Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Glove Review

Retro good looks, solid protection, and an all leather chassis.

Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Gloves
The Rayburns bring a vintage vibe with better protection than those flimsy work gloves you’re rocking.Andrew Cherney

Seems like I’m forever seeking out a casual short-cuff glove that offers at least a sliver of protection without looking like something Marc Márquez would wear at Sachsenring. I’m just cruising the mean streets of Portland, Oregon, right, not contesting a MotoGP round, but 1mm fashion leather or faux deerskin simply doesn’t cut it, and forget about mesh. I still want reinforcements and some armor as well as breathability in something that comes up past the wrist but isn't a full gauntlet. Something semi-stylish, probably classic, and not sci-fi-inspired or full-on racy. Yeah, it’s a tough needle to thread, but Alpinestars’ Rayburns looked like they ticked most of the right boxes and because they’ve been in the line since 2015, I figured they were a known quantity.

Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Gloves on white background.
It’s all here: perforated leather, synthetic reinforcement, a zipper closure that won’t stay closed.Alpinestars

The Rayburns are in Alpinestars’ Oscar line of casual gear, which claims to fuse retro looks and modern materials along with some protective capability, and they definitely nailed the retro styling without getting too twee, but it was the substantial feel of the glove at the first wearing that sold me. The leather chassis feels beefy but supple, and brings synthetic reinforcement panels on the palm and molded PU knuckle protection for better than average levels of safety. Synthetic suede reinforcements on the heel of the palm and side of the pinky add another layer of durability and grip. The gloves are precurved and, like much of Astars’ hand wear, have a pretty narrow fit in the fingers.

Because I usually find myself stuck in no-man’s-land between small and medium sizes with off-the-rack gear, I was plenty stoked to find the Rayburns fit decently (though the pinky and thumb were too long, as with every glove I’ve ever owned). Unfortunately there’s no touchscreen compatibility on the Rayburn’s finger areas—which many of its competitors do offer—so points off for that. The fit, finish and build quality, as I’ve experienced with most Astars gear, is right up there, but I’m deducting additional points for the zipper wrist closure, which might look classy but in practice served no purpose. The zipper doesn’t lock in the closed position so 5 minutes into the ride you’ll feel a cool breeze coming over the top of your hand because, well, the zipper opened. And stayed open. It makes for a good-looking detail and maybe some nice added ventilation, but that’s not what I need it to do.

Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Gloves on table.
The Rayburns win on style and protection, but we’d like to see touchscreen capability and better ventilation on future versions.Andrew Cherney

Speaking of airflow, you only start really feeling the breeze through the Rayburn’s perforations at speeds north of about 40 mph. I’d tag them as appropriate from about 55 degrees to about 75 degrees—they’re not quite solid enough for cold-weather riding and a bit too bulky for temps over 80. It would have been nice to see additional perforations in the leather between the fingers to add some more cooling.

In short, the Rayburns bring great vintage looks to a substantial, well-built piece that gives decent enough protection and comfort in the casual street glove category. A few details miss the mark unfortunately, but overall they offer a pretty good value for the money. The Rayburns are available in men's and women's sizes in either black or dark brown (Tobacco). Check them out here.