Elkskin palm for durability and protection, and deerskin in other areas for lightweight, protective durable comfort. A knuckle impact pad adds further protection. Adjustable, gusseted gauntlet seals sleeve cuffs. And the wrist is secured with both an elasticized area and a reversed hook-and-loop strap which pulls towards your body for easier adjusting. For added utility and safety, the left thumb is equipped with a resilient visor squeegee you’ll use more than you think.
There’s an oval shaped second layer of elk sewn across the heel of the palm to provide additional abrasion resistance.
Merino wool lined model features hidden wind blocking fleece across the backside, positioned between the Merino inner and leather outer.
Full and half sizes 8.5-13 (not available in 11.5). Order insulated 1.5-2 sizes larger for correct fit. Natural, Brown/Natural and Black. Black dyed models may bleed slightly when wet.
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 (44)
- Love These Gloves!Review by Mark
I am beginning to think that any leather product sold by Aerostitch is the best in class. I bought the Combat Touring boots and love them.
After 2 cross-country trips with multiple types of armored riding gloves that eventually began to fail at the stitched seams, I decided to try the Ropers, and Gauntlets. I have reviewed Ropers already, now for these insulated gauntlets.
First, $135 price tag is no issue. The sting of the cost immediately resolves when you slip these babies on. I measured at size 11.5, but went up 1/2 size to 12. I broke these in on a recent coastal ride, with starting temps along the coast in the 50's. I ride a K-1600 and have had problems in the past with cold hands, even with the grip heaters on. With these gloves I had no problems with the cold or wind. The insulation does the trick, and the gauntlets fit easily and nicely over the cuffs of my Tourmaster jacket. The hook and loop closures work neatly and nicely. The padding seems like it will do the trick. I had NO problem with break in and can't imagine getting these wet to do so!
I will from now on haul these gloves along,mix not actually wear them, and switch on and off with my Ropers and Competition Gloves.
Only question is: do I have to treat this leather or not?
I highly recommend this insulated gauntlets! (Posted on 7/8/16)
- Pretty goodReview by Brian
- Like people said about sizing, go ahead and order up 2ish sizes depending on your hand size. Maybe go up 2 solid sizes so they're not too tight. I have gangly skeleton fingers so I ordered to a size 11 and I'm a 9.5 in regular Lee Parks M size. The right hand is a little tighter but they're good enough. I found the threshold of temperature is roughly 34°F. You'll need heated gloves after the fact or at least brush guards to help with wind a little. I'm on a r100gs with no guards and the heated grips are old and provide minute amount of heat. Even on my old r1200gs, the heat didn't help much. Overall I'd say they're decent gloves, but don't count on them for long rides in that cold weather. Lake Shore Drive winds and 34°F had my hands hurting after my 30 minute commute, but my tolerance of cold is non existent. Good quality glove though and only have about 300 miles on them, but it's all been through this tail end of February and March in Chicago which is still no picnic, as Midwesterners are very familiar with the tumuluous weather. (Posted on 3/18/16)
- Have FaithReview by Bill
It seems these grow a size when you break them in, so don't let the first fit scare you off. Go up the 1.5-2 sizes for the insulation, then have a little faith. They're still going to feel tight when you put them on. They will break in fast.
If I hadn't experienced that with the regular Elkskin Ropers before, I probably would have returned these. They felt tight even though I went up a full 2 sizes from the uninsulated gloves I wear daily and love. After I soaked them, it was worse, I could barely get my hands inside them. Then the magic started. Three wears, about five hours total. Now I LOVE them.
I'm a big fan of the gauntlets, they are easy to get on and work well over my Darien and Transit sleeves. The black dye washed out a little bit from the break in wetting -- not onto my hands, but they just don't look so fully black anymore (not anything I care about). (Posted on 12/16/15)
- First Impressions....Review by Bill
My favorite gloves BY FAR are my Elskin Ropers. I started with size 10s but eventually moved down to size 9 because they really do break in and conform to your hand. The 9s fit me like, well, a glove, once broken in.
First, the gauntlets are superb. They really work well with my jacket sleeves (Darien and Transit). Second, I like the knuckle pad and wrist strap. I will almost certainly try the competition ropers in a decade or so when my other regular ones wear out.
What a dilemma on sizing. I went up all of 2 sizes from the gloves I love and got an 11 in these to follow the imperative of avoiding tightness in a winter glove. I might have gotten an 11.5 but that's not made. These 11s feel a bit snug right now out of the box, to the point where I would not buy them if they were your typical ski glove made from nylons and such. However, these are leather and wool, and with my past experience with the plain ropers I'm expecting the magic to happen as they break in and loosen up. It is, though, a leap of faith.
