When asked to review the Helstons Leather Tank gloves I wasn’t sure on the styling, but in the name of testing I decided to try them out – and I’m glad I did.
The gloves are made from supple leather and the comfort is immediate, needing absolutely no breaking in at all.
The leather is thicker than I was expecting, reassuringly so, and they feel like a proper protective item of clothing without being uncomfortable or intrusive.
Although they’re summer gloves that wouldn’t suit cold days the Tanks don’t have much in the way of ventilation, so if my hands became hot they didn’t cool down very quickly – a shame for a summer glove.
The stretch panels are massive – if anything the whole glove is one giant accordion panel. This was my biggest issue with the styling of the glove, but the comfort that the stretchy fingers offer is amazing.
The elastication helps put these among the most comfortable gloves I’ve even worn. It’s October as I write this review, and the weather has begun to turn. I’ve got the rest of my winter riding kit out, but I’ve refused to stop wearing these gloves.
Photography: Will Brodie
Sizing is on the money, with palm width and finger length perfect for my hands in a size L, which is just as I would normally wear.
The wrist strap, however, is huge and even with it fully tightened the gloves are still too loose for my hands.
Intrigued, I decided to investigate. My wrists are 7.5 inches around, which is more than the average of 7.25 inches for a British male. So these are clearly designed to really work for those with considerably bigger wrists than the average.
The other feature that didn’t work for me was the zip on the back of the hand, which served little purpose.
While it was possible to zip the gloves up while wearing them, I found it difficult to unzip them because they were so supple that the leather just folded over on itself. In the end, I left them zipped up and could still take the gloves off and put them back on easily. Maybe I’m missing the point and the zip is simply for aesthetics.
The cuff on the glove is a good length and sits well with textile or leather jackets. Some riders might find them a little short – they only just meet my jacket – but I really like how they sit.
If you like the interesting styling (they’re also available with a brown palm if black isn’t trendy or hipster enough for you), the comfort and performance of the Helstons Tank Leather gloves is unlikely to disappoint.
Fit & Comfort
The comfort is perfect, but I’ve knocked off some marks for the super-long wrist restraint.
They are a well-made, thick pair of gloves that are CE approved, including knuckle protection. They’re short, so are an inevitable compromise – and the inability to securely fasten the wrist restraint is an issue.
The gloves have small perforations on the palm to allow air in and a couple of holes at each fingertip, but they are not the most breathable gloves.
They’re a solid pair of gloves – even the zips are chunky YKK affairs.
I wouldn’t expect a pair of shorter gloves like this to be laden with features, although they have the essentials covered.