Weise have a habit of producing well designed gear at budget prices, and that’s just what they’ve done with this pair of gloves. Designed to offer good levels of protection as well as being waterproof and breathable, yet with moderate amounts of insulation this is essentially a Spring and Autumn glove, although it would be equally at home in cool summer or warm winter conditions. The spec. is good, they look great and the £69.99 RRP is certainly fair. But many cheaper gloves look good in the shop – the question is – will they last long in the real world? And crucially, are they worth buying?
There’s no denying that these Black Rain gloves (and yes, they are ONLY available in Black) look as cool as the weather they are designed to operate in. There’s a nod to track styling in the carbon knuckles and finger armour, but the fit is a bit more generous, more of a touring feel really. No problem if you have broadish hands like mole paws, which may explain why our Dave liked them so much.
But we’ve all fallen for those ‘bargain’ items before; they look great in the shop, yet poor materials, indifferent stitching and inferior membranes can be disastrous when you try to use kit in real riding conditions. Usually cheap gloves don’t last long in use, frequently leak and goodness knows how long they’d last in a crash.
So we took a pair of Black Rain gloves on a 1000 mile tour of South West Ireland in early April. Lots of damp, cool weather interspersed with warmish sunshine, and of course many stops and coffee breaks, so a lot of taking the things on and off. Video of the trip can be found on our YouTube channel, but here’s how we got on with the Black Rain gloves.
What’s on offer
The specification includes full-grain leather construction with Keprotec palm reinforcement, hard carbon knuckle and finger armour and Velcro wrist and cuff restraints. There is a Hipora membrane which is waterproof and breathable. A good size range is available (small to 4XL) – see size chart below.
Sizing and fit
The size chart below should help you get a good fit – just measure across the widest part of your hand – finger to thumb. The cut is reasonably generous, with an emphasis on comfort and flexibility, meaning that those with broader hands will be OK with the larger sizes.
The gloves have a supple yet strong feel – the leather moulds to the hand but has been reinforced at likely impact points and where flexibility is less needed. There were no breaks in the stitching or loose threads (often a giveaway of poor quality) in our test gloves. For the money they seem great right out of the box, but we reserved our opinion until we’d clocked up a few miles.
The gloves look tough in a Moto-GP meets Judge Dredd sort of way, and they feel good too. Supple but heavy duty leather and solid carbon armour give a feeling of reassurance. The cuff is also substantially padded, much more than in many other similar gloves, giving excellent protection to the wrist and upper hand. This padding can prove to be a bit bulky if you want to fit the glove under a jacket sleeve though, but its comforting to have.
Real world test
The gloves were subjected to 3 hours of wet weather during a day trip to Dingle. No leaks but membrane got a bit squishy and gloves could be fiddly to get back on when soaked through. Common issue, this.
Dave wore his Black Rain gloves throughout a 2 week tour of Southern Ireland. Despite rain, sun, high speed wind (you really must get that seen to, Ed.) and taking them on and off several times a day to adjust the on-board cameras, the gloves experienced no unraveling threads, bits coming lose or other deterioration that you can get on cheaper products.
The Hipora membrane kept the water out but also allowed hands to breathe. After a very heavy downpour lasting a couple of hours however, the membrane did tend to reverse itself away from the glove outer when taking the gloves off. This is pretty common with most membrane equipped gloves though. It was never a real problem and all was well again when the gloves dried out.
In terms of temperature, the Black Rain gloves were ideal for all weather riding in temperatures between about 11 and 20 degrees C (50-65 F). In high summer you’d probably want something more vented and in deep winter something more insulated. For spring riding they were spot on – heated grips only being needed in the last early morning dash for the ferry when the air was a bone-chilling 5 degrees C.
One thing is clear – these are excellent gloves for the money – quite amazing really at this price point. Well made, good materials and comfy to wear. Genuinely waterproof and breathable yet with a good level of protection. They are a bargain, no doubt about it and you can buy with confidence.
Only a couple of niggles really – the cuff padding is a bit bulky and the wrist strap keeps falling out of the retaining loop. It can also attach itself to the cuff strap accidentally. We’d suggest that the designers invert the wrist strap position – putting the fastening on the top or outer part of the glove instead of underneath. This should stop the wrist strap falling out and will keep the two fastenings apart.
These quibbles are small beer though when considered against the overall excellence of the product. We have no trouble in recommending Black Rain gloves at all. Tried, Tested and most definitely Approved