Tested by Phil Suriano
When I hear about any motorcycle gear claiming to be an all-rounder, I’m suspicious. The “jack of all trades” is master of none in my experience, but I was pleased to find an exception to that rule in the ‘Solid Dry’ men’s gloves from Held.
(NOTE: while the Solid Dry is a men’s glove, Held produce a similar winter glove for women, the Johna.)
Held call the Solid Dry a 2-in-1 glove and that’s because there are two separate chambers for your hands – one for dry conditions and one for the wet. That makes them sound like they’d be bulky and uncomfortable, like welder’s gloves, but thankfully they’re not.
Having recently tested the Solid Dry gloves on a 500km ride in mixed wet and dry conditions, I found them to be effective at keeping my hands dry and comfortable, with no impact on my control of the grips, levers and switchgear.
Wet and Dry
To clarify on the 2-in-1 thing, the Solid Dry has one outer and two inner shells. The outer shell is made up of durable Taslan synthetic fabric, with stretch panels for comfort and a combination of flexible SAS-TEC knuckle protectors and leather detailing on the back, SuperFabric Thumb reinforcement, hand edge reinforcement and highly abrasion-resistant kangaroo leather on the palm for protection.
Within that outer shell are two compartments: one unlined for dry conditions; and the other with a waterproof and windproof Gore-Tex membrane for the wet. That waterproof compartment also features Pique-Push-Pull lining for improved comfort.
All Day Versatility
For my 500km roundtrip out of Sydney, I started at 6:45am, so it was a cold beginning. It was also raining, which provided the perfect opportunity to put the Solid Dry’s waterproof capabilities to the test.
For an early start like this, I’d normally have the heated grips on my BMW S1000 R switched on. With my hands in the waterproof Gore-Tex chamber, I found I didn’t need the heaters. Even after an hour of riding in the wet, my hands were both warm and dry. I was very surprised that the lining was so thin, yet offered such superior warmth and waterproofing properties.
The feel in the waterproof chamber was not bulky, so I never felt disconnected from the grips or switchgear. Some clever additional features include a visor wipe on the index finger (which came in very handy) and special trim on the thumb and forefinger that allows for smartphone operation.
By the afternoon, the rain had cleared and the sun was out, so I swapped from the Gore-Tex-lined compartment to the ‘lower’ compartment. As the second chamber is unlined, it gives you that beautiful tactile feel of the grips and levers, while the kangaroo leather palm has perforated holes to allow air flow.
I continued riding without the BMW’s heated grips on, but after an hour I put them onto the lowest setting - just to see what the difference was. With the heated grips on, my hands were nice and warm, but without the heated grips, they were fine, too.
For the ride’s final stretch, I had an hour of motorway ahead of me, so I reverted back to the primary compartment for some wind protection. On those long motorway stretches, the Solid Dry’s long cuffs came into their own, allowing my jacket to be effectively tucked in, while the Velcro straps on the wrist and cuff allowed for finer adjustment to the fit.
Solid Dry – Stellar Performance
After a day and 500+kms, I came away impressed with the Solid Dry’s performance. Given Held have been in the business of producing quality motorcycle apparel for more than 70 years, it shouldn’t have been a surprise, really, but as I said earlier, I always approach multi-purpose gear with scepticism.
The weather and riding conditions provided an ideal test for the 2-in-1 capability of these gloves and they passed with flying colours.
With their excellent combination of warmth and flexibility, I rate the Held Solid Dry glove as my pick for this year’s winter riding.
Available in black only, men’s S-3XL sizes (Euro size 7 – 12)
$280.00 RRP, backed by a 5-year warranty