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Best mountain bike gloves 2022 – full-finger gloves for every trail and situation

Best mountain bike gloves
(Image credit: Troy Lee Designs)

When you think about protective gear for off-road riding, the best mountain bike gloves may not be the first investment that spring to mind. However, when you head out on the trails with a lousy pair on your hands, you'll soon discover that a good pair of gloves can vastly improve your ride. Just like you'd want to wear the best mountain bike shoes for planted footing, your hands are another key contact point that deserve your attention.

While it's true that some riders choose not to wear them, we're strong advocates of sporting the best MTB gloves because they not only protect your hands from sharp foliage and that dreaded gravel rash on your palms should you crash, but they can also improve your grip on the bars and provide some warmth when the temperature drops.

So how do you choose the best mountain bike gloves for your needs? Since gloves come in various shapes and sizes, this decision might seem a bit daunting, but a great pair of MTB gloves will usually be full-fingered rather than mitts, since this offers the best balance between protection, grip and insulation. You can of course get short-finger mountain bike mitts, and these tend to be the go-to for the hottest summer weather. Generally though, if you're tackling some demanding terrain, we'd recommend keeping your digits safe.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Our testing explained

For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Meet the testers

A man washing himself in a muddy puddle
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes since the early nineties and we're betting than he's tested more MTB gloves than anyone else in the UK.

Rich Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. An experienced trail rider, he knows what makes a top MTB glove and what doesn't. 

Best mountain bike gloves

100% Ridecamp glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best overall MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent bike feel and feedback
+
Impressively tough
+
Subtle details make a big difference
+
Lots of size and color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing comes up small

As one of fastest growing brands in rider protection, 100%'s Ridecamp gloves are another great affordable choice that deliver excellent bike feel and feedback, durability and a simple, comfortable cut. They do feel snug, but they're not restrictive, and it's worth sizing up as they tend to come up small. Plus we've found that they do eventually stretch slightly over time, so don't go too baggy on the initial fit. Thankfully they also come in lots of size options, as well as a wealth of colorways so they're great for anyone who likes to color coordinate their cycling wardrobe.

They may look simple, but don't be deceived, they're actually full of some great features. They offer decent touchscreen usage, and the breezy backing fabric makes them ideal for a hot summer ride. The asymmetric neoprene cuff is cut in such a way that there's no bunching up against a watch.

There's even more information about them in our 100% Ridecamp review, so be sure to check it out.

Giro Trixter glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best budget MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: AX Suede
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Premium feel at an affordable price
+
Reliable wet or dry grip
+
Unexpectedly tough
+
Women's and men's fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen threads don’t work well
-
Nowhere to wipe your nose

At sub-$20, Giro's Trixter gloves are super affordable, but they definitely don't feel cheap. They're surprisingly tough and have a premium feel, fit and cut, and pack every feature we love about Giro's glove range. The palm is made of a one-piece synthetic AX Suede panel, which is cleverly cut to minimize bunching, while the super thing fabric is perforated to provide some cooling.

Despite there being no silicone details, grip is excellent in both wet and dry conditions, and we found them to be impressively sweat-free thanks to the mesh fourchettes between the fingers and Giro's 'InstaChill' technology build into the fabric.

For more details, check out our Giro Trixter gloves review.

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Super lightweight glove for warm weather riding and a great fit

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Minimalist
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding or impact protection
-
Too cool when it's not hot

Troy Lee Designs has been producing some of our favorite, super-thin gloves for a long time. While the range and naming have changed over the years, Troy Lee Designs has stuck to a simple formula of great fit, lightweight and great bar feel. 

The uppers use a light mesh and the palm is made from a single layer which is perforated for better hot weather ventilation. If you're looking for some added comfort or extra layers of protection, then these aren't the gloves for you though as there is zero cushioning or armoring on the back of the hand. However, it does mean they are super light and offer a superb, distraction-free bar feel that's perfect for everything from XC to trail riding.

Check out our full review of the Troy Lee Design Ace 2.0 Solid glove.

Leatt Glove MTB 2.0 X-Flow review

(Image credit: David Arthur)
(opens in new tab)
The glove for those who don’t like wearing gloves

Specifications

Padding: Knuckle brush guard
Palm material: MicronGrip
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fit
+
Lightweight
+
Soft grippy palm

Reasons to avoid

-
No palm padding can be harsh on long rides
-
Loud design

Easily some of the thinnest gloves I have ever slipped over my hands, the MTB 2.0 Flow gloves feature a full mesh back for ultimate breathability. There's molded padding over the top of the two outside fingers, which serves as more of a brush guard than for blunt impact forces.

The palm is one of only a few not made with synthetic leather, instead, Leatt opts for what they call NanoGrip. The fabric offers a superior grip in all conditions and a great bar feel but can leave your hands feeling a bit tired after a long ride. It's also touch screen compatible so you can use your phone.

Being so light and thin, they are far from the most robust gloves out there but hold up well considering the weight of the materials used. The mesh backs also mean if the weather gets cold, you will want to switch to something thicker and warmer.

Read why we think the Leatt MTB 2.0 X-Flow are some of the best mountain bike gloves we have used. 

The back of the POC Resistance Enduro Adjustable gloves has no padding despite its enduro moniker

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Light and comfortable gloves for enduro and trail riding

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fabrics
+
Lightweight
+
Adjustable velcro closure

Reasons to avoid

-
Touch screen thumb useless
-
Fingers were a tad tight
-
Expensive

Gloves are made on their fit and POC's Resistance Enduro gloves have nailed it when it comes to sizing. We have been riding these for the last few months and while initially tight they have worn into the perfect fit. Most brands opt for a slip-on design when designing a lightweight glove so if you are looking for a thin palm with an adjustable cuff, these are a great option to go for. POC does offer a slip-on version too, which we have also had great experiences with.

Thin vented palms give a close comfortable bar feel while avoiding any heat build-up and are paired with moisture-wicking top material. There is a terry cloth on the thumb and a silicon print on the braking fingers. As with the Resistance Pro DH POC's touchscreen compatible thumbs are ineffective, so if you like to catch quick insta-clips at the side of the trail a glove will need to be removed.

Check out our POC Resistance Enduro glove review for more information.

