Beating the Summer heat for the motorcycle rider is always a challenge. Protective gear can be stifling in the hot and humid Summers here in the Southeastern United States. Earlier this year I reviewed the Orsa Leather MkII gloves from Knox that I have put to use for hot weather riding since 2017. Those gloves are very protective and look the part for sport riding gloves.
Always being interested in what the next new thing might be I started looking for a new pair of gloves for 2018. Back in 2017, REV’IT released an update to the Sand Pro gloves, the Sand 3. The description ticked all the right boxes and they were available in a smart looking brown color. Certainly the color won’t affect comfort or protection but they do look cool (in my opinion).
Let’s dig into the details.
The Rev’It Sand 3 Glove
The Sand 3 gloves take up the torch from the Sand Pro gloves as their mid-range off-road/street hybrid glove. These are a worthy successor to that popular glove and it ups the ante in protective features and the looks are nicely updated as well.
The Sand 3’s are available in four colors including black, black/silver, black/silver/red, and of course, sand. Sand being unique from the other colors as the leather for the palm and underside of the fingers is brown. It gives this colorway a distinctive look from the other black based designs but obviously does not offer as much visibility as the color choices that incorporate silver.
In the sand colorway brown accents are also found on the back of the hand in a diagonal strip of fabric as well as on small accordion stretch panels on the top first three fingers The diagonal strip has the REV’IT logo in it while the short gauntlet has the three-sided REV’IT graphic sitting on top of a three sided piece of TPU.
One of the unique stylistic and functional features of the Sand 3 gloves is the flexible TPU material used for impact protection in various places on these gloves. These protectors are made up of a matrix of hexagonal shapes in a similar fashion to REV’IT’s SeeSmart armor. This armor gives the gloves an uncommon look and combines good protection with good flexibility.
The Sand 3 gloves also offer a simple, but very welcome, feature in the form of a large red loop of fabric and the cuff opening. The heavy duty 1/2 inch (13mm) strap makes pulling these gloves on much easier. This strap provides good leverage and prevents wear on the cuff that would result from the repeated grasping and tugging required to put them on.
One last thing to note is that the tips of the forefinger and thumbs employ REV’IT’s Connect material for use with capacitive touch screen devices. Having been placed on both of those digits makes it easy to zoom on mobile devices which is very handy for using map applications.
Several materials are used to make the Sand 3 gloves. Goatskin leather makes up the underside of the glove from wrist to fingers. The sides of the finger boxes and the top of the last knuckles are also leather.
The top of the glove shell is mostly a stretch mesh with some 500D PWR fabric running from behind the REV’IT logo on the back of the hand and around the outside of the thumb. Stretch mesh appears again behind the PWR 500D and finishes towards the wrist.
The interior is fully lined with what REV’IT refers to as a “tri-fleece” liner. It feels essentially lie a smooth polyester lining which is fine, but referring to it as “fleece” makes me think of a softer, more tufted material. Personally, I’d prefer no lining on the underside of the palm and fingers or even no lining at all. This would provide better feel and might increase airflow.
Being short cuff gloves the Sand 3’s only have one closure point. This is something that usually prevents me from buying a pair of gloves but REV’IT has done this properly. The short gauntlet has a nice wide closure flap and a large area of hook and loop fastener close to the wrist.
When snugged down, I was unable to pull the gloves off of my hand. They did give about an inch or so but I wasn’t able to get them any further than that. This is important as even a short slide on asphalt can be enough to yank gloves off of a hand leaving the skin exposed to the rough surface.
A very flexible TPU material is used throughout to provide protection but it also covers a large portion of the mesh material. It seems like this would inhibit ventilation of the mesh fabric. We’ll see shortly if it does, but first, let’s have a look at the protective features of the Sand 3.
The most prominent impact protection on the Sand 3 gloves is in the form of the large thermoplastic rubber (TPR) knuckle protector. This consists of a ¼ inch (7mm) thick honeycomb patterned flexible material bonded to the mesh material over the knuckles and a portion of the back of the hand.
Flexibility is a key feature here as the protector doesn’t require a floating design in order to maintain comfort. The protector can bend with the the changing shape of a hand going from full open to a closed fist. Smaller sections of this material are also present over the proximal phalanx of the thumb and first three fingers. Another larger piece is located over the pisiform bone for protecting the heel of the hand.
The little finger gets to small capsule shaped pieces of TPR that sit upon an extra piece of leather to provide some additional protection. One last piece of TPR sits back on the short gauntlet covering the head of the ulna.
