The Best Mountain Bike Gloves
The Giro Remedy X2 rose to the top of our test selection and took home the coveted Editors' Choice Award. This is a recently updated version of Giro's ever-popular Remedy glove. Not only are these gloves exceptionally comfortable with a great fit, they have a variety of useful features that make life a little easier while out on the trail. They also offer added protection with well-placed padding on the knuckles, back of the hand, and palm, making them well suited to aggressive trail riding, enduro, and even downhilling. We found the Remedy X2 to be comfortable for a wide range of warmer temperatures, approximately 60 degrees and up. We were thoroughly impressed with the Remedy X2, and we think you will be too. The Remedy X2 is a unisex model that is available in five sizes, S-XXL, and three color options.
Read review: Giro Remedy X2
The Giro DND has established itself as a popular mainstay in Giro's mountain bike glove line-up. One of our testers claims to have been riding various pairs of the DND for the past seven seasons. This classic glove returns relatively unchanged over the previous versions with a comfortable combination of 4-way stretch breathable mesh on the back of the hand and AX Suede synthetic leather on the palm. The fit of these gloves is dialed in and enhanced by the 4-way stretch mesh, as well as the "Super-Fit" engineered three-panel palm construction which reduces material bunching and improves bar-feel. Like the other Giro gloves in this test, the DND is just plain comfortable from the moment you put them on. The DND is best suited for warmer temperatures, roughly 60 degrees and above.
The minimalist design of the DND does not feature any additional padding for the knuckles or back of the hand. The gloves do feature a large soft chammy on the thumb for runny noses and sweat wipes, and two wide silicone strips on the tips of the thumb, index, and middle fingers for extra grip for the brake levers and shifter paddles. Conduction threads are stitched into the tip of the thumb and index fingers to offer compatibility with touchscreens for all those selfies and shred shots you're sure to be posting while out on the trail. We found the DND to stand up to our abuse during testing with minimal signs of wear, even after a couple of full speed wash outs onto the palms. Overall, we enjoyed riding in the DND and it was one of our favorite all-around gloves in our test selection. The men's DND is currently available in 11 different colorways and 5 sizes from Small to XXL. Giro also makes a women's version called the LA DND which comes in four different feminine color options and sizes S-XL.
Dakine's Covert glove was the best all-rounder we tested. Throughout our test period, this model quickly became a go-to for most of our rides. Its mid-weight construction makes the Covert feel at home on anything from the rocky chunk of a downhill track to a cruisey flow trail, and we were sold on their ease and comfort from the first time we threw them on. The stretchy nylon shell pulls easily over the back of your hand despite the lack of a velcro wrist strap, and the synthetic suede palm pad provides a comfortable buffer between your hand and the bar. Dakine cleverly avoids seams across the fingertips by wrapping the suede palm material up and over each finger, and, like all of our favorite models, the index finger and thumb have silicone strips to provide grip on the brake and shifter levers. The fit of our size large test gloves was versatile, with sensible proportions and plenty of stretch to compensate for slightly larger hands. Once you've got the glove on it has a sleek, contour-hugging fit without excess material.
Out on the trail, the Covert handled just about everything we threw at it. On hot days the breathable back-of-hand material keeps things reasonably cool, while the medium-thick fabric construction provides decent insulation when it's a bit cooler. They wouldn't be our first choice in extreme heat or cold, but for anything in between, they'll keep your hands happy. The sleek fit and clever seam placement meant we didn't have any issues with hot spots or blisters on long rides, and the touchscreen compatible fingertips made texting or taking photos a snap. If we were spending most of our time on fast, technical downhills we might look for a more protective glove, but for daily rides on mixed terrain, the Covert was one of our favorites. Dakine makes men's and women's versions of the Covert, and both are available in three color options with the women's available in sizes XS-XL and the men's in sizes XS-XXL.
