Our last few riding gear reviews have been a little too confined to a hardcore riders and PWC racers, so it’s actually kinda nice to write about something a tad more mainstream. The weather has been a tad on the schizophrenic side of things (Hello! Snow in Southern California and Lake Havasu?), so our usual hours on the lake have been dramatically reduced in recent weeks. Nevertheless, we’ve been pretty lucky to have had our hands on (and in) this pair of JetPilot Phantom Gloves for the better part of a year, providing us ample time to break ’em in and see what breaks.
For gloves, we’re looking for two major attributes: ventilation/drainage and traction/grip. Obviously, fitment is a major factor, so much so that it’s sort of a given, but if the gloves fail either of the aforementioned characteristics, we’re not going to be too kind in the ranking department. In less time than what we’ve had with these blue-and-black Phantoms, we’ve had other brands’ gloves pull apart, seams split, straps break, discolor, fade and otherwise rot to pieces; and we’re very happy to announce that we encountered no such catastrophic failures.
But exceptional build quality and materials are par for the course for JetPilot. Gloves see much more wear due to motion than one might consider, and require certain reinforcements. Thankfully, JetPilot saw to this by keeping stitching to a minimum by using a sublimated ultra-lite one piece upper and one-piece Clarino palm panels. The thumb has been reinforced as well. Grip is enhanced with “super-tacky” palm and fingers silicon print, and unlike the silly “puffy paint” used by some manufacturers, has failed to peel off despite some pretty abusive use.
Aesthetically, the Phantom is attractive with custom Jetpilot graphics and an embossed Airprene cuff and a custom Jetpilot wrist closure strap. We’re not sure if JetPilot’s sizing for XL includes persons with some seriously fat wrists or ours are unnaturally dainty, but we found the wrist strap to be weirdly too long. Whether this is intentional or merely a miscalculation in production, it was our only real complaint.
The gloves quickly dry when laid out or hanging up in a well ventilated area better than other brands as well. We attribute this to the breathable material JetPilot uses. Again, the long wrist strap started to curl into a pig’s tail after our first couple of months.
The Phantoms are more of a warm weather glove and won’t protect your hands from the cold water or wind that often stings (particularly at speed). The JetPilot gloves fit snugly and don’t slip and slide around while riding, which is the primary cause of blisters. Available in either red, blue or white, the Phantom Gloves are also some of JetPilot’s more affordable gloves, priced at $24.99 a pair. Gloves are often one of those consumable items you pick up while visiting your dealer’s Parts Department, toss in your ski’s glove box and forget about until you head out on the water again. In this case, we suggest seeking out the JetPilot Phantoms. They’ll last longer and remain comfortable for years to come.