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ADV ProductsBattle Born Air: Budget-Friendly Dual Sport Gloves with D30 Armor

Battle Born Air: Budget-Friendly Dual Sport Gloves with D30 Armor

An affordable dirt-focused glove designed for warm-weather rides.

Published on 04.06.2020

Adventure Gloves are one of those products that often try to do many things and end up compromising on everything. Adding all that street protection to a glove tends to make them feel bulky and hot for off-road riding. The new Battle Born Air gloves from A.R.C. keep it simple and focus on dirt performance. They are designed for warm weather and more aggressive off-road riding, with just enough abrasion protection for short stints on the street.

The Battle Born Air is closer to a motocross glove in fit and feel than it is to typical ADV gloves. It uses breathable neoprene on the top of the hands and durable goat skin leather material on the palm, with reinforced fingertips and thumb. In between each finger, is a thin lycra material to give extra breathability and fast moisture wicking. You also have a large mesh nylon panel below the wrist to provide ventilation, plus pinhole vents in the goatskin palm give an additional cooling effect.

Battle Born Air dual sport gloves
Beefy D3O knuckle pads offer good protection but remain comfortable on the skin.

Impact protection is provided by a thick knuckle protector made by D3O. D3O is a molecular armor which remains soft and pliable until impact when the molecules lock together absorbing the energy and dissipating it. There are also small TPU protectors on the finger knuckles for some additional impact and abrasion protection. 


Securing the glove is a basic Velcro closure with a neoprene wrist and it features Touch-Tech leather panels on the index fingers so you can use them with touchscreen devices. There is no wind protection, waterproofing, palm sliders or pinkie guards to be found, but the Air is not trying to be a do-it-all glove.

Battle Born Air dual sport gloves with touch-tech
Index fingers feature Touch-Tech leather panels for operating touchscreen devices.

How They Performed

The Battle Born Air gloves have a light stretchy feel that doesn’t make you struggle to get them on or off. You barely notice the D3O knuckle protector even though there is a substantial amount of padding in there. Everything is form fitted and comfortable but I did notice the fingers are a little longer than most standard size gloves I’ve tested.

Battle Born Air dual sport gloves

The D3O knuckle protector is very comfortable on the skin while riding and I never noticed any hot spots nor any seams that caused discomfort. The goat skin palm offered excellent feel on the bars and my hands stayed cool and dry on hot days or when working hard on a rocky-strewn trail. After testing these on many different rides over the last year, I’ve been impressed that my typical blisters never appeared — most likely, due to their excellent breathability and fast moisture wicking. That same breathability means they don’t do too well in cold temps. While riding early on cold mornings, I was always cranking up the heated grips or wishing I had some. 

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did get to test their impact protection in a fall. Riding on a rocky trail in Death Valley, I lost the front end and went down at speed (I believe it was one of those moving rocks that jumped out in front of me). My clinched hand punched a rock hard when I hit the ground. That had me pretty concerned about broken fingers. After taking off the glove, I could actually see the indent in my skin from the knuckle protector. But that D3O armor did its job. No serious injury, just some swollen fingers for a few weeks.

Battle Born Air dirt focused gloves
Battle Born Air dual sport gloves
The Battle Born Air features a goatskin leather palm with pinhole vents along the fingers for improved breathability. The thumb and first two fingers are reinforced with goatskin panels.

The glove held up well from the impact too, with only a few stitches tearing on a top seam. I’ve put a lot of miles on these gloves now and typically, gloves start coming apart at the fingertips and wearing through on the palms around this time, but so far so good. Their structure is still solid and willing to take on more abuse. About the only small annoyance I have noticed with these gloves is that the Velcro straps can come loose while riding if you aren’t very deliberate with closing them.

The touchscreen tips have also come in handy when using a handlebar mounted Phone or the Trail Tech Voyager Pro. The first few times I used them, the Touch-Tech finger tip on the index finger was precise but I have noticed precision has lessened over time. And while the thumbs do not have the Touch-Tip leather covers, they still seem to work on screens for zooming maps. They don’t work well enough to type a message, but they are good enough to perform basic GPS navigation functions without taking your gloves off.

As a dirt-specific glove, I was left very satisfied with the performance of the Battle Born Air and they’ve become my go-to glove for any serious dirt riding. But for street riding, they don’t offer much protection for a high-speed fall on asphalt or cold weather. You can use them all day for rides that stick mostly to dirt, linking up trails. However, if there are any twisty asphalt roads or major highway sections, it’s best to use a street glove and keep the Air gloves in a tank bag to throw on once you hit the trail. 

Who Are They For

The Battle Born Air gloves are for Dual Sport and Adventure Riders who spend a significant amount of time in the dirt. They can act as your primary glove if your travels are almost exclusively on dirt, or a secondary glove used when you reach the trails. Their excellent breathability and fast moisture wicking makes them an ideal warm-weather glove, or for use during more aggressive off-road rides when you are working up a sweat. If you are regularly switching from street to dirt, a glove with a bit more protection like the Battle Born Wind Block would make a better choice.

Battle Born Air off-road gloves
TPU protectors on the top of the fingers offer some additional impact and abrasion protection and the large mesh panel around the wrist area gives good ventilation right where you need it.

Our Verdict

All too often ADV gear tries to be too many things at once. But when it comes to gloves, sometimes specializing is the best approach. For the more dirt-focused rides, the Battle Born Air gloves have become my new favorite glove. And don’t be put off by the low price tag ($29), these gloves punch above their weight when it comes to quality and construction. While they may not offer the wind protection and waterproofing needed for long-range adventuring, a quick swap to a more street-focused glove isn’t that big of an inconvenience for most journeys.

What We Liked

  • Low price for a quality glove.
  • They last a long time and hold up to abuse.
  • Lots of breathability for warm days and aggressive rides.
  • D3O knuckle pad offers great impact protection.

What Could Be Improved

  • Make the fingers a little shorter.
  • A Velcro closure that stays closed.
  • A tad more accurate touchscreen tips.

Battle Born Air Specs

Color: Black
Sizes: Small to XXX-Large
Armor: D3O knuckle pad and TPU on fingers
Palm: Goatskin leather with reinforced panels
Main Body: Neoprene, Lycra and Nylon Mesh
Price: $29.99

Shopping Options

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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April 12, 2020 1:01 pm

Recently got’em and are my favorite pair!


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