If you’re having trouble finding the right fit for your helmet, I recently added some updated fitment tips and troubleshooting proper helmet fit on the Gear 101 section of my website here. Hope this helps!
I have found that living in a climate with drastically changing temperatures means I’m using 3 different types of gloves throughout the year. When I lived in California I still had 2 key gloves in my closet; one for nice weather and one for wet/cold weather. Those 2 key gloves are still in my closet but I have a 3rd that I reluctantly added that you’ll see below.
The only time of year I do not have gloves for is Winter; ~30F-45F. Because I have no desire to ride when it’s that miserable. (cold tires make Goldie very very unhappy and unsafe)
So I’ve put together a list of the 3 Gloves I Can’t Ride Without. Unfortunately some of them are discontinued but I’ve provided alternative ideas for each category. Having very small, wide hands and shorter fingers means I’m hyper vigilant about finding gloves. When I see something that might fit me and work for my riding seasons I’ll jump on it. That’s how I’ve found all of these in the past 5 years.
You should always have a “Go To” glove, the one you grab and want to wear ~75% of the time. These are mine. I’m always wearing these and pretty much live in them for the majority of my riding. Typically I’ll wear them from about 60F to 80F or until the humidity starts driving me crazy. The kangaroo palms breathe well for me and although they need a little more care (like washing once or twice in the summer) I love the protection, comfort and coverage. You can read my full review here including how to get a pair.
These are my ‘winter’ or cold weather gloves. For me, they fit quite well even though they’re men’s gloves because my palms are slightly wider than most women’s hands. Sidenote: if your hands are too big for small/medium women’s gloves but larges are too big then try any European brand (Dainese, Alpinestars, Held, Rukka, Revit, etc.) men’s smalls because they will be bigger than the ladies small/medium but you won’t swim in them like American brands.
But if you have smaller hands, Rukka now offers the Virve for women. If I had to replace my gloves, I would buy these. The main reason I like both of these is the fact that the GoreTex membrane is bonded to the leather (also known as GoreTex XTrafit), so when you pull your hands out the lining doesn’t separate. There aren’t a lot of gloves in that category overall, and then finding a women’s fitting option is even more difficult. The Virve and this Held Air N Dry are the only two currently available like this. The nice thing about the Helds are that they have 2 chambers, so you have something you can wear when it’s not only raining. With the lower, perforated pocket you can use them as a warm weather glove since the palms are perforated. There are certainly a lot of men’s gloves in this category too like:
Held Sambia 2 in 1
As of 2/16/19, these two women’s gloves are on closeout and are the most similar to my Apollos:
Held Wizzard. size 6 only (~womens XS/SM); without the hard knuckles and shorter gauntlet. Side note regarding men’s v. women’s motorcycle gloves. Generally men’s gloves have longer fingers, wider and deeper palms, longer hands and wider wrists. I’ve found that women can always fill the length and width of men’s gloves, but never the depth. When I mean depth, I mean the palms. What this means is that when you are using your handgrips, there may be so much extra material there that it can cause rubbing or blisters from constantly rolling off and on your throttle or reaching for your clutch lever. You certainly don’t want your gloves to fit tight like you’re wearing a latex glove, but this is why it’s always important to try your gloves on the bike before you decide to keep them.
Rukka Vilma, size 10 (~womens XL); ideal if you can wear the length of a men’s glove for fingers, but you need a narrower palm/hand and a thinner palm/hand space.
These are a perforated leather glove with almost a full gauntlet. I reserve these for the hottest riding days that I ride in. Sometimes I’ll pack them with my Racers and wear them later in the day when the heat and humidity start to drive me crazy. The main reason I chose this glove was because it was a Perforated Summer glove with a Gauntlet (wrist coverage). I could totally wear short, mesh gloves but I just don’t trust mesh on my hands like I would on my body. And women’s mesh gloves are painfully underprotected with only moderate protection. As with the rest of my gear, I don’t like risking the loss in protection.
Since they’re discontinued here are a couple alternatives:
Held Womens Air n Dry (see comments above); fitment is pretty narrow and long fingered
Held Mens Airstream (mens, 7 is ~women’s MD/LG)
Klim Mens Induction: the smalls fit almost like a women’s small
Alpinestars Womens SP Air; fitment is also pretty narrow and long fingered; but tighter than Held
Well I hope that helps, I’m dying to go riding. It’s still high 40s here and until Spring shows up I’m going to be trapped on my couch. I’m tempted to fly home just so I can have some decent riding temperatures. Someone go riding for me….