Of all of the padded gloves we tested, we felt that that Cognito D30 provided the best protection. This model combines impact protection with all of the standard features of a good mountain bike glove, like silicone fingertip patches, touchscreen capability, and abrasion-resistant material. The knuckles are protected with a row of impact-absorbing D30 pads that will keep your precious digits safe from all but the hardest tree or rock impacts. Unlike many padded protective gloves, the Cognito D30 doesn't feel clunky or stiff on your hand and allows the same range of motion of any of the non-padded gloves we tested. The fit is true to size, and we didn't find any weird proportions or extra material with our size large test gloves. We noticed a little bit of tightness across the top of the knuckles when we first put the gloves on, but it quickly subsided as the gloves warmed up and broke in a little bit.
Out on the trail, we really enjoyed the extra confidence provided by the D30 knuckle protection. Tight trees, heavy rock gardens, or overgrown single track all seemed a little less daunting with some protection. We were also pleasantly surprised with the ventilation on long climbs and hotter days. Typically we would avoid too much climbing in a heavy protective glove, but the Cognito D30 handled warmer temperatures with aplomb. The Cognito D30 comes in 5 colors and 5 sizes, S-XXL.
The Handup Summer Lite is a super-lightweight, minimalist glove for those who like a little bit of flash in our kit. Gloves are a great way to add a little bit of flair to your riding gear without going full pajama suit, and the Summer Lite is available in enough color and graphic options to suit almost any rider's taste. After getting our hands in our pink and black test model, we quickly found more to like than just the color. The thin mesh shell and perforated palm breathe well on hot days to keep your hands cool, and a large cloth section on the back of the thumb works well to wipe the sweat away from your eyes. The Summer Lite would all but disappear on your hands out on the trail if not for the loud colors. The fit is refined and well proportioned, and the inner seams on the fingertips and sides of the hand are small.
Like any super-lightweight glove, we wouldn't recommend this model for its protective qualities. Sure, it will do your hands some good and avoid scuffs and scraps in a minor slide or brush with the trailside bushes, but when it comes to large impacts or touch-downs in rocky areas we would recommend one of the more protective gloves we tested. Additionally, we were underwhelmed with this model's touchscreen capability. The fingertips don't work consistently to unlock a phone or take a photo. The Summer Lite gloves are unisex and come in a huge range of colors and graphics in sizes XS-XXL.
While testing gloves in the mountains of Northern California, we experienced a mixed bag of weather conditions. We had snow, rain, and everything from freezing to warm temperatures. Virtually anytime it was cold, below 50 degrees but still above freezing, we found ourselves delighted to be riding in the Giro Blaze 2.0. The Blaze 2.0 is intended for riding in cooler temperatures, they claim a 40-50 degree range, and we found them to be well suited to that application. The back of the hand material is a Polartec Windbloc fabric with a microfleece lining that we found to block all wind completely. This wind-blocking material took the edge off those cool weather rides, allowing us to ride comfortably when the mercury dipped towards the freezing mark. Whether on a trail ride or cruising down to the market to buy some beer on the cruiser bike, these gloves kept our fingertips from turning white and painfully regaining circulation later on.
We found the Blaze 2.0 to fit quite well and comfortably. The Windbloc fabric, however, isn't particularly stretchy and they fit with a bit of excess material on the back of the hand when compared to a warm-weather riding glove. The palm of the glove is made of a thin layer of AX Suede Echo material that provided excellent dexterity and bar feel. We also loved the fact that the Blaze 2.0 had a soft fleece chammy that ran from the tip of the index finger down to the wrist cuff. We would have liked it to be a little wider, but this long chammy was great for wiping our runny noses on cold rides. Giro also took touchscreen compatibility into consideration and stitched conduction threads into the tips of the index finger and thumb. While this was a nice feature for simple tasks like snapping a quick photo, the bulky fingers made it difficult to do any more complicated tasks on a phone like send a text. We feel the Blaze 2.0 is a great value for anyone who rides in cooler temperatures. It's available in two color options, Black or Highlight Yellow/Black, and 5 sizes from Small up to XXL. Giro also makes a women's version of this glove called the Inferna that comes in sizes S-L.
