THESE SHOULD BE the perfect answer to the enchantingly capricious British climate. The Stratos 2 is neither a summer nor a winter glove, but an ingenious hybrid of the two. They fit and feel like a quality sports glove — cow and goat-leather construction, hard moulded plastic knuckle armour, short cuff, CE homologation — but are also waterproof thanks to a Gore-tex liner. They’re thin enough to give great feel of the controls, never clumsy or bulky, and mean there’s no need to stop and swap gloves when the heavens inevitably open.
I liked the sound of the Stratos 2 so much (reinforced by plenty of positive previous experience with Racer’s superb Multitop waterproof sports glove) that I bought — something journalists supposedly never do — these in April 2017. I paid £149.99. Since then they’ve been my default first-choice go-to gloves whenever the conditions have looked less than 100% perfect. I must have spent around 10,000 miles in them, across all kinds of bike in all kinds of weather. I’ve even gone off-road on big adventure bikes in them too.
Until last week, I was absolutely besotted with them. The Stratos 2 did everything I’d hoped for — kept my hands dry in showers, offered a smidge more warmth than a vented race glove, but still ensured far more precision and control than a thick all-season gauntlet.
And then, taking them off at a petrol station during a wet ride the other day, the lining came out of the left glove. It prolapsed completely: still attached at the wrist, but internally separated from all the fingers and thumb. I was gutted. Fortunately I had a back-up pair, as the Racers were unwearable. Once home I managed to tuck the Stratos’s guts back inside itself with the blunt end of a barbecue skewer, but my confidence in them has taken a big hit. A real shame.
The Stratos has fallen out of Racer’s current line-up, but they’re still available in sizes from S-3XL at a discounted £109.99 on Sportsbikeshop.co.uk. A great glove, but it seems they need to be treated gently.
Warm, dry and with excellent feel, the Racers were MFG’S go-to gloves
Handy visor wipe on the left-hand thumb
Sadly, the left-hand glove’s lining prolapsed completely
Gore-tex liner means dry but not sweaty