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The top 6 best downhill MTB gloves

In this article you’re going to find a list of the best downhill MTB gloves.

Mountain biking is a dangerous sport, there’s no doubt about it. And the most risk is involved with going down the mountain, not up. When you do it helps if you have the perception that you at least are offered some protection in case of a crash, or when you whip lightning fast through tight trails with overhanging branches.

At the same time you want to receive feedback from the back and feel as much a part of the machine that’s hurtling you down the trail, as be in control of it.

That’s the reason that for this list of the best downhill MTB gloves, I’ve selected those gloves that offer both characteristics of control and protection.

All of the entries have protection across the knuckles. Some offer more on the upper part of your hand and finges. It’s where technologies like EVA foam, D30 knuckle protector, and impact gel play their part.

As for grip and bar feel, high-quality, durable, and breatheable materials like Cordura, AX Suede, and Clarino can be found.

No matter which gloves entices you the most, all of them will give you the edge on your next exhilarating run down the mountain.

100% Cognito Gloves

100% Cognito Gloves
100% Cognito Gloves

The 100% Cognito Gloves are lightweight MTB summer gloves with knuckle protectors.

Like a number of other gloves featuring added protection, these gloves us D30 material, which is a multi-density foam meant to harden with impact.

Furthermore the gloves have a Clarino synthetic leather palm with silicone on the index and ring finger.

The cuff is closed using a velcro strap. Naturally the gloves are touchscreen compatible.

A simple enough set of gloves in a number of attractive colors to protect you against a quick whip of a branch across the knuckles. Don’t expect them to save you from crashing into a rock though (no glove will).

Fox Defend D30 Gloves

Fox Defend D30 Gloves
Fox Defend D30 Gloves

The Fox Defend D30 Gloves is very similar to the 100% Cognito Gloves.

It features the same type of knuckly protection, made from the same D30 impact foam.

It’s design is just as understated with a glove coming either in black or steel-blue.

The slip-on cuff sits underneath a Cordura durable palm with zero seams except for an added panel in the lower palm.

A minimal summer MTB glove for those who want some protection above riding gloveless.

Leatt 4.0 Lite Gloves

Leatt 4.0 Lite Gloves
Leatt 4.0 Lite Gloves

The Leatt 4.0 Lite Gloves are gloves feature Airflex impact gel across a large top section of the gloves and the outer two fingers.

The grid-like structure is means to absorb and disperse the energy of a possible impact, lowering the risk of injury, which has earned them an official certification for protective equipment.

It won’t mean you can prevent a boxer fracture when slamming into something immovable. No glove can. ut it does mean that Leatt has taken the subject of protection serious, with these gloves as a result.

The rest of the glove is anything but bulky with a virtually seamless Nanogrip palm for excellent bar feel and grip. So these gloves are excellent for maintaining maximum control in combination with protection for downhill riding.

POC Essential DH Gloves

POC Essential DH Gloves
POC Essential DH Gloves

The POC Essential DH Gloves are pure-bred downhill mountain bike gloves with EVA foam impact protection covered by four-stretch lycra.

A seamless vented palm with virtually no cuff ensures maximum grip and dexterity because that’s what you’d want flying downhill.

Touchscreen compatibility and silicone strips on ring- and index finger come with the territory of being a summer cycling glove for mountain biking.

With only black to choose from and a hefty price tag for this functional glove, it means you prefer function above form for your downhill adventures.

POC Resistance Pro DH Gloves

POC Resistance Pro DH Gloves
POC Resistance Pro DH Gloves

The POC Resistance Pro DH Gloves are padded gloves for downhill mountain biking. Every mountain biker has had sudden crashes that come out of nowhere, leaving you wondering what just happened.

The EVA foam padding is sturdy enough on impact to protect your hands in these cases, but still offer flexibility so you don’t get the feeling you’re using a winter glove. The padding sits underneath a highly abbrasive-resistant ceramic fabric covering the knuckels and outer three fingers.

The thin seamless vented palm offers silicone padding to take out the sting of jarring downhill sections, or for longer trail rides, which provides a perfect combination of grip and comfort.

It’s not my favorite design-wise. But design-preference notwithstanding, the quality and comfort of the glove is undeniable.

Troy Lee Designs Gambit Gloves

Troy Lee Designs Gambit Gloves
Troy Lee Designs Gambit Gloves

Don’t be fooled by all the motocross pictures. The Troy Lee Designs Gambit Gloves are perfect fleece-lined soft-shell cold-weather gloves with D30 knuckle protection.

Though not designated water-resistant they can be perfectly used on chillier rides. I’m not the biggest fan of all the pieces of plastic on the fingers, but it seems both Fox And Troy Lee Designs have a penchant for these kind of things. And I guess they offer some extra protection, for what it’s worth.

The palm is made from Clarino with a touchscreen compatible area on the tip of the index finger.

There are very few cold-weather gloves with knuckly protection like this one, so if you fall within that particular niche, these gloves are your best bet in providing warmth and protection.

Specifications best downhill MTB gloves

NameSexTypeBackPalmPaddingInsulationSeasonBuy at Amazon
100% Cognito Glovesmenfull fingerD30 knuckle protectorClarinononenonesummerlink
Fox Defend D30 Glovesmenfull fingerCordura w. D30 knuckle protectorCorduranonenonewinterlink
Leatt 4.0 Lite Glovesmenfull fingerAirflex impact gel knuckle protectorNanoGripnonenonesummerlink
POC Essential DH Glovesunisexfull fingerLycra w. EVA foam knuckle protectornonenonesummerlink
POC Resistance Pro DH Glovesunisexfull fingerCeramic fabric w. VPD knuckle protectorsiliconenonesummerlink
Troy Lee Designs Gambit Glovesmenfull fingersoftshell w. D30 knuckle protectorClarinononefleecesummerlink