I'm sticking with these, wish me luck. I'm thinking that the 12s would feel better right now but in the end they'll be a little baggy. That's what's going on with my 9 & 10 uninsulated now.
I see lots of folks wrestling with sizes in the comments and can sure see how one might be put off by these on the first try-on. If I can edit this in the future after they break-in, I will update the review. If it helps anyone, I'm a big guy at 6'5" but only average boned. I usually find gloves a little loose in the palm or short in the fingers. I typically go for an XL in your standard vanilla WalMarty type glove, occasionally an L if the cut has long fingers. (Posted on 12/11/15)
- Had to buy for my SonReview by Peter B
Purchased the insulated elk skin gauntlets on my first trip to Aerostich.
They were put to the test on a Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park this last July. Enthusiasts of this road know that snow and sleet at 11000ft is common. I kept reasonably warm , without any glove liners . The temp was below 32F and very wet-- hands stayed dry. The rubber visor squeegee worked very well.
The fit and craftsmanship are great--Aerostich seems to deliver what they promise.
Bought this pair for my son's birthday. He will be pleased. (Posted on 8/14/15)
- I Wanted to Like ThemReview by Steve
d bought these to replace some deerskin lined gloves that had become so loose that I was afraid they'd come off in a slide. I used lined gloves as a bridge between electric and unlined ones, normally 40-60 degrees F.
I was very impressed by the quality and robustness of these. But I found that they constricted my hands to the point that my fingers became number. I thought that would go away as they broke in, but it didn't. Last weekend I had to pull myself out of an exercise at the MSF Advanced Riders' Course because my fingers had become so number that I couldn't shift.
Eventually I figured out that it wasn't the leather that was constricted the blood flow to my fingers, but the lining. And that, of course, doesn't break in or stretch.
So I guess I'm going to use them for the 4 mile commute to work but can't wear them for much more than 30 minutes at a time. Which is very unfortunate. (Posted on 4/27/15)
- Fantastic GlovesReview by Richard
- I compared with the Held Rainstar. Aerostich is a much better fit for me and construction quality is superior. My hands stayed warm while riding in 35 degree weather. Very nice gloves. Glad to see these are US made. (Posted on 3/15/15)
- Elkskin Gauntlet'sReview by richard
- Perfect fit ( don't forget to order a size larger, if getting the insulated version), and very well constructed. Built to last. Rode yesterday in 37 degree weather and did not need to turn on hand grip warmers. (Posted on 11/26/14)
- Well put together. Problematic in the fitReview by Timothy
Aerostitch makes greats stuff and these gloves are no exception. Quality materials and construction. I have worn these on days that ranged from low 40's up into the low 80's and these gloves have been comfortable through the entire range.
Sizing and fit is problematic and I wish all glove makers would base fit not on 1 dimension, the distance across the palm, but with another dimension which is finger length or at least the distance from the tip of the index finger around to the tip of the thumb. In brief these gloves have VERY short fingers in relation to the palm measurement and while I was already at an XL based on recommendations from the sizing tool and the PLUS 1 for insulation, I was reluctant to return them for a larger XXL since my palm already had generous space.
So, I will give the construction of the gloves a nod because for all of the finger stretching I have put them through, jamming pegs up each finger to stretch them while the glove was wet, pulling the thumb and index finger around a greased pole so I could get an unstrained grip around the throttle..... The stitching has held up. The palm dimension has been more than adequate all along, and now the fingers are just right.
