Updated on January 21, 2022

Every mountain biker knows the importance of a good pair of gloves, and those new to mountain biking will soon enough find out. The best mountain biking gloves first and foremost protect your hands from scratches, lost skin, and abrasions in the unfortunate event you take a tumble off the bike, or some unruly trees or branches scrape your hands.

Gloves will also help to dampen vibrations – reducing hand fatigue and helping to wick sweat from your hands, ensuring you have plenty of grip and control and providing extra comfort for long days on the trail. A good pair of mountain biking gloves is essential when hitting the trails and with so many on the market, it can be tough to know which ones to choose. That’s why our MTB experts have shortlisted the 10 best mountain biking gloves so no matter whether you’re racing, riding in hot or cold weather, or shredding gnarly trails, you’ll be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for.

For more of our top mountain bike gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountain Bike Shorts.

 

Quick Answer - The Best MTB Gloves

  1. Dakine Cross-X
  2. Giro Trixter
  3. Fox Racing Ranger
  4. Sealskinz Waterproof All-Weather
  5. Pearl iZUMi Elite Gel
  6. Fox Ranger Gel
  7. Giro Strada Dure Supergel LF
  8. Dakine Sentinel
  9. Castelli Tempesta 2

 

Comparison Table - Best MTB Gloves

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NameTypeTouch Screen CapabilitySeasonPriceRatingReview
Dakine Cross-XFull FingerYesSummer, Spring, Autumn$$5.0Read Review
Giro TrixterFull FingerYesSummer, Spring$4.4Read Review
Fox Racing RangerFull FingerYesSummer, Spring, Autumn$4.5Read Review
Sealskinz Waterproof All-WeatherFull FingerYesWinter$$$4.2Read Review
Pearl iZUMi Elite GelFull FingerYesAll$$4.6Read Review
Fox Ranger GelFull FingerYesSummer, Spring, Autumn$4.0Read Review
Giro Strada Dure Supergel LFFull FingerNoSummer, Spring, Autumn$4.6Read Review
Dakine SentinelFull FingerYesSummer, Spring, Autumn$$5.0Read Review
Castelli Tempesta 2Full FingerYesWinter$$$4.4Read Review
NameTypeTouch Screen CapabilitySeasonPriceRatingReview
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Gloves for Mountain Biking

Dakine Cross-X

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: All Riding
  • Material: Polyester, Nylon, Neoprene, Spandex
  • Padding: Gel
  • Season: Summer, Spring, Autumn
  • Size: M - L
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • 4-way stretch twill shell fabric
  • AX suede rPET synthetic suede palms
  • 3 mm foam pads at the palm help damp vibrations
  • Rubber knuckle guards

BEST OVERALL MOUNTAIN BIKE GLOVE

These all-around full-finger gloves are as durable as they are grippy and designed to go the distance.

These high quality gloves feature a silicon grip paired with moisture-wicking technology. The Cross X are outfitted with synthetic suede palms, rubber knuckle guards, and hook and loop closure cuffs. The gloves are touch-screen compatible, making it easy to operate small personal devices while you’re wearing them.

What I like most about the Cross-X glove is the odor control treatment — Polygiene — that is applied to the fabric and keeps you smelling fresh when you’re riding hard.

Giro Trixter

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: Riders on a budget
  • Material: Spandex
  • Padding: None
  • Season: Summer, Spring
  • Size: XS - XXL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Lycra cuff and light stretch mesh upper
  • One-piece, pre-curved microfiber palm
  • Strategically placed AX Bolt fabric featuring InstaChill technology cools your skin when it becomes moist

BEST BUDGET MTB GLOVE

When you need high performance biking gloves and you don’t have a ton to spend, consider the $20 Trixters — you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Giro designed the Trixters as a basic glove that’s both convenient and comfortable. It’s strapless with a lycra cuff that helps secure the glove over the wrist. The synthetic AX Bolt fabric allows for a full range of motion and won’t feel like its obstructing your finger movement.

What I like most about the Trixter is how breathable they are, making them suitable for warm weather rides.