100% Celium glove

(Image credit: Donald NG)

100% Celium

A glove for those who want maximum bar feel and trail feedback

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Stretch fabric
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent grip and feel
+
Stretchy and comfortable
+
Microfiber thumb wipes
+
Touch screen compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
Not substantial enough for colder weather

If you want a super minimalist glove that combines killer looks with excellent grip and trail feedback, then the 100% Celium is the glove for you.

Mesh backs are stitched onto perforated synthetic Clarino leather palms with rubberized 100% logos for additional grip. Each thumb has a soft microfiber thumb/eyewear wipe and an additional 'tech' thread sewn into the thumb and forefinger allow you to use touchscreen devices.

The Celium's minimalist design gives a superb tactile feel on your brake levers, grips and controls as well as super direct trail feedback . The Clarino palms enhanced with the rubberized sections are immensely grippy too.

I've not been testing the gloves long enough to report on how they handle the test of time, but my initial findings are very positive we'll have a full review here on Bike Perfect as soon as we can.

Giro Remedy 2

(Image credit: Giro)
(opens in new tab)

Giro Remedy X2

High levels of protection without the price tag

Specifications

Padding: Palm, knuckle and finger
Palm material: AX suede
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good protection
+
Great fit
+
Fabric breathes well 

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing runs small

While Giro is best known for its best mountain bike helmets and mountain bike shoes, the brand also continually produces some of the most comfortable mountain bike gloves around. The palm and knuckle pads are made of Poron XRD, one of the many non-newtonian foams which harden on impact for better absorption properties. With AX suede synthetic leather making up the palm, the three-piece construction has a lot of seams but makes for a snug fit with no bunching. 

The four-way stretch mesh on the rear of the hand and lightweight see-through mesh on the sides of the fingers makes them comfortable in warmer temps too. In my experience, the sizing on these gloves does run a bit small, so I’d recommend trying a pair on before you buy.

Fox Racing Ranger Glove

(Image credit: Fox Racing)
(opens in new tab)

Fox Ranger

A well performing yet budget-friendly glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Lightweight but strong
+
Handy nose wipe

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding

Free of padding, the Fox Ranger is a lightweight, versatile glove that doesn’t break the bank. With a compression molded cuff, the upper is made from four-way stretch polyester and is completely padding-free. A 'microsuede' nose wipe is strategically placed on the back third of the thumb panel, keeping the soft material on the part you actually wipe your nose with, and nowhere else. 

The Clarino palm is seam-free and finished with silicone bands on the thumb, index and middle fingers, as well as a touchscreen-friendly thread on the fingertips. If you prefer a bit of padding on the palm, Fox makes a gel version, too. Even better, they are pretty crash-resistant and can be found pretty cheap. 

Dakine Boundary

(Image credit: Dakine)
(opens in new tab)

Dakine Boundary Bike Glove

Ideal gloves for riders prone to sweaty hands

Specifications

Padding: Palm
Palm material: Silicon mesh
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight palm makes for awesome bar feel
+
Good ventilation
+
Enhanced grip
+
Touchscreen friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Upper can feel too stretchy and lack structure

With a mesh back, the Boundary gloves are super-airy and ideal for scorching hot temps. The majority of the palm is made using a silicone-infused mesh, which offers plenty of grip, while the heel of the hand is shod with 2mm gel padding to help relieve pressure and dampen some of the vibration coming through the bars. The index finger and thumb are also finished in silicone and are touchscreen friendly. 

If you’re anything like us, gloves always seem to evade the washing machine, only to be found after a load of riding clothes is nearly finished. To prevent the Boundary Gloves from becoming overly funky for the extended period between washes, Dakine uses a 'Polygiene Odor control treatment', which seems to work pretty well. There is also a plush nose wipe on the thumb, something the hayfever sufferers and runny nose types greatly appreciate.

How to choose the best mountain bike gloves for you

What is the purpose of mountain bike gloves?

Ultimately there are two reasons to wear mountain bike gloves, grip on the handlebars and protect your hands. The best mountain bike gloves come with different levels of padding and protection both around the knuckles and fingers and on the palm.

With everything from wispy mesh-backed gloves, to fully armored mitts, what suits you will largely depend on your style of riding and the climate of the region you call home.

While lightweight mesh gloves breathe well and offer some degree of abrasion resistance, they don’t provide much in the way of impact protection. Gloves shod with knuckle and finger padding help to stave off impacts but are likely to leave you with sweaty palms. 

When it comes to what gloves you should wear for specific styles of riding, there are no hard and fast rules; it all comes down to personal preference.

Options can come with a variety of different levels of padding on the palms. If you find yourself with overly sore hands at the bottom of a long descent, it might be worth looking into a pair of gloves with padding along the heel of the hand - this could also stem from a myriad of other variables like your grips, brake lever position or suspension setup, of course. 

How tight should mountain bike gloves be?

Just like anything else, the fit and cut of a glove will vary by brand, however, the overall sizing is based on the same basic measurements: the circumference of your hand at the widest point (just below the knuckles) and the length of your middle finger.

From there, it comes down to your personal preferences of snug or loose-fitting glove - everyone is different. I tend to err on the side of tighter gloves, knowing they will stretch out over time.

What type of palm material is best for mountain bike gloves?

The best MTB gloves feature synthetic leather palms because the material efficiently wicks sweat without compromising grip and is resilient against hands-first slides in the dirt. 

Many brands add patterns and silicone details to the palms, which may provide a marginal increase in purchase depending on the glove and your chosen handlebar grips. The staying power of the silicone details is also brand-dependent, and quite often these will wear away well before the gloves are ready to be retired. 

Most gloves also feature touch-screen-friendly thread sewn into the tip of thumb and index finger which work with varying levels of success.

Pro Tip: if you can’t get your touchscreen to work with your gloves on, lick your finger! It sounds gross, but it works without fail and is considerably more efficient than using the tip of your nose or trying to rip your glove off to answer a call.

Are fingerless gloves good for mountain biking?

Our friend Fat Cyclist put it best when he said fingerless gloves are stupid. When it comes to mountain biking, fingerless gloves tend to bunch up between your fingers which causes discomfort, and even blisters - we would recommend you opt for full finger gloves even in hot weather.

Should mountain biking gloves have Velcro or elastic wrists?

If a glove fits well, an elastic wristband should keep it exactly where it needs to be, however, some riders prefer those with a Velcro closure. We find these straps are more functional on cold weather gloves as they help to keep chilly air from sneaking in through the cuff. 

