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POC Essential DH gloves review

A downhill-focused glove with tough materials and solid construction and useful knuckle-armor padding

POC Essential DH gloves review
(Image: © David Arthur)

Our Verdict

For rowdy riding where crashes are inevitable, the POC Essential DH gloves are rugged, durable and armour padded yet still reasonably lightweight

For

  • Beefy construction
  • Padded armor
  • Comfortable

Against

  • Tricky to get on and off
  • Quite pricey

POC’s Essential DH glove is an essential upgrade from a lightweight glove if you are riding bike parks and gravity-focused trails. The added protection from padding across the knuckles and heavyweight materials boosts durability. That said, they are still reasonably lightweight with a perforated palm to manage heat so they are comfortable for longer rides but is it enough to compete with the best mountain bike gloves.

Design and aesthetics

You can have these POC Essential DH gloves in any color as long as it's black, and boy do they look the business with a rugged fabric and Eva padding across the knuckles. The beefed-up construction, extra stitching and aforementioned padding are the standout features in these gloves and are a bonus if your riding is towards the gravity end of the spectrum where crashes are a higher risk factor. For everyday use though they are comfortable with the weight and bulk kept to a minimum. I do like the understated look and they hide crash marks well. 

POC Essential DH gloves lying on a flat surface

The POC Essential DH gloves ony come in a single color option, uranium black (Image credit: David Arthur)

Specifications

It’s all about the materials, stitching and armor with these gloves, and they are nicely constructed so restriction and weight are kept to a minimum. The standout feature is the Eva padding covering the two outer knuckles, which serves up useful protection, but it might have been nice to see some padding extended to the fingers as well. The inside of the thumb is double stitched with a tough fabric and a thin stretchy material flanking the fingers boosts fit and comfort, though the fingers are a smidgen tight - on my hands at least. 

Performance

These gloves certainly give a bigger sense of protection than more flimsy lightweight gloves and if you’re regularly pushing the limits where crashes are not just likely but inevitable, the ability to walk away with intact hands is a bonus. The one-piece perforated palm is soft and hard-wearing while the strapless cuff improves comfort with a low cuff increasing freedom of movement, plus there is no velcro to wear out. 

The use of thicker materials does make them a tad warmer when the sun is out but on the flip side provides useful additional warmth for ‘British summers’. The silicone prints on the fingers are a nice touch and aid braking performance especially when it’s raining, but the lack of touch screen compatibility is annoying for Instagramers. 

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POC Essential DH gloves review

The two outer knuckles are protected by Eva padding (Image credit: David Arthur)
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POC Essential DH gloves review

The palm is made from a single piece of material that's perforated for ventilation (Image credit: David Arthur)
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POC Essential DH gloves review

The fingers have silicon pads for brake pad grip (Image credit: David Arthur)

Verdict

They’re no bargain but they are made to be nearly everything you want in a downhill-orientated glove. Thicker and harder-wearing materials, double stitching in key places and useful impact padding in strategic places make them undeniably appealing for gravity riding over a lighter weight, and potentially flimsier, glove. They are extremely well made and comfort is generally good and the one color option looks understated and smart. I’d personally like a bit more armor across the fingers and padding on the palm to improve protection and comfort on long downhill runs.  

Tech Specs: POC Essential DH gloves 

  • Price: $50 / £50
  • Colors: Uranium Black
  • Size: XS-XL