Employee Reviews: 2021 MTB Glove Guide

No Matter the Terrain, We’ve Got Just the Right MTB Tire for You.

There exist an absolute myriad of options when it comes to choosing the perfect MTB glove that combines the ideal amount of protection, breathability, comfort and grip can be challenging. We wanted to make this task just a bit easier for you, so we decided to enlist the help of several of our employees who all have different riding styles, favorite trails/terrain, and variety of "wants" from their preferred gloves. Keep reading to see what gloves each employe selected, why they chose those gloves, and how they performed out on the trails.

USWE AIRBORNE 3 HYDRATION PACK

I have been looking for a race ready pack that has very minimal bounce without hampering comfort and this is it.

Pros: This pack caught my attention after reading an advertisement which featured their “No dancing monkey” technology which they claim is “100% bounce free”. After several rides, I can confirm this claim is very true! I have been looking for a race ready pack that has very minimal bounce without hampering comfort and this is it. This pack design could also work very well for hikers and joggers. This small pack rides high on your back allowing you to access your lower back jersey pockets if needed. The 2 liter hydration bladder is leak free with a slide-seal top making it very easy to work with and does come with a secure fit strap inside. This pack is equipped with 2 enclosed storage options for any needed gear: One zipped pocket inside the hydration compartment the size of a hand, perfect for nutrition, keys, phone etc. and the other is a small, 4 latch removable storage pocket on the outside lower front that can hold a decent amount like nutrition, phone, multi tool, keys, light vest/jacket and even a spare tube etc. This pack also has 2 outside bungee straps for your clothing layers or light weight protective pads.

Cons: The material is very thin making the bladder exposed to the heat on a very hot day. After a couple of rides in the 90-100 degree weather, I had to make an insulated pocket for the bladder which has helped a lot. Also, this model is not ideal for your long day/epic type rides because of the minimal hydration and storage capacity. I would recommend the 100 oz./3L models like the 9 or 15 models for the longer epic rides.

Art E. // Jenson Employee

SHOP: USWE AIRBORNE 3 HYDRATION PACK | All USWE PACKS

Pros: 

  • Snug fit but comfortable & not too restricting 
  • Phone screen compatibility 
  • No hot spots or bunching 
  • Great breathability 
  • Padded knuckle Protection 
  • Microfiber Sweat wipe on thumb panel

CONS

  • No need for the Velcro wrist straps because of the already existing snug fit

Dakine | Drafter 14L

Hydration Packs make the best commuter bags
While looking for an commuter pack years back, I discovered most commuter specific bags look good while commuting, but are awful to actually ride in. They offer features great for short 1-2 mile spins to the office, but lack features need to commute 8-10 miles or more and tend to be far too big to accommodate my type of commuting. Hydration packs on the other hand, are purpose built for the long haul and designed keep all that weight close to the body and this Dakine Drafter is no exception. I got this bag to replace my Northface Gunnison pack that was my go to commuter for years, but what seems to happen with with all great things.. they discontinued it. The Drafter is 14 litter in size, which is the magic number for me, I can carry my coffee, a change of clothes a smaller 13" laptop and all the tools I may need to survive my daily commute. The one trick I've learned is to actually pull that hydration bladder out of the pack and use that space for daily needs while carrying my water on the bike, and then stow the bladder away and pull it out if I'm heading out for a big day in the saddle.

SHOP: DAKINE DRAFTER 14L | DAKINE MTB GEAR

PROS

  • Perfect size for commuting

  • Sits low and tight to the body

  • Hydration bladder when in bag is at the bottom of the pack

  • The bag is suspended which helps with airflow on your back

CONS

  • The hip strap/belt is not removable - It's a nice feature to have while riding rough trails but not needed for road commuting.

  • The frame is well a frame - it keeps the shape of the pack and suspended back panel working, but I do worry about crashing on it. 