When you think about protective gear for off-road riding, the best mountain bike gloves may not be the first investment that spring to mind. However, when you head out on the trails with a lousy pair on your hands, you'll soon discover that a good pair of gloves can vastly improve your ride. Just like you'd want to wear the best mountain bike shoes for planted footing, your hands are another key contact point that deserve your attention.

While it's true that some riders choose not to wear them, we're strong advocates of sporting the best MTB gloves because they not only protect your hands from sharp foliage and that dreaded gravel rash on your palms should you crash, but they can also improve your grip on the bars and provide some warmth when the temperature drops.

So how do you choose the best mountain bike gloves for your needs? Since gloves come in various shapes and sizes, this decision might seem a bit daunting, but a great pair of MTB gloves will usually be full-fingered rather than mitts, since this offers the best balance between protection, grip and insulation. You can of course get short-finger mountain bike mitts, and these tend to be the go-to for the hottest summer weather. Generally though, if you're tackling some demanding terrain, we'd recommend keeping your digits safe.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Our testing explained

For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Meet the testers

A man washing himself in a muddy puddle
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes since the early nineties and we're betting than he's tested more MTB gloves than anyone else in the UK.

Rich Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. An experienced trail rider, he knows what makes a top MTB glove and what doesn't. 

Best mountain bike gloves

100% Ridecamp glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best overall MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent bike feel and feedback
+
Impressively tough
+
Subtle details make a big difference
+
Lots of size and color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing comes up small

As one of fastest growing brands in rider protection, 100%'s Ridecamp gloves are another great affordable choice that deliver excellent bike feel and feedback, durability and a simple, comfortable cut. They do feel snug, but they're not restrictive, and it's worth sizing up as they tend to come up small. Plus we've found that they do eventually stretch slightly over time, so don't go too baggy on the initial fit. Thankfully they also come in lots of size options, as well as a wealth of colorways so they're great for anyone who likes to color coordinate their cycling wardrobe.

They may look simple, but don't be deceived, they're actually full of some great features. They offer decent touchscreen usage, and the breezy backing fabric makes them ideal for a hot summer ride. The asymmetric neoprene cuff is cut in such a way that there's no bunching up against a watch.

There's even more information about them in our 100% Ridecamp review, so be sure to check it out.

Giro Trixter glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best budget MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: AX Suede
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Premium feel at an affordable price
+
Reliable wet or dry grip
+
Unexpectedly tough
+
Women's and men's fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen threads don’t work well
-
Nowhere to wipe your nose

At sub-$20, Giro's Trixter gloves are super affordable, but they definitely don't feel cheap. They're surprisingly tough and have a premium feel, fit and cut, and pack every feature we love about Giro's glove range. The palm is made of a one-piece synthetic AX Suede panel, which is cleverly cut to minimize bunching, while the super thing fabric is perforated to provide some cooling.

Despite there being no silicone details, grip is excellent in both wet and dry conditions, and we found them to be impressively sweat-free thanks to the mesh fourchettes between the fingers and Giro's 'InstaChill' technology build into the fabric.

For more details, check out our Giro Trixter gloves review.

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Super lightweight glove for warm weather riding and a great fit

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Minimalist
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding or impact protection
-
Too cool when it's not hot

Troy Lee Designs has been producing some of our favorite, super-thin gloves for a long time. While the range and naming have changed over the years, Troy Lee Designs has stuck to a simple formula of great fit, lightweight and great bar feel. 

The uppers use a light mesh and the palm is made from a single layer which is perforated for better hot weather ventilation. If you're looking for some added comfort or extra layers of protection, then these aren't the gloves for you though as there is zero cushioning or armoring on the back of the hand. However, it does mean they are super light and offer a superb, distraction-free bar feel that's perfect for everything from XC to trail riding.

Check out our full review of the Troy Lee Design Ace 2.0 Solid glove.

Leatt Glove MTB 2.0 X-Flow review

(Image credit: David Arthur)
(opens in new tab)
The glove for those who don’t like wearing gloves

Specifications

Padding: Knuckle brush guard
Palm material: MicronGrip
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fit
+
Lightweight
+
Soft grippy palm

Reasons to avoid

-
No palm padding can be harsh on long rides
-
Loud design

Easily some of the thinnest gloves I have ever slipped over my hands, the MTB 2.0 Flow gloves feature a full mesh back for ultimate breathability. There's molded padding over the top of the two outside fingers, which serves as more of a brush guard than for blunt impact forces.

The palm is one of only a few not made with synthetic leather, instead, Leatt opts for what they call NanoGrip. The fabric offers a superior grip in all conditions and a great bar feel but can leave your hands feeling a bit tired after a long ride. It's also touch screen compatible so you can use your phone.

Being so light and thin, they are far from the most robust gloves out there but hold up well considering the weight of the materials used. The mesh backs also mean if the weather gets cold, you will want to switch to something thicker and warmer.

Read why we think the Leatt MTB 2.0 X-Flow are some of the best mountain bike gloves we have used. 

The back of the POC Resistance Enduro Adjustable gloves has no padding despite its enduro moniker

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Light and comfortable gloves for enduro and trail riding

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fabrics
+
Lightweight
+
Adjustable velcro closure

Reasons to avoid

-
Touch screen thumb useless
-
Fingers were a tad tight
-
Expensive

Gloves are made on their fit and POC's Resistance Enduro gloves have nailed it when it comes to sizing. We have been riding these for the last few months and while initially tight they have worn into the perfect fit. Most brands opt for a slip-on design when designing a lightweight glove so if you are looking for a thin palm with an adjustable cuff, these are a great option to go for. POC does offer a slip-on version too, which we have also had great experiences with.

Thin vented palms give a close comfortable bar feel while avoiding any heat build-up and are paired with moisture-wicking top material. There is a terry cloth on the thumb and a silicon print on the braking fingers. As with the Resistance Pro DH POC's touchscreen compatible thumbs are ineffective, so if you like to catch quick insta-clips at the side of the trail a glove will need to be removed.

Check out our POC Resistance Enduro glove review for more information.

100% Celium glove

(Image credit: Donald NG)

100% Celium

A glove for those who want maximum bar feel and trail feedback

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Stretch fabric
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent grip and feel
+
Stretchy and comfortable
+
Microfiber thumb wipes
+
Touch screen compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
Not substantial enough for colder weather

If you want a super minimalist glove that combines killer looks with excellent grip and trail feedback, then the 100% Celium is the glove for you.