How do you find jackets that fit you when you don’t know where to begin?
Well, I’m here to give you some shortcuts. I wish this was easy. It’s impossible to know what’s going to fit me if I have a 45” chest, a 43” waist and a 48” hip?
I’ve been doing some research where I work lately, and fortunately I have the luxury of doing this for a living at RevZilla. We have a wonderful store in Philadelphia and if you’re a woman who needs help getting geared up I hope you’ll reach out and drop me a line so I can help.
Recently I’ve been looking at a series of plus size, larger jackets. Because I know that the majority of American women out there are larger. So I’ve made a list for you and I can tell you that these all have fitments and sizing that mean those of you looking for jackets to fit anywhere from a 40” to 55” chest have options.
There are European Brands that I know can fit larger women as well but I haven’t had a chance to research the sizing yet. For now, this is my list of recommendations but I promise to add and update it when I have enough information to add them to this list.
multiseason, waterproof, mesh, summer, spring, fall, 3 season warm, mild winter
The Airglide is a 3 season (Spring, Summer, Fall and California/Florida winters) mesh jackt with 2 removable liners; one thermal and one waterproof. The waterproof liner is actually a standalone jacket which can be worn on the OUTSIDE of the jacket. Yes, OVER the jacket itself to keep you dry. Remember to deliner this one completely when you try it on so you can try it in hot weather and cold weather arrangements.
I’ve personally fit hundreds of women in Olympia. I love the quality, fit and versatility that they offer. In a size Small, I can fit someone with up to a 43” hip because it has a perfect cutout over the hips. It’s also slightly shorter waisted so it allows the jacket to sit higher on the hips.
In a 3X, I’ve fit someone with a 53” Bust, 48” Waist and 58” Hip. This is with ALL liners inside the jacket.
Now imagine taking the liners out and how much more room you will have! Please keep in mind that since it’s not a Winter specific jacket, you will not likely wear all the liners inside. Since the rain jacket can be worn inside or out, you will likely wear one liner but not the other.
I also want to share this photo of how you might need to zip the jacket up because riding jackets are sewn and designed for you to wear them in the riding position.
My friend and coworker Chrissy is zipping up two different jackets below, one is the older Olympia Airglide 4 Jacket (as opposed to the 5th version above) and the Rev’it Ladies Ignition 2 Jacket. See? It just takes a little bend forward. :)
Granted, the Ignition is a much more relaxed fit across the chest, so depending on your personal comfort (and riding position) you may prefer the Olympia fit over the Rev’it and that’s totally up to you!
leather, mesh, hybrid, sport, sport touring, summer, waterproof
In the 3 photos above, next to the Silver Airglide, she’s wearing a Rev’it Ignition 2 Jacket. The fitment has not changed from 2 to 3, and sizing is the same. I will say that the shoulders run tighter so this is ideal if you have a REALLY generous bust in relation to your shoulders. This also runs closer to the sport/sport touring fit too. Keep in mind the torso can run long so if you are really short waisted AND busty, then this may not work well for you because the sleeves and torso might run too long. When that happens, the collar tends to ride up towards the bottom of your helmet.
Here are a few more on the list that I want to recommend for the bustier gals out there:
mesh, waterproof, 3season warm, spring, summer
This is a photo of my friend and coworker, Stephanie. She’s wearing a size MD Plus, and her measurements are: 50 Chest, 45 Waist, 45 Hips. The Sonora has a shorter waist and sleeve overall compared to Rev’it, but it tends to be slightly longer in both areas than the Olympia Airglide above.
goretex, waterproof, multiseason, adventure, dual sport, spring, summer, fall, winter
The same person wearing the Sonora above also fits this jacket in a 2XL. The Sonora runs even longer than the others in the sleeves and waist because it’s a true Adventure Jacket; meant for a woman riding dirtbikes or dual sports. So that when you’re standing on the pegs, getting through a water crossing you’ll have plenty of coverage.
I know there are more options than this, but I wanted to give you a sense of what might fit you depending on your riding lifestyle.
As always, I’m here to help if you need personalized help finding something that fits you regardless of your size.
As some of you may know, I'm also the Marketing Manager for both events on the West Coast and East Coast. This year's West Coast Rally was in Camarillo, CA.
I met Lynn at check in on Friday night. We chatted about riding gear and how she is having trouble because her body has changed quite a bit and she's been wearing a men's jacket because it's all she could find in her local shops.
