These Competition Elkskin Ropers take the Standard Elkskin Ropers to the next level with an added hook and loop wrist closure, reversed for ergonomic advantage, and also add a generous Elkskin covered TF3 impact-foam knuckle pad.
This is a premium rider’s glove, made by a ranch and work glove company in Washington State. They’re strong and durable enough to take on everyday rough cowboy and ag work -- from handling barb wire fences to accurately directing a lariat, and ultra-comfortable all-day because of their superb medium weight luxuriously tanned natural tan Elkskin. This comfortable abrasion resistant leather absorbs and dissipates sweat, wears cool, and quickly conforms itself to the shape of your hand.
The visco-elastic TF3 impact material padded knuckles make a protective difference in some crash scenarios, and of course, the left thumb is equipped with a resilient visor squeegee to help keep a clear view of the road in damp and rainy conditions.
These are the ultimate gloves for serious combat touring adventures and all A to B rides. Full and half sizes 8-12 (not available in size 11.5). Natural.
Other ReviewsAerostich Competition Elkskin Roper Glove (review) by Line Dempsey, NC Touring
Mr. Subjective on Breaking in New Aerostich Gear
One of the unusual aspects of most Aerostich gear (in today's world of conveniently pre-digested, artificially-aged items) is there's usually a lengthy old fashioned 'break in' period. The time and distance needed varies from a few hundred miles to a few years, depending on how much one rides, and how sensitive the wearer is. It’s also a bit different for different items…boots, gloves, helmets, shirts or riding suits. For me, a new Aerostich suit or jacket feels acceptably comfortable after a few hundred miles and then reaches it's best after a couple of years of use and wear. By the third and forth season it's about perfect (ironically this happens just as similar gear may start feeling worn-out).
That may seem an unusually long time by today's standards, but with much of my most-favorite stuff, from boots to jeans to you-name-it, it's always been this way. We email a newsletter to riders interested in Aerostich products and sales, and a recent one titled "For the Long Ride" has several nice stories about this. You’ll find it here http://www.aerostich.com/long-service-model
Beyond general long-break-in periods and long-service stories, actually breaking in stiff new gear remains very much a pain in the ass: It is uncomfortable, and I always feel a bit more awkward wearing brand-new sparkly gear than well-worn examples. A bit of wear and patina can be almost as important as a product’s design, materials and functionality, partly because it silently tells a useful story which testifies to one’s long experience (without being overly proud of it, though).
It’s always the same. When I was a kid I usually hated the brand-new back-to-school school clothing my mother provided each fall, and being forced to give up old familiar things which were only a bit too small but clearly worn-out. Today I sometimes still feel this way, so even breaking in a brand-new (and much nicer) helmet can be awkward and uncomfortable. It’s odd to complain about this from an economic standpoint but in some ways good ‘new’ and unfamiliar stuff must always be endured for at least a little while before it becomes ‘old’, comfortable and familiar. This is always worth it though, because new things are improved in real ways which matter over the long run. New is good…and new-and-broken-in is even better.
It’s impossible to not prefer (for example) a comparatively newer and lower mileage rental car and many other newer and less-worn things, but for many other things this isn’t such a simple a decision. And even with today's popular pre-aged and faked-old items (like pre-washed jeans, pre-distressed whatevers) simultaneously offering both the worst-of-both-worlds (inauthentic and already partly worn out), and the best of both worlds (experienced-looking and requiring less uncomfortable breaking-in), the choice actually comes down mostly to your perspectives and not the functional qualities of the item. In the end what matters most is finding stuff which best meets your needs. Whatever they are.
