It can be tempting to put your bike away for winter, but if you do, you’ll miss out on so much; cool air, less traffic and keeping your riding skills up to scratch, not to mention the stark beauty of a frosty landscape. With modern gear, you no longer have to worry about keeping warm or dry either; get the right stuff and that’s a given.

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To prove the point, we tried out two of the best winter gloves in the Rev’it range; their feature-crammed Bastion GTX and the cunningly crafted Fusion GTX. We took the gloves on a wet and windy 400 mile trip around northern England and also gave pairs to Graham, our regular test rider and all-year round commuter for a few weeks of daily use. We wore the gloves both as pairs and as ‘odds’ – one of each type on different hands to get a literal side-by-side comparison.

Rev’it Bastion GTX

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Perched right at the very top of the Rev’it winter glove range, the Bastion GTX is jam-packed with technology. However, at the risk of spoiling the review, we’re going to say right away that the numerous features, while good to have, and what you’d expect in glove at a £140 price point, are not in themselves the best thing about the product.

The best thing is simply that this is a gorgeously, outrageously, adorably comfortable glove. Your hands will think they’ve died and gone to heaven – trust us it’s that good.

Bastion Specification and Features

A look down the specification reveals a plethora of trademarked and exotic exterior fabrics, including goat skin on the palms and Teflon-coated Cordura on the uppers. Inside the glove, your dainty digits are kept toasty by upgraded Thermoilte Plus insulation and dry by means of a genuine Gore-Tex membrane (the latter signified by the GTX suffix). We also spotted PU moulded armour protection for both knuckles and oft-neglected little finger. User-friendly features include adjustment strap and tab at wrist and cuff, stretch panels at fingers and back hand, a rubberised visor wiper and an elasticated inner cuff. Reflective material helps keep you visible at night.

So far so good – an impressive list of technical features or an abundance of jargon depending on your point of view. The thing most people will want to know however is – what does this all amount to in terms of performance and is it worth the £140 UK asking price?

Rev’it Fusion GTX

As you’d expect from a glove lower down in the Rev’it range from the Bastion (and lower in price at £115) the Fusion winter glove has, overall, fewer features. However, its more than just a cheaper product, being designed to fit a slightly different niche.

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This is still a winter glove – but the biggest difference with the Fusion over Bastion is that the Fusion model is specifically designed for use with heated grips, principally by the simple expedient of having less insulation on the underside than on the upper. It’s also a lighter glove suited to riders who make shorter journeys at higher ambient temperatures.

Fusion Specification and Features

Like the Bastion, there’s no shortage of acronyms and trademarks in the almost-as-long specification list. For instance we’re told that the Fusion GTX combines stretchable, water-repellent fabric on the upper with Pittards Armortan WRX-100 goatskin leather on the palm. The interior features Thermolite (though not the higher spec Thermolite Plus as on the Bastion) and there is also padding for protection and one piece of hard armour in the form of a palm slider.

There’s an adjustment tab at the cuff and a strap at the wrist, the latter also being elasticated. There’s a visor wiper on the left hand and reflective panels to aid visibility when car headlights begin to probe the winter gloom.

As with the Bastion however, tech specs can only tell you so much. They help establish a products credibility for sure, but they don’t let you know what it’s like to experience the product as a rider.

Cross my palm…

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The leather palms are designed to protect the first thing likely to touch down in an accident. To do this they use double-stitched seams, double thickness material in places and goats hide from the toughest little quadrupeds ever to walk the earth.

Into Leather..

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Like the Bastion, the Fusion has an abrasion-resistant leather palm, as well as added padding to help absorb impact. Red stitching adds to the styling.

Well, the five big things we at Bigbikemad look for in a glove are these:

  • Abrasion resistance/ overall strength
  • Impact protection
  • Waterproofing / breathability (as and if appropriate)
  • Body temperature maintenance
  • Physical comfort.

So, we’ll talk about the Bastion using these headings for reference and try to answer the questions that really matter.

In terms of the first two, which is to say the ability of the glove to protect, the spec and feel of the product gives us a lot of confidence. There’s armour and padding where there needs to be and flexibility where that is required; the most abrasion resistant leathers are on the palm, while the upper is mainly Cordula. no point in having something that protects if it impairs ability to manipulate controls with finesse. While this is a heavy duty glove, suited for extreme cold, and does err towards the side of protection rather than flexibility, loss of movement is minimal and well within acceptable limits.

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Waterproofing and breathability are underpinned bv the best there is..

