Date reviewed: December 2020 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £175.99 | www.held.de
The Held Twin II Gore-Tex 2-in-1 motorcycle gloves promise to be suitable for autumn, spring and deep winter thanks to their unique two-pocket design. Look inside the cuff and you’ll find a divider separating two entry points; one is labelled ‘dry’, and gives maximum feel through the bars, while the other is labelled ‘warm’, which puts more layering between the bars and your hands.
These gloves are an evolution of the Held Twin gloves, which I reviewed here and are still available for sale at around the same price as these new models. I’ve been using these for the past ten months in all weathers on a Kawasaki Versys 1000, BMW S1000XR, Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Honda MSX125 and others, to find out if they really are the best three-season gloves…
Note that our reviews show RRP, but prices are often lower in store and online.
The twin pocket design works very well
Fit is of course very subjective, so do try any bike kit on for yourself, but despite the twin pocket design – which you’d expect to add significant bulk – these really are surprisingly comfortable and easy to use.
In the ‘dry’ mode these gloves have a little more bulk to stretch over the back of your hand, so they’re certainly not as dextrous as a pair of waterproof summer gloves, but they also have a lot more feel than a pair of typical winter gloves as the Primaloft insulation is all above the hand.
In ‘warm’ mode, your hand slides into a fully insulated pocket that covers the tops, bottoms and all around your hands and fingers – like this, they simply feel like a very good quality pair of winter gloves.
Another huge benefit of these Helds is that the lining is properly secured and has shown no signs of wanting to pull out, even when I have damp hands. Anyone who’s spent ages trying to poke the lining back in while stuck at a motorway services will understand how valuable this is.
These are an evolution of the original Held Twin gloves, and one of the changes is in the lining material – the previous model had a more plush warm compartment that feels a little more luxurious than the new ones, but it was also more grabby. While after a lot of use the old ones never lost their lining, there is a little movement there now, which makes me take a extra care. The new Twin IIs aren’t slick inside, but they do seem to have a slightly more secure liner.
There is a small degree of touchscreen compatibility with the Held Twin IIs, though I’m not sure if it’s by design, or through my sweat and road grime penetrating the goatskin outer construction. You might get away with the odd swipe on the phone, but as you’d expect with winter gloves, activating any small controls is best avoided until you stop riding.
Needless to say, on a dedicated sat-nav like a TomTom or Garmin, the gloves work with no problems at all.
These aren’t summer gloves, but they are great in typical UK spring, autumn and winter weather.
How well you get on with them will depend on your circulation, but I find these are fine for pretty much everything that my summer gloves aren’t good for. There will always be a few days where these are too warm but the summer gloves are a bit cold, and if you’re lucky and can afford it, a pair of waterproof summer gloves are ideal. These aren’t cheap, even at the usually store price, but they really are versatile, so if you’re on a budget and riding all year, these are still well worth considering.
There’s only so much any glove – even heated ones – can do to keep the warmth in your hands, but I’ve found these work great right down to just below freezing on fairly long rides. It’ll depend on the wind deflection performance of your bike’s fairing, and hand guards do wonders for keeping the temperature-sapping air blast from your paws, but these are certainly as good of mot better than any other winter gloves I’ve used.
All gloves should be certified, as these of course are under EN 13594:2015, with the knuckle armour – which is a hard layer under the leather – being rated as protective.
I prefer the leather thumb on these Twin IIs over the previous model’s fabric, and while a little padding has been lost on the cuff, this makes it easier to get them under the sleeves of a jacket.
The thumb and sides of the hands are reinforced, while the base of the palm has a soft slider to help reduce damage to the scaphoid bone in the event of a crash.
3M reflective panels feature on the cuff, though these will of course be covered up if you wear them under your sleeves.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.
The wrist restraint is extremely effective, wrapping around the underside of the wrist and fastening securely on the top. There’s also a tag on the end of the strap, so it won’t pop out of the buckle as you’re putting them on; another bug-bear of mine on some gloves.
The end of the cuff is secured with a decent-sized Velcro patch that’s plenty long enough to cinch nice and tight, with some room to spare for even the thinnest of wrists.
If you can get your gloves under the sleeves of your jacket you’ll find your hands stay at their driest, but Held has clearly been thinking about those riders who can’t do this.
Instead of the plush thermal lining running up to the edge of the cuff as it did on the previous model, the new gloves have a far less absorbent section in the first inch or so, meaning any water that does dribble in is less likely to wick all the way into the gloves. This is what I really like to see in motorcycle kit – proper thought given to how riders use their gear.
The visor wipe built into the left forefinger is fractionally shorter than the previous model, but it’s also better positioned, so a little deeper, making it that bit more effective. Like any, it won’t be as good as a Visorcat, but it’s a lot better than plenty of others.
As mentioned, the lining is less plush than it was in the previous model, but it’s also easier to slide your hands in and out of.
The grabbiness of the previous model’s lining was something I commented on in my review, and while hot, sweaty hands are never easy to enshrine in cold-weather protection, the new design is definitely a marked improvement, and these are as good as any more traditional winter gloves.
Oh, and did I mention that the lining doesn’t want to pull out like it does on some others?
No company has managed to create a pair of gloves that anyone with any nerve-endings in their hands would wear through all four seasons, but Held really has created something that’s good for most of what you’ll experience in three of them.
Yes, you’ll still need to buy a pair of summer mitts, but if you ride in or around winter, these are some of the best things outside of heated gloves. The fact that the lining is so well secured justifies the average store price, but the versatility and comfort offered by these means that, while I do get to test a lot of riding kit, these are my go-to gloves when the temperature drops.
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