Mesh backs are stitched onto perforated synthetic Clarino leather palms with rubberized 100% logos for additional grip. Each thumb has a soft microfiber thumb/eyewear wipe and an additional 'tech' thread sewn into the thumb and forefinger allow you to use touchscreen devices.

The Celium's minimalist design gives a superb tactile feel on your brake levers, grips and controls as well as super direct trail feedback . The Clarino palms enhanced with the rubberized sections are immensely grippy too.

I've not been testing the gloves long enough to report on how they handle the test of time, but my initial findings are very positive we'll have a full review here on Bike Perfect as soon as we can.

Giro Remedy 2

(Image credit: Giro)
(opens in new tab)

Giro Remedy X2

High levels of protection without the price tag

Specifications

Padding: Palm, knuckle and finger
Palm material: AX suede
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good protection
+
Great fit
+
Fabric breathes well 

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing runs small

While Giro is best known for its best mountain bike helmets and mountain bike shoes, the brand also continually produces some of the most comfortable mountain bike gloves around. The palm and knuckle pads are made of Poron XRD, one of the many non-newtonian foams which harden on impact for better absorption properties. With AX suede synthetic leather making up the palm, the three-piece construction has a lot of seams but makes for a snug fit with no bunching. 

The four-way stretch mesh on the rear of the hand and lightweight see-through mesh on the sides of the fingers makes them comfortable in warmer temps too. In my experience, the sizing on these gloves does run a bit small, so I’d recommend trying a pair on before you buy.

Fox Racing Ranger Glove

(Image credit: Fox Racing)
(opens in new tab)

Fox Ranger

A well performing yet budget-friendly glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Lightweight but strong
+
Handy nose wipe

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding

Free of padding, the Fox Ranger is a lightweight, versatile glove that doesn’t break the bank. With a compression molded cuff, the upper is made from four-way stretch polyester and is completely padding-free. A 'microsuede' nose wipe is strategically placed on the back third of the thumb panel, keeping the soft material on the part you actually wipe your nose with, and nowhere else. 

The Clarino palm is seam-free and finished with silicone bands on the thumb, index and middle fingers, as well as a touchscreen-friendly thread on the fingertips. If you prefer a bit of padding on the palm, Fox makes a gel version, too. Even better, they are pretty crash-resistant and can be found pretty cheap. 

Dakine Boundary

(Image credit: Dakine)
(opens in new tab)

Dakine Boundary Bike Glove

Ideal gloves for riders prone to sweaty hands

Specifications

Padding: Palm
Palm material: Silicon mesh
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight palm makes for awesome bar feel
+
Good ventilation
+
Enhanced grip
+
Touchscreen friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Upper can feel too stretchy and lack structure

With a mesh back, the Boundary gloves are super-airy and ideal for scorching hot temps. The majority of the palm is made using a silicone-infused mesh, which offers plenty of grip, while the heel of the hand is shod with 2mm gel padding to help relieve pressure and dampen some of the vibration coming through the bars. The index finger and thumb are also finished in silicone and are touchscreen friendly. 

If you’re anything like us, gloves always seem to evade the washing machine, only to be found after a load of riding clothes is nearly finished. To prevent the Boundary Gloves from becoming overly funky for the extended period between washes, Dakine uses a 'Polygiene Odor control treatment', which seems to work pretty well. There is also a plush nose wipe on the thumb, something the hayfever sufferers and runny nose types greatly appreciate.

How to choose the best mountain bike gloves for you

What is the purpose of mountain bike gloves?

Ultimately there are two reasons to wear mountain bike gloves, grip on the handlebars and protect your hands. The best mountain bike gloves come with different levels of padding and protection both around the knuckles and fingers and on the palm.

With everything from wispy mesh-backed gloves, to fully armored mitts, what suits you will largely depend on your style of riding and the climate of the region you call home.

While lightweight mesh gloves breathe well and offer some degree of abrasion resistance, they don’t provide much in the way of impact protection. Gloves shod with knuckle and finger padding help to stave off impacts but are likely to leave you with sweaty palms. 

When it comes to what gloves you should wear for specific styles of riding, there are no hard and fast rules; it all comes down to personal preference.

Options can come with a variety of different levels of padding on the palms. If you find yourself with overly sore hands at the bottom of a long descent, it might be worth looking into a pair of gloves with padding along the heel of the hand - this could also stem from a myriad of other variables like your grips, brake lever position or suspension setup, of course. 

How tight should mountain bike gloves be?

Just like anything else, the fit and cut of a glove will vary by brand, however, the overall sizing is based on the same basic measurements: the circumference of your hand at the widest point (just below the knuckles) and the length of your middle finger.

From there, it comes down to your personal preferences of snug or loose-fitting glove - everyone is different. I tend to err on the side of tighter gloves, knowing they will stretch out over time.

What type of palm material is best for mountain bike gloves?

The best MTB gloves feature synthetic leather palms because the material efficiently wicks sweat without compromising grip and is resilient against hands-first slides in the dirt. 

Many brands add patterns and silicone details to the palms, which may provide a marginal increase in purchase depending on the glove and your chosen handlebar grips. The staying power of the silicone details is also brand-dependent, and quite often these will wear away well before the gloves are ready to be retired. 

Most gloves also feature touch-screen-friendly thread sewn into the tip of thumb and index finger which work with varying levels of success.

Pro Tip: if you can’t get your touchscreen to work with your gloves on, lick your finger! It sounds gross, but it works without fail and is considerably more efficient than using the tip of your nose or trying to rip your glove off to answer a call.

Are fingerless gloves good for mountain biking?

Our friend Fat Cyclist put it best when he said fingerless gloves are stupid. When it comes to mountain biking, fingerless gloves tend to bunch up between your fingers which causes discomfort, and even blisters - we would recommend you opt for full finger gloves even in hot weather.

Should mountain biking gloves have Velcro or elastic wrists?

If a glove fits well, an elastic wristband should keep it exactly where it needs to be, however, some riders prefer those with a Velcro closure. We find these straps are more functional on cold weather gloves as they help to keep chilly air from sneaking in through the cuff. 

When you think about protective gear for off-road riding, the best mountain bike gloves may not be the first investment that spring to mind. However, when you head out on the trails with a lousy pair on your hands, you'll soon discover that a good pair of gloves can vastly improve your ride. Just like you'd want to wear the best mountain bike shoes for planted footing, your hands are another key contact point that deserve your attention.

