Reviews of Archery Shooting Gloves
By C. Moffat - September 2014.
Neet 3-Finger Glove
Price: $13.99 CDN at Tent City in North York.
When it comes to shooting gloves the standard 3-finger glove is pretty much universal and when it comes to companies the most popular brand in North America is Neet.
Indeed, Neet is so universal that you even sometimes see it in movies and TV shows. Like on the fingers of Brandon Stark during episode 1 of season 1 of Game of Thrones.
The standard Neet gloves come in 3 colours - light brown, dark brown or camouflage. (Neet also sells Persian-style 3-finger gloves made out of deerskin, but I have not reviewed those yet.)
But is Neet the best? After all, just because they are popular doesn't mean they are the best manufacturer of archery gloves. So lets check out how they stand up against other manufacturers of archery gloves.
I will be ranking gloves on 4 aspects (with each aspect worth 1 stars, for a total out of 5 stars):
Comfort - Because nobody wants to wear gloves that are uncomfortable to use.
Value for Price - Meaning how much bang are you getting for your buck;
Usability - How easy they are to use and whether there are any design flaws in them;
Durability - How quickly do they fall apart;
Beauty - Is it too much to ask that the gloves also be attractive?
So how does the Neet gloves stack up?
Comfort - Very comfortable.
Value for Price - Pretty good. I give Neet full marks. The prices vary depending on where you go. In Toronto the best price is at Tent City in North York.
Usability - Again full marks. No loss of accuracy and no design flaws.
Durability - 3/4 star. Initially the Neet gloves are pretty good. They're nice and stiff and you have to break them in a bit until you get to the "sweet spot" when they become the ideal shooting glove. Over time however the leather becomes too pliable and they don't really protect your fingers as much they used to - this is a big deal if you like shooting higher poundage bows. Some people prefer more pliable gloves however, and for low poundage bows they're just fine.
Beauty - 1/2 star. They're not ugly, but they're not beautiful either. But they do come in different colours, so that at least is nice.
TOTAL - 4.25 stars out of 5.
I will state however that I wish Neet sold their gloves in sizes other than just Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Medium-Small and Medium-Large should be added to the roster. The size jumps between small, medium and large are too big and it would be handy (pun intended) if they came in some different 'middle of the road' sizes. Also some people have hands that are too big for even the Extra Large gloves - which means they really need Extra Extra Large.
Bear Archery Single Seam Glove
Price: $10.99 USD on Amazon.com.
As seen on Katniss Everdeen in the first Hunger Games movie when she is hunting at the start of the movie, the Bear Archery glove is almost identical to the Neet glove shown above, but with a small difference. The individual finger pieces have longer pieces of leather which attach directly to the wrist strap - instead of to a larger strap which stretches.
Comfort - Good.
Value for Price - The price listed on Amazon.com is very reasonable.
Usability - 1/2 star. I find the individual pieces for the fingers a tad annoying due to a design flaw. The finger pieces slide around too much and then you have to readjust the glove on your fingers. (The Neet glove has the larger strap which holds the fingers of the glove in alignment.)
Durability - On par with Neet above. 3/4 star.
Beauty - 1/2 star. Again, on par with Neet. However unlike Neet, these gloves only come in one colour: Dark Brown. Which looks okay, but it is not a lot of options.
TOTAL - 3.75 stars out of 5.
Darkfin's 'Dark Archer Tactical Archery Glove'
Price: $16.95 USD on Amazon.com
This bowfishing glove is very lightweight, made of rubber (the kind used for clothing for scuba divers), does not absorb water, rips if you pull on the fingers too hard (you have to be gentle taking them off), has no seams, no stitching, is molded for comfort and includes nodules to make it easier to flex your fingers and hand.
I will note that you need to order the gloves in 1 size larger than you normally would. So if your hand is a large, you need to order an extra large.
However for bowfishing with a traditional bow, this would be a good glove to be using. I felt no loss of accuracy using the gloves and they protected the fingers very well. The rubber would also last a lot longer than leather which wears down over time and starts to smell funky.
Comfort - 1/2 star. I found getting these gloves on and off to be a nuisance - even when using water or baby powder like the company recommends. Also once on the wrist strap was too tight and uncomfortable. They take some getting used to.
Value for Price - For bowfishing gloves? $16.95 USD seems very reasonable.
Usability - The gloves work perfectly and are great for shooting with.
Durability - As long as you don't yank on the fingers and damage them they should last a good long time.
Beauty - Honestly, they're scary looking. Like looking at octopus tentacles. If octopi had fingers, this is what they would look like. However if that is the thing you are going for, then maybe these gloves are good for you. 1/4 star.
TOTAL - 3.75 stars out of 5.
If planning to go bowfishing with a traditional bow I would still choose to use this glove over a Neet glove however. It is more useful for the task it was designed for and the lack of comfort is not a big deal for short periods. Plus, the fish don't care if your fingers look like octopi... (Or do they?)
Regent Archery Gloves
Based in India, Regent Archery sent 4 different gloves for me to review. The company has a huge selection of gloves - and they are (for the most part) very well made.
One of the gloves (the RA-1116 made of Deerskin - shown below) had a design flaw on the index finger where the manufacturer had made the finger too long and it was nearly even with the middle finger. When shooting the extra length on the finger would rub more against the bow string and mess up the accuracy of the shot. I have notified the manufacturer of this error and hopefully they take steps to correct this error permanently.
The company sent me two Persian-style shooting gloves (which have straps on both the front and back of the hands), the RA-1154 (made of goatskin) and the RA-1155 (made of nubuck leather). Both of these gloves were excellent but myself (and other people who tried the gloves) found that the 1154 was more comfortable, but the 1155 was stiffer and protected the fingers better. Thus it depends whether you are looking for more comfort or protection in your gloves.
The company sent me two different versions of the RA-1116. One made of deerskin and the other made of goatskin. The deerskin glove was warmer and more comfortable and I can totally see shooting with it during the Winter (despite it being the one with the design flaw on the index finger). The goatskin glove was okay, but I found the leather was thinner, flimsy and less comfortable to use than the deerskin.
Comfort - 3/4 star, most of the gloves were quite comfortable. Some more than others.
Value for Price - 1 star. The gloves retail prices varied between them. The Deerskin 1116 was 6 Euros, the Goatskin 1116 was 3 Euros, the Goatskin 1154 was 3.5 Euros and the Nubuck 1155 was 3 Euros. (The current exchange rate at the time I am writing this review, 1 Euro = 1.44 CDN.)
Usability - 3/4 stars. One of the gloves had a design flaw, but the rest were perfectly fine.
Durability - 1/2 star. I predict the Deerskin 1116 and the Nubuck 1155 would last longer. The two goatskin gloves felt flimsy in comparison.
Beauty - 3/4 star. This is one category the Regent Archery gloves did well in. 3 of the 4 of the gloves look quite good. The Goatskin 1116 not so much.
TOTAL - 3.75 stars out of 5.
Of the four gloves I liked the Persian-style gloves most of all, the Deerskin 1116 was nice despite the design flaw, and the Goatskin 1116 was the one I didn't like much at all.