Fox Racing Ranger

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: Downhill
  • Material: Nylon
  • Padding: Gel
  • Season: Summer, Spring, Autumn
  • Size: S - XXL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Compression molded cuff with hook and loop closure
  • Absorbent micro-suede thumb
  • TruGel® strategically placed gel palm protection

BEST DOWNHILL-SPECIFIC GLOVE

This is a basic mountain glove that offers the best combination of padded and lightweight, breathable protection.

Fox designed the Racing Ranger from a lightweight fabric that provides for plenty of stretchiness and breathability. The fingertips are covered with a silicon grip finish that ensures your fingers have plenty of purchase on the brake levers — much more grip than sweaty, bare hands allows for.

What I like most about the Fox Racing Ranger is that the fingertips are touchscreen compatible.

Sealskinz Waterproof All-Weather

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: All Riding
  • Material: Polyester, Nylon, Spandex
  • Padding: Foam
  • Season: Winter
  • Size: S - XL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • 3 Layer Waterproof Construction
  • Foam Padding On Palm For Comfort
  • Knuckle Protection

BEST FOR: WINTER MOUNTAIN BIKING

These gloves provide an excellent balance between warmth and breathability so your hands stay comfortable out on the trails. Designed with a 3 layer waterproof construction including a special waterproof removable insert, your hands will stay dry even if it's raining cats and dogs or you’re in the midst of a blizzard.

Chunky winter gloves can be known to cause loss of feeling between the hands and handlebars. However, Sealskinz have eliminated this through the use of a sewn-in liner that doesn’t move, silicone grippers on the thumb and index finger to increase control, and pre-shaped finger panels for a better fit when holding handlebars. This is a really solid winter glove option if you ride all year round.

Pearl iZUMi Elite Gel

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: All Riding
  • Material: Polyester, Elastane, Polyamide
  • Padding: Gel
  • Season: All
  • Size: S - L
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Ax Suede Uno synthetic leather palms with 4-way stretch
  • 3D-shaped gel pads
  • Reflective elements provide low-light visibility

BEST WOMEN’S-SPECIFIC OPTION

If you have a hard time fitting unisex gloves or you just prefer the snugger women’s specific fit, consider the Elites.

Pearl iZUMi designed the Elite Gels to provide for full-finger protection and a bit of extra grip — in a minimalist package. The synthetic leather stretches four ways, allowing for plenty of movability, breathability, and sensitivity. As per its namesake, these gloves sport 3D shaped gel pads that make for a comfortable, secure grip on the handlebars.

What I like most about the Elite Gel gloves is the reflective elements included in the design to provide for low light visibility.

Fox Ranger Gel

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: Trail Riding
  • Material: Nylon, Spandex
  • Padding: Gel
  • Season: Summer, Spring, Autumn
  • Size: M - XL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Velcro Closure At Cuff
  • Gel Palm For Added Comfort
  • Micro Suede Thumb To Wipe Away Sweat

BEST FOR: LONG BUMPY RIDES

If sore hands are a problem for you when mountain biking, it’s worth checking out the Fox Ranger Gel Gloves. These gloves feature strategically placed gel panels on the palm to reduce impact on the hands when riding on rough terrain or for long periods of time. Touch screen compatible thread is woven into the fingers so you can check your phone or GPS without having to remove your gloves. These also feature a velcro closure which allows you to perfectly tighten the cuff to your liking.

Giro Strada Dure Supergel LF

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: Gravel Riding
  • Material: Techno Gel, Rebound Foam, ASX Suede
  • Padding: Gel
  • Season: Summer, Spring, Autumn
  • Size: M - XL
  • Touch Screen Capability: No
Features
  • 3 Panel Design For Optimal Comfort
  • Gel Palm For A Plush Ride Feel
  • Durable Suede Palm

BEST FOR: GRAVEL RIDES

Got a long gravel adventure in mind? Then the Giro Strada Dura Gloves are a good choice for you! Featuring super soft, yet durable suede palms and strategically placed dual layer gel padding, your hands will feel like they are holding fluffy pillows.

Made with high quality materials including breathable and 4-way stretch mesh, alongside a molded cuff with velcro tab closure, these are a really high quality glove. Compared to other padded gloves, the Giro Stradas were designed to eliminate any bulky or excess materials, leaving you with a glove that is super comfortable and lightweight.

