In mid January I went on an overnight trip through Western South Carolina on a section of the South Carolina Adventure Route. Roughly 100 miles into my ride I started to get hit with some significant rain showers. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal however, this January the temperature was a lot colder and wetter than normal. At the time of my trip I was riding my 2014 Triumph Tiger 800 and I didn’t have heated grips so my hands were starting to take quite a bit of abuse from being cold and wet. A few days after I returned from that trip, I talked to a couple of adventure riders on the West Coast who recommended a product that I had never heard of before, Hippo Hands.
Hippo Hands are the original motorcycle hand cover that has evolved over forty years and are made out of high-quality weather resistant materials. From their shop in Bend, Oregon Hippo Hands has provided adventure and dual sport riders with the ability to keep their hands warm and dry so riders can enjoy riding all year long in any conditions. The company makes four different models of hand covers ranging in maximum coverage such as the Alcan to the smaller Backcountry which provides less coverage and is designed for more off-road use. All of their hand covers require existing hand guards such OEM ones or aftermarket such as Bark Busters. One of the great things with Hippo Hands is you don’t need any tools for install and it takes less than five minutes to put them on.
After some research and asking other Hippo Hands owners I decided to purchase the Backcountry model since I spend a considerable time riding off-road and I really didn’t need the coverage that the Alcan and Rogue models provide. The installation was incredibly easy and took less then five minutes. Basically, you slide them over your existing hand guards and then tighten the adjustment strap and your good to go. If you need to fit them to your hand guards a certain way two Velcro strips are included as well. The Backcountry’s work incredibly well for my riding style and I have no issues with them if I’m standing up while riding through some deep sand or if I’m sitting down while riding on the highway. The Hippo Hands are very secure and at no time have I worried about them coming off while riding.
Overall, I’ve had the Backcountry’s on my Tiger 800 and 900 for a few weeks and I honestly wonder why I didn’t get them sooner. I’ve ridden both bikes in cold and wet weather and my hands have been completely dry and stayed warm since theirs no air flow hitting them especially at highway speeds. They have come in incredibly handy this winter in South Carolina since its been wetter and colder then usual. Personally, Hippo Hands was one of the best investments that I have made over the years and is probably the best $100 dollars that I’ve spent as of lately. If you live in a climate that gets cold weather and if you want something to protect your hands I highly recommend that you join the warm hands revolution and pick up a pair of Hippo Hands.