SEA MMA Gear Guide

PunchTown KARPAL eX TAT2 MMA Gloves Review (Updated with photos)

Introduction

PunchTown is a relatively new MMA brand based in the UK, but it's already making waves with its innovative designs and aesthetics. They also have an amazingly wide array of design choices for their MMA gloves, and I was hard-pressed to choose only ONE design from all of them. Sigh.

Official Specs:

  • Top-grade US leather construction
  • TAT2 design - World-first advanced leather detailing and durability technology
  • BOA-TITE™ Dual independent strap for eXtreme secure fit
  • Ultra smooth inner lining for comfort and protection
  • TriStage 3-part foam inner construction for strike confidence
  • 9 initial designs (Series 01)

Aesthetics

This is one mean looking pair of gloves. Look at that! Metacarpal bones and a skull! Dunno about you, but I'm sure some of us had fantasies of seeing through our skins to the bones when we were kids. PunchTown lets you live that dream now! The only thing more badass than that is their Medusa design, which is unfortunately out of stock at the time of writing.

 

From the image above (yes I got the pink ones, got a problem with that?), you can see the base design they have across all the eX TAT 2 series gloves, namely the PunchTown logos, the Karpal eX branding, the Kanji characters, and more branding on the dual straps. The interesting thing about this gloves is that the designs are inked into the leather, meaning they won't fade anytime soon or wear off with use, unlike the traditional glove prints.

One word of caution though, certain product photos tend to look brighter in colours due to their studio setup, but are somewhat darker in the flesh. This is true from mouthguards to tshirts to gloves. With the intricate designs that PunchTown sports, you may need to take that into consideration.

In this particular series, there are 9 designs - the basic Fracture design in Red, Pink, Black and White, the Country series featuring USA, Britain, Brazil, (and I think I saw an Aussie one somewhere), a Medusa design (awesome cool!), and a more low key but equally cool Carbon Fiber design. You can drool at them over at the PunchTown website.

Form & Fit

Now, this is one of those rare times that making a beeline for S size may not be the most intelligent decision, and for the first time I received a pair of gloves that was a mite too small! I only realised there was a sizing chart later. *facepalm* An M size might have felt a little looser and more comfortable. Or so I thought initially.

That said, it's not really a big issue, as the gloves were designed to accommodate gel wraps. The result was that the MMA gloves were snug in every aspect for the first time in my experience. After training with it for a few sessions, it started to grow on me, and I loved how snug and fit everything was. Turns out that my other gloves were probably a lil too big for me rather than this pair being a lil too small. I'll probably need to get an M size eventually to compare for sure.

So if you've been having sizing issues for MMA gloves, especially with those irritating S/M sizes (I do not understand how S/M can be the same size unless you like baggy gloves), PunchTown actually makes a good fit for us with smaller Asian hands! They even have XS for the ladies, and if you don't mind the pink colour, those of you with uber small hands can get that too.

Now, the dual strap system for this gloves is super tight and easy to work with. I find this superior to even my Hayabusa (partly due to sizing issues) and I can tighten this all the way. The strap system consists of the smaller upper strap and the larger lower strap, and you can adjust each strap individually after putting them on.

This means easy tightening or loosening on the fly without having to unstrap everything and starting over. You'll know what I mean when working with single straps, you have to press down the wrist area to tighten first before you can strap on. With this system, you can strap on the bottom strap loosely first, then tighten with the upper strap. So much easier and more convenient.

However, the gloves are quite stiff when new, and really needs to be properly broken in. I needed to compress the glove and bend it a couple of times before I could wear it comfortably and make a fist.

The glove uses and open palm system with a thumb loop, my preferred kind of setup.

Functionality

The gloves come with a small pouch to keep them in. This is great if you're the sort that throws your gloves into a big bag like me, making it easier to find the gloves, and generally more convenient to carry around. I'm surprised not more companies are doing this.

The wrist support on this glove is awesome. Because of the dual strap system, there is no wiggle room at the wrist area at all. In fact, I can tighten it until my fingers turn purple. Not saying to do that, but just to show how tight it can go.

Padding on this glove is super hard though. I have yet to break it in with padwork, so I'm not too sure how long it'll take to soften or if it even will. So far, I've used it for technique drills and super duper light sparring. My advice is not to get this pair as your main sparring gloves, the hybrid type of MMA gloves will be a better choice.

It will do an excellent job of protecting your fingers and knuckles though, and there is zero shifting with this pair of gloves thanks to the superb fit on my hand. Initially, I was afraid that my hands would feel sore after a session due to the stiffness of the glove, but I survived just fine, and by now the gloves are more flexible. Still a little stiff compared to other gloves, but it should break in with time.

Affordability

Alright, after a delicious review, here's the potential deal breaker. Official price is GBP 42.54 (SGD$ 89) without VAT (make sure you're not charged for VAT, that's only for UK sales if I'm correct), which is more expensive compared to the other MMA gloves out there. Don't forget there's still shipping which will set you back another GBP 10-20. Doesn't seem to be so readily available outside of the UK.

Price point alone, I feel it's well worth forking out the moolah for the excellent fit and badass designs on this good quality glove. Shipping will be the main sticking point, so you might want to share a shipment with friends.

On a side note, this was my first time getting gear from the UK, and the initial experience wasn't all that pleasant. I received a lemon from the a reseller, and did not receive any response from their customer service.

Fortunately, the official PunchTown team were much more responsive, and graciously offered me a replacement pair. I was impressed and extremely happy with the entire service recovery process. They certainly do not neglect or marginalise their faraway customers. My suggestion would be to purchase directly from them, unless the design you badly want is out of stock there like in my case.

Conclusion

Give your opponents a little fracture when you touch your fists to their faces. If you love a great designs and quality gloves, this is one pair you should consider biting the bullet for. *muacks*

(Yes, only the pink ladies' glove comes with a kiss. I'm man enough to wear it, are you?)

Disclaimer

All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.

Comments (8) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Where can I get the pink ones at? I have a pro fighter that is a male and he wants pink ones.

    • Hey Jenna,

      The pink ones are the older generation gloves and only come in S or XS for ladies. Not sure if they still have them anymore.

  2. I would love some pink ones in small . I must have them . Where can I fined them???

    • Hey Claire, like I answered Jenna, they are from the first generation of gloves and I don’t think they have them anymore. You could try checking online stores for old stock or contacting PunchTown directly, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

  3. i m living n saudi arabia,where can buy it in saudi?

  4. hey i want the pink gloves but i cant see how much they cost and stuff?


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