight. Retention is via a leather cinch strap and a fabric-covered wrist strap, both of which use hook-and-loop.
The glove’s palm is soft but tough goatskin leather in double thickness. The lower palm and side of hand is further reinforced by a material called Superfabric that is padded and allows a better grasp. Kincaid said that the soft leather palm gives the rider a better feel for the controls. It also provides better heat transfer for motorcyclists using electric grips. The Held’s incorporate knuckle protectors, which are well isolated and not annoying. Much of the glove back is fabric and at several points near the wrist, fingers and thumb are fabric stretch-joints that enhance flexibility. The Warm n Dry’s fleece lining is designed not to pull out when the hand is removed, and the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is throughout. They’re subtlety styled in black, with small light gray overlays at the wrist and fingers.
My evaluation occurred throughout the cold and wet months but the gloves proved so comfortable that they were not jettisoned when temperatures rose. They breathe and wick moisture superbly, yet I rode in many a deluge and have yet to experience a leak. The only nit is minor—my XXL sized gloves are approximately 11 inches long and require a bit of time and effort to get on and snug without bunching up the sleeves of my riding jacket. A tiny price to pay for their numerous benefits.
Held’s Warm n Dry gloves retail for $199.99 with a one-year warranty. Asking American riders, many of whom unfortunately still ride gloveless, to part with this amount of money takes confidence in your product. If you are only a fair-weather rider, you may decide the price is too high. But for those who venture out into all four seasons, consider it an investment in comfort and protection for those important digits.
Held gloves are available from selected motorcycle products retailers, and from the company website. The website includes the full range of Held products and provides useful information on the proper cleaning and storing of your gloves.
For more information: Contact Held USA at (828) 464-4440