If you are training in Krav Maga or a variety of other martial arts, chances are that you need general training knuckle gloves. They need to have enough padding but not too much, be flexible and durable, and not cost an arm and a leg. Eventually you will need sparring gear such as headgear, shin guards, sparring gloves, and a mouth guard but knuckle gloves will get you started. The best solution I’ve found currently is the Harbinger 320 gloves.
The Harbinger 320 gloves do a good job protecting your hands from wear and tear while you pound on a bag or target. They are flexible enough to provide the dexterity needed for grabbing and other hand techniques. They are easy to put on and remove and come in 4 sizes for just the right fit. Overall, very impressive gloves.
- Made from durable leather
- Lightweight padding
- Great wrist support
- More padding for your fingers
- Grip bar can get in the way with some hand techniques
- Wrist wraps can slip during intense workouts
If you are ready to buy your own Harbinger 320 gloves, head on over to Amazon and buy a pair or two. If not, continue reading for a full review that just might change your mind. These gloves are great.
Harbinger 320 – Full Review
When I started in Krav Maga, my first gloves were Century® BRAVE™ Open Palm/Finger Bag Gloves. I used them for about 6 months, 5 times a week for Krav Maga and fitness kickboxing. One evening after class, I was taking off my gloves when the Velcro stayed together but the whole back of the glove ripped off.
Not good. Time for some new gloves. After quite a bit of research, I found my answer in the form of the Harbinger 320 gloves.
I’ve been using the Harbinger 320, or the Harbinger WristWrap Bag Gloves, style 320 for several months, 5 days a week, doing Krav Maga and fitness kickboxing (heavy bag work, resistance bands, etc). Although they are not perfect, they work really well. If you’d like to learn some specifics about these gloves before we get to my opinions, head over to the manufacturers website or check out Amazon.
I choose these specific gloves on the recommendations of many forum posts I found while researching gloves. Many contributors said that these gloves were the standard at their school. Of all the glove recommendations, Harbinger had the most.
The gloves come in 4 sizes; Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. To figure out the correct size, you measure around your hand at the knuckles then look at a chart (check out the manufacturers website or Amazon for a diagram). My hand came in around the small end of the Large range and that’s the size that was purchased. That’s one of the things that drew me to the Harbinger 320 gloves; more sizes and an easy way to choose the right sized gloves without having to try them on.
The gloves themselves are a combination of leather and some stretchy material. According to the manufacturer, they have a:
NoSweat™ lining wicks away moisture to keep hands dry
Personally, my hands are still a little sweaty but the lining does a good job. Having dry hands is not all that important to me while I’m wearing the gloves but it seems to help with the smell. Some people at my school wear hand wraps under their gloves, for the padding or sweat or both, but I’ve not found that necessary. It’s not the end of the world if your gloves stink but unless you really have to, why use stinky gloves?
Since I started using the gloves, I’ve let them dry outside my bag after every use. It works great to prevent the smell but the long wrist wraps sometimes get in the way when drying.
The padding does a good job of covering part of the back of your hand and extending down your fingers. It protects your knuckles when you are punching and doing a back-fist strike. In addition, there is more padding that is attached to the wrist wrap. It protects the back of your hand closer to your wrist. Since it is attached to the wrist wrap, the gloves are easier to put on and take off.
One key difference you will see in gloves is the padding on the fingers; some have padding on the first segment on the finger (or the proximal phalanx to be precise) only and some have padding on the first and second segment of the finger (proximal and intermediate phalanx). If the gloves don’t extend to the second segment (intermediate phalanges), they have a tendency to rub your knuckle. Not a deal breaker but something that is nice to have. Gloves with this little bit of extra padding tend to be more comfortable.
The padding itself is great. It’s not too thick and is flexible enough so your hand move easily and freely. A few punches to a heavy bag confirmed that these were the right gloves.
Of course, nothing is perfect. These gloves are great but in my experience, the wrist wraps don’t stay wrapped all that well. The Velcro is great but the wraps tend to slide down my wrist as the class goes on. After several months of wearing these gloves and trying different things, I end up adjusting the wrist wraps about 30 minutes into a class.
One modification that was made to the gloves was the removal of the grip bar (the padded bar on the palm). If you look closely at the images of the palm of the gloves, you can see the stitch holes were they were. Although the grip bars did not interfere with the usage, it was at times a little painful for training partners to get smacked in the ear with those bars. The bars themselves are not that hard, consisting of clear tubing with a little foam wrapped around, all covered in leather and sewed to the palm of the gloves. Removing them was easy with a sharp knife.
Although I can’t comment on how well these feel during an ear clap after the grip bar has been removed, I can say from experience that the grip bar on other gloves do hurt when getting smacked in the head by the palm of a training partners hand. Just a small detail to make training more comfortable for those you train with.
Overall, the Harbinger 320 Wristwrap Bag Gloves are better than I expected. The price was reasonable compared to the alternatives. The fit is great. The padding is great. The wrist wraps take a little getting use to, but work well. I look forward to many, many months of service out of these gloves.
If you want a pair of these gloves for your own training, measure you hand and head over to Amazon. Let me know what you think if you decide to go with these gloves.
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