As all of this impact protecting armor is very flexible, it makes the Sand 3 gloves well suited for stowing in small places like a tank bag or jacket pockets. One drawback to the TPR material could be the way the it might “grip” the road surface in the event of a get-off. This can cause more harm than good. Of course being designed for a mix of on and off-road use this is probably the best compromise.
One thing I would like to have seen is a scaphoid protector. I feel this is an often overlooked portion of the hand that can be injured quite easily in a fall. Perhaps I’m spoiled by my Knox Orsa Leather MKII and Roadgear Cheetah gloves that provide robust protection in this area. I don’t find it as glaring an omission on the Sand 3 gloves as I did the Druid D1 Long gloves I recently reviewed for webBikeWorld.
While I’m going on about omissions, expect for the colorways that include silver, these gloves are decidedly stealthy when it comes to visibility. There are no reflective panels on these gloves so keep that in mind if you ride in the later hours of the evening.
A few other features to mention are the extra layer of leather that runs down the outside facing side of the hand, the small TPU piece on the gauntlet closure flap, and the internal layer of foam on the thumb and the outside facing edge of the gauntlet.
The various protective features add up to the Sand 3 gloves receiving a CE 13594 rating (level 1). Not a bad showing at all for a “lightweight” pair of Summer riding gloves. You can explore the entire breadth and depth of what that rating means at the SATRA Technology website.
Fit and Comfort
Sizing is consistent with many European brands and they run a bit smaller than “American” fit gloves like Joe Rocket or Cortech. I wear a medium in many brands but the I needed a size large for the Sand 3 gloves and they fit like they were cut for my hands. This is very similar to my old favorite summer gloves, the Klim Induction Long gloves, which are sadly no longer available.
I have long, thin fingers and the Sand 3’s fit the length just right and the finger boxes fit well without being loose. Riders with thick fingers might need to step up a size or spend some time feeling a bit snug while the gloves break in.
My wrists are on the smaller side but I had no issue getting the cuff closure cinched down enough to hold firmly. In fact there was still plenty of adjustment to go smaller if needed. Keep in mind the cuffs on these gloves are best suited to go inside of jacket sleeves rather than around them.
Comfort is a mixed bag with the Sand 3 gloves. The full lining feels nice and smooth but I would prefer zero lining in the areas that interface the grips and levers. Extra material in these areas reduces feel at the controls, even if only a little bit.
“Break-in” takes several hours of solid riding time as the leather is not very soft out of the package. As such, the gloves can feel a bit bulky when first being worn. On the one hand it does give the gloves a substantial feeling to what is a lightweight summer glove but on the other, they feel stiff until fully broken in.
The finger boxes are a hybrid of outer and inner seams with the former on the undersides and the latter used on the top. This reduces bulk between the fingers and levers but one can definitely feel the seams on top of the fingers through the lining. This improves as the gloves wear in and age but doesn’t entirely go away.
Finally, ventilation was a bit disappointing. Despite the mesh material and perforations in the finger boxes and the palm area, I didn’t feel much airflow. I even put my hand out in the wind and turned it in various ways while riding to find the “sweet spot” I was sure had to be there. I never found it.
My feeling is that the lining prevents the airflow that should be present. With all the steps taken to provide airflow in the shell of the glove it’s too bad that they ventilate like a hot weather glove. I’ve read other reviews of these gloves that claim they do provide good ventilation so maybe I’m expecting too much, but I’m not so sure about that.
Compared to my Klim Induction long gloves that used mesh panels, they are night and day for ventilation. Even the Orsa Leather MkII gloves that have no mesh, just perforations in some of the leather, are more comfortable and feel cooler than the Sand 3’s so take that for what it’s worth.
I purchased the Sand 3 gloves to replace my Knox Orsa Mk II leather gloves. While they are a worthy competitor I have ended up sticking with the Orsa gloves, but not because they aren’t as good a glove but because they are designed for a different purpose.
I don’t have an off-road or dualsport bike at the moment so all of my riding is on the street. For street only riding I prefer the hard sliding type protectors like those on the Orsa MKII gloves. If I planned on mixing in some off-road riding then the Sand 3’s would be the better choice, no doubt.
The Sand 3 gloves didn’t ventilate as well as I had hoped and while I’d say they are good for hot weather, they are not class leading in airflow. Overall comfort is good but before they have really broken in, the finger boxes can feel a bit crowded due to the hybrid outer/inner seam design of the fingers.
In the end, one gets what they pay for with the Sand 3 gloves. They are durable and well made and offer a good balance of protection and flexibility all for just $109.00 (USD)