Aerostich Elkskin Ropers

SKU: 420-440

Availability: In stock


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Product Description


Your favorite gloves. You just can’t ride anywhere without them. When they finally wear out, it feels like you’ve lost a friend. Made of natural tan medium to heavy weight elkskin, they are thicker, stronger and more abrasion resistant than deerhide and they’ll last much longer.

Built for cowboy and ag work, they’re tough enough for barbed wire fencing, yet sensitive enough to accurately handle a lariat. The snap cuff will slightly gauntlet over most jackets or close to let wind in your sleeves on a hot day. The left thumb is equipped with a visor squeegee made of resilient squeegee material.

All California Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officers (and many other depts.) wear Elkskin gloves 8-10 hours a day, week in and week out. You too will experience how right they are the minute you put them on and grab the clutch lever. These are the best gloves for serious combat touring adventures you’ll ever wear. Full and half sizes 7-13 (sizes 11.5 and 12.5 not available) Black may bleed slightly when wet. Made in USA

Sizing Guide - Glove Fitting
A fast, easy and accurate way to measure: You will always get a precise, comfortable and correct glove fit. Place your open hand on a flat surface as shown, palm down. Mark point ‘1’ and point ‘2’ then remove your hand and measure this distance. Use the Sizing Chart to determine your correct size.

Other Reviews

Aerostich Competition Elkskin Roper Glove (review) by Line Dempsey, NC Touring
Aerostich Elkskin Competition Ropers – Gloves Review – The Motorcycle Obsession

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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

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:

  1. Remove impact armor and all contents of pockets.
  2. Soak jacket in large bucket of muddy water for fifteen minutes to three hours.
  3. While jacket is soaking, dig, or hire someone to dig a hole in the ground large enough to bury the jacket fully.
  4. Wad up the still-wet jacket and bury it in the hole.
  5. Water the dirt covering the jacket liberally, as if the hole contained a plant seedling.
  6. Wait three days, then dig up the jacket and let it air dry.
  7. After drying out, grab the jacket by the shoulder area and whip it hard against the trunk of a large tree five or six times. (This step may also be done when the jacket is wet.)
  8. Replace impact armor and wear the broken-in jacket with pride.
  9. Alternatively, ignore steps 1-8 and just put on your stiff new Aerostich gear and go do some riding.


Share Your Review

Share your comments and experience with Aerostich products. Please login (click here) to the Aerostich web site (logging-in is required to post a review). All comments and stories are reviewed before they are posted. More than 99% of all comments will be posted within 24 hours, or 48 hours on weekends and holidays.

If you have comments about product selections, pricing, ordering, delivery, business policies or other customer service issues, please do not use a product review. Instead, directly for a resolution.

Customer Reviews (128)

