I’ve logged over 150 miles wearing these Icon moto gloves in temps nearing 100°F, so I have some firsthand insight into their real-world strengths and weaknesses.
By the end, you’ll know whether these stealth fighter gloves deserve a spot in your summer riding kit.
But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Are these the best women’s motorcycle gloves? for you? So buckle in, and let’s get rolling!
ICON Anthem 2 Stealth Gloves – Bottom Line
Their stealthy aesthetics and beefed-up protections build upon the previous Anthem glove platform at a sub-$50 price that is difficult to beat.
Ventilation proves better than anticipated owing to perforated mesh paneling across the knuckles and fingers.
Protection arrives via molded rubberized shields backed by shock-absorbing visco foam and abrasion-resistant leather.
The armor integration strikes a commendable balance between flexibility and defense for street riding duties.
Just be mindful of the large sizing requiring a smaller glove size than normal. For colder environments or wet weather, these mesh/leather gloves lack insulation or waterproof membranes. Treat them as fair-weather friends only.
But for warm-weather wanderers who want affordable gloves that provide ventilation and ample tactile feel while still guarding hands, the Anthem 2 Stealth model finds the sweet spot. Considering cost versus capability, they deliver outstanding bang-for-buck summer hand protection.
A Subtle Visual Upgrade in Icon’s Anthem Glove Line
As a label known for bold, often ostentatious designs on its motorcycle jackets, helmets, and gloves, Icon’s choice of basic black for its Anthem 2 Stealth gloves represents a shift towards subtlety in its gear lineup.
For riders who prefer their moto gear understated and low-key rather than flashy, the toned-down styling of the Anthem 2 certainly fits the bill.
These stealth gloves look right at home paired with dark leather jackets and lids. And their scarcely-branded exterior with micro Icon logos on the wrist straps maintains a covert ops look that complements blacked-out bikes.
So, if you dig muted gear that flies under the radar, the Anthem 2 may just be your perfect summer glove soulmate.
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Beefed Up Protection without Sacrificing Dexterity
Now, on to what really counts when assessing motorcycle gloves—the protective features and construction. Icon built off the original Anthem gloves and enhanced the Anthem 2 model with some key upgrades to ratchet up defense without impeding feel and flexibility.
This flexible, molded rubberized armor contains shock-absorbing D3O foam padding underneath. The 3D contour shape and segmented joints flow with the hand through its full range of motion. So, you retain excellent tactile feedback and dexterity compared to stiff, overbuilt glove armor.
Durable kangaroo leather reinforced palm
Covering the palm, breathable mesh fabric lined with durable kangaroo leather provides abrasion resistance if you take a skid.
Premium k-leather strikes the ideal balance between protection and supple comfort. Kangaroo hide withstands abrasion better than cowhide before needing replacement.
The knuckle armor extends down the fingertips as well for some added defense. And beneath the TouchTec fingertips, you’ll notice Icon’s proprietary Pro Touch leather. This durable, conductive goatskin leather allows you to operate touchscreens without removing the gloves.
To pull the Anthem 2s snugly around your paws, a Velcro wrist closure replaces the previous slip-on pull loop design for a more secure fit.
And regarding fit, these gloves run quite large in the fingers and overall hand width. I typically wear a men’s large but sized down to a medium for a performance match. So try them on before buying, or consider sizing down.
Ventilation Enhancements Keep Hands Cooler
But surprisingly, the Anthem 2 Stealth gloves never felt excessively hot, even zipping along for 30+ minutes with 100°F desert air blasting at me.
Ventilated TPR mesh knuckle panel
The mesh panels across the glove backs likely contribute to increased airflow. Underneath the armor, these mesh panels run along the pinky fingers and surround the knuckles for ventilation without exposing the skin. The stretchy Lycra gussets between the fingers also enhance flexibility and airflow.
With heaping doses of airflow from high-speed riding hitting these mesh vents, the Anthem 2 gloves breathe well for full-finger protection.
For $40 gloves with armoring, I’m thoroughly impressed by their cooler wearing experience compared to other gloves with less airflow. The mesh inserts make a noticeable difference in dissipating heat and moisture.
Striking the Balance Between Protection and Sensitivity
Every experienced rider understands the importance of proper hand protection when suiting up for motorcycle journeys.
Exposed hands serve as the first line of defense in a get-off, especially when trying to brace yourself from impacts. Any experienced motorcyclist has the scars, sprains, or broken bones to prove it.
Yet gloved hands also need to maintain a heightened tactile connection with bike controls for performance and safety.
Numb, clumsy hands fumbling with brake levers and twisted throttles in critical situations pose massive risks. Dexterity, feel, and flexibility enable riders to operate controls with precision.
So glove manufacturers perpetually grapple with how to guard hands without impeding grip interface and sensitivity.
Materials science advances aid this effort as innovative composites emerge, blending defense and ergonomics. The latest Icon Anthem 2 Stealth gloves showcase this well with protective layers built into a flexible chassis.
The stretchy mesh between armor joints, perforated leather fingers, and textile gussets retain mobility so critical for bike control. These details enable natural hand movement inside a lightweight, protective exoskeleton.
But from inspecting the abrasion-resistant leather and ample armor integration, I’m confident the Anthem 2s provide trustworthy primary shielding from lacerations. And the foam-backed shields promise lessened bruising and breakage if taking a tumble.
While serious track and adventure touring riders may demand pricier gloves with even heavier plating, these affordable Icon offerings deliver ample defense for typical street and backroad rides during summer.
Just don’t expect winter warmth or waterproofing at this price. But breathability, flexibility, and tactile feel check all the right boxes for my usage, spanning city commuting, weekend canyon carving, and out-of-town trips.
Considering cost versus capability, the Anthem 2 Stealth gloves strike an admirable balance worthy of consideration.
Key Specs of Icon’s Anthem 2 Stealth Street Motorcycle Gloves
- Construction: Breathable mesh panels with abrasion-resistant kangaroo leather palm reinforcements, knuckle armor extends down fingers
- Protection: Injection molded rubberized armor shields with D3O foam; reinforced palm heel
- Comfort: Pre-curved design matches natural grip position; stretch Lycra gussets
- Function: Conductive goatskin leather fingertips enable touchscreen operation
- Fit: Runs very large in fingers/hand width; size down accordingly
- Colors: Stealth black only
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the armor compare to winter gloves?
The Anthem 2 armor offers slightly less protection than heavyweight winter gloves designed for colder conditions. However, the armoring still provides substantial impact and abrasion resistance for summer riding while retaining excellent flexibility.
Would you choose these over knuckle-only gloves?
I prefer the Anthem 2 model over basic knuckle-only gloves since the armor protection extends down the fingers for added defense. Plus, the abrasion-resistant palm material bolsters durability. But knuckle gloves allow greater airflow.
Do the seams or stitching bother you?
Finding motorcycle gloves ready for summer heat that don’t sacrifice critical protection proves tricky. But in my experience testing the Icon Anthem 2 Stealth gloves across 150+ miles of riding in ambient temps up to 100°F, they perform admirably given their budget-friendly cost.
Ventilated TPR mesh inserts amp up airflow to keep hands cooler compared to many competing gloves. That added cooling potential makes sweltering summer rides measurably more bearable and extends comfortable wear time.
So, if you’re hunting for sturdy, ductile, and breezy summer motorcycle gloves without emptying your wallet, the Icon Anthem 2 Stealth warrants your attention. Considering cost versus overall capability, they deliver outstanding value at the $40 price.
Sources: Protective clothing: (1)