In the best of worlds, having more than one pair of riding gloves is the ideal scenario. It lets you adapt glove thickness and design to your needs in any kind of weather no matter if you’re touring, off-roading, or commuting. Through the years, I’ve purchased a variety of different types of gloves and now boast a small collection of about five or six pairs.
One of the oldest pairs I own is a pair of 12-year-old Spidi cold weather/weatherproof gloves that have seen their fair share of rain and cold and snow. Though they still look fairly good for their age, they’ve become a little obsolete. I decided I needed an upgrade this year, especially if I was going to ride as late into the season as I could until there was snow on the ground.
After shopping for a while, I found what I thought was the perfect match—the Scorpion EXO Tempest gloves. Not only are the weatherproof, but they’re also designed to work with heated grips. Ding, ding, ding, we had a winner. I’ve since been able to test the gloves in a variety of weather conditions and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them.
How They’re Made
Design-wise, the gloves are pretty straightforward. No fancy, alien-looking features—you get a black glove with hard knuckle protectors, reflective trimmings, and a nice leather palm. Since they double as cold and rainy weather gloves, the EXOs also feature a pair of clever rubber squeegees on the index fingers to help wipe a bit of that rain off your visor. They also have a double cuff—an elastic one to make sure no water gets in, and a standard circular one that goes on top.
The elastic cuff is meant to go inside the sleeve while the outside gauntlet goes on top to create a barrier against the elements. If water gets in, the exterior gauntlet features openings to help dry things out.
The construction also includes panels of breathable fabric at the fingers and on top of the hand for breathability. The interior is a thin, soft fleece-like material. There are no harsh stitching or trims rubbing against the fingers. They feature a 100g Thinsulate lining to keep the hands warm, a Waterproof Hypora lining to also keep them dry, and a goat and Nash leather palm lining for durability and grip.
The Claims, The Truth
While some pairs of gloves require that you “break them in” a little bit before they soften up enough, it wasn’t the case with these ones. They felt cozy, comfortable, and supple right off the bat.
I mentioned that the EXOs are designed to work with heated grips. What that means is that they actually don’t have any padding inside the hand which is meant to allow the heat from the grips to travel to the hand faster, without first warming up the material. The few times I tested the theory, I have to admit that it worked just fine and that within less than a minute, my fingers started feeling toasty. That being said, I didn’t get to conduct a comparative test with a fully padded pair of gloves (yet) so can’t speak to the difference in how long It would otherwise take for the heat to travel to the hand.
When it comes to waterproofing, a 24-hour road trip under mild rain was enough to convince me that they’re efficient enough in the mist. I also did a little home test to see just how effective they are in dealing with more substantial quantities of water by running them under the tap.
The top layer of fabric absorbed the water however the Hypora lining did a good job at shielding my hand from the moisture; I could feel the coolness of the water inside the glove but my fingers remained perfectly dry. I suspect that like any fabric gloves, their efficiency has a limit but I haven’t found it yet.
As for keeping my hands warm, I’m a difficult customer to please as my hands are usually the first thing to get cold when the temperature drops. My bike doesn’t currently have handguards, which exposes the top of my hands to the wind. While the gloves are overall pretty warm, a layer of Thinsulate only does so much. The “perforated” panels between the fingers and on the top of the hand to ensure better breathability probably contribute to the top of my hand feeling cold after a while.
The good news is that it took some time at highway speeds in 40-degree temperatures for the cold to become uncomfortable. After all, the way I see it, I have to compromise between breathability and total protection from the cold and I’d rather add layers than wear something that turns into a tiny hand sauna. I will likely pair them with a thin pair of gloves or a heated liner.
The only kind of annoying feature I found is the elastic cuffs. They do a good job at making sure that the cuffs are air and watertight, but if you don’t layer them up properly with your sleeves, the elastic is a bit frustrating setup comfortably.
That being said, for the $85 price point, the Scorpion EXO Tempest Waterproof gloves are overall really nice pair to own. I certainly don’t regret buying them. They fulfill most of their claims and for that, they get a solid 8 out of 10 rating from me.