Waterproofing is 100% perfect. In over 200 miles of heavy rain at speeds, uh, around the legal limit, and on an unfaired bike, we never had even a hint of a leak. We even tried the Bigbikemad Bucket Test (gloves immersed in bucket of water for 1 minute) and the testers paws remained obstinately dry. Not only did no water get in, the interior climate remained dry with no perspiration build up even when manhandling the bike around while getting in and out of the garage. Usually on most gloves there is a hint of dampness from body moisture, but not here. Gore -Tex isn’t the market leader for nothing.

The Bastion gloves were also superb at keeping hands warm, even after riding for over an hour in rain and at temperatures of around 8 degrees C (mid 40’s F). We honestly think we have never found a warmer glove. The only slight downside of the fantastic (and uprated) Thermolite Plus insulation is that heated grips took a while to penetrate the palm, leading us to wonder whether they were actually working. Not a problem though as hands stayed just toasty in any event.

As we hinted at the start of this review, the best feature of the Bastion gloves is their sheer comfort. As your hand slips into the soft inner surface (there is a zip on the cuff to facilitate entry for a jacket sleeve) they are cosseted in a silky smooth inner liner. Fabrics and stretch panels have been cleverly blended with hard armour, padding and gently pre-curved fingers to ensure that, while seemingly cocooned in cotton wool, feel and mobility for your hands is not overly sacrificed. No problem with programming the Sat-Nav or using complex handlebar controls then. Fit suits a fairly broad hand, although sizing is slightly on the small side (our testers usual XL needing to be upgraded to XXL).

Again, we’ll use the same five general criteria for the Fusion as the Bastion to enable a clear comparison.

  • Abrasion resistance/ overall strength
  • Impact protection
  • Waterproofing / breathability (as and if appropriate)
  • Body temperature maintenance
  • Physical comfort.

We’ll stick to these facets for reference and try to get a meaningful rider’s verdict.

The Fusion is a lighter glove than the heavy-duty Bastion, (which along with the cockroaches seems likely to survive even a full-on nuclear exchange). Nevertheless, the Fusion still feels strong for a part-textile glove, although the lack of hard armour may rule it out for some. Why we wonder do manufacturers not combine the best in impact protection with the best in insulation and waterproofing? Its an omission in other maker’s gloves too – high impact stuff for summer only.

On the other hand, the lighter construction of the Fusion does permit greater dexterity and ease of movement. It seems a good compromise and will please button-fiddling techies and those who just prefer a lighter glove.

Waterproofing is to exactly the same standard as the more expensive glove – this is still the world-beating Gore-Tex after all. Again the glove passed both long-trip heavy rain tests and the bucket test without fault.They stayed warm and dry in 70 mph headwinds and driven sleet. Just like the Bastion model, the tester’s hands stayed dry from inner perspiration also even when keeping them on to help repair a roadside puncture. Outstandingly effective.

As you might expect from a lighter glove, there is less protection against the cold. But then again, that’s where the heated grip feature comes in. Warm up is faster than with the Bastion and we had no trouble in sensing varying heat output levels when our Oxford touring grips were turned on. In extreme cold (say below 5 degrees C or about 40 F) the tips of the fingers could become a little chilled, but only after more than an hour or so’s riding. For shorter journeys they are toasty warm.

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Click on image to Go to Rev’it site to locate your nearest dealer

Like the Bastion model comfort remains a dominant feature of these winter gloves. The Fusion is almost as successful as the Bastion in creating a warm, dry micro-climate for your hands that is as soft inside as it is protective out. Slipping them on at the start of a winter ride you feel great; confident of the protection the specification promises. Freedom of movement is easier though, making it simpler to operate technology like phones without removing the glove.

Like the Bastion, fit is perhaps slightly on the small side compared with other makes even though Rev’it designate these as a more generous ‘Tour’ fit.

Conclusion: which to buy and value for money

We can say right away that the quality of both gloves is excellent. Both products are well made, completely waterproof, tough and feather-bed comfy. Pricing, at £140 for the Bastion and £115 for the Fusion is very reasonable for what you get, both in terms of spec and, more importantly, real world performance.

It’s been useful to compare the two items side by side, mainly because this has revealed that the two are not direct competitors. Yes, they are both winter gloves. But, while the Bastion is what you’d need for long, long rides in close to freezing temperatures (or if you suffer from abnormally cold hands), the Fusion is a better bet if you don’t mind less hard armour, your trips are short and / or in temperatures of the 5-20C (40-70 F) range and your bike is blessed with heated grips. Either way, they are both great pieces of kit.