Mountain bike gloves aren’t just a nice-to-have, they’re kind of a must-have.
The most obvious reason the wear gloves on the trails is that they protect your hands from serious carnage in the event of a crash. But mountain bike gloves also absorb vibration on bumpy trails, keep sweaty hands from slipping off the bars, defend against blisters, and shield the front of your hands from wayward branches.
MTB gloves are basically under-recognized, under-appreciated super-heros, right?
That said, some gloves are more Spiderman-y than others. We’ve tested gloves and surveyed women riders, to pick out the best women’s mountain bike gloves out there. These are gloves that fit well, provide comfort and protection, and are durable enough to last more than one season. Some are also pretty cute because let’s be honest, that’s important too.
At the end, you’ll also find a comparison chart and tips on how to pick.
100% Ridecamp Glove Women’s
Pros: The 100% Ridecamp is a women’s-specific glove that actually got the fit right. The fingers are neither too long, nor too short, and the fit isn’t too loose or too tight.
We also appreciate the heavy-duty fabric and solid construction. These aren’t gloves that are going to poop out half-way through the season.
Con: The only thing we don’t love about them is the somewhat bulky velcro wrist closure.
Price: $24.50 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:10 – More Info)
Giro Xena Gloves
These gloves are a favorite of at least half-a-dozen women we ride with. They are soft, comfortable, have plenty of padding, and look pretty. While they have quite a bit of heft (aka protection), the mesh panels still keep things breathable.
Con: The stitching does leave a little to be desired, and we’ve found that they start pulling apart sooner than we would like.
Price: $34.95 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:10 – More Info)
Fox Racing Ranger Glove Women’s
My husband wears the Ranger glove, my son wears the Ranger glove, and I wear the Ranger glove. This classic and favorite mountain bike glove, comes in a version for everyone in the family.
The Ranger gloves are simple, but sometimes simple is best. They are sleek and don’t have added bulk or padding. The wrist closure is simple and the velcro stays put.
Con: We have found that the silicone finger grips start peeling off almost right away — but this is true of most gloves with silicone grippers.
Price: $25.95 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:10 – More Info)
Giro Tessa Gel LF Women’s
Despite the minimalistic design of the Giro Tessa LF, I’ve been wearing these for over a year now and they’ve held up well. The upper part of the hand is mesh which is great for warm weather, but less than ideal for chilly spring or autumn days. The palms have gel padding that is thin but manages to do a good job of absorbing trail virbration.
Con: They run super small so make sure to order up, or pick a larger glove if you have large hands.
Read Our Review: Giro Tessa Gel LF
Price: (Last updated: – More Info)
Dakine Cross-X Glove Women’s
The Dakine Cross-X Women’s is a smaller version of the popular men’s Cross-x glove. It’s a perfect glove for trail riding, offering plenty of protection on the knuckles without any added bulk. The palm has minimal padding which makes it a top pick for women that like being able to “feel the trail.”
These gloves fit true to size which is nice considering so many women’s gloves are TINY.
Con: We had several women complain that the stitching began to pop after a few washes.
Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:11 – More Info)
Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 Womens
A minimalistic glove, the Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 is best for hot-weather riding and for women who prefer to feel like they’re not even wearing a glove. The top of the glove is mesh and the palm has relatively thin padding. If you have hands that normally sweat while riding this might be the glove for you.
Con: They do run rather small, so order up a size unless you have baby hands.
Price: $18.00 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:11 – More Info)
Pearl Izumi Summit Gloves
If you live in an area with lots of vegetation and brush, you’ll like the ample top of the hand protection on the women’s Pearl Izumi Summit gloves. Lightweight neoprene adds a layer of armor over the knuckles without adding weight or bulk.
We also like the cute colors, and the hook-and-loop wrist closure.
Con: As we’ve noted on some of the other gloves, the silicone finger grippers do end up peeling off pretty much immediately…..
Price: $32.62 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:11 – More Info)
These are some of the most comfortable gloves I’ve ever had. In fact, you might not feel like you’re wearing a glove at all. The palms are also super grippy and do a great job of providing traction on the bars.
Con: While I love the way they feel, the trade-off is the super thin construction does wear pretty quickly. I began to end up with some holes in the top mesh within 6 months or so. Not ideal.
They also run really small, so order up a size.
Price: $18.32 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 13:11 – More Info)
Giro Womens LA DND Gloves
The women’s Giro LA DND gloves are simple, cute, and affordable. We love that they slip on and don’t require a velcro wrist strap. The fit is good and the fabric is comfortable.
Con: The only thing we don’t love about these gloves is the poor touch-screen compatibility. If you plan on pulling up your Trailforks app a bunch, you might want to look for a different glove.
Read Our Review: Giro LA DND
Price: $24.95 (Last updated: 2020-09-18 at 08:30 – More Info)
Comparison Chart: Ladies MTB Gloves
So which glove is best? Use this comparison chart to help you decide. Sort by price, wrist closure, and materials.
|Bike Glove||Fabric||Wrist Closure|
|Giro Womens LA DND Gloves||Mesh; palm: AX suede; fingertip print: silicone||Slip-on|
|Giro Tessa Gel LF Womens||Upper hand: polyester/polyester mesh; palm: synthetic leather||Velcro|
|Troy Lee Designs Ace 2.0 Womens||palm; synthetic leather, back hand; mesh, finger tip print; Silicone||Slip-on|
|Dakine Cross-X Glove Womens||palm; AX suede, back hand; mesh, finger tip print; Silicone||Velcro|
|100% Ridecamp Glove Women's||palm; Clarino synthetic leather, fingers; Trek-Dry silicone, back hand; polymesh||Slip-on|
|Fox Racing Ranger Glove Women's||nylon; spandex; finger tip print; Silicone||Velcro|
|Giro Xena Gloves||palm; AX Suede, Cool Skin, upper hand; mesh, Cool Skin||Hook-and-loop|
|Pearl Izumi Summit Gloves||palm; synthetic leather; back of hand; neoprene, finger tip print; Silicone||Hook-and-loop|
|Dakine Covert||palm; AX suede, back hand; polyester/neoprene||Slip-on|
Things to Think About When Buying a Mountain Bike Glove
For some weird reason, it’s hard to find women’s mountain bike gloves that have a good fit. For most women, men’s gloves are way too big, but women’s-specific gloves can feel like they were made for little kids. C’mon bike industry!
That said, we’ve tried to make notes above of which gloves run really small, so you can always order a size up or look for a different glove.
If you have really big hands or really long fingers, you might also want to try looking for a pair of men’s gloves.
Also note, that even if a glove intitially feels a little tight, they do usually stretch some with time. Bike gloves should fit tighter and have less loose material than a pair of work gloves for instance.
The best kind of wrist closure is largely a matter of personal preference. Do you like a snug secure fit, or do you like being able to take your gloves on and off in a hurry? For me personally, I prefer a slip-on/slip-off glove without a velcro or hook-and-loop closure so I can take pictures with my phone / check my Trailforks app, and dig in my bag for snacks for my 6-year-old.
Breathability and Durability
Thinner, lighter gloves generally breathe better for hot weather and can feel less bulky and provide more trail feedback.
That said, they are less durable and will usually wear out sooner. They also provide less protection both in terms of armor on the front of the hands and padding on the palms.
Choose a pair of gloves that matches the climate you ride in, the amount of vegetation you ride through, and how much padding you like.
Also consider how long you want the gloves to last. Is it okay if you only get one season out of them?