The AGV Sport Laguna gloves are the "premier full length sport-racing glove" in the AGV Sport lineup.
These sport or sport-touring gloves are made from soft, mid-weight leather and they have an array of protective features.
Their main claim to fame is the large amount of perforated leather surface area between the fingers, which actually makes the Laguna gloves a good choice for warm-weather without sacrificing protection.
I reviewed the AGV Sport Willow gloves (review) last year as part of our "Budget Track Day" series.
The Willow gloves were admittedly the weak link in the chain, so to speak. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with them; just that they are probably more biased towards street riding than serious track day wear.
So, ever on the lookout for the "perfect" pair of street/sport gloves, we moved up one notch along the AGV Sport food chain to the AGV Sport Laguna gloves, which are also the recent benefactor of a list price drop from $129.00 to $99.00, making an especially noteworthy deal.
There are dozens of different motorcycle gloves for sale in the "street" or "sport" category, all nicely sorted into regular pricing intervals and all vying for your hard-earned dollars (or Euros or Pounds or Shekels...).
Choosing a pair isn't easy and reviewing motorcycle gloves is difficult. There's really no way of knowing if one pair or another will protect your hands better when/if the time comes. About all we can really go by is brand reputation and key features, like double-locking closure systems, extra leather on the areas most prone to abrasion and decent-looking stitching.
One does sort of get a feel, so to speak, for the types of features and the construction that hopefully will work best. As is the case with much of the motorcycle gear for sale today, "you get what you pay for". More or less, anyway.
Most of the street/sport gloves in the circa-$100 range have comparable features but there's one in particular that webBikeWorld readers have been looking for: ventilation.
I can't tell you how many emails we've received from webBikeWorlders looking for that "perfect" combination of good ventilation without sacrificing protection. Well, the AGV Sport Laguna gloves may be just the ticket.
I wasn't expecting a street/sport glove to have good ventilation, so this is a surprise. The combination of the medium-weight leather that makes up the body of the Laguna gloves, along with perforated leather inserts on both side of the fingers, make them especially comfortable for warm-weather riding.
Coincidentally, some correspondence with webBikeWorld Laguna glove owners who ride in hot climates has confirmed my findings: the Laguna gloves indeed have a reputation as a good choice for hot weather sportbiking.
AGV Sport (no direct relation with AGV Helmets) makes a variety of motorcycle clothing and we've reviewed much of it on webBikeWorld.com.
The company's motorcycle glove lineup was expanded for 2012, with the new GPR full-race gloves holding the top spot at $199.99. Next comes the the new AGV Sport Raptor gloves at $149.00, then the Stealth gloves at $119.00 before you get to the Laguna gloves at $99.00.
The Laguna gloves were the top dogs not long ago but the price has now been reduced by 30 bucks, making them a pretty good deal. That sub-$100 list price is important, because paying anything more than that seems to present some type of psychological barrier for many riders.
So basically, you're getting what was once a top-of-the-line pair of motorcycle gloves at a 20% discount. I like it when prices go down, rather than up!
The Laguna gloves are made from a soft cowhide and they have the range of protective features you might expect for a street/sport glove.
The leather used in the Laguna gloves has a very fine texture with almost no visible pores, so these must have been pampered cows. The leather feels softer than I expected it would.
I'm not sure what type of leather is used; AGV Sport doesn't say much, other than describing it as "premium cowhide leather with high tear strength and abrasion resistance". But the inherent softness of this particular leather gives the Laguna gloves a comfortable feel and before my first ride was complete, they felt completely broken-in.
The leather has what I'd call a mid-weight thickness, with enough body to (hopefully) protect the hands but not so thick as to interfere with feel. It almost feels like goat hide, it's that soft. It didn't take long at all for me to really start to enjoy wearing these.
Protection is enhanced with a carbon fiber main knuckle protector and extra sections of leather over the outer part of the thumb, outside of the pinky finger and on the palms. The carbon fiber protector is nicely shaped so it feels comfortable as I move my hands in the gloves.
The first three fingers each have a pair of plastic sliders, each one hollowed out in the center with a metal screen that doesn't really let in much air. The pinky finger has a pair of leather patches to protect the knuckles instead.
There's a nice leather slider on the outside of the heel of the hand, backed by some type of hard insert underneath. The same type of insert backs a pair of sliders on the top of the double gauntlet, covering each side of the wrist. The gauntlet is large enough to fit over any of my motorcycle jackets, and that's a plus.
The double gauntlet than fits around the wrist, securing underneath with double sections of hook-and-loop, forming three layers of leather along the bottom of the wrist.
A separate wrist strap on the underside is attached with a plastic D-ring and secures the gloves firmly on the hand. It's probably too long for the design, or at least for my wrists, because when I tighten it up all the way, there's about 10 mm of extra length that sort of hangs off the side of the gloves. It hasn't bothered me so far, but it looks strange.
The Laguna gloves look great in black, with the contrasting tan "high tensile" nylon stitching making a good contrast. Most of the stitching is double rows, except on some of the additional abrasion patches. The stitching is nicely applied; not perfect, but certainly adequate and constructed with obvious diligence.
One of the features that help to make the Laguna gloves surprisingly comfortable in warm weather is the minimal amount of lining material. The very soft leather used throughout the gloves apparently allowed the designers to eliminate a lining on the palms of the hands. This has the side benefit of giving better feel for the grips when riding.
The inside of the thumb is lined, as is the entire top of the glove on the inside, including the tops of the fingers. It's a thin lining and placing it along the top helps reduce friction, making it easier to bend the hands around the grips.
The secret to the excellent ventilation in the Laguna gloves is the perforated leather panels along the inside and outside of the fingers. These panels are unlined, so air flows freely into the gloves, which give the Laguna gloves some of the best ventilation you'll find in a pair of gloves of this type.
No, it's not the equivalent of full mesh gloves, but don't forget, you're getting a lot of protective features with the Laguna gloves also.
The gloves shown here are size large and they fit about as expected. The construction of the fingertips is the race-style, where the four sections of leather come to a sort of point at the fingertip. At first, I thought the fingers might be too short, but the soft leather and quick break-in time solved that problem.
The thumb feels a bit larger and wider than average when I first put the gloves on, but it's not a problem at all once I have my hands wrapped around the grips and I'd rather have a bit of spare room in the thumb than not enough.
Overall, I'd rate the Laguna gloves as a very good fit and again, very comfortable, despite the minimal lining. They must have done a pretty good job of sewing these together, because I don't really feel any stitches or bunching inside the gloves and again, the very soft leather used by AGV Sport helps in this regard.
Not much more I can say about the ventilation in the Laguna gloves that I haven't said already. The perforated leather used on either side of the fingers helps to bring in fresh air and although the "vents" on the knuckle sliders don't really do much, and there are no other vents anywhere along the body of the gloves, there's enough air flow to make a difference.
These are not the equivalent of some type of short mesh glove by any means with regards to ventilation, but they're about as good as you'll get with all the other protective features included.
The AGV Sport Laguna gloves are definitely a step up from the Willow gloves I reviewed previously. These were the top-of-the-line AGV Sport gloves not long ago, but the 30% price reduction makes them the "sleeper" in the lineup.
For all of you webBikeWorld readers who have asked for high levels of protection but with good ventilation, the AGV Sport Laguna gloves may be your answer.