Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Glove
Best-looking entry-level Muay Thai glove on the market
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Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Glove
As with the Twins BGVL-3, the Fairtex BGV1 Muay Thai glove is one of the truly quintessential images of the sport of Muay Thai in Thailand. If you walk into any Muay Thai gym in the country you are bound to see Fairtex branded equipment on bags, gloves, shin protection, rings and shorts throughout the place. Also like Twins, Fairtex is a huge global brand. The gloves are of high quality, comfortable and durable. The company is massive and manufacturing equipment is but the tip of their financial iceberg.
The owner, “Mr. Philip Wong”, not his real name, trademarked the name Fairtex in 1958. But it wasn’t until 1971 that he started producing textiles, mostly high quality T-shirts, for local department stores and export overseas. He had always been a fan of Muay Thai as it had helped him as a child who had been bullied by others. As Mr. Wong’s business grew, he decided he wanted to give back. And he did so by building a training center and inviting some of the local boys from the area to attend Muay Thai classes. He wanted to give some of these underprivileged kids a chance to do something fun, keep them off the streets and away from drugs.
Like its competitor, Twins, Fairtex has become huge in Muay Thai promotions- not only in Thailand, but abroad. And they have built a number of training centers within Thailand and also in the United States.
Now, back to the review…
Note- The BGV1 does not aggravate my OCD with its product code as does the Twins BGVL-3! BoxingGloVe1 is a sensible way to name this product.
First Impressions: Fairtex BGV1
In contrast to Twins, Fairtex gloves have a slicker, more polished look. The standard BGV1 Muay Thai glove is a definite throwback. I think they are more visually appealing and even the logo design has more flair and retro-appeal than the Twins. Aesthetically, they are just a little bit nicer than the comparable product from Twins. This glove is available in 8-18oz versions.
Again, we are sticking with the basic model glove in order to come up with an honest comparison. As with competitors models, these gloves come in a variety of single colors. They also are the basis for a wide variety of different and striking designs. There is a commemorative One Championship model available in limited edition, and even DHL- yes, the shipping company- has commissioned their own design. They have a lot of funky art collection editions of this glove, as well as some PVC models which are marketed as vegan friendly! Hint, I tried the vegan ones out, but I think I need a better recipe. Mine were inedible. I’m open to suggestions.
The filling for the Fairtex gloves purports to be made from some sort microfiber, which does seem to give them a bit more of recoil when you are hitting a heavy bag or if you land a heavier body shot. Some of our trainers do say that for prolonged use, these gloves do seem to get heavier as they soak up more sweat. For this reason alone, we do not use them as loaner gear in our gym in the south of Thailand. I’m told by some of our students that they are great at their gyms at home in the US or Europe where, even though they sweat, the volume of sweat is nothing like Thailand. Our gym is open air and the temperature on the mats can easily hit 40C.
That said, most people don’t train Muay Thai 2 sessions a day in these conditions unless they are prepping for a fight in Thailand. If you are a normal trainee who does 4-5 hard sessions a week, you will not encounter problems with the BGV1 becoming overly heavy. The gloves look great. There are many models to choose from at various price points.
These gloves are smaller than others. Not just the hand-pocket, but the exterior. This could be partly from the microfiber as opposed to the foam that other manufacturers use. Some people prefer this for sparring as it better simulates the 8or 10oz gloves used in a fight. But you will definitely notice when you try to cover that there is not as much glove to protect you. And your sparring opponents may be suspicious of whether you are using the same sized gloves as them as the 14/16oz versions of these gloves could easily pass for a 10/12oz versions of most others.
I really like the look of these gloves and absolutely understand why they are so popular.
There is a noticeable difference in the fit of these gloves compared to many of the others on the market. The glove has a smaller hand-pocket than the Twins or Top King models that I have used in the past. My hands are a bit bigger than the average man and I have short, chubby fingers. For me, this glove is not a good fit. I should say that I use 180” wraps, which are fairly standard.
I know that I could use shorter wristwraps and possibly find a better fit, but I don’t want to have to worry about changing my wraps’ length, which would also entail having to come up with a different way to wrap my hands, just to accommodate wearing the Fairtex BGV1 glove. Personally, I don’t like the gloves to be too snug. And these are too snug for me.
