Twins Special BGVL-3 Muay Thai Boxing Gloves (14oz) Review
Twins Special is one of the largest Thai manufacturers, and despite only being a registered company since 1992, they’ve been producing top level Thai boxing gear and equipment for 60 years. They export their equipment all over the world, and have become well known as a very reliable and well-made brand, with their boxing gloves growing in popularity with western boxers as well as Nak Muay.
About the gloves
The Twins BGVL-3 is potentially one of the most popular models of Muay Thai glove on the market, rivaled only by Fairtex’s BGV1 Gloves. While the Twins gloves do share some similarities with Fairtex’s popular glove, these two gloves have completely different feels. These gloves are designed as all-round training gloves, aiming to excel in all areas.
The BGVL-3 seem to come in almost every colour imaginable, so you can definitely get something to match your kit. If you want something a little fancier, there are also two-tone versions, referred to as the BGVL-3T, which come in a range of two-colour options.
I went for red to match the Twins SGL-3 Slim Shinguards I’ve previously reviewed, and the colours match perfectly. The leather is dyed in a bright, vivid red, which looks brilliant when new. The back of the hand features the iconic Twins Special logo, while the cuff features another logo patch stitched on, and an authenticity sticker. Both of these have changed slightly over time, with some older versions having a white patch and the year of manufacture on the authenticity sticker. The more recent models use a black patch and choose to not show the year on the sticker. There seem to be a lot of fake Twins gloves on websites such as ebay, so keep an eye out for small details like these, which are often different or missing on fakes.
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These gloves are made with genuine leather, which has a great smell to it when new. It has a smooth texture and doesnt feel as rugged as many leather gloves do, but the quality seems to be superb.
The inner lining is comfortable enough. It feels dry without scratching the skin, and smooth without feeling unnecessarily soft. The comfort in these gloves comes more from the padding than the lining though, keeping your hand in place comfortably with a softer inner layer. On these gloves, Twins have chosen to add a layer of leather to the inside of the cuff, on the section which sits against the back of the wrist. We’ve seen this on some other gloves before and noticed that sometimes they can get a bit slippery after a long workout. The leather that Twins have used for these sections doesn’t feel like the same leather as the outside of the gloves though and have a little more flex to them (its entirely possible that these sections are synthetic leather), which seems to sit a little better after a long session.
We’ve said it before, but we always seem to be slightly more impressed with the quality of Thai made gloves compared to other countries such as Pakistan. These gloves are a perfect example. All of the stitching is neat and straight, double-stitched at almost every point for extra security. The leather is also bunched up well at the sides of the fingers, and there are a few extra features added into the design that you can’t see from the outside, such as a leather panel which sits just underneath the fingertips. While there’s no breathable panel, there are 6 perforations on the palm to help the gloves air out a little.
The gloves are designed for Muay Thai, so have a naturally open hand for clinching and catching kicks. The thumb on these gloves has a full, webbed attachment, which actually helps you to ‘hook on’ slightly when gripping things with the gloves. The problem I’ve noticed however is they can be a little hard to pull an actual fist with at first – even with the grip bar – just because of the thickness of the padding.
When first putting the gloves on, they feel very snug, and squeeze against the hands a little. There’s plenty of room if you have bigger hands, but the padding holds your hands in place, meaning if you have smaller hands you’ll find just as tight a fit. The gloves feel comfortable enough from the start, but you definitely need to use them for a few solid sessions before they start to fit properly. To be honest, at first I found these gloves a little more snug than I like, but once you use them a bit more they start to fit the shape of your hand better. I also feel that the gloves aren’t designed for long fingers, and after only a few sessions I found my fingers starting to stretch the leather of the gloves, making lumps that you can physically see when you’re wearing them. This is perhaps because Thai people are smaller than western people, however it could also just be a slight design flaw.
These gloves are seriously well padded, which is probably one of the main selling points of these gloves. As well as keeping the hand tightly in place, the padding also provides a great deal of protection across the knuckles and the back of the hand, as well as having a thin bar of padding along the side of the palm. Even the thumb feels safe and well padded. From using these gloves it feels like they’re far more optimised for protection than their competitors, and provide a bit more protection when blocking kicks, knees and other hard strikes. I would also say, that while the gloves aren’t physically huge compared to other brands, there’s just something which makes them feel a little bulky.
I’ve preferred using these gloves for sparring rather than pad or bag work, partly because I feel the thick padding works best against an opponent, but also because i’ve noticed that one of my knuckles on my left hand starts to feel sore after a few rounds of pad or bag work with these gloves. It could easily be a fault with the padding or just that the gloves still need even more time breaking in, but it is a noticeable discomfort that I’ve never personally had with other gloves I’ve used.
Finally, the Velcro strap. When new, I had a few problems getting the velcro strap tight enough. When pulling the strap over and around I find it just twists the whole cuff slightly, and doesn’t actually get as tight as I’d like. It’s easy enough to fix though, you just need to secure the velcro as tightly as possible when you aren’t wearing them so that they start to retain the closer shape. Other than that I cant fault the velcro at all. It holds well and is sturdy enough to last, while still being easy enough to undo.
Prices can vary a lot for these gloves, but you’re typically looking at around £70-£80, which is roughly the same as the equivalent gloves from other Thai brands, and the quality is exactly as we would expect for that price. If you’re looking for a trusted Thai glove with a thick, snug padding, these would be a safe shout.
Looking to buy these?
+ Thick padding on knuckles and back of the hand
+ Huge range of colours to choose from
+ Snug fit on hand
– Little uncomfortable at times when breaking in
– Feel a little bulky
– Sometimes a little difficult to pull velcro strap tight
This graphic is to illustrate the areas this product excels in, and is not intended for direct comparison to other reviews.