The GORE TRAILKPR gloves are lightweight summer-orientated gloves designed to offer tactility combined with tear and abrasion resistance. In practice, they’re super comfortable while providing an excellent bar feel. They’re just not as tear-resistant as promised, and they’re edging towards the pricy side.
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GORE says that trail gloves should offer a few key things: grip and a positive bar feel while providing resistance against abrasion. The brand also reckons that gloves should, of course, be comfortable.
To hit those points, the TRAILKPR gloves employ a Cordura fabric and a completely seamless, reinforced palm made of an 80/20% mix of polyester and polyurethane. The cuff is made using a flat feel elastic, and there's a touchscreen sensitive material on the thumb and pointer finger. GORE claims the pair of gloves to weigh 29g, and to be fair, that's not far off as I've weighed them at 30g. That's with a strip of terry cloth along with each thumb, too, something I appreciate from any glove.
At the end of the day, the glove's build is pretty simple, but that simplicity lends itself well as it's an impressively comfortable glove. The TRAILKPR fit really nicely with each finger filling the glove with no tight spots or noticeable seams running along odd parts of the hand. If anything, these gloves deserve heaps of praise for comfort alone.
The glove's very lightweight build has a knock-on impact on the bar feel, and to be honest, it's brilliant. The palms are super thin, so it's almost as if you're not wearing gloves, but you're reaping all of their benefits.
However, I found that GORE’s efforts to create a tear-resistant glove were rather in vain. During my first descent rocking the gloves, I managed to clip a tree that put a 10mm tear into the side of the palm. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going particularly quick either, and while I was left with a slightly achy knuckle, I don’t believe the impact was heavy enough to warrant a torn glove. I mean, I’ve done far worse with gloves left firmly intact. GORE has been quick to replace them and I'm told that every consumer will be treated exactly the same in such instances.
Though, even with the tear in the side, the TRAILKPR is a glove I’ve found myself consistently reaching for, not only for the lightweight and lovely comfort but also because the touchscreen sensitive fingertips actually work. In fact, I’ve not tested a glove that’s worked so well with a phone’s touchscreen. Being one who regularly whips out my phone to take snaps during rides, it’s refreshing and massively convenient not to have to pull off a glove before unlocking the phone’s screen.
With a price tag of £40, these gloves sit at the higher end of the price range, and if it wasn't for the claim and lacking tear resistance, I would say that they were worth every penny for their comfort and lightweight. There are gloves such as the Dakine Thrillium that are similarly comfy but are £5 cheaper.
Then, if you don't mind a slightly warmer glove with some interesting knuckle protection, the Bluegrass Prizma 3D gloves are also mighty comfortable at a price of £37. Though a pair of gloves that really give GORE's offering a run for their money is ION's Logo gloves. They're just as simple but a little thicker and not quite as luxuriously comfortable. However, they're half the price.
I want to give the GORE TRAILKPRs a higher score because the comfort and bar feel they offer are massively admirable. It's just a huge shame that they don't live up to their durable claims. If you're not as prone to tree punches and have a bit of cash to spend on a lightweight glove, you won't be disappointed by the TRAILKPRs.