The bottom line is, many women will have to shop online because all the options will NEVER be available to you in a local store. Even in the RevZilla Philly Showroom, I'm unable to stock half the options available because I'm limited to the floor space that I'm given. But for women like Lynn who may need larger, curvier sizes it's even more challenging. Women's motorcycle jackets in larger sizes can be extremely challenging.
But I was so happy to show her a couple things that I thought would give her the best options given her riding style and budget.
Lynn's body type really needed a jacket that was generously fitted through the bust and especially the waist. A fit that you can't find in men's jackets because the hip spaces are nonexistent in most men's jackets. She was also of smaller stature, ~5'5" too which also makes things hard. So I suggested this new Olympia Eve Jacket (just introduced this Spring).
I don't want to make Lynn's measurements public unless she gives me permission, but I can tell you that they are very very full. And she wouldn't fit a XL in most jackets. But in this one, she's an XL. And that's because of how generously cut this jacket is for women. I didn't have anything with me except a measuring tape so I measured her up and gave her my best recommendation.
At the price, you get not only a removable rain jacket that can be worn on the outside, but a fully ventilated, mesh jacket for the hottest riding days. The jacket also comes with really good soft CE Certified Armor (Level 2) in the shoulders, elbows and back. It's an incredible value for $179.99. And the best part is how well it fits.
I was so happy that I literally cried (felt a bit like an idiot standing there crying over a jacket).
But, in my defense, I didn’t think I’d ever have a women’s jacket until I lost all of the weight from my health issues.
It’s silly really, but I feel so much more confident, and so much less like a lop. - Lynn
I'm so happy for you Lynn!! You look amazing in your new jacket!
If you're like Lynn and you need help, I hope you'll post a comment here, or message me on social media (@gearchic everywhere). I'm dying to help.
I'm super excited to update my old Legacy with a warmer, newer version. The new Neptune Jacket has a heavier outer shell, and some really nice updates that make wearing it more comfortable.
I'm just happy that its keeping me warm without my heated jacket liner when it's 55F out. This time around, the Neptune unlike it's predecessory (Legacy) has two removable liners. One is Gore-Tex and one is a thermal, insulated liner. What this does is give the jacket a little more flexibility for summer riding. If it starts raining and it's hot and humid, the Gore-Tex jacket is wearable on the outside :)
What I want to mention is the fitment. They've loosened up the chest, hips and arms on this model compared to previous versions. I have a 36" bust and a 37" hips. So I have absolutely no hips or butt. I need a really straight cut. When I have the hip gussets closed, there is still a good ~1-1.5 inches (with all the liners in) of room left that could fill it out. Not a dealbreaker for me, but I knew that going in. I'm wearing a Euro 36. I can't size down because of my shoulders. With the liners in, my shoulders are too tight in a 34 while in riding position so I need the 36. I really think a Euro 36 could fit someone with up to a 39" chest and up to a 40" hip for a snug fit with all the liners. I would say this is a curvier cut than Dainese or Alpinestars. The hips flare out even when they're zipped shut on me. Although I admit, I have NO hips/butt.
The impact that this has on me is warmth. Because it's not fitting tight in the chest when I learn forward, I get a chilly draft. If I wore my windstopper North Face vest I could eliminate that. But then wearing that with the thermal liner is too much.
What I need is a bigger chest! :P This is where layering is crucial. If I wear a thick baselayer (smartwool or Polartec fleece shirt or something along those lines) then I think it would minimize the draft on my chest.
I'm going to take this jacket on a chilly weekend ride in a couple weeks and then I'll do a full review. Stay tuned!
For more details on the Neptune, find all the detailed specs on Revit's website.
If you have a very small head, or know a woman (in my experience, 99.9% of XS fit women or small children) who may even need a XXS helmet, Arai Helmets has just released a new street helmet called the DT-X.
Supposedly it will offer a XXS size, per the website. However, they have the same information for the Vector-2 which was never offered in a 2XS that you could actually order. The only 2XS helmet available to order from them at this minute is the Defiant (although it's currently OOS).
I miss my trusty Arai, but it didn't fit me small enough like my Shoei does. I'm hoping if they do offer a 2XS that it'll fit my head! I've always respected Arai and their design / protection philosophies. They defy mainstream expectations and always strive to deliver the most protective helmet even if it means not having the best selling helmet, or the one that everyone thinks is "coolest".