While it's true that some riders choose not to wear them, we're strong advocates of sporting the best MTB gloves because they not only protect your hands from sharp foliage and that dreaded gravel rash on your palms should you crash, but they can also improve your grip on the bars and provide some warmth when the temperature drops.

So how do you choose the best mountain bike gloves for your needs? Since gloves come in various shapes and sizes, this decision might seem a bit daunting, but a great pair of MTB gloves will usually be full-fingered rather than mitts, since this offers the best balance between protection, grip and insulation. You can of course get short-finger mountain bike mitts, and these tend to be the go-to for the hottest summer weather. Generally though, if you're tackling some demanding terrain, we'd recommend keeping your digits safe.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Our testing explained

For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Meet the testers

A man washing himself in a muddy puddle
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes since the early nineties and we're betting than he's tested more MTB gloves than anyone else in the UK.

Rich Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. An experienced trail rider, he knows what makes a top MTB glove and what doesn't. 

Best mountain bike gloves

100% Ridecamp glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best overall MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent bike feel and feedback
+
Impressively tough
+
Subtle details make a big difference
+
Lots of size and color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing comes up small

As one of fastest growing brands in rider protection, 100%'s Ridecamp gloves are another great affordable choice that deliver excellent bike feel and feedback, durability and a simple, comfortable cut. They do feel snug, but they're not restrictive, and it's worth sizing up as they tend to come up small. Plus we've found that they do eventually stretch slightly over time, so don't go too baggy on the initial fit. Thankfully they also come in lots of size options, as well as a wealth of colorways so they're great for anyone who likes to color coordinate their cycling wardrobe.

They may look simple, but don't be deceived, they're actually full of some great features. They offer decent touchscreen usage, and the breezy backing fabric makes them ideal for a hot summer ride. The asymmetric neoprene cuff is cut in such a way that there's no bunching up against a watch.

There's even more information about them in our 100% Ridecamp review, so be sure to check it out.

Giro Trixter glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best budget MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: AX Suede
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Premium feel at an affordable price
+
Reliable wet or dry grip
+
Unexpectedly tough
+
Women's and men's fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen threads don’t work well
-
Nowhere to wipe your nose

At sub-$20, Giro's Trixter gloves are super affordable, but they definitely don't feel cheap. They're surprisingly tough and have a premium feel, fit and cut, and pack every feature we love about Giro's glove range. The palm is made of a one-piece synthetic AX Suede panel, which is cleverly cut to minimize bunching, while the super thing fabric is perforated to provide some cooling.

Despite there being no silicone details, grip is excellent in both wet and dry conditions, and we found them to be impressively sweat-free thanks to the mesh fourchettes between the fingers and Giro's 'InstaChill' technology build into the fabric.

For more details, check out our Giro Trixter gloves review.

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Super lightweight glove for warm weather riding and a great fit

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Minimalist
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding or impact protection
-
Too cool when it's not hot

Troy Lee Designs has been producing some of our favorite, super-thin gloves for a long time. While the range and naming have changed over the years, Troy Lee Designs has stuck to a simple formula of great fit, lightweight and great bar feel. 

The uppers use a light mesh and the palm is made from a single layer which is perforated for better hot weather ventilation. If you're looking for some added comfort or extra layers of protection, then these aren't the gloves for you though as there is zero cushioning or armoring on the back of the hand. However, it does mean they are super light and offer a superb, distraction-free bar feel that's perfect for everything from XC to trail riding.

Check out our full review of the Troy Lee Design Ace 2.0 Solid glove.

Leatt Glove MTB 2.0 X-Flow review

(Image credit: David Arthur)
(opens in new tab)
The glove for those who don’t like wearing gloves

Specifications

Padding: Knuckle brush guard
Palm material: MicronGrip
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fit
+
Lightweight
+
Soft grippy palm

Reasons to avoid

-
No palm padding can be harsh on long rides
-
Loud design

Easily some of the thinnest gloves I have ever slipped over my hands, the MTB 2.0 Flow gloves feature a full mesh back for ultimate breathability. There's molded padding over the top of the two outside fingers, which serves as more of a brush guard than for blunt impact forces.

The palm is one of only a few not made with synthetic leather, instead, Leatt opts for what they call NanoGrip. The fabric offers a superior grip in all conditions and a great bar feel but can leave your hands feeling a bit tired after a long ride. It's also touch screen compatible so you can use your phone.

Being so light and thin, they are far from the most robust gloves out there but hold up well considering the weight of the materials used. The mesh backs also mean if the weather gets cold, you will want to switch to something thicker and warmer.

Read why we think the Leatt MTB 2.0 X-Flow are some of the best mountain bike gloves we have used. 

The back of the POC Resistance Enduro Adjustable gloves has no padding despite its enduro moniker

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Light and comfortable gloves for enduro and trail riding

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fabrics
+
Lightweight
+
Adjustable velcro closure

Reasons to avoid

-
Touch screen thumb useless
-
Fingers were a tad tight
-
Expensive

Gloves are made on their fit and POC's Resistance Enduro gloves have nailed it when it comes to sizing. We have been riding these for the last few months and while initially tight they have worn into the perfect fit. Most brands opt for a slip-on design when designing a lightweight glove so if you are looking for a thin palm with an adjustable cuff, these are a great option to go for. POC does offer a slip-on version too, which we have also had great experiences with.

Thin vented palms give a close comfortable bar feel while avoiding any heat build-up and are paired with moisture-wicking top material. There is a terry cloth on the thumb and a silicon print on the braking fingers. As with the Resistance Pro DH POC's touchscreen compatible thumbs are ineffective, so if you like to catch quick insta-clips at the side of the trail a glove will need to be removed.

Check out our POC Resistance Enduro glove review for more information.

100% Celium glove

(Image credit: Donald NG)

100% Celium

A glove for those who want maximum bar feel and trail feedback

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Stretch fabric
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent grip and feel
+
Stretchy and comfortable
+
Microfiber thumb wipes
+
Touch screen compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
Not substantial enough for colder weather

If you want a super minimalist glove that combines killer looks with excellent grip and trail feedback, then the 100% Celium is the glove for you.