I wish the fingers and palm came pre-curved in the shape of a grip with the top leather already prone to bending around the grip, and that the finger length was improved because it has been a fair amount of work to break these things in. The leather is soft upon delivery but it requires quite a bit of shaping and stretching to hold on to the bars (mostly because of the finger length) But I think after today, after about 500 miles and a couple of weeks, I'll be able to ride cramp free in the comfort that was intended and not fight the leather. (Posted on 9/18/14)
- Ridiculous sizingReview by Normal
- If you have the palms of a man and the fingers of a dwarf these are the gloves for you. The sizing is that far off. (Posted on 3/27/14)
- Awesome gloves but...Review by Rick
- My wife and I have the Elkskin ropers and love them. I wear a size 9 1/2 in them, but the insulated gauntlets are too small in a 12- the largest size available. The staff even tried on every 12 in stock and sent me a second pair , hoping for a slight variation in sizing, but to no avail. I'm really disappointed, though pricey, the gloves are well made, classy looking and I'm sure would have been warm enough. I hope this is passed on to the manufacturer so they adjust their sizing to be much more accurate and perhaps consider making them in larger sizes (Posted on 2/28/14)
- Nice looking gloves, but way too smallReview by Zeke
- I just received the gloves after a 4 week back-order wait. They look great, but are way too small. By the sizing chart I wear a large. The reviews say to order a size bigger, but I ordered the largest size, a XXL. It's still too tight, I wish they made a XXXL. (Posted on 2/13/14)
- Great GlovesReview by Bill
- I wear regular elk skin ropers almost year round - riding, driving, mowing the lawn - you name it! When the temps get down into the 30's, my heated grips don't cut it and these insulated elk skins are just the ticket. I wear them skiing as well. This is my second pair to replace ones that wore out after six years or use. (Posted on 1/6/14)
- Almost...Review by Damien
- Well so far the gloves are great. Super soft leather. Keeps my hands pretty warm on (semi) cold California mornings. And look great. However I'm having one slight issue. I think there is some sort of manufacturing defect with my right glove. It is not fitting quite right around my thumb and first finger. It's almost like the inner lining was not sowen in right, and there is extra material that bunches up, so the fingers don't quite bend as freely as they should, and the material also rubs against my fingers a bit. I've given it a couple of weeks to break in, and the left hand is fine however the problem with the right still exists. Also the strap that goes over the right hand is not as long as the left and barely touches the velcro, which also leads me to believe this may just be a quality control problem. (Posted on 12/12/13)
- These are great!Review by Michael
- I got these to help battle the bitter mornings here in Northern California. I have to say these things are great! Comfortable and warm! So far it's been in the upper 40's and they've worked well on the freeway. I can still feel the cold coming through, but it's manageable. And do get a size bigger. My other gloves are XL and the XXL on these fit perfect. I'm recommending them to my friends for sure! (Posted on 11/23/13)
- Insulated ElkskinReview by Jason
- I've owned the uninsulated elkskin competition roper's and they have been my glove of choice for several years. After getting to try on a pair of insulated gauntlet ropers at a pop-up aerostich event, I purchased the black elkskin gauntlets and the nikwax glove treatment. They sizing instruction to add a size to the roper size worked well. A little snug, but if they stretch a little I may even get silk ski liners in for those really cold days. I've worn the new insulated elkskin gauntlets in 38-42 degree morning commutes (dry so far) and they've been great. Almost as good feel as my uninsulated and much better than prior Thinsulate A* gloves. After 26 miles the only thing that could feel any colder temp at all was my thumb. I don't have electric grips and often ride down into the 20s as long as it's dry, I'm looking forward to my winter riding much more with these gloves. (Posted on 10/21/13)
- Adding warmthReview by Gerald
- Ordered one full size larger than chart measure and they fit snug. Added Aquaseal leather conditioner and put them to use. Along with my Kanetsu Windstopper vest under a Harley nylon jacket, I have been commuting 20 miles to work in 33-38 Portland, OR dampness this last month and staying dry from the waist up. These gloves are dry and warm so far. (Posted on 3/2/13)
- Commuting ChoiceReview by Tom in Iowa
I have only had these gloves for a short while, so no comments on durability (or crashworthiness). They are plenty warm for commuting 15 minutes at freeway speeds at temperatures down to about 40°F, even on the bikes without grip heaters, which is pleasing for a relatively thin glove. Unlike my other winter gloves, I can operate the keypad on my garage door with them on, and even pick up a coin from a table. Best of all, they are some of the most comfortable gloves I have worn (both moto and non-moto).
I find the back-strap very hard to get through the metal loop while wearing the other glove, so I always reattach the strap loosely before putting the gloves on rather than letting it hang loose. Otherwise very easy to get in and out of, especially compared to some moto gloves where it is almost a life-or-death struggle.
Some break-in notes. I treated them with the suggested Nikwak Glove Proof before using them. First ride in the rain, the leather was saturated, and was still damp after air-drying all day in the office, but the inside stayed dry. Next rain ride the leather stayed relatively dry, even though I did not do anything to them in between. I have not noticed any dye leaking (I have the black ones). The palms and fingers were more slippery on the controls than other gloves, but they are getting more “tacky” with use and are now about the same as other gloves. The lining would snag on my thumbs when putting them on, but this has gone away with use. (Posted on 11/21/12)
- Almost to the bitter endReview by Shaggy
Great gloves get better with use. I have a nearly 2 hour one-way commute every day, about 130 mile round trip, so when it got below 50 I looked around for something warm. These gloves delivered. I ordered a size up as recommended and that's been fine. They break in easily, though it takes a bit of wiggling to get the wool liner to smooth out when I put them on. Feel for the controls and grip were much better than I expected. Unlike synthetic insulation, it seems to me that leather and wool can actually warm you up once cold - for example once it gets dark the air cools off and you switch gloves - synthetic insulation may stop the heat loss but doesn't seem as warm to me. Plus if your hands are wet - just try taking off and putting back on a pair of thin synthetic lined gloves, they'll be inside out and tangled in no time!! Not with these mitts.
