By Ben Gerrish
Synonymous with waterproof products within the mountain bike world, the Dragon Eye Trail Glove (note that there is also a very (very very) similar looking ‘Dragon Eye MTB Glove’, which retails at £45 and is sold as a waterproof and windproof glove – Ed) from SealSkinz bucks the trend: it’s a lightweight summer glove with enough dexterity and flexibility for any kind of riding.
Over the years I have tried many different brands and models of glove, with varying success. It doesn’t seem to be as simple as any one feature or material making them right – I’m just pretty fussy. Nevertheless, I was curious to try something new from a brand I have had very few dealings with in the past.
Out of the bag, the back of the glove looked quite busy with features and materials at the classic stress and articulation points, while the palm looked pleasingly simple in a thin synthetic suede with a single piece for the entirety of the fingers. This simplicity is only disrupted by subtle detailing on the index and middle finger, and some stitching at the edges of the palm (more on that later). Once I had given them the once over (and decided I was a big fan of the contrasting bright green on black), I slipped them on, with the help of the rubber pull tab. The initial car park test was very positive, and on the trail it quickly became evident that many of what I had thought to be unnecessarily busy fabrics on the back panel had their uses when it came to fit.
The gloves have ‘pre-curved fingers’. I didn’t notice this from new, so it’s relatively subtle. But, combined with a laminated stretch material on the back and an articulated knuckle, it makes for a glove that feels secure without being restrictive. The thin and simple synthetic suede combined with the extended thumb crotch (yes, you read that right) is a great design and seems to eliminate one of my glove pet hates: bunching at the top of the palm. The palm also includes a silicon print on the middle fingers and thumb for increased grip. Conductive stitching on the index finger and thumb also means no more answering your phone with your nose mid-ride.
These aren’t the cheapest gloves on the market, especially as – unlike most SealSkinz products – they are a summer glove, and so are not water or windproof. Even so, I think you do get what you pay for with these. I’ve been wearing them for a month now and they have only got more comfortable and show no signs of wear after plenty of rides and a few washes. The main features are standing up to the test too; the conductive finger tips, comfortable palm and even the silicone tips have stayed on.
Overall: As I said, I’m fussy when it comes to gloves, but I’ve finished the review and they’re still standing, and I’m still wearing them. The back detailing took some getting used to, and these probably aren’t the ones if you’re into light weight minimalist style gloves, but they’re a great fit and they tick all the boxes for a go-to summer glove. Plus I’m totally sold on the extended thumb crotch.
|Product:||Dragon Eye Trail Glove|
|Tested:||by Ben Gerrish for 1 month|