Here is an authentic (albeit nonsensical) way to fairly quickly break in your stiff brand-new Aerostich Darien Jacket, pant or riding suit:
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Customer Reviews (48)
- Long LastingReview by Kris
- I have about 85,000 mIles on my gloves now and they're going to be retired to garden work when I replace them with the same gloves. They're easy on and off for commuting and running errands around town and even handle a little unexpected rain showers and dry overnight. I've gone through at least a dozen different gloves and have settled on these with triple digit covers for touring and everyday riding. I love the fact I can pick up a dime off a table because they mold so well to your hands. (Posted on 7/19/16)
- First timerReview by New York Mike
- I bought these gloves just before my MSF course and loved them. I have long fingers so I measured carefully. The fit is perfect, actually the best fitting gloves I have ever had, the fit chart is spot on. Incredibly soft out of the box with thick leather and a yellowish color. Just like what you see online! Only regrets? I would have paid more and got the gauntlets if I had known how nice they are. (Posted on 7/14/16)
- Elkskin Gloves Review by Motorcycle-Mike
- I own several pairs of the Elkskin gloves and in 2015 was thrown 71' from my bike due to Pit Bull Attacking me at low speed . I did not sustain any hand injuries due to the quality of these gloves . You know someone who rides , this is the prefect gift for someone who rides ! (Posted on 6/10/16)
- My Second PairReview by Steven
- This is the second pair of Elkskin Ropers I have ordered. The first pair were actually too large. I never had that happen to me before as I usually take a 2XL in most gloves. Anyway I really like the way these gloves feel.They are light and flexible and break in very quickly. I took my brand new pair and rode a Saddle Sore 1,000 with them and never gave them a second thought. They always say that you should not do a long ride with brand new gear as it could cause issues, but these gloves were good from the first mile! (Posted on 9/8/15)
- New Roper GlovesReview by Mark
- First time I put them on I thought OH wow are these to tight. I went on a full days ride this past weekend and half way through the gloves were perfectly comfortable. I can't say enough about this product on the comfort side. I also got a lot of positive remarks about them from my riding buddies. I'll never buy deerskin gloves again, buy these gloves you won't be disappointed. (Posted on 8/28/15)
- Competition Elkskin Roper Gloves #421Review by Daniel
Had to re-order the gloves because somehow how the originals disappeared imagine that, either way I ordered a size up as suggested by the great staff at Aero stitch and they fit perfect like the last ones I wore for six months straight out of the box...can't wait to get some great riding in.
You guys ROCK!!! (Posted on 7/12/15)
- Great glovesReview by Rolf
Just got the Competition Elkskin Roper Gloves and what a fantastic fit. Probably the only pair of gloves I've ever owned where all my fingers go completely to the end of the glove fingers. I usually have little "winglets" or "flappers" at the end of each finger. Makes attempting most tasks next to impossible. Not with the new gloves - I can easily pick a dime off the kitchen table.
This is going to bring a new level of enjoyment to riding. Thank you (Posted on 7/6/15)
- Best Gloves Review by Markus
- This is the most comfortable gloves ever had. They are like a second skin. But there is more: Last week I have been crashed by a rear shunt and was slithering over an Italian mountain road for a few meters on my hands and knees. After that, the gloves are covered in scratches. But everything is perfect with my hands and the gloves are still useable. The expensive Enduro gloves from the other party are torn open. Elkskins are more the comfy; they are great in a really damage. Thank you for this outstanding product. (Posted on 9/28/14)
- Competition RopersReview by Tom
- Well, I just finished re-conditioning my old Competition Ropers (using Aquaseal).. They're showing their age. I think I'm going to order a new pair. 5 years is a long time! Lets see...that works out to less than $15/year! Great value, and great performance!!! (Posted on 8/25/14)
- Roper glovesReview by David
- Got the gloves a few weeks before riding to the BMWW rally in St. Paul. They now have over 4500 miles on them and have been comfortable from the first day. While in Minn. we went to the Stitch factory to check out other items and I'm going to order other gloves for the bikes and also the snowmobiles. Top quatity from Aerostitch. (Posted on 8/2/14)
- Competition Ropers!Review by Wildcat_drvr
I'm on my second pair.Gotta say I really like them!
I have wide hands but short fingers.
The gloves seem to mold to your hand.