The Gore Wear Infinium Mid is our top choice when heading out on damp and dreary days. This super-comfortable glove kept our hands nice and cozy even when everything else was soaked through and freezing. We took these gloves out on a number of rainy, muddy, sloppy rides and they helped us stay comfortable for longer. The Gore-Tex Infinium outer shell is sturdy, windproof, and water-repellent, and the interior is crafted from a cloud-like polyester lining that made this one of the most comfortable models we tested. When things heat up on a climb, the Infinium Mid breathes remarkably well, and a terry cloth patch on the back of the thumb works great to wipe fogged lenses or your runny nose. Each finger has a silicone strip at the base that helps grip the handlebar when things get wet. The overall fit isn't bulky at all and allows you to retain remarkable dexterity for such a warm glove.
While we absolutely loved the Infinium Mid there are a few things that we should note. These gloves are water repellant but not completely waterproof, and we would avoid taking them out in a downpour or submerging them in a puddle when you drop your multi-tool. We also found the touchscreen sensitive fingertips to be a bit finicky in colder temperatures. Lastly, we found that the interior lining moves slightly against the outer shell, which we found disconcerting initially when gripping the handlebars. We found this to be more of a psychological issue because we never actually had any grip issues during testing. The Infinium Mid gloves are a unisex model offered in two colors, black (tested) and a hi-vis neon yellow, and are available in seven sizes, XS-XXXL.
The new-look Fox Ranger tops our list of minimalist models for its quality construction, versatile fit, and all-day comfort. Fox recently re-designed the Ranger, and its sleek new look adds to a longstanding reputation for quality and durability. The four-way stretch polyester construction combines with a small velcro wrist strap to ensure a snug fit for a wide range of hand shapes and sizes. Our test gloves were a true large with good proportions for the fingers and palm, and we found them easy to pull on and off quickly. The thumb, index, and middle fingers have three large silicone strips across their tips that add some grip for brake and shift levers. The construction is among the best in our test with small, sturdy seams and no excess material. After putting a month of hard riding on our test gloves, we didn't see a thread out of place. For one of the least-expensive gloves in our test we think that's pretty impressive.
While the Ranger's material is soft and comfortable, we found the convergence of seams at the fingertips to be less than ideal. Four panels of material come together at the tip of each finger, creating a small bulge in the interior of the glove that can be irritating against the skin. This is a common issue with many gloves, and the Ranger's well-made seams minimized the discomfort. There are other gloves in the test, however, that avoid the issue altogether with clever workarounds. Also, like any minimalist glove, we wouldn't recommend using the Ranger in anything colder than around 60 degrees. Fox makes both men's and women's versions of the Ranger. The men's version is available in 4 color options in sizes S-XXL, and the women's comes in three colorways in sizes YS, S, M, and L.
The POC Resistance Enduro Adjustable comes loaded with just about every feature a glove could need. POC has a reputation for unique and quality design, and they certainly pulled out all the stops for the Resistance Enduro. With moisture-wicking shell fabric, a perforated palm pad, a large terrycloth sweat wipe, silicone fingertip grips, and a small velcro wrist strap, this model has a feature for just about every problem in the book. It doesn't come cheap, however. As a light to mid-weight glove, it is one of the most expensive in our test and nearly as expensive as the heavyweight winter gloves we tried out.
Despite its feature-packed nature, only the thumb is touchscreen compatible. This glove works well for taking mid-ride photos but not for any of your more-complex social media operations. If you're a mid-ride Instagrammer this likely isn't the best model for you. We also found that the fit was a little bit smaller than many of the other size large gloves we tested with shorter fingers and a smaller wrist diameter. The Resistance Enduro comes in 4 color options and sizes XS-XL.
The Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell Gel provides fantastic insulation from the cold winter chill. This was the warmest model of any in our test and our first choice when the temperatures dipped below freezing. With a fleece-lined inner and Primaloft insulation, these gloves are a great option for the masochists among us who like to pedal in the cold when others are cozied up by the fire. The gel palm pads allow a comfortable interface with the handlebars without disguising too much ride feedback, and the silicone-tipped fingers make for a secure link between your fingers and the brake levers. Our first concern with winter gloves is always the loss of dexterity from the bulky insulation, but the Elite Softshell Gel has a surprisingly sleek and dexterous fit for the warmth it provides. Without removing the gloves we were able to open energy bars, add and remove clothing layers, and even fiddle with our phones using the touchscreen-capable index finger and thumb.
These wouldn't be our first choice for anything but the coldest rides simply because they do their job so well. When the temperatures rise a bit these gloves don't breathe very well and we found it quite easy to overheat. Also, despite the sleek fit, we wouldn't want the extra bulk of the insulated glove if we didn't need it. When the temperatures rise we'll stick with one of the mid to light-weight gloves we tested, but when it's freezing and frosty we'll reach for the Elite Softshell gloves every time. Pearl Izumi makes men's and women's version of these gloves. The women's version is available in black only in sizes S-XL, while the men's is offered in black and screaming yellow in sizes S-XXL
The Cross X falls around the middle of Dakine's range of mountain bike gloves. This versatile glove offers the features and performance that Dakine is known for. They are well constructed, with in-stitching that proved to be comfortable in the fingertips and everywhere else. The gloves have a large and very soft chammy on the thumb that is great for wiping sweat, runny noses, and the like. Touchscreen compatibility is achieved through the use of a different material on the tip of the index finger and thumb than the standard Clarino they use on the palm. They offer some protection in the form of a large neoprene panel across the knuckles, small sonic welded rubber pads on the fingers, and a small pad integrated into the outer ball of the hand. The Cross X also features silicone grips on the thumb, index, and middle fingers to keep them in place on your brake levers and shifter paddles. We feel the Cross X is best suited to more gravity oriented riding or cooler temperatures, and they proved to be comfortable on fall rides in the 50-70 degree range.
While we liked the Cross X, we were thrown off a little by the fit. The size large Cross X fit significantly larger than every other pair of large-sized gloves we tested, even another Dakine model. While they are made of pretty standard Clarino and 4-way stretch polyester, the larger fit didn't require any stretch to make them fit around our hands. We found them to have a bit of excess material across the back of the hand when the velcro was cinched down tightly across our wrists. The Cross X comes in both men's and women's versions. The women's version comes in two colorways in sizes XS-XL and the men's is offered in five colors and sizes XS-XXL.
The SixSixOne Raji was on the of the lightest-weight gloves we tested, and this model did a great job keeping our hands cool on long, hot days. With an ultra-thin mesh back, and a perforated, single layer palm overlay, this model ventilates better than any other glove in the test. The thin material sacrifices a bit of protection compared to the competition, but we think they're enough to keep your hands safe in minor tumbles and slides. In our fit testing, we found the Raji slightly bulky with a little bit of extra space in the fingers and palm. The large velcro wrist strap works well, but creates a material fold on the inside of the wrist that can create a pressure point over time. If you're looking for a way to keep your hands cool on hot days in the saddle, we recommend giving the Raji a look. The Raji is a unisex model and is offered in 4 colorways and sizes XS-XXL.
The Troy Lee Designs XC is a classic mountain bike glove that gets the job done. While it may not be our top-rated model, it performed its duties well and is a fine option for all types of mountain bike riding. One of our favorite parts of the glove is the embossed palm panel that says "pop wheelies", and while riding in these gloves we felt compelled to do so as much as possible. The XC is a relatively basic glove by today's standards, but it is well constructed and relatively comfortable. The back of the hand is made of two-way stretch spandex and it was noticeably less compliant than the other models in our test which use a 4-way stretch material. They definitely felt slightly stiffer overall, but you got used to it once you were actually riding. Otherwise, we found the fit to be good, with well-constructed fingertips that kept the in-stitched seams from being uncomfortable and a velcro closure for easy on and off of the gloves.
