Review: Troy Lee Designs Air Gloves
October 4th, 2011
By Olly Forster
Functional gear that performs as well as it looks is becoming pretty de rigueur these days with manufacturers raising the bar year after year on the standard of everyday riding kit. The Air glove from the house of Troy Lee Design has been a staple product in their line up for a few years now and introduced many new ideas to glove design including breathable fabric, a stripped back minimalistic style and of course, one of the first cuff-less, slip-on designs. The 2012 design has gone full circle with a more reinforced design and a traditional wrist enclosure, but have they altered a classic for better or worse…
Words: Olly Forster
Photos: Olly Forster and Robin Johnson
Troy Lee Designs know a thing or two about product aesthetics and there’s no denying these are some of the nicest looking gloves out there. But are they as functional as they are attractive? Pretty much and these are one of the comfiest gloves we’ve used this year and there right up there with the Fox Digit, a glove which has definitely taken some inspiration from previous TLD air gloves.
>Silicone Screen-Printed Graphics on Palm for added Traction and increased Hand Grip
>Light and Breathable Lycra Mesh Material on the back for a Cool and Comfortable Fit
>Vented Clarino Palm Panel for Comfort, Fit, and Durability
>Breathable Airprene Cuff
>3D Sonic Welded Rubber (TPR) Graphics which add Protection
>3D Modified Rubber (TPR) Wrist Closure for an Adjustable and Secure Fit
>Cool Air-Mesh Lycra to keep things nice and snug!
The screen printed palm is one of the better designs we’ve tried and after a recent wet spell, proved a valuable asset is keeping your hands, braking finger and shifting thumb in the right place. After a few rides in everything from dust, pouring rain and the subsequent summer mud, the Airs are still intact. We did have two pairs on review, so I will be honest and tell you the black ones (not pictured) have been through the washing machine quite a few more times than the pimp white ones – there almost too nice to wear!
It’s not easy to review products from TLD and not talk about aesthetics. Some riders don’t care about such things and as long as it’s comfy and does the job, well, it’s job done! Here at Factory Jackson, we like all three and there’s no two ways about it, these are great looking gloves.
Some people might find gloves pretty hard to get excited about, which is fair enough, but when you spend all day in gloves that are as good as these, it helps with enjoying what you’ve waited all week to do – ride your bike. The fit of these gloves is second to none. The palm doesn’t roll, the fabric is breathable and the glove is incredibly light. Is this a summer only glove? No, I don’t think so, but it’s certainly not a winter glove.
All in all these gloves tick all the boxes riding kit should tick: fit, function and form. Highly recommended with a reasonable retail of £30GBP. The model we reviewed was from the 2011 range with only minimal alterations to the palm silicone for 2012, these gloves are so good, TLD has taken the approach that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. For more on the Air glove and Troy Lee Designs, hit the logo below or go to Fisher Outdoor Leisure to track down a dealer near you