I wore my first pair for a summer,over 10,000 miles,them wore them through the winter of '12-'13(I live in northern Indiana in the Lake Michigan Snow Belt) when to broke for plate on car,and one time my wife did me a "favor"and dried my gloves,,,in the oven!
DO NOT DO THIS!!
That's why I'm on my second pair,it dried the leather out and even though I got one more summer out of them they were dry and started to deteriorate.
If you don't ride year round you should get five seasons with proper care.
I Love my Ropers,so soft!
Rich AKA Wildcat_drvr (Posted on 6/13/14)
- Favorite GlovesReview by GEOF
- Aerostitchs' claims are in my opinion accurate ! I plan to get a second pair before some unforeseen event makes that impossible. (Posted on 6/6/14)
- Comp RopersReview by Wilco
- I already own a pair of the elkskin gauntlet gloves that I have been wearing in what passes for winter in S. Fla. I did not realize how comfortable they were until I switched back to my old summer gloves. I decided to try a pair of Comp Ropers for summer use. The fit is great, which is a problem I have had with other gloves, as I have medium sized hands but long fingers. They are just as comfortable as the gauntlet version, except for a seam inside the left glove that rubs where two fingers meet; I pulled the glove inside out and trimmed the seam a bit, which helped, but probably will have to try a bit more trimming. Would liked to have them available in the natural/tan color, but not a big deal. All in all, great gloves and well worth the price. (Posted on 5/5/14)
- Yes!Review by John
- Finally a pair of gloves that I can put on and take off of my very large and very mangled hands. They are very comfortable and I have a great sense of touch with them. (Posted on 4/24/14)
- # 421 Comp Elksin Roper glovesReview by Sjaak
Comp Elkskin Roper #421
The gloves have an addictive kind of moulding fit. Like a second skin. You must allow some time to let them form to your hands. The workmanship is fine. The price is good. Fantastic compact size, slips easily in my Darien front pocket out of the way. It stays on the hand securely. The straps are indeed in the right place and pull direction, no loose straps flapping. The seal to my slightly short Darien jacket sleeves is minimal, but adequate on warmer days above +10 Celcius, on an unfaired motorcycle. They are grippy, sticky, and make holding the throttle open against the cable springs easier: less squeeze necessary than with countless other gloves I've used up over the years. This is a bigger deal than it appears to be. I noticed that characteristic when using my other winter gloves.
Additional thoughts in hindsight:
- The gauntlet version would be advantageous for me because of the complete seal with the jacket sleeve.
- a light lining a the back of the glove would make the practical temperature range for this model much larger in spring and fall weather while retaining the tight fit and compact size.
-An Elkskin model with the gauntlet and light lining at the glove back side would be ideal for me, so my next pair might be the Gauntlet model with liner gloves for chilly weather.
#421 gloves come highly recommended!
(Posted on 4/10/14)
- Awesome glovesReview by Yeager
Fantastic gloves. Had quite a few pairs of other riding gloves, kept telling myself I couldn't justify spending so much on a pair of gloves over and over, and that they must not be that tough or worth it - after all they don't have all the "high tec" padding, carbon fiber, bottle opener, etc.
