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Klim Adventure GTX (short) gloves

Think of this as the middle panel in a tryptic of Klim glove reviews. Not long ago, I raved about their Badlands Aero Pro Short summer gloves and Badlands GTX Long winter gloves. Now I’ve got my hands on—er, in—a pair of highly versatile Klim mitts for the intermediate temps of spring and fall, as well as rainy weather during warmer months. The “GTX” in these gloves’ name refers to the inclusion of gold standard Gore-Tex wind- and water-proofing, integrated in the form of “Gore Grip.” This application of the familiar textile technology maximizes tactile precision by bonding the one-way permeable membrane to the glove’s chassis, rather than leaving it free to shift position as a separate liner. Hence, the wearer feels only a single layer of material between their fingers/palm and a bike’s control surfaces—a more comfortable and secure interface where tiny instabilities can create outsized experiences of clumsiness or disconnection. “Short” refers to the gauntlet length, although there’s currently no long version of the Adventure GTX in Klim’s lineup. This glove is definitely designed to go inside your jacket sleeve’s cuff, with low-profile, yet still substantive, wrist protection.

The first thing I noticed when wearing the Adventure GTX was the stiffness of its goat leather palm and fingers; this material was the most resistant to movement of any glove in recent memory. In addition, these surfaces didn’t feel particularly grippy on my bike’s handgrips and controls. I was pleased to experience considerable improvement in both dimensions during the first few hours of actual use. As the leather began to soften up, it also provided more traction at points of contact. After several more rides, the gloves felt genuinely supple, but they do require a bit more break-in than most modern premium handwear. Rider patience is rewarded, though, as I ended up with a comfortable, quasi-customized fit. I felt no tightness or pressure points anywhere, yet the gloves felt quite snug and extremely secure. Contributing to this feeling is the knuckle armor’s “floating” design. While not apparent at first glance, this contoured carbon-fiber plate (backed by Proron XRD impact-absorbing foam) is mounted within a well-anchored leather panel that extends forward over the finger backs and ends just beyond the plate’s trailing edge. A slightly stretchy synthetic panel covering much of the back of the hand slips under this assembly, leaving the two components free to move with some degree of independence, thereby eliminating any sense of restriction while delivering robust protection.

Indeed, the Adventure GTX gloves pack a great deal of protection into a streamlined, relatively lightweight package. More Poron XRD can be found at the palm’s heel and on the knuckles of the first three fingers. Each finger and thumb is comprised of multiple articulated panels, with a complex network of double- and single-layering to maximize feel and flexibility in some areas and abrasion resistance in others. The wide, Velcro-backed wrist closure strap is easy to work with, yet feels reassuringly solid while attached, in part because a low-bulk synthetic panel in the wrist collapses to form the crease when the strap is cinched down. Durable, low-friction, ceramic print covers slide zones to deflect impact energy and reduce the likelihood of the glove catching on the ground in a fall, which would add to the turbulence of a rider’s movements before they came to rest. These tough gloves carry CE Level 1 certification for good reason. Other thoughtful elements include a thin moisture-wicking liner, a visor wiper on the left index finger, and a sturdy nylon entry-assist loop on the hem’s underside (the closure strap’s stout “beltloop” on the wrist’s backside can also be used to help pull on these snugly fitting gloves).

My only minor complaint about the Adventure GTX is the fingers are a tad longer than I’d prefer, so their tips sometimes catch on my clutch and brake levers during quick maneuvers. This issue is compounded by unique “pleated” stitching at the fingertips, which achieves an elegant and sturdy taper, but adds to the aforementioned stiffness (and with none of my flesh inside this area, no break-in occurs there). Riders with longer digits will no doubt only appreciate this construction. One final detail about these fingertips: they feature Mult-E Touch smart device functionality, meaning they’ll be recognized by electrostatic touchscreens.

Though not a complaint, I will warn you these gloves are warmer than you might expect. With zero ventilation and the highly effective wind-blocking property of Gore-Tex, I found them perfectly comfortable for street riding up to about 70-degrees or so; beyond that my hands started getting sweaty, even with Gore-Tex’s breathability. They would top out at a lower temperature in more physically vigorous off-roading, although one might consider great protection worth some sweat. The positive news is this also means they’re good for cooler weather than you’d guess for a glove this light and with this much dexterity. For me, they were fine into the lower 50s, in part because they readily transmit warmth from heated grips in the absence of any insulation. Klim’s excellent Badlands GTX Long winter gloves take over from there to the downside, and their Badlands Aero Pro Short summer gloves handle higher temps with aplomb. This trio has a rider covered with outstanding protection and comfort year-round, on- or off-road.

Available in sizes S-3XL, the Adventure GTX Short gloves sell for a price as substantial as their impressive build quality: $179.99. When you consider their high levels of protection, comfort, durability, and versatility, they still represent a great value. For 2023, Klim offers this glove in four colorways: black, tan, gray and asphalt (shown).