BLUEGRASS VAPOR LITE GLOVE REVIEW
Words by Robert Johnston | Action photos by Ben Gerrish
Glove options vary from the ultra-protective padded versions to minimalist, and thick to thin, and the Vapor Lite gloves by Bluegrass are intended to excel in the thin and minimalist sector. This is a spot I like my gloves to land in whenever I’m riding in warmer climates and fancy a bit of protection for my hands, so I’m constantly on the hunt for an ultra-airy glove to satisfy my needs. Having enjoyed the other three gloves in their lineup a couple years back, I was keen to get the Vapor Lites in to review, and I’m glad to report that they didn’t disappoint.
The Bluegrass Vapor Lite gloves are designed to be ultra lightweight and breathable to keep your hands comfortable in the hottest conditions. The palm is made from a thin synthetic material with generous perforations to keep air flowing, and the back receives a four-way stretch fabric with perforations to breathe well too. The inside of the thumb gets an extra layer of material to reduce the chance of blisters, and the outside of the thumb gets a small patch of the same material for a snot or sweat rag. There’s a minimal cuff to reduce bulk and aid in the “barely there” feeling, which has a silicone gripper to keep the gloves in place in the wet or dry. The fingertips get a silicone print to increase grip on the controls and have capacitive threads to allow for a phone or watch screen to be used.
The minimalist Bluegrass Vapor Lite gloves are available in a choice of seven colors in sizes XS-XL, with a retail price of €35.
The Bluegrass Vapor Lite gloves have a tight “second skin” fit for my meaty hands, with enough give to let me squeeze them on carefully, but an undeniably tight fit across the back of my hand. I was concerned about restriction once I got a bit of a pump on after a sustained descent, but this never manifested, instead producing an ultra-airy feel and impressive security for my hands in the gloves. The palm is thin and runs cool but managed to fend off a couple of spills along the way without tearing. That said, I’d expect the “barely-there” construction of the Vapor Lite gloves to give in before burlier options. The extra material on the inside of the thumb is a nice touch for the longest and most aggressive days riding, increasing protection for your hand without adding any perceivable bulk.
The capacitive threads on the fingertips worked well, however I found that the somewhat hard rubber used to add grip to the braking and shifting areas didn’t fare so well in the wet. Sure, these are not likely to be many riders go-to for wet conditions, but for the times that I was caught out there was a notable decrease in brake lever traction over the standard glove material. So, I was happy when these rubber patches began to wear, and the traction returned. The Bluegrass Vapor Lite gloves have found their place at the top of my pile for a summer lightweight glove and have survived a lot of abuse without showing any signs of stitching failure or palm tearing. For riders looking for an airy minimalistic glove to fend off light brush and spills and increase grip on the bars, the Vapor Lite gloves are an excellent option.
The Wolf’s Last Word
As minimalistic gloves go, the Bluegrass Vapor Lites are an excellent example that are a pleasure to use on the hotter days.