Mesh backs are stitched onto perforated synthetic Clarino leather palms with rubberized 100% logos for additional grip. Each thumb has a soft microfiber thumb/eyewear wipe and an additional 'tech' thread sewn into the thumb and forefinger allow you to use touchscreen devices.

The Celium's minimalist design gives a superb tactile feel on your brake levers, grips and controls as well as super direct trail feedback . The Clarino palms enhanced with the rubberized sections are immensely grippy too.

I've not been testing the gloves long enough to report on how they handle the test of time, but my initial findings are very positive we'll have a full review here on Bike Perfect as soon as we can.

Giro Remedy 2

(Image credit: Giro)
(opens in new tab)

Giro Remedy X2

High levels of protection without the price tag

Specifications

Padding: Palm, knuckle and finger
Palm material: AX suede
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good protection
+
Great fit
+
Fabric breathes well 

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing runs small

While Giro is best known for its best mountain bike helmets and mountain bike shoes, the brand also continually produces some of the most comfortable mountain bike gloves around. The palm and knuckle pads are made of Poron XRD, one of the many non-newtonian foams which harden on impact for better absorption properties. With AX suede synthetic leather making up the palm, the three-piece construction has a lot of seams but makes for a snug fit with no bunching. 

The four-way stretch mesh on the rear of the hand and lightweight see-through mesh on the sides of the fingers makes them comfortable in warmer temps too. In my experience, the sizing on these gloves does run a bit small, so I’d recommend trying a pair on before you buy.

Fox Racing Ranger Glove

(Image credit: Fox Racing)
(opens in new tab)

Fox Ranger

A well performing yet budget-friendly glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Lightweight but strong
+
Handy nose wipe

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding

Free of padding, the Fox Ranger is a lightweight, versatile glove that doesn’t break the bank. With a compression molded cuff, the upper is made from four-way stretch polyester and is completely padding-free. A 'microsuede' nose wipe is strategically placed on the back third of the thumb panel, keeping the soft material on the part you actually wipe your nose with, and nowhere else. 

The Clarino palm is seam-free and finished with silicone bands on the thumb, index and middle fingers, as well as a touchscreen-friendly thread on the fingertips. If you prefer a bit of padding on the palm, Fox makes a gel version, too. Even better, they are pretty crash-resistant and can be found pretty cheap. 

Dakine Boundary

(Image credit: Dakine)
(opens in new tab)

Dakine Boundary Bike Glove

Ideal gloves for riders prone to sweaty hands

Specifications

Padding: Palm
Palm material: Silicon mesh
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight palm makes for awesome bar feel
+
Good ventilation
+
Enhanced grip
+
Touchscreen friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Upper can feel too stretchy and lack structure

With a mesh back, the Boundary gloves are super-airy and ideal for scorching hot temps. The majority of the palm is made using a silicone-infused mesh, which offers plenty of grip, while the heel of the hand is shod with 2mm gel padding to help relieve pressure and dampen some of the vibration coming through the bars. The index finger and thumb are also finished in silicone and are touchscreen friendly. 

If you’re anything like us, gloves always seem to evade the washing machine, only to be found after a load of riding clothes is nearly finished. To prevent the Boundary Gloves from becoming overly funky for the extended period between washes, Dakine uses a 'Polygiene Odor control treatment', which seems to work pretty well. There is also a plush nose wipe on the thumb, something the hayfever sufferers and runny nose types greatly appreciate.

How to choose the best mountain bike gloves for you

What is the purpose of mountain bike gloves?

Ultimately there are two reasons to wear mountain bike gloves, grip on the handlebars and protect your hands. The best mountain bike gloves come with different levels of padding and protection both around the knuckles and fingers and on the palm.

With everything from wispy mesh-backed gloves, to fully armored mitts, what suits you will largely depend on your style of riding and the climate of the region you call home.

While lightweight mesh gloves breathe well and offer some degree of abrasion resistance, they don’t provide much in the way of impact protection. Gloves shod with knuckle and finger padding help to stave off impacts but are likely to leave you with sweaty palms. 

When it comes to what gloves you should wear for specific styles of riding, there are no hard and fast rules; it all comes down to personal preference.

Options can come with a variety of different levels of padding on the palms. If you find yourself with overly sore hands at the bottom of a long descent, it might be worth looking into a pair of gloves with padding along the heel of the hand - this could also stem from a myriad of other variables like your grips, brake lever position or suspension setup, of course. 

How tight should mountain bike gloves be?

Just like anything else, the fit and cut of a glove will vary by brand, however, the overall sizing is based on the same basic measurements: the circumference of your hand at the widest point (just below the knuckles) and the length of your middle finger.

From there, it comes down to your personal preferences of snug or loose-fitting glove - everyone is different. I tend to err on the side of tighter gloves, knowing they will stretch out over time.

What type of palm material is best for mountain bike gloves?

The best MTB gloves feature synthetic leather palms because the material efficiently wicks sweat without compromising grip and is resilient against hands-first slides in the dirt. 

Many brands add patterns and silicone details to the palms, which may provide a marginal increase in purchase depending on the glove and your chosen handlebar grips. The staying power of the silicone details is also brand-dependent, and quite often these will wear away well before the gloves are ready to be retired. 

Most gloves also feature touch-screen-friendly thread sewn into the tip of thumb and index finger which work with varying levels of success.

Pro Tip: if you can’t get your touchscreen to work with your gloves on, lick your finger! It sounds gross, but it works without fail and is considerably more efficient than using the tip of your nose or trying to rip your glove off to answer a call.

Are fingerless gloves good for mountain biking?

Our friend Fat Cyclist put it best when he said fingerless gloves are stupid. When it comes to mountain biking, fingerless gloves tend to bunch up between your fingers which causes discomfort, and even blisters - we would recommend you opt for full finger gloves even in hot weather.

Should mountain biking gloves have Velcro or elastic wrists?

If a glove fits well, an elastic wristband should keep it exactly where it needs to be, however, some riders prefer those with a Velcro closure. We find these straps are more functional on cold weather gloves as they help to keep chilly air from sneaking in through the cuff. 

When you think about protective gear for off-road riding, the best mountain bike gloves may not be the first investment that spring to mind. However, when you head out on the trails with a lousy pair on your hands, you'll soon discover that a good pair of gloves can vastly improve your ride. Just like you'd want to wear the best mountain bike shoes for planted footing, your hands are another key contact point that deserve your attention.

