Bionic ReliefGrip Gardening Gloves: Product Review
They’re tough yet supple, comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and keep your hands clean and protected.
Available on Amazon
There are so many things to look for in a good pair of gardening gloves – fit, dexterity, protection from sharp objects, comfort – that it can be overwhelming trying to find just the right ones for your needs. With so many specialty gardening gloves available, you could easily end up with dozens of gloves – one for every gardening task!
But if you’re looking for one glove that can do almost everything, you can’t go wrong with the Bionic ReliefGrip gardening glove. It has some unique features that make it a good choice not only for the typical gardener, but also for those of us with arthritic fingers.
>> If you’re looking for Bionic Tough Pro gloves for men, see our detailed review here.
Silicone Finger Tips
I’ve never seen this in gardening gloves before. The silicone tips (on all but the little finger) are supposed to provide more durability, protection and dexterity. I’m not sure if that’s really true (it’s usually the very end of the fingers, where the seams are, that wears out on gloves – not the pad) but I’m able to tie my shoelaces, pick up small objects, and easily feel what I’m doing (no crushed seedlings!) with the gloves on. The silicone tips transmit enough sensation through the gloves that, while you still notice the reduction in your sense of touch, it’s not nearly as much as with leather gloves.
One thing I noticed is that the Velcro plant ties I use to tie up my tomatoes sticks to the silicone. Strange and very annoying, but that’s the only downside I’ve found to the silicone finger tips.
This is one of my favorite features of the Bionic ReliefGrip gloves. The neoprene wrist and Velcro closure provide a snug, comfortable fit that keeps dirt out of your glove. Even after hours of heavy duty gardening, my hands are perfectly clean when I take the gloves off.
One thing I’d like to see added to the glove is a leather tab at the wrist to help when pulling the gloves on. As it is, you have to pull on the neoprene to get the gloves on. My concern is that the neoprene will stretch over time and the stitching where the neoprene is sewn to the leather palm will start to unravel. The seam is double-stitched but still…
Soft, Supple & Strong
The Bionic ReliefGrip gloves are made from goatskin leather, which is the crème de la crème of tough but flexible leathers. The leather is incredibly supple, with just a little “give” as you move your hand. Yet it stands up well to gardening in the gravel and sharp sand here in Tucson.
Best of all, the gloves are washable! You can just throw the gloves in the washing machine (no bleach and a mild detergent only), although it’s best to hand wash as the agitation from the washing machine can sometimes loosen the stitching. Always air dry the gloves. Washing the Bionic ReliefGrip gloves is supposed to make the leather even more supple while enhancing the durability of the glove. I can’t attest to that but I can say that the gloves are still perfectly supple and haven’t shrunk after many runs through the washing machine (and the stitching is still intact).
The padding on the bottom of the fingers is a unique feature of the Bionic ReliefGrip gardening gloves. The pads are placed midway between each finger joint and are supposed to even out pressure across the entire surface of the finger when you grip something, like a shovel or rake. This should reduce blisters and require less force when gripping the tool, a definite plus for those of us with arthritis in our fingers.
There’s also padding on the palm of the hand which I really appreciate after several hours of digging or using a hand tool.
There are small pieces of terrycloth strategically stitched into the inside of the glove, mostly where the padding is. These serve to keep your hands dry in areas where you typically sweat, thus reducing the chance of blisters. I’d like to see a terry patch on the outside of the glove though, perhaps on the thumb, to wipe my brow on those hot Tucson days in the garden.
I can’t measure grip force but I can tell you that I’ve never developed blisters while gardening with the Bionic gloves and my hands don’t get the “soggy” feeling I have with some of my other gloves.
Lycra “Flex Zones”
One of the reasons leather gardening gloves can be uncomfortable is that they don’t stretch a lot, making it more difficult (and tiring) to bend your fingers or grasp a gardening tool. Goatskin leather is quite supple but Bionic has taken things one step further by adding stretchable Lycra “motion zones” on the back of each knuckle and “web zones” between the fingers.
Besides looking pretty cool, the “motion zones” do seem to make it easier to form a fist as they provide some “give” on the back of the hand. The “web zones” are intended to help dissipate heat and make the gloves fit better across multiple hand/finger sizes. The downside is that each motion and web zone is double-stitched in place (so they won’t likely come undone), making for even more seams on the inside of the gloves. You get used to all the seams after a while but, at first, it can be a little uncomfortable.
There are separate designs and sizing for men and women. Be sure to use the company’s sizing guidelines on their website or as shown on the inside of each display sleeve if you’re buying the gloves in a store. I found that they run a little smaller than other brands – I usually wear a small but in the Bionic gloves I wear a medium (and could probably go to a large as the medium gloves were quite tight when I first put them on).
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to how tightly a glove should fit. For heavy-duty work I prefer mine to be a little looser. But for “regular” gardening tasks, I like a snug fitting glove. It stays put, keeps the dirt out, and gives you more fine motor control of your fingers. So if you’re debating whether to go up or down a size with the Bionic gloves, I’d recommend going for a slightly tighter fit as the gloves will stretch a bit and they work best when they’re a little snug. After a while, I don’t even notice that I’m wearing them as I’m digging, weeding, or planting in the garden.
A lot of thought has clearly gone into the design of Bionic ReliefGrip gardening gloves. They’re tough yet supple, comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and keep your hands clean and protected. For general gardening tasks, these are my go-to gloves. Definitely a 5-shovel pair of gloves!
Where to Buy
Bionic ReliefGrip gardening gloves for both men and women can be bought online directly from the Bionic website for $39.99 with shipping between $5.95 and $10.95, as well as on Amazon, although it may be difficult to find the size or style you want on Amazon.
And now over to you – Which are your favorite gardening gloves? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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