But if you are looking for a Full Face or Modular 2XS Helmet, these are the ones that I'm aware of:
- Arai Defiant and Defiant Pro Cruise (certain colors)
- Icon Airmada (certain colors)
- Nexx XT1 Carbon Zero
- GMax GM38
- Nexx XR2 Carbon Pure (currently OOS)
- Shoei Qwest (black only)
- Shoei RF-1200 (if you purchase the 17mm Centerpad, then it's a 2XS)
- AGV AX-8 DS Evo
I have to mention the Bell Star (Street Star, Race Star and Pro Star) Helmets, because they fit so narrow. I can barely fit my head into an XS (that I can fit into pretty much every XS helmet) and the S fits like a Shoei XS. I'll bet that an XS fits like a 2XS.
- Schuberth C3Pro Women
- Nolan N104 Absolute
Last year I wrote about the newest women's motorcycle boots from Dainese, the Torque D1's, the first true women's motorcycle boot that offers real ankle support. What this means they make it incredibly difficult for you to twist your ankle. Of course, the impact protection is also incredibly supportive as well.
I didn't think I could wear these. I still am not 100% sure. My problem was that as a woman with a very small, wide foot boots like these from Dainese are incredibly difficult to wear.
Typically I size into a US 6.5-7 (7 if it's a narrower shoe) which translates to about a Euro 36-37. These are a Euro 38. My feet are also incredibly high at the instep. My other weird issue is that I have a small cyst on the top of my left foot, so that makes wearing any tight shoes (like if I lace my shoes too tight) especially painful.
Since these are fairly difficult to get my foot into so I had to size up.
I've been wearing them around the house for about a total of 1.5 hours and luckily I haven't felt any pinching or piercing pain anywhere. Just tightness from a new pair of boots, especially race boots. They're just not easy.
I did find that crossing my legs while sitting on a kitchen stool did make my toes go numb... so I recommend not doing that ;D
I've also added my super insoles to still give me the extra heel height that I like having.
They seem to fit okay, of course I removed the insoles that came with the boots but it certainly makes the heel and ankle space a bit tighter. I'm hoping as I keep breaking them in they only get better!
Breaking in new boots isn't fun. It can be a pain in the ass really. But I really wanted the extra ankle support that these boots offer that my old Sidis don't even though they took great care of my feet when I crashed two years ago.. I'm also doing a track day next month so I want to be ready for that too.
Also, I'm trying to sell my new-used Sidis (not the ones I actually crashed in) if you know anyone who might be interested.
Last week I talked about choosing a motorcycle jacket. I gave you some tips and advice on what to think about when it comes to making the best choice. If you missed, watch now:
WHEN: 9:30 PM East / 6:30pm West (so more Left Coasters can join in!) My last few streams were at 8pm East, so I'm pushing it out so my friends out west can also join :)
WHAT TOPIC: Motorcycle Boots: How do you choose a pair? What do you need to consider? Why is it not a great idea to buy your motorcycle boots on Zappos? And for my fellow women riders, I'm going to give you ideas for men's boots that work really well for us for different lifestyles including ADV/Race and Touring. We know that men have far more options, but luckily brands like TCX and Dainese make sizes small enough for us to wear. I'm also going to break down fit differences between mens and women's boots.
HOW TO WATCH:
1. On your Smart Phone/iPad/Tablet: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WnZw1kF5M48&client=mv-google&layout=tablet
2. On your Desktop/Laptop: http://www.youtube.com/user/GearChic/live
When you log on through your desktop or laptop, there's a handy chat window to send in questions. Otherwise, you can also text or email your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you then!
If you missed the LiveStream, watch now:
MONDAY, MARCH 27TH @ 8PM EAST / 5PM WEST
I'm doing another Q&A via YouTube Live!
On Monday, all you have to do is click on this link to join:
(and if you missed my last two, you can watch those videos as well)
We're going to talk about how to choose a great motorcycle jacket, something to *actually* ride in, and yes, potentially crash in. As motorcyclists, we must think about the consequences if we choose to wear something that isn't going to provide adequate protection.
Since I am GearChic, I will be talking mostly about women's specific gear but of course, everything I mention is available for men and then ten more options on top of that. Since women have a much harder time finding gear, I'm going to give you ideas for different options depending on your riding lifestyle and budget.
Please bring questions, or add them in a comment here so I can address them live!
A summer glove review in the winter? Why Not?
I'm a little behind on this review, but if you're shopping for next season, or plan on riding somewhere tropical for the holidays, then check out my review of these awesome summer gloves.