Review: Alpinestars Archer X-Trafit gloves, £139.99

An all-season leather glove that doesn't compromise feel or protection

I TRY and put off using winter gloves for as long as I can. I don’t like they way they often rob my dainty digits of the feel and dexterity I’ve become accustomed to after months in a set of summer gloves.

That’s why I was keen to get my filthy hands on, or rather in, a pair of Alpinestars Archer X-Trafits – a waterproof and windproof leather glove with enough protection for use on track. I’ve been wearing them for six weeks now and so far, they’ve been almost flawless.

They feel superb – like a summer glove with a little more material between the external leather and the lining. The additional material is the Gore-Tex and X-Trafit membrane. The Gore-Tex offers breathable wind and rain protection and the X-Trafit part keeps it from moving around, which is claimed to improve grip.

The membrane works brilliantly, keeping my hands bone dry during rides up to a couple of hours long in sometimes-torrential rain. Because there's no bulky fleecy lining, the Archer X-Trafits also provide excellent feel and I didn’t experience any bunching or movement because the membrane doesn't slide around between the leather exterior and lining. The palm also has a synthetic suede panel which gives consistent grip in the wet.

Although the Gore-Tex means these gloves laugh in the face of rain and wind, there is a downside to the lack of bulky insulation – when the temperature really drops, they’re not the warmest. They’re OK in the cold, but after a couple of chilly night rides, I arrived home with cold hands. I’ve tried the Archer X-Trafits with liner gloves, which made them warmer without impact too much on how they felt.

The burliest protection comes courtesy of a TPU knuckle guard and a TPU slider at the heel of the hand. There’s also a finger bridge between the third and fourth fingers. The stitching looks flawless and many areas are double stitched. The Velcro cuff closure seals up tightly over my leather and textile jackets and comes up far enough to tuck it under a jacket cuff to keep water out.

At £130 the Archer X-Trafits aren’t the cheapest, but until the temperature goes properly Baltic, I think they’ll be hard to beat.

Tested: Alpinestars Archer X-Trafit gloves

Price: £139.99

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