Well, after having all the other gloves slowly fall apart and either be a pain to put on or not warm/versatile enough, I finally broke down and purchased these. I'm so happy I did. I wear them every day, even down into the upper 20s a few times with silk liners to keep me warm. I haven't had to test them in a crash scenario, which I'm glad, but I feel like they'd be adequate. Also the little thumb wiper is an AWESOME idea. (Posted on 11/21/13)
- Houston, we have the solution!Review by Kevin
- I've tried a lot of gloves over the years, by manufacturers both major and cottage. These are the best! Agreed, if I was road racing, I'd want something with ballistic armor everywhere; and in the winter I will switch to a winter glove, but for most of the year these are my first choice. And when (if) I ever wear these out, I will buy another pair without even looking at anything else. (Posted on 9/8/13)
- Fits like a....gloveReview by Peter
- I would recommend these gloves to anyone. I just completed a Labor Day weekend ride logging around 1,400 miles right through the Midwest hot flash ending at 106 degrees in Kansas. I have to say, those gloves were great and felt cooler than my older gloves which contain some air vent holes for circulation. The most amazing thing is they felt soft and broken in the moment I put them on. (Posted on 9/5/13)
- Comfort and durabilityReview by Ricky
- This is the third pair of Elk skin ropers I've used. The first 2 pairs were very comfortable with little breakin required. Warm weather comfort was outstanding. These gloves held up to many miles of hard riding before having to be replaced. The third pair were purchased for my every other year trip To Rhode Island from Louisiana trip and they preformed as expected. These are my go to gloves for all but the coldest weather (Posted on 7/8/13)
- New favorite glovesReview by Tom
- Love them, broke in quickly and very comfortable. (Posted on 6/12/13)
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“All of the elkskin glove models are cut and sewn on the exact same patterns so they fit similarly from model to model, but there are slight variations from glove to glove because each glove is hand made and each section of elkhide is a little different. A great way to quickly custom-fit a new pair is to fully wet-saturate on a warm day when you know you'll be riding continuously for several hours, then let them dry and conform to the shape of your hands during that ride.
Elkskin and deerskin can be safely washed using warm water and mild soap. This removes accumulated dirt, oils and stains and will help gloves last longer and feel nicer. After rinsing to remove residual soap, gloves should be gently wrung damp and allowed to dry gradually at room temperature. Do not apply direct heat when drying. They shrink slightly but will stretch to fit during wear.”
Which Elk Glove?
Thanks for your question. I wear both versions of the Elk glove. About 90% of the time I grab either the regular or competition Elkskin Ropers. The gauntleted version is also available, but I seldom take it. Probably only because I don’t have a sport bike option like your VFR.
The gauntlet on the unininsulated version of the gauntleted ropers is not lined, so the suede-ish backside of the leather does drag slightly against the sleeve of a textile jacket, but it’s not enough (to me) to be an issue. Also, as the gloves break in the suede-ishness wears a way slightly so the drag seems even less after a few hundred miles.
The gauntleted models are slightly more to deal with in subtle, nuanced ways. There are just ‘more glove’. The fastest and most unconscious pull-on-and-go is the regular roper. You just snap the wrist snap without thinking and go. Perfect for everyday short-hop, on-and-off-the-bike riding. Next fastest/easiest is the competition model. The wrist strap is much more secure than the snap, but it takes a nano-more of consciousness to manipulate it. For all-day riding, though, I usually pick this one. The gauntlet models add another nano-bit of rigamarole, but for a sport bike rider are probably a better option. These shades of ease-of-use distinction are very slight.
When I travel I normally take two pair of gloves -- usually a pair of competition ropers for wear most of the time, and the insulated gauntleted ropers or Luxury Cowhide. And the triple digit raincovers.
Last November I rode around Lake Superior with some friends on Gold Wings. I was riding my unfaired bike which has heated grips, but is without hand guards (wind protectors). Temps every morning were about 30ºf and the high each day was about 45ºf. I had both of the above and switched multiple times for comparison and evaluation. In the end I liked the insulated elk ones slightly better, but it was very close.
Since that trip (and as a result my experiences on it…) we have slightly increased the insulation thickness of the wind barrier hidden within the backside of the hands and fingers on the insulated elk ropers. Before it was a layer of windproof fabric placed between the wool liner and the elkskin outer. Now it’s a layer of thin windproof fleece (fleece laminated to a layer of wind blocking coated fabric).
The elk gloves are sized by glove sizes, not s,m,l, xl, etc. Basically there are twice as many sizes. For example, both a size 9 and a 9.5 are ‘m’ graded. So you end up with a more precise fit. A good-fitting glove is as important as a good-fitting shoe. It’s the only real difference between an ok glove and a great glove.
-- Mr. Subjective