Held Phantom 2 Gloves Review: Armor Upgrades Merit Investment?

As an avid sportbike rider, I know firsthand the importance of having a proper set of leather motorcycle gloves to protect my hands.

But I also understand the need for flexibility and airflow during intense canyon carving or track days. This leaves me wondering – do Held’s refreshed Phantom 2 motorcycle gloves check both boxes?

I decided to break them down in detail to uncover whether they provide the right mix of safety and comfort for aggressive riding.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Are these the best motorcycle gloves with armor for you? Let’s find out!

Held Phantom 2 Gloves Review


Key Takeaways

Final Verdict on the Held Phantom 2 Gloves

If you’re looking for hardcore protection for aggressive street riding or even racing, the Held Phantom 2 gloves (1) deliver.

The robust shields with premium kangaroo leather optimize safety and comfort. It’s not quite as overbuilt as full-track gloves, but it’s vastly more protective than casual options.

Stingray leather and Superfabric ratchet up abrasion resistance markedly. Kangaroo hide breathes better than cowhide, while stretch panels amplify flexibility.

They have premium materials and armor balance to create potent short-cuff gloves for performance motorcycling.

For the rider who logs serious miles or attacks corners with zeal, the Phantom 2 armored gloves warrant consideration. They provide comprehensive protection without crossing the threshold into excess.

Comparison To Other Motorcycle Gloves

Alpinestars SP8 V3 GlovesFull gauntlet racing glove with carbon fiber knuckles and external seams
Dainese Carbon 4 GlovesShort cuff glove focused on carbon fiber protection and abrasion resistance
Scorpion EXO Claw 2 GlovesAggressively priced short gloves with Viscount airflow mesh panels

The SP8 has more arm and wrist coverage as a full gauntlet, while the Carbon 4 and EXO Claw are short cuffs.

The Dainese prioritizes carbon fiber protection, while the Scorpion uses a lightweight and ventilated build. The Held Phantom 2 strikes a balance with solid coverage and protection at a moderate price point.

Why Understanding Glove Characteristics Matters

Riding gloves might seem like a simple accessory, but they impact comfort, control, and crash protection for your hands.

Sturdy leather, armor, and abrasion resistance shield your hands when you go down. Ventilation and flexibility ensure full control and no distractions while riding.

And proper fit couples everything together. Before buying any type of motorcycle gloves, it’s crucial to understand these key factors.

My experience testing gloves has taught me exactly what to look for in determining a pair’s real-world performance.

Overview of the Held Phantom 2 Gloves

The German company Held is renowned for its quality leather race gloves designed for performance riding.

The Phantom 2 continues this pedigree, evolving the best-selling original Phantom by improving flexibility and comfort without sacrificing protection.

Kangaroo leather construction offers light weight and strength, combined with extensive venting. Hard TPU knuckle armor covers the main impact zone, while supple leather protects other areas.

Stingray leather panels on the palm add abrasion resistance, with stretch fabric between the fingers enhancing the feel.

Do these materials and features come together to create a formidable short-cuff racing glove? Let’s break things down in detail.

A Closer Look at the Upgrades

So, how exactly do the refreshed Phantom 2 gloves differ from the former variant? Most prominently, Held replaced the large carbon fiber knuckle protector with a lower profile, better-ventilated TPU armor.

This updated shield retains CE Level 1 impact standards while enhancing airflow. Supple kangaroo leather panels feature improved patterning and stretch zones to bolster flex.

Furthermore, zones of Superfabric reinforcement on the hand replace heavier leather shielding for lighter weight and slide protection.

Held also swapped a rougher microfiber for a smooth inner lining that fights humidity and moisture when sweating. Ultimately, the Phantom 2 focuses on amplifying ventilation, dexterity, and comfort without compromising safety.

Kangaroo Leather Build Optimizes Strength and Flexibility

The majority of the Phantom 2 glove comprises 1.3mm kangaroo leather, with 1.1mm goatskin on high flex areas.

Kangaroo hide provides excellent abrasion resistance for a lightweight feel, facilitated by multiple perforated zones that enhance airflow. Goatskin stretch panels between the fingers avoid restriction when clenched shut or widely splayed.