Dakine | Syncline 16L Pack | 16L

It Was Time For An Upgrade
When you own multiple hydration packs it is hard to justify purchasing another one, but here I am. After about ten years of using the same two packs I finally decided to see what improvements are out there, and I am glad I chose the Dakine Syncline 16L. Having the bladder located in the lumbar portion of the pack allows you to carry a good amount of water as well as other often essential items for longer rides such as a warm jacket, tools, a sandwich, and snacks. While my other packs can carry all of these things, they didn’t do it well. Sandwiches would get smushed, and jackets would be crammed in so tightly it would cause the bags to practically burst at the seams. It’s much easier to organize ones stuff with these pockets and layout, and it bounces around a lot less which is a major advantage.

Another feature I really like is the padded ventilation built into the back panel- keeps me cooler than my other packs, which is a welcomed feature here in Southern California. I did not even know this thing had a whistle until I reread the description, so that’s pretty neat.

I haven’t really used the pack enough to speak to its durability. For rides more than three hours I bring water on my bike along with this pack. When I’m pretty far out in the high desert I rather have more than less water just in case.

At 5’2 this pack isn’t too long on me and fits my waist well. If you are on the fence about upgrading your old packs, don’t be. There has been some serious R&D in the last few years that make our old packs the equivalent of rotary phones

SHOP:

NOBBY NIC ADDIX | SCHWALBE MTB TIRES

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Awesome!
Solid tire that performs like it should with great traction and awesome durability!

-Brandon M, Montana

PROS

  • Very fast rolling for a big tire 
  • Lightest tire in its category 
  • Good cornering to its limit 
  • Predictable braking and corner drift 
  • New Addix compound majorly improved the lifespan

CONS

  • Not the most robust sidewalls 
  • Expensive 
  • Certain sealants didn’t play nice with their sidewall

Dakine | Syncline 12L Pack

Great Pack, Great Size, Clever Design
I’ve never been much of a hydration pack kind of guy, but I’ve been really impressed with this pack. From the magnetic hose clamp, divided lower bladder compartment, and easy to remove bladder, every part of this pack works well together. The overall size of the pack is great for long days on the bike, plenty of room and plenty of water. Might be a bit overkill for short rides, but most people don’t wear a pack for those anyway. The chest strap and hip strap work well to keep the pack secured to your body while riding and the hydration hose never gets in the way when you aren’t using it. The flat black color looks amazing and the mesh and perforated back panel and straps keep it cool. The overall craftmanship of the pack is excellent, all zippers still work and are holding strong.

Pros:
Magnetic hose attachment makes for quick and easy use.
Lower bladder divider allows for easy use/access of upper compartment.
Easily remove bladder with bottom zipper. Refill and re-install in seconds.
Protected soft top pocket perfect for storing sunglasses.
Front pocket easy to access with long side zippers and Velcro top flap.

Cons:
Strap orientation sometimes cuts into my armpits a little bit.

SHOP:

VIGILANTE TCS TRITEC | WTB MTB TIRES

CUSTOMER REVIEW

2.6 is Massive
I like the new light version. It feels like the exo maxxis or specialized grid, which means I can confidently use this for park duties (front). Tons of grip because of the tall knobs, probably perfect for the end of season trail when all are washed out super dusty or sandy trails.*

-Im not DH, Tahoe, CA

*this is an excerpt from a longer review

PROS

  • Good mud shedding 
  • Excellent cornering 
  • New Tritec compound improved rolling resistance and ride rebound 
  • Improved cornering confidence 
  • Competitive weight

CONS

  • Not the fastest rolling 
  • A bit on the pricey side

Fox Apparel | Utility Hydration Pack

Spacious, Comfortable, Well-built... What's Not to Like?
With temperatures rising as we embark deeper into summer, hydration packs are a must when heading out for long or mid-day rides. The hydration pack that I use for rides like these is the large version of the Fox Utility Hydration Pack. I try to stick to water bottles, but if I’m going on a long ride or a full-blown epic, a hydration pack is the safest and most logical way to carry personal items, supplies, fluids and food.

The main compartment of the large Fox Utility Hydration pack has tons of room; I utilize this space for things like tubes, shock and mini air pumps, food, a light jacket/windbreaker, my wallet and cell phone (there is a cloth zip-up compartment that is perfect for your cell phone, keys and wallet inside). The hydration bladder has its own separate compartment, so this keeps your belongings in the main compartment safe from being exposed to moisture, but also helps keeps your belongings cool if you fill the bladder with ice water. The pack also has two stretch pockets on either side for carrying a couple of water bottles, in case you want to bring supplemental fluids for those long rides when water isn’t enough and you don’t want to bonk out.