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Elk skin ropersReview by Rolf
My third pair of Aerostich gloves. Fit just right straight out of the box. However, this time I tried the "wet glove" break-in procedure. FANTASTIC - they are now a second skin. They dried to the curvature of my hands. Extremely comfortable - soft as silk. I love them.
(Posted on 1/10/19)
Elk skin ropersReview by Oosik
Purchased yet another pair of gloves from Aerostich. Elk skin ropers. Tried the "warm water" break-in technique. The glove fit like a second skin. I WILL remember this procedure. (Posted on 1/6/19)
Tough Glove!Review by Robert
This is one tough glove! My "go-to" for all tough work jobs and gardening. Even use for motorcycle rides, though I prefer a thinner glove for riding. My latest hobby is building bamboo fly rods, which require a tough glove (rivaling handling barbed wire!) to keep hands from getting shredded. I found them! (Posted on 10/26/18)
RopersReview by Steve
Soft, fit really well. Delightful gloves! I loved them immediately. No seams to pinch or make the grips difficult to hold. Beautiful craftsmanship. (Posted on 10/9/18)
Best Gloves EverReview by John
I've been wearing these for many years. They have great durability and control feel. Constant traveling companion for 100K +. (Posted on 9/15/18)
Ropers are great in every wayReview by David
Elkskin ropers are simply terrific. The first thing a rider must do is visit their local branded motorcycle shop and check glove qualities and prices. I’ll say no more than, “these are the best”. Second, natural skin gloves have many unique advantages over man made fabrics. If a buyer is looking for product features found in gloves made of plastic, vinyl, GoreTex, Thinsulate and high tech; these would not be your first choice because they don’t have that list of stuff. They are lovely pieces of skin to wrap around your skin and they do that in the most remarkably positive way. And they will keep doing that for a very long time if you take care of them. (Posted on 9/10/18)
Replacing my 100k mile RopersReview by mqqn
I bought these to replace my well-worn elk skin ropers that I purchased in 2004 during a stopover on the Lake Basin Promotions Circle Lake Tour, aka the Wolf's Head Rally. The gloves outlived the rally, which sadly is no longer held officially. The gloves are comfortable and became my constant riding companions. Paired with heated grips I could ride in virtually any weather I would want to be out in. The leather is very pliable, but also durable. I used the gloves for wood chopping on occasion, and that was recently what finally put a small hole in the tip of one of the fingers. I will say that, even after 100k miles and many years of use, I would still get "purple hands" if the gloves got wet - the last ride I took it stormed on me for the last 30 miles (go figure) and once again I had the trade-mark purple hands from the black bleeding out. I would have ordered the tan gloves, but they were out of stock, and I really wanted exact replacements , bleeding notwithstanding. I did try to soak them in the sink a couple of times to no avail. In the end, it's about the glove, and these are outstanding gloves, no nonsense, hard working, long wearing good gloves that will be with you for many years. (Posted on 9/5/18)
Not quite right for my rideReview by Mike
First the good: these are the softest abrasion resistant gloves I have experienced, and are bargain-priced.
I bought them as summer gloves to replace a pair that had worn through a finger in less than two seasons, hoping for a durable alternative. As such they are fine - very comfortable, although warmer than vented leather or fabric gloves. The lack of hard protection is on par for summer gloves, but I worry they would come off in a fall, as they can't be cinched tight.
First off, they run large. I ordered the size indicated, but they are wide in the fingers and across the palm. Rather than exchanging them, I wet them and rode for an hour or more in 90 degree heat, and they conformed nicely to my hands, but did not really shrink down. They also got a couple of superficial tears when riding wet, as i have Oxford heated grips with an abrasive texture. I have a Speed Triple, which has a moderately aggressive riding position that puts weight on your wrists. The bunching at the palms, combined with a lack of padding, along with the loose fingers and a seam that rubs inside the thumb & index finger combine to make this less than ideal glove for a sporty bike. Their looseness makes it hard to easily thumb the turn signal or starter, so on a modern bike with drive modes, and multiple menu systems to navigate, these could be even more awkward.. I can see for a cruiser, or old school upright bike these would be great, but I need something tighter and more ergonomic feeling. I think with silk liners these will be decent in cooler weather and I'll continue to wear them but will keep looking for that elusive short summer glove which is comfortable, cool, protective and ergonomic for my specific needs. (Posted on 8/12/18)
Worth ItReview by Robert
I've wanted a pair of these for years, but couldn't justify the cost over half the price for elk or deer work gloves at the hardware store, both of which will last a couple years riding or a season of desert landscaping. Well I finally pulled the trigger, and feel I've got every penny's worth. I am between an XS and a SM so finding gloves has always been challenging, but your size 8 is perfect - the only other gloves I have that fit this well are my size 8 sword-fencing gloves. I was concerned that they might wear a little hot in summer, but can attest that this elkskin is comfortable up to at least 110degF.

If you would please make a shorty version (about an inch less cuff), I would buy them too for driving the car when the steering wheel is too hot. (Posted on 7/23/18)
Love My Ropers!Review by Mark
These gloves look good, feel good, wear good, and are the best riding gloves I've had. They beat wearing crappy black gloves and most of what you find on racks in typical riding gear stores. They are very soft, and easy to break-in.

(Posted on 6/3/18)

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All in-stock Aerostich products and RiderWearHouse Catalog items ordered before 2pm CST will be shipped within 2 business days. (If a specific size and color of Roadcrafter suit is not in inventory, we will notify you with an estimated delivery date. Production time varies.) All standard Aerostich items may be sent back for a refund, but the item(s) being returned must be in new condition.

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Product Videos


Washable Leather?

“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.”

–Mr. Subjective.

A Second Skin

Elk and Deer leather mold to one’s hand really well. Two tricks to a fast break-in so they will feel great fast:

  • 1.) Start with the exact right size. Our gloves are traditionally graded, not S, M, L, XL, so there are twice as many sizes and the incremental size-to-size fit difference is closer…nearer to custom-made, feel-wise.
  • 2.) On a warm day when you can ride for several hours continuously, wet the gloves completely, wring them out, put them on and go for that ride. At the end they will have dried around your hand, stretching and shrinking slightly in places. From then on they’ll feel like a second skin.

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