These gloves breathe well and we found them to be best suited for riding in temperatures above 60 degrees. The XC glove isn't exactly feature-packed, and when compared to some of the competition they seemed a little lacking. First, we were pleased with the soft chammy material on the thumb as well as the minimal but effective padding of the knuckles in the shape of a sonic-welded rubber Troy Lee Designs Logo. We were slightly dismayed however by the lack of touchscreen compatibility, a common feature on most modern gloves, and also by the lack of silicone on the fingertips. While these gripes are by no means deal-breakers, the XC glove lost a little ground to the competition. Quality of craftsmanship appears to be good and we had zero durability issues during testing. The XC glove is available in five different colors and 5 sizes, Small to XXL.
The G-Form Pro Trail provides a unique combination of protective padding and lightweight construction. This model is well-suited to hot summer enduros or bike park laps. Each finger features Smartflex pads that extend from the knuckles down towards the fingertip. The pads sit on top of a super-thin, breathable mesh that is similar to some of the lightest-weight gloves we tested. Despite the extensive finger padding, we found the fit to be fairly comfortable and unrestrictive. Many padded gloves reduce range of motion in exchange for protection, but the Pro Trail offers the best of both worlds. There's a little bit of tightness across the tops of the knuckles and fingers as you make a fist, but it's not nearly as much of an issue as some of the other protective models we looked at.
We found the fit roomy and similar to the 661 Raji with a little bit of excess material in the fingers and at the back of the hand. Additionally, the material and construction isn't the most comfortable that we tested. The thin mesh shell is slightly abrasive against the back of the hand and the palm pad isn't as soft or plush as some of our favorites. There are also seams across each fingertip that can be a bit bothersome at times. That said, the differences between this model and the most comfortable ones we tested are very slight, and had we not tested all of our gloves back to back we might not even have noticed. If you're looking for a protective glove for riding in the heat, we feel the Pro Trail is a great option to consider. They come in four sizes, S-XL, and two color options, black (tested) or black/white.
We tested the women's version of the Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0. This glove is a great choice for those looking for simplicity and comfort. Riders in warmer climates will like the breathable mesh backhand and those who don't want all of bells and whistles will enjoy the minimalist approach. Conductive threads on the fingertips work most of the time. Potential buyers should take care when ordering, testers found the Ace 2 Women's to fit on the small side. The price tag is also on the lofty side for such a simple glove. Due to the lightweight and breathable construction of the Ace 2.0, these gloves don't provide much in the way of hand protection. That said, riders looking for a comfortable and airy glove with a great bar feel should give the Ace 2.0 a look. Troy Lee makes men's and women's versions of the Ace 2.0 glove in numerous colors and sizes XS-XXL.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead mountain bike glove reviewers are Jeremy Benson and Zach Wick. Benson is our Senior Mountain Bike Review Editor and a bike racer based in Truckee, CA who rides obsessively while training for endurance gravel and mountain bike races throughout northern California. He began mountain biking in the early nineties and has become more addicted to the sport over the years. Last season he rode nearly 5,000 miles and 600,000 vertical feet on his mountain bike alone, and he typically goes through 2-3 pairs of gloves a season. In addition to putting all types of gear through the wringer for OutdoorGearLab reviews, Benson is also the author of Mountain Bike Tahoe, a guidebook published by Mountaineers Books.
Zach Wick is a riding fanatic who has spent years working in product development and testing in the cycling industry. He has experience testing new equipment both in the lab and in the field, and he has developed a keen sense of what makes a good product. Over the past fifteen years, he's spent time riding and racing most two-wheeled disciplines you can think of at an elite level. These days he spends most of his time mountain biking on his local trails in Santa Cruz and taking part in the occasional mountain, gravel, or cyclocross race while testing gear for OutdoorGearLab.
