It’s been quite some time since I’ve ridden anything other than full-finger gloves while mountain biking. With tipovers and high-speed crashes always an option, or just the occasional necessary bushwack, full-finger gloves are an absolute necessity.
The only problem is heat. In the summertime when riding temps can hover around 100 degrees here in Utah, it’s never fun having on a pair of sweatbags for gloves. There are some options for summer-specific gloves with proper ventilation and lightweight materials. I’ve been riding the DaKine Ventilator gloves all summer long and I’ll give you the lowdown on the good and bad with these lightweight mountain bike gloves.
About the DaKine Ventilator Gloves
Made for warm-weather riding where ventilation is key, the DaKine Ventilators sport a lightweight mesh top combined with a Clarino® synthetic suede palm and fingers. Add on top of that a single Velcro strap, slight extra padding in the palm and grippy rubber on the first two fingers, the Ventilators are fairly minimal gloves.
More details on the DaKine Ventilator gloves:
- Performance-fit articulated fingers
- Breathable mesh uppers
- Clarino synthetic suede palms
- Silicone gripper fingertips for braking
- Extra palm padding
- Terry cloth thumb panels
- MSRP: $35
DaKine Ventilator Gloves Review
After flogging these all summer, they continue to be my “go-to” gloves when it’s hot outside–which, right now is all the time. I really like how well they breathe on the trail. The mesh tops are awesome at forcing airflow through the hands to eliminate sweaty fingers.
The single Velcro strap is an improvement over the previous design, which had two straps–one on each side. The thin synthetic suede palms deliver top-shelf grip feel. Once broken-in, the Ventilators really become a part of you.
A downside of the thin palms is the lack of padding overall. On long rides, my palms start to feel the hurt as the trail takes its toll on my hands instead of the gloves. The thinly-padded Ventilators to start to show their weaknesses on epic rides or when they do get sweaty and a little loose.
These gloves have held up nicely–even after a couple of high-speed diggers. The Velcro continues to grip and the gloves keep coming back for more. Just a little wear on the rubber fingertips is all that shows for the hundreds of miles I’ve logged with them.
- Lightweight and breathable
- Excellent feel
- Grippy fingers for braking
- Despite lightweight construction, these are durable
- Not the best for long rides
- When they do get wet, they are a bit sloppy
The Bottom Line: DaKine Ventilator Gloves
If you are looking for a lightweight and breathable pair of mountain bike gloves, the Ventilators will definitely do the trick. Their fit is perfect and they are comfortable short to medium-distance dry weather rides.