TWINS are the most popular Muay Thai boxing gloves in the world and the Twins Special Thai Boxing Gloves BGVL3’s are the company’s core flagship product, and by far the most common TWINS gloves you see around.
They (like all TWINS products) are manufactured in Thailand and are hugely popular there – many of the top Muay Thai fighters in the sport fight using these gloves, and if you go into any Thai gym, most of the trainers and fighters own a pair or three.
Basically, the Twins brand and Muay Thai are very much entangled. Most of the gloves I’ve used up during my 4 years living and training in Thailand have been Twins Specials, mainly because they offer a lot of bang for the buck and they are the easiest gloves to get a hold of. I’ve used and destroyed 8 ounce, 10 ounce, 12 ounce, 16 ounce, 18 ounce, and even 20 ounce TWINS gloves while in Thailand (my latest pair of TWINS gloves just died the end of 2015). So I can certainly write this review from a lot of ‘hands on’ experience with these gloves.
Twins and Top King are the two most popular Muay Thai glove brands. Both gloves are actually owned by the same family, brothers actually. One brother left the ‘Twins’ family and started his own brand, Top King. So it’s not an exaggeration to literally say they are ‘almost’ owned by the same company/family.
Here’s the main ‘features’ these gloves offer. Some models offer additional features such as Air Mesh vents, different colors and patterns, and even some different shape designs between models. However, the core features have remained pretty static over the years. TWINS typically offer the following core features:
Velcro Wrist Fastener
Most TWINS models feature a Velcro wrist fastener, which makes taking the gloves on and off a breeze. However, for fighting and clinching, you either need to tape up the Velcro so it doesn’t open or cut your opponent with the sharper edges.
Most of the TWINS gloves are made from real leather and this model certainly is.
Triple Layer Protection
There are three layers of padding – an outside layer, a middle layer, and a soft inner layer that wraps around your knuckles.
Air Mesh (some models)
Vents in underside area to allow more breathability
In one word: ok. Not bad, but not great.
The basic flagship model is the BGVL3 (i.e. TWINS SPECIAL) which is also the cheapest option but there are quite a few different TWINS models that are fancier in design. While not unattractive, the BGVL3’s are relatively plain in looks, with a single color and the TWINS logo stamped on. Nothing that’s going to impress your friends with. However, you can opt for fancier TWINS models which feature the same core design, same core features but just with fancier logos and colors.
So if LOOKS are the more important factor, then you might look at one of the TWINS SPECIAL Signature Styles, which have more color options with fancier visual designs. Personally, if you are buying a glove based on flash and looks, I think the BEST looking Muay Thai Boxing gloves are either the YOKKAO brand (for the cool logo and flashy colors) or the RAJA brand gloves which just look money.
Twins Glove Models (Updated for 2016)
There are basically three ‘core’ categories of twins gloves. And in each category you can find variations of color, lacing, and such.
Boxing Gloves Series
The core base models with simple colors. This series covers one and two tone color schemes as well as different features like AIR MESH vents, sparring glove designs, and such.
BGVL3 — THE standard gloves with basic features. If you buy a pair, this will most likely the the model. Cheapest price and a simple color (white, black, red, blue, etc)
BGVL3T — same as the BGVL3, but are two tone colors rather than one.
BGVVLA-2 – Same as the standard gloves but include air AIR MESH. Slightly more expensive, but the air mesh can help them dry out faster and they may be cooler when you wear. I recommend these over the standard, but you’ll pay 10 or so bucks more.
BGVL6 – For sparring. These are more angular and designed specifically for sparring with the weight and shape more ideal for sparring, extra padding for more protection, and a more modern ‘look’
Fancy Boxing Gloves Series
More elegant colors and patterns. There are many different model names here, but essentially we are talking just color scheme changes. If you are bored with the basic one or two tone colors of the ‘Boxing Gloves’ series, then look at the Fancy Boxing gloves. Note that if you want some of the more specialized boxing glove models (air mesh, sparring gloves, etc), you’ll probably have to look at the Boxing Gloves series as I don’t think the Fancy Boxing glove series include these designs.
Training Bag Gloves Series
These are smaller gloves for hitting the bag or clinching. There are different models that vary the thumb (half or full thumb design.
The Build and Feel
TWINS make a quality glove. They are made from real leather and give a nice snug fit with quite a bit of padding. They are quite a bit more ‘bulky’ than some of the other brands (such as my recently reviewed Faritex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves 16 ounce), so if you get say a 14 or 16 ounce glove, expect it to be pretty big. While they fit your hand pretty snug, they are NOT as tight fitting as say the Fairtex gloves, which were the snuggest fitting Muay Thai gloves I’ve tried so far.
Because they do fit your hands snug, it’s a good idea to put your hands in a live pair first if you have big hands – you may find with your hand wraps on that the gloves are TOO tight. When you put these gloves on, you can really feel the protection they offer – your entire hand is completely wrapped in padding. But let’s talk about that in the next section. Keep in mind these are bulky gloves. Of all the Muay Thai glove brands, Twins are the bulkiest.
Here’s two image of Twins Special gloves compared to some other brands (Grant and Boon):
Note that the 16 ounce twins here is by far the most bulky of the bunch. We don’t have Yokkao, Raja, or Top King here which would show a better comparison, but Twins are the biggest in size if you compare the same ounce per ounce.
Protection & Padding
Twins Gloves generally offer quite a bit of protection, maybe so much so at the cost of making the gloves quite large, especially at the heavier ounces, like 16-20 ounce gloves. There is no way someone is going to say these gloves don’t offer a lot of protection and padding.
The TWINS have a lot of padding and it’s not just all at the front – the whole hand is wrapped in a triple layer of protection. You have the soft outer layer, a firmer middle layer, and plushy inner layer that wraps around your knuckles.
