If you are anything like me, you will struggle to come up with any suggestions to give to family at Christmas & Birthdays. You could ask for a new helmet, or a new suit but realistically, most of our family do not have that kind of cash to spend on gifts. As such, gloves are a perfect gift idea!
The gloves we are reviewing today are at the lower end of the “Branded” race wear spectrum. OMP is a well established and well respected manufacturer throughout the motorsport industry.
At £27 inc VAT, they should not break the bank, even for the tightest of racers out there!
My last pair of gloves were the Alpinestars Tech 1 KV, when I purchased them a good 4 years ago they were top of the line gloves (around £60 if I remember correctly). I am very happy to get 4 years out of them, but in truth they have needed to be replaced for at least a year.
With that in mind, I didn't quite know what to expect from a much lower priced glove.
The first thing you notice compared to the higher priced gloves is the material, or more specifically, the variety of materials used. These gloves are pretty much constructed of the same material throughout, as opposed to the more premium gloves which have areas made with specific materials for breathability, durability and comfort etc.
I have always thought this was a little bit of overkill however, as I have never even thought about the condition of my hands when out on the track. I have never been half way down the straight and thought “Crikey, my hands are hot!” or “I'm so glad I have these special grippy nobbles on my palms, otherwise the wheel would have definitely slipped out my hands on that last bend..”
The thing that is most important for me, is the thickness of the material. I want to be able to feel everything the kart is doing, without anything dampening the feeling between my fingers and the kart.
If you have ever tried the wet suit style gloves, with a current style OTK wheel you will know what I mean. It feels like the wheel can move using the padding/sponge in the gloves and wheel and you don't have full control of the wheel.
These gloves feel nice and thin and don't add any excessive padding to the feel of the steering. They do have “grippy” sections on the palm in the form of a gel type coating but it's not over the top like some gloves
The gloves have the OMP logo placed in various locations, just in case you forget who made them. They also have the word “karting” on the palm. I understand manufacturers adding useless logos and some text here and there to promote the product and add a little style but I'm not sure “Karting” was really necessary. It just seems.. pointless.
When worn, the gloves are relatively comfortable but have stitching on the inside, as opposed to the higher end gloves, which have most of the stitching on the outside. This is definitely less comfortable. However, as I mentioned previously I'm not convinced you will notice on track.
One final point to note is there is no Velcro strap to tighten the gloves around your hand, meaning it is important to get the correct size to fit you.
General use/Observations as of 30/05/2015
After using the gloves for around 3 meetings and a 1 hour endurance event, there are a few things I have noticed.
The thumbs on these gloves seem a little long, the glove fits well on the palm and the finger lengths, but the thumb has about 7-8mm of material at the end. This does not effect the performance of the glove but it does get a little irritating as it can affect dexterity while trying to open a helmet visor for instance.
Another small issue is the elastic "waist" of the glove. This has came un-stitched so no longer provides the same fit. This is a shame as I really like the feel of the gloves on track.
Some karting gloves can really go over the top with the design. This can sometimes, in my opinion, make the feeling a little numb when holding the wheel. The OMP KS3 gloves are no nonsense for the most part and provide a consistent, positive feeling on the wheel.
They are very well priced (£3 cheaper than the nearest rival, Sparco's KG3 gloves)
- Well priced
- Satisfying feedback from the wheel
- Stitching on inside
- Less premium materials
- Stitching quality
- Ill fitting thumbs