The thing I love most about the change of seasons is getting reacquainted with different pieces of riding gear. Case-in-point, the recent late spring weather made me pull out my vented gear, and I’ve discovered, again, how much I like the Alpinestars SP X Air Carbon V2 Gloves. How much is that? Well, I wear them with riding gear that doesn’t begin with the letter A, which the PR representatives of the other gear manufacturers will say is not an appropriate thing for a moto-journalist to do. Let’s take a look at what goes into a glove that I have gotten quite fond of, shall we?

Shop for the Alpinestars SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove here

This shorty warm weather vented glove features a chassis constructed out of a combination of perforated leather and stretchable mesh, which  accounts for both the comfortable fit and the cooling breeze it flows – enough, in fact, to get quite cool during the springtime temperature drop after dark. The precurved fingers have accordion panels for padding and ease of movement, while the externally seamed protective leather layers are perforated. Although the bulk of the inner fingers is constructed of leather, mesh fabric makes a cooling appearance in the crotches where the fingers meet the hand. As with all Alpinestars performance gloves, the pinky finger gets a leather support to keep it from being bent away from the rest of the fingers in a crash. Another nice addition is the touchscreen-compatible index fingertip on both gloves.

The finger protection is formidable. Note how the pinky is attached to the ring finger.

The main body of the glove consists of formidable carbon knuckle protection – with inner padding – on the back of the hand. A gusset on the back of the carbon armor allows it to lift as the glove grips the handlebar. In addition to providing a more comfortable fit, this gusset offers a place for perforations, allowing hot air to exhaust from the interior. 

The palms have a leather base layer with an additional layer covering from the heel of the hand around the outside and all the way up to where it meets with the pinky. In the center of that leather section, a hard palm slider prevents the leather from hooking up and initiating a tumble in a slide. At the top of the palm, a rubberized synthetic section provides grip to the grips. The same material wraps around the inner thumb where it wraps around the grip. (See what I did there?) Interestingly, the thumb’s fingernail area is only protected by the mesh fabric, where the big knuckle on your thumb gets leather and a sizable pad.

The palms offer both improved grip on the bars and impact/slide protection.

The protection varies on the wrist closure depending on the likelihood of a slide on that point. For example, the outer and back portions of the closure get perforated leather and breathable mesh – backed by padding. The underside, where the hook-and-loop fastener closes, has a base layer of a thick neoprene-like padded material. Overall, I like the choice of wrist material because its compactness allows the short gauntlet to easily fit under a variety of jackets, while leaving room for some cooling air to sneak in.

As I enter my second summer with these gloves, my complaints are few. First, the name: SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove. That reads like a parts manifest, not a product name. Second, the mesh fabric on the top of both thumbs is getting fuzzy as the fabric is repeatedly assaulted by the hook-and-loop when the gloves are stuffed into my helmet. And then there is the hook-and-loop closure that has begun to curl up at its tip. This doesn’t threaten to keep it from holding the glove in place, but it has caught on the fabric liner of a couple of jackets.

Annoying wear on the thumb back from the hook-and-loop closure.

Given that Alpinestars is a premium gear manufacturer, you’d probably expect to pay a pretty penny for full-featured gloves like the SP X Air Carbon V2. Well, they check in at just a nickel below $100, which seems like a bargain, to me. The SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove is available in four colors: black, black/white (my choice), black/white/fluo red, and black/white/bright red. If you’re looking for a cool sporting glove for hot weather, the SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove deserves more than a second glance.

The end of the hook-and-loop closure is starting to curl.

Shop for the Alpinestars SP X Air Carbon V2 Glove here


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