Dakine Sentinel

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: Gravity And Enduro Riding
  • Material: Silicone, Nylon, ASX Suede
  • Padding: DK Shock Absorbing Palm
  • Season: Summer, Spring, Autumn
  • Size: S - XL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Rubber Printed Outer For Hand Protection
  • Velcro Closure For Secure Fit
  • Air Mesh Shell To Wick Moisture

BEST FOR: ENDURO RIDING

If you like to ride hard and fast downhill, you need a glove that can stand up to the task. Made from durable yet lightweight and breathable materials, these Dakine Sentinel Gloves are the perfect partner for heavy duty riding.

These gloves feature Dakine impact protection on the knuckles to reduce damage if your hand skims a tree and on the palm to reduce hand fatigue on rough terrain. The synthetic suede palm adds extra comfort and grip when riding. Pair that with a silicone print on the index and thumb for touch screen compatibility, and you’ll see that these gloves have everything you need to get out there and shred.

Castelli Tempesta 2

Specs
  • Type: Full Finger
  • Best For: All Riding
  • Material: Polyester, Nylon, Spandex, Microsuede
  • Padding: Foam
  • Season: Winter
  • Size: M - XL
  • Touch Screen Capability: Yes
Features
  • Fleece Liner For Warmth
  • Waterproof Construction
  • High Stretch Cuff For Ease Of Putting On

BEST FOR: COLD WEATHER

When less bulk and more warmth is required, the Castelli Tempesta 2 Gloves come to the rescue. This is a streamlined and sleek glove with a waterproof internal membrane and fleece liner to keep your hands dry and warm even in the coldest or wettest conditions.

The palm has an all over silicone grip pattern for maximum control on the handlebars and brake levers. A large reflective panel on the back provides extra visibility when riding in low-light conditions and the index finger and thumb feature a touch screen insert so you can check your phone and keep your hands warm at the same time.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING MOUNTAIN BIKING GLOVES

FIT AND FEEL

The best mountain biking gloves fit your hand like a second skin. They should feel firm, but not restrictive. The finger length should not feel like it is putting pressure on your fingertips or they will be uncomfortable when wearing them for long periods of time. Excess material can cause irritation and rubbing which may result in blisters.

 

PROTECTION

There are various thicknesses and protective components on mountain biking gloves. Some gloves are designed specifically for more rugged riding terrain and will feature gel in the palms to prevent hand fatigue on bumpy rides. Make sure to match the level of protection you’ll need with the type of riding you do most often. And you can learn more about MTB protection here.

 

MATERIALS

Most summer mountain biking gloves will feature perforated or mesh materials that allow for ventilation and have cooling properties to keep your hands cool. Many also feature sweat wicking material to pull sweat away from your skin.

Winter gloves will have added layers to keep your hands warm, so they will be made with a more substantial material, making them thicker gloves. Many mountain biking gloves feature breathable material which is important to keep your hands warm but also stop them from overheating and causing them to sweat in warm weather.

 

CONDITIONS

If you ride rough and gnarly terrain, it is worthwhile choosing a glove that features extra protection on the knuckles. If you are riding in cold weather, a winter glove is essential as there is nothing worse than frozen fingers. You can also lose movement and feeling in your fingers if they’re exposed to the cold for too long, which will cause you to lose some control in your braking and handling capability – something you want to avoid, especially when biking on the slippery slopes in winter!

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

GEL PAD

This is a special padding that is sewn into the palm of the glove in specific places to add extra comfort.

4-WAY MESH

A special material designed to allow ventilation and to wick sweat away. This will often be featured on the backside of a warm weather glove.

STRETCH CUFF

A flexible opening to the glove. Gloves with a stretch cuff employ stretchy material to make it easy to slide your hand in and out of the glove and ensure they stay firm on your wrist when riding.

VELCRO CLOSURE

A velcro tab that is used to secure the cuff of the glove.

MOISTURE WICKING

A material that is designed to pull sweat away from the skin, which helps you to stay cool.

 

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