While it's true that some riders choose not to wear them, we're strong advocates of sporting the best MTB gloves because they not only protect your hands from sharp foliage and that dreaded gravel rash on your palms should you crash, but they can also improve your grip on the bars and provide some warmth when the temperature drops.

So how do you choose the best mountain bike gloves for your needs? Since gloves come in various shapes and sizes, this decision might seem a bit daunting, but a great pair of MTB gloves will usually be full-fingered rather than mitts, since this offers the best balance between protection, grip and insulation. You can of course get short-finger mountain bike mitts, and these tend to be the go-to for the hottest summer weather. Generally though, if you're tackling some demanding terrain, we'd recommend keeping your digits safe.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Our testing explained

For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.

To help you make the right choice for your needs, we've rounded up what we think are the best mountain bike gloves on the market. Keep reading for those, or if you're in need of some buying advice, you'll find that at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you're based in the southern hemisphere and looking for hand protection for use during the winter months, check out our guide the best mountain bike winter gloves instead.

Meet the testers

A man washing himself in a muddy puddle
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes since the early nineties and we're betting than he's tested more MTB gloves than anyone else in the UK.

Rich Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. An experienced trail rider, he knows what makes a top MTB glove and what doesn't. 

Best mountain bike gloves

100% Ridecamp glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best overall MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent bike feel and feedback
+
Impressively tough
+
Subtle details make a big difference
+
Lots of size and color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing comes up small

As one of fastest growing brands in rider protection, 100%'s Ridecamp gloves are another great affordable choice that deliver excellent bike feel and feedback, durability and a simple, comfortable cut. They do feel snug, but they're not restrictive, and it's worth sizing up as they tend to come up small. Plus we've found that they do eventually stretch slightly over time, so don't go too baggy on the initial fit. Thankfully they also come in lots of size options, as well as a wealth of colorways so they're great for anyone who likes to color coordinate their cycling wardrobe.

They may look simple, but don't be deceived, they're actually full of some great features. They offer decent touchscreen usage, and the breezy backing fabric makes them ideal for a hot summer ride. The asymmetric neoprene cuff is cut in such a way that there's no bunching up against a watch.

There's even more information about them in our 100% Ridecamp review, so be sure to check it out.

Giro Trixter glove

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best budget MTB glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: AX Suede
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touchscreen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Premium feel at an affordable price
+
Reliable wet or dry grip
+
Unexpectedly tough
+
Women's and men's fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen threads don’t work well
-
Nowhere to wipe your nose

At sub-$20, Giro's Trixter gloves are super affordable, but they definitely don't feel cheap. They're surprisingly tough and have a premium feel, fit and cut, and pack every feature we love about Giro's glove range. The palm is made of a one-piece synthetic AX Suede panel, which is cleverly cut to minimize bunching, while the super thing fabric is perforated to provide some cooling.

Despite there being no silicone details, grip is excellent in both wet and dry conditions, and we found them to be impressively sweat-free thanks to the mesh fourchettes between the fingers and Giro's 'InstaChill' technology build into the fabric.

For more details, check out our Giro Trixter gloves review.

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Super lightweight glove for warm weather riding and a great fit

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Minimalist
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding or impact protection
-
Too cool when it's not hot

Troy Lee Designs has been producing some of our favorite, super-thin gloves for a long time. While the range and naming have changed over the years, Troy Lee Designs has stuck to a simple formula of great fit, lightweight and great bar feel. 

The uppers use a light mesh and the palm is made from a single layer which is perforated for better hot weather ventilation. If you're looking for some added comfort or extra layers of protection, then these aren't the gloves for you though as there is zero cushioning or armoring on the back of the hand. However, it does mean they are super light and offer a superb, distraction-free bar feel that's perfect for everything from XC to trail riding.

Check out our full review of the Troy Lee Design Ace 2.0 Solid glove.

Leatt Glove MTB 2.0 X-Flow review

(Image credit: David Arthur)
(opens in new tab)
The glove for those who don’t like wearing gloves

Specifications

Padding: Knuckle brush guard
Palm material: MicronGrip
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fit
+
Lightweight
+
Soft grippy palm

Reasons to avoid

-
No palm padding can be harsh on long rides
-
Loud design

Easily some of the thinnest gloves I have ever slipped over my hands, the MTB 2.0 Flow gloves feature a full mesh back for ultimate breathability. There's molded padding over the top of the two outside fingers, which serves as more of a brush guard than for blunt impact forces.

The palm is one of only a few not made with synthetic leather, instead, Leatt opts for what they call NanoGrip. The fabric offers a superior grip in all conditions and a great bar feel but can leave your hands feeling a bit tired after a long ride. It's also touch screen compatible so you can use your phone.

Being so light and thin, they are far from the most robust gloves out there but hold up well considering the weight of the materials used. The mesh backs also mean if the weather gets cold, you will want to switch to something thicker and warmer.

Read why we think the Leatt MTB 2.0 X-Flow are some of the best mountain bike gloves we have used. 

The back of the POC Resistance Enduro Adjustable gloves has no padding despite its enduro moniker

(Image credit: David Arthur)
Light and comfortable gloves for enduro and trail riding

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable fabrics
+
Lightweight
+
Adjustable velcro closure

Reasons to avoid

-
Touch screen thumb useless
-
Fingers were a tad tight
-
Expensive

Gloves are made on their fit and POC's Resistance Enduro gloves have nailed it when it comes to sizing. We have been riding these for the last few months and while initially tight they have worn into the perfect fit. Most brands opt for a slip-on design when designing a lightweight glove so if you are looking for a thin palm with an adjustable cuff, these are a great option to go for. POC does offer a slip-on version too, which we have also had great experiences with.

Thin vented palms give a close comfortable bar feel while avoiding any heat build-up and are paired with moisture-wicking top material. There is a terry cloth on the thumb and a silicon print on the braking fingers. As with the Resistance Pro DH POC's touchscreen compatible thumbs are ineffective, so if you like to catch quick insta-clips at the side of the trail a glove will need to be removed.

Check out our POC Resistance Enduro glove review for more information.

100% Celium glove

(Image credit: Donald NG)

100% Celium

A glove for those who want maximum bar feel and trail feedback

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Stretch fabric
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent grip and feel
+
Stretchy and comfortable
+
Microfiber thumb wipes
+
Touch screen compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
Not substantial enough for colder weather

If you want a super minimalist glove that combines killer looks with excellent grip and trail feedback, then the 100% Celium is the glove for you.

