Want to use your smartphone without taking off your gloves? You can modify your existing set to work, or just buy a pair with conductive thread sewn right into the fingers. These are the best touchscreen motorcycle gloves.
Make Your Own
The touchscreen on smartphones and tablets like those made by Apple use a layer of capacitive material under the glass that holds an electrical charge. Touching the screen with your fingers changes the amount of charge at that location and that’s then interpreted as a swipe, tap or a pinch. Most regular gloves won’t conduct in the same way that human skin will, so the phone can’t sense your inputs if you’re wearing them. The gloves we are recommending here fix that by adding conductive threads on the fingers.
You can do the same to any pair of gloves simply by ordering conductive thread online and sewing it in. Lifehacker also recommends using something called “thermal compound” on your gloves to make them touchscreen sensitive.
Why would you want to use a touchscreen device while wearing gloves? Well, you’re not going to be able to tap out accurate texts or emails while wearing them, but it can be nice to pinch and swipe or otherwise quickly stop to check directions or a voicemail without taking the time to remove and re-fit your gloves. It’s simply a question of convenience.
Not many motorcycle glove makers have adapted to the smartphone era yet. Here are the ones that have.
Icon Pursuit Touchscreen
Icon Pursuit Touchscreen — $85
These gloves are a modern classic, cleanly integrating impact protection into the knuckles and offering a seriously nice looking pair of short-cuff city gloves. Adding touchscreen threads just makes them that much better.
Aerostich Competition Elkskin Roper Touchscreen Gloves
Want something more classically styled? Aerostich studied the way we use our devices, then offset the conductive threads on the thumb, pointer and middle fingers to be where they’re most needed. Don’t let the low-key looks fool you, these are a seriously tough pair of motorcycle gloves.
Fieldsheer Legend Gloves
Fieldsheer Legend Gloves —$119
Want serious protection? These gauntlets incorporate impact protection on the knuckles and fingers and also include that touchscreen conductivity in the finger tips.
Icon Device Touchscreen Gloves
These gloves by Icon are also a gauntlet design, just a little more low-key than the Fieldsheer gloves. Impact protection is incorporated in the textile knuckles and the gauntlet is cut to fit inside a jacket’s cuff.
Icon Justice Touchscreen Gloves
These are similar in purpose to the Icon Pursuits, but are more aggressively styled.
Do you wear touchscreen gloves? Would you recommend them to other riders?