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Gear Review: King Superlight Gloves by Brine Lacrosse

0 - Published August 29, 2012 by in Equipment, Gloves

Product: Superlight Gloves
Company: Brine Lacrosse
Price: $99.99
PURCHASE LINK

Valley’s Custom King Superlight Gloves

I’ve happily worn Reebok 9k lacrosse gloves for a couple of years now, but when Valley decided to switch vendors this year I decided that I was ready for a new pair.  The Brine King Superlights were our glove of choice and we designed them to blend in with our previous gloves, Harrow Torrents.  So I ordered a pair for myself.

When the box of team gloves arrived, I was stoked.  Going through the box, I quickly found that I was short a pair.  I called our vendor and after a bit of research, he found that Brine simply messed up the order.  I was given the option to wait until the end of the spring season for a late arriving custom pair or two pairs of stock lacrosse gloves.  I chose the latter and donated the extra pair to an (unpaid) assistant coach.

Because I had the opportunity to examine both custom and stock versions of thee lacrosse gloves, this review will point out some of the differences I noticed.  First hand testing was limited to practices, scrimmages, and coaching.  I also had the opportunity to make observations of the custom models in use over the course of an unusually warm high school season.

The replacement stock model

Appearance… +2

The custom gloves look amazing.  We modeled them after the King 2 lacrosse gloves favoring a black and white color scheme.  Orange was used as an accent color.  Brine has some great customization options for this fairly inexpensive glove.  Aside from the standard components, the stripes and logos can be colored to your specifications.  Teams with four or five colors can make something pretty special for very little money.

Of course the look of the stock gloves is what drew my attention to begin with.  They have design cues clearly taken from the first two Kings models despite being (more or less) a single color.  The backhand and most of the glove is a knit material that is contrasted nicely by a smooth PU index finger and trim.  The overall look is cleaner and more professional that the prices suggests.

I was also a big fan of the palms – especially on the custom models.  The fingers are covered in a thin leather.  Large swatches of mesh break up the palm; on the custom gloves they are the same black as the leather which translates to a clean look.  The stock models opt for a bright blue mesh, which looks a bit messier.

Palm feels as great as it looks

Comfort… +1.5

I had odd hands.  My palms are massive but my fingers are short and my pinkies are severely bent.  Baseball gloves never really fit right; either my fingers do not go far enough up to catch well or my palm is partially exposed.  Hockey gloves allow me the freedom of total hand protection despite the space in the fingers.  But for lax I like things a little tighter.

The King Superlights offer a snug fit on my fingers, which are average in thickness.  In fact, the whole glove is snug but not tight.  It offers plenty of flexibility to move your hands naturally while you play.  I had not trouble with face offs, passes, shots, or cradling.

Although the palms look somewhat scratchy with all of that mesh,  I have yet to be irritated.  The leather is soft and supple; the reinforced section is unnoticeable during play.  Unfortunately the mesh doesn’t do the best job at keeping my palms cool, but I never had a pool of swear either.

Living up their name, these might be the lightest gloves I have worn.  After wearing the box-inspired 9ks, it almost feels as if I’m wearing surgical gloves.

My only real complaint comes from some of the finishing in my pair (as well as the extra pair I received).  A few stray scraps of the knit material were not trimmed properly and poke at my fingers.  In one hand it is in the middle finger and in the other it’s the thumb.  The scratchiness does not hinder performance but it is annoying.  After a few minutes it is no longer noticeable though.

Snug on the fingers

Protection… +1.5

For a light lacrosse glove, the King Superlight has significant padding.  As mentioned above, the backhand is covered by a rigid plate over foam.  The fingers have the standard foam with thin plastic that has become the standard.  However, the padding on the outside of the forefinger is virtually nonexistent.  While this seemed to aid me with extra mobility during face offs, a well placed check could be problematic.

The cuff is short, which opens up the wrist to slashes.  To compensate, Brine attached a second “floating” cuff.  The second cuff is a thin piece of foam covered in the vinyl material.  It offers little protection is is a nuisance if tightened for its intended use.  I left it as loose as the Velcro would allow, which really did nothing to cover the gap between my elbow pads and the glove’s attached cuff.  Needless to say, that exposed section of forearm presents a tasty target.

Vented rigid plate over the delicate hand bones

 

Durability… +1

Right away I noticed several defects in the construction of these lacrosse gloves.  The  below shows some of the uneven trimming on the fabric.  Chunks of fabric protrude between the joints on the fingers – on both the outside and inside.  This does not really impair performance, but speaks poorly about Brine’s quality control.  Regardless of the price, I expect brand new gloves to at least look like some time went into the production and inspection – especially when they are made by one of the biggest brands in the game.  My fear is that the loose pieces will quickly lead to popped threads or some sort of unraveling.

This issue only seemed to affect the stock gloves.  Both pairs had these gnarly ends sticking out, but the custom gloves were neatly trimmed and nicely put together.

Untrimmed fabric everywhere…

However the custom gloves, being white, have shown a tendency to yellow very quickly.  We all know that sweat and other condensation are amplified by being left in a bag, but even the guys that take care of their gear had significant yellowing by the end of the season.

Even more troubling, the rivets popped out of the cuffs the very first time I wore my glove!  It was not in a game, a face off demonstration, or even in a drill.  It happened while playing catch before warm ups!  The rivets exist to keep the strings from tearing through the cuffs, which means that over time there is potential for significant damage to the cuff.

Popped a rivet

Value… +1.5

For a hundred bucks, the Brine King Superlight lacrosse gloves are a pretty good deal.  Sure my pair had a rivet pop out and both stock pairs we received had some finish issues, but the custom gloves have held up nicely.  Quite a few pairs made it through the high school season, summer camps, and Vail with no issues.  I recently learned that one of my starters with a white stock model has had no issues since last Christmas.

Also worth noting:  Binghamton University wore the King Superlight gloves this season.  After an entire D1 season, former team captain John Clark’s gloves still look almost as pristine as they did when they came out of the bag.

They are light yet protective.  They have styling that mirrors Brine’s top models.  Compared to other lacrosse gloves in this price range, the Superlights are in a class of their own.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Seventy-five percent would not be enough to sell me on a top of the line glove.  But when it comes to finding a fairly cheap product, this is the ideal range.  You are not going to be getting the best of the best, but you will receive a scaled down and effective version of the top model.  They are kind of a stripped down version of the real Brine Kings.

Whether you are a new player or are simply looking for an inexpensive team glove option, the Brine King Superlight is a sure bet.  If you play in a rough and tumble league, I recommend moving up the ladder to a more expensive model.

Raelee gives them her seal of approval!

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