Admittedly, our personal preferences towards gloves have matured over the years. A decade ago, our gloves of choice were typically of a racier fare, featuring clunky rubberized molding over the knuckles and a great deal of design complexity that made them both thick and bulky; which if ever you tried to rub your nose or the sweat from your brow, would know how painful the act can be.
For the everyday personal watercraft enthusiast who isn’t interested in looking like a battle-ready Batman, the needs for a comfortable riding glove to satisfy are primarily simple: to provide continued grip, protect the skin from undue rubbing and guard it from the elements. That’s pretty much it.
So while the flashy red-and-silver camouflage pattern of the new Slippery Wetsuits’ Flex Lite glove may be a little “much” for some, the superior fit and clean pattern makes it all worth it. At first blush, we weren’t convinced that the Flex Lites would have “what it takes” to meet our needs. The thin 4-way stretch mesh material appeared too thin, and the anti-slip gel print on palm and fingertips was sure to peel.
Well, that’s what we thought, anyways. Rather, the screened-on anti-slip material on the fingers have held up surprisingly well over the summer. The “barely-there” lining of the perforated palm gives the gloves the second skin-like feel, breathes easily and dries near instantaneously. And while being incredibly light, the gloves’ reinforced thumb overlay provides added protection from rub-induced blisters.
Our final and biggest critique of all riding gloves is found in the wrist feel and closure. We’ve got half a dozen sets of gloves that no longer strap tight, as the Velcro has loosened or the straps snapped. Not so with the Flex Lites’ hook-and-loop wrist closure. The strap is part of the pattern and has as much likelihood of tearing off as one of the fingers (ie. it’s very unlikely).
Super flexible with class-leading breathability, Slippery Wetsuits’ Flex Lite gloves are a great warm-weather glove (don’t expect much in keeping your hands warm in colder temperatures). Priced at $21.95, they’re a solid purchase for the rider looking for a little added protection from the elements without feeling like they’re bundling up for the Iditarod.