That said, it's now below 30 and dark, and I've gone to battery powered gloves, because after more than an hour at speed, it's just too cold for anything else. But for all the middle cool-to-cold weather - these are the gloves, uh, "hands down." (Posted on 11/16/12)
- Awesome - UK WinterReview by WRG
- My hands measure 9.5cm so I followed the advice of the other reviewers and went for a size 10.5. They fit really well. A couple of long rides totalling approx 5 hours at about 3 centigrade and a bit of rain and the gloves are awesome! The palm leather is obviously hard wearing but thin enough to give good feedback (better than my textile winter gloves) and the top layers work brilliantly. Heat from the heated grips transmits well and all in all, the've proved a success so far. One happy customer! (Posted on 11/6/12)
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Mr. Subjective on Insulated Elkskin Roper Gloves
The Insulated Elk Ropers are different than every other winter riding glove on the market. They are not the bulky thick common cold weather glove ski/snowmobile type glove made in Asia, with a textile and cowhide outer and a fleece inner. They are based on the Elk Ropers (our most popular glove) but feature a knit merino wool lining. The gauntlet section is lined with a slippery nylon knit so it's easier to rotate one's wrists a little without also twisting the sleeve of one's jacket. Which is what happens with unlined deer and elk leather gauntlets.
There is a lot of nuance in this glove. In addition to the thumb visor squeegee, there's a windproof fabric across the back of the hand and fingers positioned between the outer leather and the inner merino wool knit. Farther back, the gauntlet tapers out wider than most cold weather gloves, helping it go over sleeves easer. The gauntlet and wrist have Velcro tab/strap closures that are ergonomically reversed for faster easier off-and-on adjustment. The knuckle pad is made of TF 3 (same as our impact armor)... Continue
These gloves are partly deer skin and partly elk skin (palm) because I like how this combination works and feels. They are made in USA, and I did this design over and over to get it the way it is. I bet there were ten or twelve sequentially modified prototypes of this one, over a two year period before I got to this.
Initially they feel a lot different than the common Asian-made winter ski and snowmobile type winter riders gloves. After they break in a little they are very good. The Merino wool liner is warm and long lasting. The leather sort of stretches to fit after a while, just like the Elk Ropers. These are 'old school' riders gloves, designed and sewn to the n'th degree...as much as I and the company that makes them for us could produce.
This ranch glove company and I have been working together for maybe fifteen years. The ranch glove company did not make anything like this at the time we started down this development and design path.
Lastly, they are not the most ultimate warm winter glove. If you commute 10 miles at freeway speeds on 30-45ºf days without hand-guards, they are ideal. For all-day very low temp long-distance riding, electric gloves are still the way to go. And some types of the typical snowmobile-ski types and styles are a bit warmer, too. But none of these are as comfortable and perfect for around-town everyday riding when temp ranges are down in the twenties, thirties and forties.
For my commuting and every day errand and transportation riding, these are still my fave's. Not so bulky, and still comfortably warm. I spray the backsides of mine with a silicone based 'leather water repellant' about once every year. I think the pair I have are now three or four years old. And they are still getting better... I think most cooler weather riders would like them.
“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
Some additional Notes on Insulated Elk Ropers
You'll immediately notice some of the nuanced control precision of your summer gloves is absent or reduced. You do get used to this, but it's can be little disconcerting at first. Like most insulated types, these gloves may take a little time to mold to the shape of your hand so you'll experience a comfortable and familiar level of dexterity. It took a few days, maybe a week, before I felt good about the pair I am using now.
It's important with all cold weather gloves that they don't fit too tightly. Having insulative air space around fingers is important for warmth and to prevent finger cramping. One doesn't want to be fighting against the glove to be able to have a good grip.
Separately, to speed break in and improve fit, if a warm day happens to come along and you've got a longish ride planned, soak these gloves fully, then wring them out and wear-them-to-fully-dry while riding. After this they'll be molded-to-shape, and fitted to your hands a little more perfectly. Disclosure: I've never tried this with the merino wool insulated ropers but have had good success doing this with several models of regular Aerostich elk gloves, so it should also provide the same good result with the insulated ones.
Lastly, I've treated the backsides of my merino insulated elk gloves with some 'glove proof' brand waterproofing product. Alternatively, I've also sprayed silicone waterproofing sprays on the backsides of elk gloves with pretty good results. Neither treatment makes them waterproof for extended rain exposures, but for commuting, light intermittent rains, mist and road spray situations a water repellent applied to the backside of these gloves makes a difference.