These are the German designed Held Twin gloves and getting straight to the point, at £175, are a pretty serious investment.
The Twin name derives from their twin chamber design, one being 'Dry' and one being 'Warm'.
Reading up on several reviews from a range of manufactures, I was looking at replacing an equally expensive pair of Rukka R-Star gloves which I'd been using for several seasons. The R-Star is a great glove, but I wanted a glove that had improved thermal qualities, whilst retaining excellent levels of waterproofing, comfort and protection. I tried the Held gloves on Motorcycle Live and despite a long thumb, the Helds seemed to fit that bill, so believing the marketing, I brought a pair home with me.
This is the spec list:
- Goatskin leather palm
- Certified under norm EN 13594:2015
- Stretch fabric with leather detailed back
- Also has unlined waterproof compartment
- Gore-Tex waterproof, windproof & breathable membrane
- Gore 2in1 technology (1 side thermal, 1 side unlined) both waterproof
- Velcro fastening at the cuff and wrist
- Visor wipe on index finger
- Aramid fibre and ceramic protection at fingers and knuckle
- Waterproof, thermal compartment with Pique Push Pull lining
- Leather and foam protection on palm
- Superfabric reinforcement on edge of hand
- 3M Scotchlite reflectors
- 5 year warranty (registration required)
This is what I think and lets start with what I really like about them.
They are really comfortable, in both the Dry and Warm compartments. The terms Warm and Dry are a bit misleading however. Dry could have easily been relabelled 'Feel' as it reduces the amount of material on the inside of the hand, subsequently adding more material to the outside of the hand, giving a better feeling for the controls. Wearing them in the 'Warm' configuration means a universal amount of material around the hand, but thanks to the Gore-Tex lining, allows the glove to maintain its water proofing. The are easy to use in either the Dry or the Warm settings, even with that long thumb problem.
The cuff is really long, so sits well under the arms of my Rukka Matti jacket, or over the arms of my Alpinestars Atem one piece suit. The glove is well retained on the hand with two straps; one end of the forearm and cuff area, and one around the wrist for fine tuning.
The amount of reflective material amounts to a small area on the cuff, but due to how I wear them, this is hidden when wearing the Rukka gear, which is a shame.
The hard knuckle protection on the back of the glove feels very reassuring and cannot be felt when the glove is on and is supported with some hardened leather on the tops of the figures.
They have been well tested in the rain and have never leaked.
So, what don't I like...
Well, these are not actually that warm. My hands certainly felt colder wearing these than when wearing the Rukka R-Star in similar conditions. They are pitched as a top of the range four season glove, but in this regard, I have been left a little disappointed. Since moving to the coast, and away from the well salted roads of a city, I no longer ride if the temperatures are close to, or at freezing. The risk is too high. I'm not expecting by any stretch of the imagination that when riding in 2 degrees that my hands would feel like I was holding a warm coffee, but I'd expect my hands not to actually hurt after about 10 minutes. It would take about 30 minutes riding in the Rukka R Stars before the tips of my fingers would hurt and go numb, which is considerably longer that with these Held gloves.
Please bear in mind that I don't use heated grips and riding a sportsbike, there is very little wind protection for my hands. So there is a very good possibility that this would greatly affect their performance when it comes to retaining the heat in my hands.
So in summary, overall the gloves are good, especially if being worn in the rain. The long cuff is excellent and they don't pop out from under the arms of my jacket when riding along, which is something that does happen with the R Stars. My biggest concern is this cold weather performance and for a top of the range glove, claiming to address this problem, I was left a little, well, cold. I will say however they are absolutely head and shoulders about gloves like the Alpinestars 365 gloves which are only marginally cheaper, but when I have to ride in low single digits, the older Rukka gloves are the ones I put on.
Huge thanks for Sportsbikeshop.co.uk for supplying the technical information on the Held Twin.