Mesh backs are stitched onto perforated synthetic Clarino leather palms with rubberized 100% logos for additional grip. Each thumb has a soft microfiber thumb/eyewear wipe and an additional 'tech' thread sewn into the thumb and forefinger allow you to use touchscreen devices.

The Celium's minimalist design gives a superb tactile feel on your brake levers, grips and controls as well as super direct trail feedback . The Clarino palms enhanced with the rubberized sections are immensely grippy too.

I've not been testing the gloves long enough to report on how they handle the test of time, but my initial findings are very positive we'll have a full review here on Bike Perfect as soon as we can.

Giro Remedy 2

(Image credit: Giro)
(opens in new tab)

Giro Remedy X2

High levels of protection without the price tag

Specifications

Padding: Palm, knuckle and finger
Palm material: AX suede
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good protection
+
Great fit
+
Fabric breathes well 

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizing runs small

While Giro is best known for its best mountain bike helmets and mountain bike shoes, the brand also continually produces some of the most comfortable mountain bike gloves around. The palm and knuckle pads are made of Poron XRD, one of the many non-newtonian foams which harden on impact for better absorption properties. With AX suede synthetic leather making up the palm, the three-piece construction has a lot of seams but makes for a snug fit with no bunching. 

The four-way stretch mesh on the rear of the hand and lightweight see-through mesh on the sides of the fingers makes them comfortable in warmer temps too. In my experience, the sizing on these gloves does run a bit small, so I’d recommend trying a pair on before you buy.

Fox Racing Ranger Glove

(Image credit: Fox Racing)
(opens in new tab)

Fox Ranger

A well performing yet budget-friendly glove

Specifications

Padding: None
Palm material: Clarino synthetic leather
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Lightweight but strong
+
Handy nose wipe

Reasons to avoid

-
No padding

Free of padding, the Fox Ranger is a lightweight, versatile glove that doesn’t break the bank. With a compression molded cuff, the upper is made from four-way stretch polyester and is completely padding-free. A 'microsuede' nose wipe is strategically placed on the back third of the thumb panel, keeping the soft material on the part you actually wipe your nose with, and nowhere else. 

The Clarino palm is seam-free and finished with silicone bands on the thumb, index and middle fingers, as well as a touchscreen-friendly thread on the fingertips. If you prefer a bit of padding on the palm, Fox makes a gel version, too. Even better, they are pretty crash-resistant and can be found pretty cheap. 

Dakine Boundary

(Image credit: Dakine)
(opens in new tab)

Dakine Boundary Bike Glove

Ideal gloves for riders prone to sweaty hands

Specifications

Padding: Palm
Palm material: Silicon mesh
Wrist closure: Velcro
Touch screen compatible: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight palm makes for awesome bar feel
+
Good ventilation
+
Enhanced grip
+
Touchscreen friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Upper can feel too stretchy and lack structure

With a mesh back, the Boundary gloves are super-airy and ideal for scorching hot temps. The majority of the palm is made using a silicone-infused mesh, which offers plenty of grip, while the heel of the hand is shod with 2mm gel padding to help relieve pressure and dampen some of the vibration coming through the bars. The index finger and thumb are also finished in silicone and are touchscreen friendly. 

If you’re anything like us, gloves always seem to evade the washing machine, only to be found after a load of riding clothes is nearly finished. To prevent the Boundary Gloves from becoming overly funky for the extended period between washes, Dakine uses a 'Polygiene Odor control treatment', which seems to work pretty well. There is also a plush nose wipe on the thumb, something the hayfever sufferers and runny nose types greatly appreciate.

How to choose the best mountain bike gloves for you

What is the purpose of mountain bike gloves?

Ultimately there are two reasons to wear mountain bike gloves, grip on the handlebars and protect your hands. The best mountain bike gloves come with different levels of padding and protection both around the knuckles and fingers and on the palm.

With everything from wispy mesh-backed gloves, to fully armored mitts, what suits you will largely depend on your style of riding and the climate of the region you call home.

While lightweight mesh gloves breathe well and offer some degree of abrasion resistance, they don’t provide much in the way of impact protection. Gloves shod with knuckle and finger padding help to stave off impacts but are likely to leave you with sweaty palms. 

When it comes to what gloves you should wear for specific styles of riding, there are no hard and fast rules; it all comes down to personal preference.

Options can come with a variety of different levels of padding on the palms. If you find yourself with overly sore hands at the bottom of a long descent, it might be worth looking into a pair of gloves with padding along the heel of the hand - this could also stem from a myriad of other variables like your grips, brake lever position or suspension setup, of course. 

How tight should mountain bike gloves be?

Just like anything else, the fit and cut of a glove will vary by brand, however, the overall sizing is based on the same basic measurements: the circumference of your hand at the widest point (just below the knuckles) and the length of your middle finger.

From there, it comes down to your personal preferences of snug or loose-fitting glove - everyone is different. I tend to err on the side of tighter gloves, knowing they will stretch out over time.

What type of palm material is best for mountain bike gloves?

The best MTB gloves feature synthetic leather palms because the material efficiently wicks sweat without compromising grip and is resilient against hands-first slides in the dirt. 

Many brands add patterns and silicone details to the palms, which may provide a marginal increase in purchase depending on the glove and your chosen handlebar grips. The staying power of the silicone details is also brand-dependent, and quite often these will wear away well before the gloves are ready to be retired. 

Most gloves also feature touch-screen-friendly thread sewn into the tip of thumb and index finger which work with varying levels of success.

Pro Tip: if you can’t get your touchscreen to work with your gloves on, lick your finger! It sounds gross, but it works without fail and is considerably more efficient than using the tip of your nose or trying to rip your glove off to answer a call.

Are fingerless gloves good for mountain biking?

Our friend Fat Cyclist put it best when he said fingerless gloves are stupid. When it comes to mountain biking, fingerless gloves tend to bunch up between your fingers which causes discomfort, and even blisters - we would recommend you opt for full finger gloves even in hot weather.

Should mountain biking gloves have Velcro or elastic wrists?

If a glove fits well, an elastic wristband should keep it exactly where it needs to be, however, some riders prefer those with a Velcro closure. We find these straps are more functional on cold weather gloves as they help to keep chilly air from sneaking in through the cuff.