Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Gloves 16oz Review
Fairtex are a popular manufacturer of fight equipment, dominantly focused on Muay Thai. The company is based in Thailand and is widely popular, both there and internationally. Originally founded in the 1970s, Fairtex have a long history of producing top quality, handmade equipment, endorsed by many gyms across the world.
About the gloves
The BGV1 is Fairtex’s flagship product, and is famous throughout Thailand and all across the world, with a design tailored for Muay Thai practitioners. These boxing gloves are available in two variants, a ‘breathable’ version with a mesh palm for increased breathability, and a standard version with a classic leather palm. The version reviewed here is the standard version. It’s important to note that some BGV1 variants also have a grip bar built in, however the ones reviewed don’t. I can imagine this may put some people off the gloves, yet for some people this is a big plus.
Weight and distribution
The BGV1’s are sold as 10oz, 12oz, 14oz and 16oz variants. We’ve personally reviewed the 16oz versions, so it’s important to note that the fit of the glove is relative to this. The gloves are distributed fairly evenly, but biased slightly towards the knuckle area than many gloves.
As the flagship glove, BGV1’s are available in almost any colour imaginable, many with the trim highlighted with another, and there are just as many versions with special graphics and unique patterns on. All have the same iconic Fairtex logo written across the back of the hand with a small circular ‘hand made in Thailand’ stamp below, as well as the stitched logo on the Velcro cuff. Personally, the black glove with the red trim was my favourite, although I was tempted by a variety of other colours. For anyone who is highly motivated by style, these gloves look great, while still remaining understated. Some gloves just look a bit plain, but these look more deliberately minimal, utilising colour and the brand logo to stand out.
Style may be one of the less important factors in the making of a good glove, but the quality of materials used is definitely a big factor. Fairtex have truly excelled here. The exterior of the glove is high quality leather, which really does feel nice to the touch, as I’m sure many who have used the gloves will agree. The interior is just as luxurious, with the lining being smooth and generally comfortable on the skin. Internally around the wrist, the lining is replaced with leather. While this may sound uncomfortable, I actually found it basically unnoticeable. The padding is Fairtex’s signature three-layered foam system, which is stated to be excellent at shock dispersion, which seemed to do a pretty good job.
The BGV1 is a Velcro boxing glove. The velcro is undeniably strong, and the connecting areas cover about three quarters of the wrist circumference, so there is next to no worry that they’re going to come undone or wear down too much over time. This isn’t always such a good thing however, as I found myself having to twist my wrist a lot to get the velcro off completely when removing the gloves. The wrist also seems to be a bit wide and needs to be pulled tight to fit properly, however they more than make up for it with the sturdiness they provide.
There are absolutely no tags on the inside of the gloves, so no accidental scratching to worry about. The weight is listed on a small tab next to the Fairtex patch on the cuff, but that’s all there really is.
As mentioned previously, these are handmade in Thailand. There’s always the worry with handmade goods that there will be a loss in quality or mild variations, however I can honestly say that these gloves are incredibly well made. The stitching for example is incredibly neat on all areas of the glove. One of the most apparent indicators of any boxing glove’s quality is how the leather folds at the edges around the fist, and these are incredibly neatly folded. The leather palm of the glove is slightly more crumpled than anywhere else, however considering that this is often bent over into a fist, this is to be expected. It’s also probably affected by the fact that the palm is white on the gloves that I’ve used, so I would assume that on a darker colour this would be much less visible.
The thumb and back of the fist are all one piece of leather, which adds to both the sturdiness and the visuals of the gloves. The thumb has been crafted in a position which I find comfortable, however seems slightly further forward than most boxing gloves. This is not uncommon amongst Muay Thai Style gloves, making it easier to grab on and clinch opponents. I’ve not found this to be a problem at all in any aspects of fighting, simply a matter of preference.
When wearing boxing gloves for any serious punching, hand wraps are a must. With hand wraps on, these gloves fit fairly well, but seem to have a noticeably larger compartment than other gloves, especially to the side of the hand. For people with larger hands this will be less of an issue, and once I was using the gloves it didn’t really feel like it was enough to make a big difference.
Despite this, the gloves are somehow a lot smaller than other brands of the same weight. Part of this is to do with the short cuff length, but it also seems to be down to the glove having slightly denser material. When compared to other gloves, this size difference is really noticeable. This is a joy in sparring, allowing you to find gaps in your opponents guard.
As mentioned a second ago, the padding does seem to be a bit denser than other brands, so this is certainly no pillow glove. From a comfort point, a breaking in period is necessary, but before long the gloves will start to become incredibly comfortable. From sparring wearing the BGV1, and against other people using theirs, I can’t say that it makes a noticeable difference to be hit with compared to most gloves. When blocking hits wearing these gloves, the thick cuffs really help, providing a lot of protection against wrist injuries. This particular model doesn’t have a grip bar, which many people have differing opinions on. Some people dislike the lack of a wrist bar as they find that they are folding their fingers over rather than making a fist, however I find that this certainly helps for more of a Thai boxing style where the hand is naturally slightly more open palmed for catching kicks and clinches, so it really depends on your use for the glove and personal preference.
In the UK, you can expect to find the Fairtex BGV1 for around the £80 mark, although many people have reported to have found the glove for highly discounted prices from various distributors. In my opinion, while there are many gloves which are much cheaper, these gloves are a good investment, and are a high quality piece of equipment which really offer good protection and comfort.
+ High quality materials and craftsmanship
+ Sturdy wrist offers good support
+ Once broken in, these are incredibly comfortable
– Velcro sometimes hard to undo
– Lack of grip bar may put off some people
– Wide hand compartment
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