As far as comfort goes, there are chest and waist straps that help keep the pack in place and secure to your body when riding. The waist straps also have small pockets that are the perfect size to hold a multitool or small snacks for easy access when out on the trail. The outside of the hydration bladder pocket has a nice, ribbed material that provides a ton of comfort for your back, especially if you have the pack filled to the brim. The two shoulder straps are soft and comfortable, with nice padding and vented material to help keep you cool during your ride.

With tons of room for storage, a comfortable fit, and solid materials used to ensure the pack is long-lasting and durable, this pack is worth every single penny. I have no real complaints about my pack and would recommend it to anyone considering going the hydration pack route. This pack is the perfect size for everything that I carry along for my long rides and I don’t find myself feeling like I need to reorganize and cram just to head out onto the trail with everything that II might need on a long ride. If you’re interested in picking on out, I highly recommend you check it out!

Pros: Tons of storage space, durable materials and extremely comfortable fit.

Cons: Although this is nitpicking, for as much room as there is with this large pack, I feel like there could have been better pocket placement for storage instead of the slightly confusing pocket arrangement it currently has.

SHOP:

E.13 TRS RACE | E.13 MTB TIRES

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Outstanding Front Tire
I use these as a front tire (TRS+ in the rear) and they are the grippiest front tire for wet rocks and roots I’ve ever used. For riding the Shore, Squamish and Whistler I won’t use anything else. The new casings also let me run a bit lower PSI. Highly recommend!

-Ken J., Whistler, Canada

PROS

  • Casing is superbly supple while supportive 
  • Traction, traction, traction 
  • Heaps of protection 
  • Best-in-class rebound characteristics 
  • Very predictable in cornering and braking 
  • Minimalist graphics that align with e.13 graphics

CONS

  • Limited to 2.35” width 
  • Not the best rolling 
  • On the heavy side

Camelbak | Mini M.U.L.E. Pack

A Solid Option for Young Groms with One Minor Flaw
I tend to be minimalist when it comes to hydration setups, preferring a simple water bottle mount unless rides get really long or hot, and I carry my tools, pump, and spare tube on my frame instead of on my back. My primary use for a pack has been carrying all the snacks, water and spare 20” tubes for my 6-year-old when we go on family trail rides, but he is now enrolled in a mountain bike camp and must carry his own gear. That led us to using one of my smallest Dakine packs for his setup. This worked pretty well, but we decided to try a pack that was specifically designed for kids, the Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E.

The size of the Camelbak was definitely more ideal for his small frame, and the 3 pockets worked well for stashing away a spare tube, several snacks, an insurance card, and our contact info. The bladder from Camelbak is one of my favorites and is always easy to fill and clean, plus it has a hook that keeps it nicely oriented inside the bag. My only gripe with this bag is that there isn’t a waist strap to keep the pack from bouncing on rowdier trails. While this may not be an issue for many kids, more and more groms are starting to ride earlier and charging harder, so this seems like a simple feature to add. Overall, he’s really liked riding with this pack and he loves the graphics, plus it means a few less things for his dad to have to carry.

Pros:
- Good bag size for small riders
- Well designed pockets that carry just enough
- Bladder is easy to fill and clean, and stays in place in the bag
- Kiddo loves the graphics
- Chest strap has a whistle just in case

Cons:
- No waist strap to keep it from bouncing on rougher trails
- No hose clip to keep it snugly in place

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Employee Reviews: 2021 MTB Glove Guide

No Matter the Terrain, We’ve Got Just the Right MTB Tire for You.

There exist an absolute myriad of options when it comes to choosing the perfect MTB glove that combines the ideal amount of protection, breathability, comfort and grip can be challenging. We wanted to make this task just a bit easier for you, so we decided to enlist the help of several of our employees who all have different riding styles, favorite trails/terrain, and variety of "wants" from their preferred gloves. Keep reading to see what gloves each employe selected, why they chose those gloves, and how they performed out on the trails.