The triple layer makes these gloves padded and firm, yet also flexible which enables you to grip with them during clinching. However, the triple layer of padding, while offering a lot of protection and comfort comes with a cost: thickness. This means the sides of your glove are thick and bulky.
Review of Twins Special Gloves During Muay Thai Training
Like all my Muay Thai gear reviews, I only review stuff I’ve actually used personally in Muay Thai training. And there are no other brand of gloves I’ve used as much as I have Twins over the years. Here’s my personal views on how Twins Specials stack up to the rigors of daily training in Thailand.
I’ve sparred quite a bit with Twins gloves over the years. I typically use 16 ounce Twins gloves for sparring they work great. The gloves are highly padded, offering a lot of protection for your opponent and you. The bulky padding gives you quite a lot of protection when you shell up with a high guard (with the 14-16 ounce gloves that is, far less so with the 8 – 10 ounce you actually fight in).
I’ve had a number of Muay Thai fights with TWINS SPECIAL 8 ounce gloves and they are rock hard when you get punched in the head or punch someone in the head (in part due to the hard layer of tape the trainers wrap beneath the gloves for more knockouts). One time my knuckle was bruised for over a month after a fight — again due to the hard tape stuff they put under my wraps.
This sort of issue shouldn’t be a problem though for regular training. And in sanctioned fights where they don’t put rock hard ‘tape knuckles’ under your wraps, your hands should be well protected from injury. There is really not much to complain about here for sparring. They work well and the fact that the gloves are used by many actual Thai’s for training and fighting is a solid recommendation right there.
These gloves are workhorses for bag work. They do offer a good amount of protection, which is great. I will note though, if you consistently hit the heavy bag with your hands a lot, you will want to opt for a 16 ounce pair over 8-12 ounce gloves. I’ve found the 8 – 12 ounces, despite the padding, can lead to bruised knuckles if you really work on your boxing game often on the heavy bag.
My knuckles were getting so sore I actually had to buy GEL pads to put under my wraps to give my knuckles a break. If you are the type of person that likes to throw a lot of punch combos from angles – hooks, uppercuts and the like, you might want to look at a different brand of glove that’s smaller, tighter fitting, and maybe more angular.
These gloves, especially the 16 ounce ones, can be so ‘bulky’ they are not so aerodynamic if you want to unload with your hands on the bag. You can opt for a lighter glove like an 8 ounce, but then you may end up bruising your knuckles. So while these gloves are great for Muay Thai training, I do personally prefer hitting the bag with Fairtex, Raja, or a pure boxing glove when I go hand heavy. The punches just feel a lot smoother and I like the bounce those gloves give on the bag a bit more than the Twins.
Good gloves for pads generally. I don’t recommend using heavier gloves like the 16 ounce though, hit pads with 8-12 ounces. The TWINS gloves do give you a nice ‘crack’ against the pads when you do straight 1-2 punches. One problem I’ve found with TWINS, however, is the way the frame of the gloves (and this is especially the case I found with my pair of 8 ounce TWINS) is my corner knuckle was grinding against the hard part of the glove frame when hitting pads — especially when hitting FOCUS mitts. This caused some serious bruising and abrasion on my knuckles to the point where I had bloody knuckles. This was most pronounced when I was training for a boxing fight.
Pro’s and Con’s
- Extra Padding (3 layers of foam padding)
- Comfortable Fit
- Mid-Range Price
- Good Wrist Support
- Good Flexibility When You Grip (for clinch work)
- Well Established: Many of the Thai pros use TWINS Specials, both in training and for fighting
- Genuine Leather
- Bulky size may be a bit too big for some people’s personal preference
- May hurt your knuckles if hands are sweaty, especially at lower weights (8-10 ounce gloves)
- Plain Design (on the base models)
- Not that Durable (in Thailand heat and humidity and hard training every day, I’ve yet to have a pair that does not start falling apart after about 8 months. By about a year, they are in pieces)
The Final Word
Overall, a pretty damn solid Muay Thai glove. You can think of the TWINS as the ‘EVERYMAN’ working Muay Thai glove. They are fairly cheap, about mid-range on the boxing glove price scale, reliable, and deliver a quality experience most of the time. BUT TWINS Specials are not flashy or fancy for the most part. You can pretty much call them the Toyota Corolla’s of the Muay Thai glove world.
I personally prefer some of the other brands better (Fairtex, Raja, etc), but I’ll be the first to admit that I often do go back to TWINS, especially when my other gloves wear out. Because these gloves are so standard and you are likely to FIGHT in TWINS gloves, I do recommend these are your FIRST pair of gloves if you are looking to buy. You can switch up to another brand later, but at least try these first.
If you want something more fancy and flashy with all the bells n’ whistlers or lighter gloves with more padding and less bulk, opt for another brand. If you are NEW to Muay Thai and looking to get started (or you are trying to get the most bang for your buck), you can’t do better than setting yourself up with Twins Specials.
Click HERE to read our comprehensive Guide to Muay Thai Gloves. Also check out our Best Muay Thai Gloves and our Best Boxing Gloves articles for even more boxing glove help
You may find you prefer the fit and style of some of the other brands as you gain more experience and start getting picky about how gloves feel, but certainly for your first pair of gloves, TWINS deliver on all fronts. And hey, there are plenty of people who prefer TWINS over other brands.
TWINS Review Summary
'THE Classic Muay Thai Glove'
Classic Muay Thai gloves and good value for money. Nothing fancy in terms of design or looks with the base model (though you can get a fancier model for that), but overall good protection and good comfort.
The Gloves are bulky, however, and if you are a hand-heavy puncher, the boxy design makes them feel a bit awkward when hitting the bag with.
Still, TWINS are the CLASSIC Muay Thai glove and you can't go wrong with a pair.