It took me a long time to decide on non-insulated waterproof gloves. I was looking for something to cover temperatures above the comfortable range of my Scorpion Tempest gloves and too cool or wet for my Klim Induction gloves. I purchased the Vanguard GTX Short gloves in the beginning of November and have worn them for at least a thousand miles so far.
Fit and Finish
Klim is generally known for making high end, top of the line equipment. I’ve owned a few pieces of Klim gear so far and can confirm the Vanguard gloves live up to that reputation. They’re constructed from a mix of high quality materials – goat leather where it’s needed, a sturdy soft-shell textile on the back of the wrist and fingers, 3M reflective, Poron XRD knuckle and palm protectors, and of course the Gore-Tex Pro waterproof membrane. The stitching on the gloves is consistent throughout and even doubled up in some areas. Inside the glove is made comfortable by a slick nylon-ish fabric at the wrist to aid in entry and a soft tricot in the hand and fingers.
I also have a pair of the first generation Induction Long gloves and knew that Klim had made a couple of adjustments to their fit with the updated Induction gloves. Ultimately the fit of the Induction gloves made the decision for me, it’s almost like Klim makes gloves custom fit to my hands. If you have very long fingers and / or narrow hands, these might not be the perfect fit, but their size chart is accurate and can be followed with confidence. The Vanguard gloves have a touch more room in them than even the updated Vanguard gloves, which is great because it allows the use of a thin merino wool liner to extend the useful temperature range. Klim also makes their gloves with a significant pre-curve that reduces fatigue on long days with your hands around the grips.
Protection and Durability
Protection on the Vanguard gloves is geared for street riding and touring rather than the track, but that just means they’re all day comfortable. Poron XRD protects the knuckles and palms and is a soft armor that becomes firm under impact. It’s not noticeable when wearing, which is something I can’t say for most gloves with hard knuckles I’ve used. I can confirm that the armor does it’s job, because I crashed in these gloves a month ago and suffered no hand injuries. I can also confirm the leather and textile materials held up incredibly well. All I had to do was clean off some dirt and I’ll continue wearing these gloves until they wear out from use.
Features and Function
Klim did not need to include all the features they did on these gloves, but I’m sure glad they did. The left index finger has a visor squeegee since it’s expected they’ll be worn in the rain, it works well and isn’t overly large so it does not interfere with your clutch or other controls. Each glove has a loop at the wrist to aid pulling the gloves on, this is a feature that really needs to be on every glove I own going forward. The closure on the gloves is two part system; a velcro strap on the inside of the wrist and a YKK Autolock zipper on the back of the hand. I set the velcro strap once and simply use the zipper when taking the gloves on or off.
I’ve worn these gloves in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. On their own I’d say they’re most comfortable between 50-80°f depending on weather conditions; however, with heated grips, handguards, and occasionally a thin liner I’ve been very comfortable down to 40°f. They could probably handle hot and rainy as well, but I have not had a chance to test them in any heat yet. The Gore-Tex Pro liner works as advertised; it keeps the rain out, lets your fingers breathe instead of becoming clammy like some other waterproof liners, and since it’s bonded to the other layers the control feel on these gloves is excellent.
If these gloves had a weakness it would be the short cuff, they will always rely on the cuff closure of your jacket to prevent water coming in over the top. I wore them in torrential rain with moderate winds for about 20 miles at highway speeds and could tell some water had started to go up the sleeves of my jacket. That water would have for sure trickled into the gloves with enough time to do so. Klim has addressed this by releasing a new long version of the Vanguard glove which I would expect to guard against water incursion even better.
If you are a year round rider in need of solid gloves to handle wet summer days along with spring and autumn, the Klim Vanguard GTX Short is a solid option.