Breathability is a key feature when reviewing gloves for us at The Watercraft Journal. All the grip in the world can’t compensate for something that feels like a suffocating surgeon’s latex glove. Air circulation allows the skin to breathe, to dry and more importantly, keep from saturating and pruning. Pruny hands are quick to break the skin or develop blisters, and that is no good for anyone. In recent years, we’ve seen an influx of different materials and features used on riding gloves but most have missed the most important feature: breathability.
Slippery Wetsuits’ Circuit Glove has gone through several iterations over the years. And much to their chagrin, Slippery too has been guilty of following the same trends as others. In a prior review five years ago, we chided the Slippery Circuit Glove for its use of large, rubberized logos stitched to the back of the hand and over the knuckles. These, while giving the semblance of protection, made it impossible to wipe the sweat from your brow or drips from your nose without painfully scratching your face. Thankfully, wiser minds have prevailed in recent years, and Slippery has done away with the flair and focused on functionality.
The latest version of the Circuit Glove, which we ordered in Charcoal (although color options include Black/Lime, Black/Red, and all Black) do away with unnecessary rubberized pieces and step up the glove’s use of water-wicking materials, improved grip and again, improved breathability. Slippery employs an innovative Innospan backhand for increased flexibility and raised neoprene finger padding integrated into each digit for added protection. On the underside, Slippery uses a perforated palm printed with elevated anti-slip gel across it and the fingertips.
The neoprene wrist is cut long to meet at the joint, and is fastened with a TPR hook and loop closure. All of the edges are flat-stitch seamed for added comfort as well. And true to its claim, the new Circuit Glove is incredibly comfortable. There’s very little in the way of bulk or feeling insulated. The softer materials means wiping or touching one’s face is met with soft, gentle contact. The biggest complaint is needing to remove the glove anytime we wished to activate our smart phone. Those devices with more sensitive screens simply won’t register while wearing the glove.
While at speed, the Circuit Charcoal Glove – priced at $29.95 – dries quickly, but will tend to be a bit chilly during cooler days. Again, optimal breathability means air circulation. Heavier gloves are also far more insular, so keep that in mind. These are ideal for warm weather riding, and we do mean ideal. We’re grateful for Slippery’s design evolution to a simpler, more functional design; one that dries quickly, breathes freely and protects and grips all along the way. Small details and superior materials are always noticed and appreciated, and Slippery Wetsuits never fails to deliver.