That said, the first time I took this glove out of the package and slid my UNWRAPPED hand inside of it, I was well impressed! I think this glove has a great feel to it. There is a bit more padding is distributed along the heel of the hand and it seems to mold your hand into a tighter fist naturally.
Once I manage to get it on my wrapped hand I really liked the performance. The glove is very comfortable, has a bit of snap-back when you hit the pads or a bag and offers a lot of support around the wrist. But getting it on and off to take a drink, wipe my face or reset a timer was just too much trouble for me.
If you have small to average sized hands, this is a great glove. However, make sure you try it on first WITH your wraps.
Once they are on your hands, the BGV1 from Fairtex is extremely comfortable. They really do feel great. Even the material used on the inside is smooth, rich and inviting. The padding is a bit stiffer and it is designed to mold to your hand better. There’s definitely much less wriggle-room in these hand pockets. I imagine that people would definitely fall in love if they had the right sized hands for this glove.
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that I don’t place as much value on comfort as some people. I think that as soon as you start training, the furthest thing from your mind is how comfortable your gloves are. But in those few minutes between slipping on your Fairtex gloves and starting the pad or bag work, if comfort is your thing, you will be happy with this glove.
Here’s my biggest issue with the Fairtex BGV1. Though the glove looks great- the best looking gloves on the market- is very comfortable and may fit some people very well, but I think that the durability is its weakest point.
The gloves are made from great materials and the microfiber filler is definitely a selling point, so that isn’t the issue. But that small hand-pocket and the fact that this glove just feels tight- as if the leather is stretched tightly across the filler- causes them to give out quicker than other gloves on the market.
As a personal glove in a low-use, cooler environment, I think you would be able to get some good life out of this piece of equipment. But if you train daily, spend a lot of time on the heavy bag, really grinding in a hot environment where you sweat a lot, I believe there are better gloves out there.
If you look at the BGV1 side-by-side with the same weight glove from another manufacturer, they look smaller. Shove a hand into that smaller hand pocket with a 180” wrap on it and it feels over-stuffed. Then start throwing 1000’s of heavy shots on a bag and sooner or later, something has to give. The heavy bag will not be that something. Probably, your body will be not either. That only leaves the gloves.
As the owner of a Muay Thai gym in Thailand, I would never use these as my loaner gear. On a normal day before this awful pandemic, we would expect that each pair of gloves would get at least 2-3 hours of use per day. They wouldn’t get a chance to properly air out from one day to the next before they would need to be used again. And they would degrade rapidly as a result.
But because Fairtex makes some of the sexiest boxing gloves around, I always have a few for retail sales. People look at them and they want them. I get it. Some people are that way with designer watches, handbags, superbikes or sports cars. They look good and you want to have them.
Now, I believe these gloves will easily last as personal gear for a year or more under even the heaviest use. If you are the type of person that doesn’t mind purchasing a new set of gloves that often AND these gloves fit your hand, then by all means go for it. But I would expect to get at least 2 to 3 years out of a personal set of Muay Thai gloves. And I know from experience that this offering from Fairtex would not get me there.
These gloves are on the more expensive end on the spectrum. They are undoubtedly high quality, with good components and an appealing design. They are worth the money. If they fit you, then you will definitely be happy with their performance. They feel good when you punch something. Whether it’s a bag, a pad or another person, the BGV1 delivers a really nice blow and the recoil is pleasing.
I would put them on the lower end of the gloves that I’ve tested when it comes to value-for-money though. And that is purely because there are gloves out there which will give you a lot more life than this model.
Verdict: Fairtext BGV1 Muay Thai Glove
The BGV1 is easily the best-looking entry-level glove on the market. When you take into account the aesthetics, there is no question why this glove is so popular and has sold so many models throughout the world.
There’s no doubt about whether you will be happy with this glove. The colors, construction and design are beautiful. If this glove fits your hand (don’t forget to try them on WITH your hand wraps), you will love the feel of them.
And if you don’t mind replacing them at a slightly quicker rate, then this could be your glove.