Kangaroo leather handles heat and humidity better than cowhide, an important factor for uninterrupted performance. The construction of Phantom 2 strikes an ideal balance between durable protection and flexibility critical for control.

Armor Protection Excels for Street and Track

Heldsmartly distributes protective components in the Phantom 2 glove to shield against impacts without hindering feel.

Hard carbon fiber knuckles give way to softer TPU armor over the fingers to enable responsiveness. Dense foam padding absorbs vibration and supplementary impacts across the backhand, thumb, wrist, and fingers.

Touchscreen-compatible fingertips retain tactility when using devices, while Kevlar lining boosts tear resistance if the glove slides.

Generous Superfabric zones provide additional abrasion protection not found in the previous Phantom. Ultimately, the strategic blend of armor offers serious protection for aggressive riding without being overbuilt.

Stingray Leather and Superfabric Enhance Abrasion Resistance

Common leather gloves utilize cowhide for the palm, but Held elected stingray leather on the Phantom 2. Derived from stingrays (yes, aquatic creatures), stingray leather exhibits natural properties that resist abrasion better than any other material.

Strategic zones of Superfabric act as slidable armor, constructed from ceramic pieces laminated onto the base leather.

Superfabric and stingray leather boost abrasion protection significantly compared to standard leather. Both turtle shell-like materials hold up when scraping across the asphalt, which is critical for preventing injury in a slide.

Ultimately, these exotic leather upgrades markedly ramp up abrasion resistance over the previous Phantom model.

Improved Comfort Features Reduce Fatigue

Several newly implemented features work together to reduce hand fatigue, which is important for comfort during long days.

Perforated kangaroo leather with underlayer open-cell foam forms a lightweight, breathable shield. Fingers interspersed with flexible fabric provide better airflow and evaporation when sweating.

Smooth liner material drains and wicks more moisture over a smaller surface area, mitigating humidity buildup inside the glove.

Reduced padding also drops excess bulk from inside seams to increase comfort. Ultimately, the Phantom 2’s construction breathes markedly better than its predecessor for riding in heat and humidity.

Sizing Runs True with Simple Retention

I’m wearing a size large Phantom 2 glove, which fits my hands accurately, if slightly roomy. Kangaroo leather does stretch moderately over time, so starting snug enhances long-term fit.

Short adjustable wrist enclosure straps secure the gloves, augmented by a flexible Lycra panel. Fingers feature an exemplary level of pre-curve for a natural grip shape around motorcycle controls.

Decent adjustability, curved fingers, and ample interior space make getting the right fit on the Phantom 2 less critical than other gloves. With room to size both down and up, you should be able to find your ideal match.

Held Men’s Gloves Sizing Table


Three Takeaways of the Held Phantom 2 Motorcycle Gloves:


How does the sizing compare to other Held gloves?

The Phantom 2 runs very similar in size to other Held gloves like the Air n Dry. I wear a large across Held’s lineup.

What about water resistance?

The Phantom 2 gloves are minimally water-resistant and need spray protection for heavy rain. Breathability was prioritized over waterproofing.

How long does break-in take?

Around 100 miles of riding should properly break in the kangaroo leather to stretch and form fit your hands. Just avoid prolonged heat exposure.

What extra maintenance do they require?

I recommend occasional leather conditioners to retain strength and suppleness. Beyond that, just rinse out dirt and debris that accumulate inside from sweat.

And Finally…

The Held Phantom 2 gloves live up to expectations by improving critical comfort and ventilation characteristics over the preceding model.

Flexibility sees a nice bump thanks to strategic stretch panel placement augmenting premium kangaroo leather construction.

Hand fatigue noticeably drops even during multi-hour rides. Exotic abrasion-resistant stingray leather and Superfabric ratchet up slide protection considerably.

Ultimately, the Phantom 2 finds that delicate balance between versatility and quality for aggressive real-world street riding.

While racers may demand full gauntlet track gloves, I believe the Phantom 2 provides ample protection for rapid road riding without crossing into overkill territory.

I’m curious to hear what dedicated riders think of the Phantom 2 gloves after logging miles on multiple sets.

If you have experience with the newest Phantom 2 or the original Phantom glove, please share your impressions below! I always welcome feedback from fellow enthusiasts to learn if other interpretations match my own.

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Sources: Motorcycle personal protective equipment (1)

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