If you are new to mountain biking and looking for a great set of gloves to get you on your way, or you are an old timer wanting to upgrade or replace your gloves, you have come to the right place. The Giro DND vs Fox Ranger will look into the differences of two of the most popular gloves on the market, and help you decide which (if either) will be best for you.
Giro and Fox are both very well known manufacturers in the mountain biking world. They produce high quality, yet inexpensive gear for mountain bike riders, and neither the DND nor the Ranger gloves are exceptions to this!
Before working out which glove is right for you, it pays to understand what makes a glove great in the first place.
What Makes a Great MTB Glove?
First and foremost, you won’t wear the gloves if they aren’t comfortable. And a set of unworn gloves isn’t going to provide any protection whatsoever.
What to look for: Does the glove pinch or bunch anywhere? Try on the glove, curl your hand as if you were gripping the bars and see if there is excessive material on the palm. If there is, maybe down size, or if not possible (ie: finger length would become an issue) try a different style.
While gloves aren’t designed to last forever, it is nice when they last more than a few seasons. It is exceptionally disappointing when you tear the gloves in your first crash, or they wear thin or stretch in the first few months of wearing them!
What to look for: Thin materials on the palm, while very breathable, are not ideal for hands-first crashes. Look for thicker materials that look and feel as though they are going to last. Also keep in mind that silicon grips (typically on the fingers) never last the lifetime of the glove!
3. Wrist Closure System
How you get the glove on and off and how it stays on.
What to look for: I personally try to stay away from velcro straps. The velcro wears out over time, and you end up with an undone strap at rather inconvenient times! But they are good for larger hands that would otherwise struggle to pull on an elastic ‘pull-on’ style glove.
4. Finger length
Stay away from short finger gloves (also known as fingerless gloves). They don’t protect your fingers in a slide, nor do they cover them if a low hanging branch happens to catch the bars.
What to look for: Long fingered gloves.
5. Fancy Features
While they aren’t exactly necessary, they certainly make riding that much more enjoyable!
What to look for: Microfibre sweat/nose wipes on the thumb, touch screen capability (works to varying degrees!), 4-way stretch material (helps with ventilation).
And now into the gritty stuff..
Giro DND Mini Review
The Giro DND is one of those classic items that gets minor touch ups in design every year and they are still a crowd favorite. Giro has been designing the DND for at least the past 10 years. And every year they get better!
The Down N Dirty (DND) glove is made for riders wanting an affordable yet long lasting and hard wearing mountain bike glove. Ideal for the enduro rider, jump park rider, through to your daily commuter! The simple design makes them extraordinarily comfortable, and they look good too!
Fox Ranger Mini Review
The Fox Ranger has been around for a good number of years too. It is also a classic glove in terms of popularity and is one of Fox’s best selling gloves. The Ranger is lightweight, breathable, durable and protective- the minimalist’s dream glove!
Despite being a somewhat minimalist glove, the Fox Ranger holds up against slides, over the bar tumbles, and countless rides. Whatever is thrown at the Ranger, it has seemed to handle it this far! It has quickly become my go to glove for everyday mountain bike riding.
Check out the full Fox Ranger Review Here.
Giro DND vs Fox Ranger – The Ultimate Comparison
In this comparison, it is likely you will notice the mountain bike gloves are very similar. There are a few subtle differences between the Giro DND vs Fox Ranger which we will uncover below.
The Giro DND is anything but a simple construction. The three piece palm construction prevents the glove from bunching when your hand is wrapped around the bars. This is tied in with Giro’s SuperFit Engineered design, which stops blisters and allows a much more natural feel on the bars.
The Giro DND glove is constructed with an Ax Suede palm. This is a super absorbent material that draws sweat away from the palm. The back of the hand is constructed of four way stretch material. This allows for optimum fit, but also helps with ventilation and breathability of the glove.
The Fox Ranger takes a more simplistic approach to mountain bike glove construction. A single piece of material covers the palm, and another for the top of the hand. Between the fingers is a mesh material to help with ventilation, but that is about as fancy as it gets- and as fancy as it needs!
Wrist Closure System
The Fox Ranger has a velcro wrist closure. As mentioned earlier, I don’t particularly fancy the velcro closure as the velcro tends to wear out over time, causing the strap to come undone at rather inconvenient times.
I much prefer the pull on system of the DND. There is no velcro to worry about, and it makes the wrist a lot more comfortable. The only downside, is that it becomes a little trickier for riders with large hands to get the glove over hand- whereas a velcro strap opens and closes as needed.
Comfort and Fit Comparison
The Giro DND is a comfortable mountain bike glove. The SuperFit Engineering discussed above enables a great handle on the bars, and no bunching or pinching while you ride.
The main thing I noticed is that the Giro DND seems to fit long slender fingers much better than shorter, stockier fingers. My quite short fingers don’t quite make it to the ends of the glove, despite the body of the glove fitting fine.
On the other hand, the Fox Ranger seems to fit a larger range of hands- my shorter hands included. It is also very comfortable, with no pinch spots or rubs.
In terms of sizes, the DND gloves have six sizes, ranging from Small through to 3XL. The Ranger has five sizes ranging from Small through to 2XL. Both gloves have women’s specific options too, La DND and Women’s Fox Ranger.
You can find the top women’s specific gloves here if you are interested.
Breathability and Ventilation
In terms of ventilation, the top of the palm is made of 4-way stretch material on both gloves. Not only is this material more comfortable to wear, but it is also super breathable and well ventilated.
Both gloves are made for warmer temperatures. They would be comfortable for anything above 5 degrees (40 degrees Fahrenheit). Anything colder and you will want to check out gloves for cooler weather.
The palm of the DND has a synthetic leather palm that assists in drawing away sweat from the palm and provides a little more grip on the bars. The silicone grips on the fingers assist with holding onto the brake levers and gripping the bars.
The palm of the Fox Ranger is constructed similarly, with a grippy palm and silicone grips on the fingers. I found the grip on the Fox Ranger to be great I had managed to wear down my handlebar grips to the metal without even realizing it!
Neither glove is designed to provide maximum protection. However, both gloves will protect you from losing your skin in an altercation with the ground. And, despite the somewhat minimalist design of both gloves, they will hold up fine after a decent slide.
If you are looking for a highly protective glove, check out this post here.
There are no concerns about the durability of either glove in terms of construction, stitching, and materials used. My only niggle is with the silicone grips on the fingertips of both gloves. While these seem like a great feature in terms of providing more grip, the silicon grips do tend to come off over time.
While losing the silicon grippers is not a major problem in any way, don’t expect these to last more than a few seasons!
The Giro DND is packed with features. The fingertips are reinforced for a little protection, 2 mm crash pads to help protect the hands in a slide. The microfiber nose/sweat wipe, silicon fingertips and touch screen compatibility mean the DND has it all!
The Fox Ranger once again is much simpler, but it does well at the things it does. The touch screen capability on the thumb, index and middle fingers is great. I never had to take my gloves off in frustration- it just works! The strip of microfiber material is great for wiping the sweat or a runny nose.
So which glove is the winner in the Giro DND vs Fox Ranger glove comparison? Both are great gloves and are fairly similar in most aspects.
But for me, the Fox Ranger comes out on top. The Ranger is more simplistic, the fit is better, and it is just a comfortable, reliable glove.
However, if you prefer the fancy construction of the DND, or particularly if you have long slender fingers, you may find the DND is the more comfortable fit.
Neither glove is highly protective, nor are they super minimal. Both are excellent mid range temperature gloves, exceptionally durable and value for money. If you are after something with a bit of padding, see here, or a bit of warmth, see here.