What to Look For In a Mountain Bike Glove
Fit is one of the most important things you should look for in a new pair of gloves. A glove's fit plays an important role in its comfort and performance. Of course, getting the appropriate size is crucial, but other factors also come into play with the way a glove fits. We examined things like the shape, length, and articulation of the fingers, ease of getting them on and off, stretch of materials, or if there was any unwanted bunching. We also paid attention to whether the various models ran true to size, as it can vary from brand to brand. Most of the models we tested fell within a reasonable fit range for their given size, but certain models spanned a more dynamic range of hand proportions.
Comfort is somewhat subjective by nature, but there are a number of objective factors that influence the comfort of a mountain bike glove. The materials used to construct a glove play a major role. The material's breathability is important to keep your hands cool in the warmer months, and insulation is necessary to keep the blood flowing in the winter. Almost all gloves use stretchy polyester fabrics in their construction for a precise fit, and some simply feel better than others.
A glove's construction also plays a big role in its comfort. Most gloves have interior seams that run along the sides of the palm and fingers. We quickly found that there's a big comfort gap between a small, well-made seam and a bulky, sloppy one. Additionally, poor seam placement can create hotspots or blisters on the hand over time. The most comfortable gloves avoid seams in the palm area and have found clever ways to keep seams away from the fingertips where they can be most distracting.
While most gloves generally look pretty similar, there are a number of features that differentiate between the various models. We examined and tested each model's useful features including, but not limited to, the nose-wipe chammy, touchscreen compatibility, silicone fingertips, padding, ventilation, and moisture-wicking capability. We wanted to know not just that the feature was there, but whether or not it actually works. In the process, we discovered that not all of a brand's claimed features are created equal.
Touchscreen compatibility has become a mainstay in mountain bike gloves, and it comes standard on most gloves these days. It can be a pain to pull your gloves off every time you need to take a picture or text your significant other, so we paid close attention to how well each model's touchscreen capable fingertips worked. Brands achieve touchscreen compatibility in different ways, but we didn't find any style that consistently worked better than the rest. We did, however, find individual models that performed more reliably than others.
Any glove offers more protection than a bare hand, but when it comes to keeping your digits safe and sound, not all gloves are created equal. Some gloves are designed to be minimalist, providing your palms, the backs of your hands, and knuckles with only a thin layer of coverage. This style does a decent job of keeping your palms and knuckles scuff-free in the event of a quick dirt slide or brush encounter but won't help with much more than that. Other models are designed specifically to provide more protection and will have features like rubber, foam, or gel pads integrated on the knuckles, back of the hand, and parts of the palm that can help out in the event of an impact. Gloves designed with cool or cold weather riding in mind offer protection in the form of wind or waterproof materials and possibly insulation. Due to the variable nature of protective components like padding between the different models we chose to weight this metric less than the others.
Mountain bike gloves are subject to some serious abuse. Between constant contact with your grips, close encounters with bushes, trees, and prickers, and taking the brunt of an impact when you hit the deck they won't last forever. You hope to get at least a full season of riding out of any pair barring any major crashes. We rated the durability of each model by carefully examining the quality of craftsmanship and materials, the stitching, silicone fingertips, and all the usual weak points of a glove to see how they handled the abuse of our field testing. Of course, the durability of any pair of gloves may vary depending on what kind of abuse you put them through.
How We Test
For the most part, we tested each pair of gloves by simply going out and mountain biking in them on our regular rides. Over the course of two months, each pair of gloves was put through its paces on rides of various lengths on a variety of trails of Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, and the surrounding foothills of northern California and Nevada. During field testing, we scrutinized each model and rated them on five different performance metrics: fit, comfort, features, protection, and durability.
To test each model's fit versatility we handed them off to as many friends and family as we could. Feedback from a variety of hand shapes and sizes provided us with a range of fit for each model.
We put these gloves through months of testing, hundreds of hours, and thousands of miles to help you narrow down the myriad mountain bike glove options on the market. We hope this detailed and comprehensive review helps you decide which gloves are best for your needs, your riding style, and the weather conditions you encounter.
— Jeremy Benson, Zach Wick, Annie Clark