Beyond selecting the right racquet and string, selecting the best grip is probably the third most important choice for your game. Attempting to play tennis in hot, humid conditions with an old or incorrect overgrip is a recipe for disaster.
But what overgrip can cut it? Which one can provide the comfort, performance, and durability you need going into the third set tiebreaker?
Worry not. Our Tennisletics Lab has just conducted a field test so you don’t have figure it out. We drew up a shortlist of the best eight contenders that were dry, absorbent overgrips and took them through their paces on court In Austin, Texas.
We evaluated each overgrip against four criteria: 1) comfort, 2) performance, 3) durability and 4) value, scoring 0 (lowest) - 5 (highest), which we then added into an overall rating. Our field testers used their experience to evaluate the overgrips. On a broader note, we have tested these over grips on Yonex, Wilson and Babolat racquets that have synthetic original grips. If you have a grip with a different material like leather, then it may affect the overall result you experience. Overall, a thin overgrip can be good or bad. It can be good as it doesn’t increase the overall grip size and provides good levels of feel. It is bad if you need a bit more cushioning or your hand sweats profusely and you need the grip to absorb the moisture.
Tourna Grip (Original) XL
Manufactured: Unique Sports
Tourna Grip has been a tennis staple since 1977 and used by many top professionals including John Isner Kevin Anderson. It has a slightly tacky, firm feel that absorbs moisture from you hand. Tourna claim that is can ‘absorb up to 350% of its weight’ and ‘gets tackier when wet’. Each overgrip is protected by a plastic strip that you need to peel off before use. Unlike modern grips, the overgrip is not tapered at one end and doesn’t have an adhesive strip to help a player re-grip. In use, the grip starts out comfortable and familiar. It loses that initial luster fairly quickly but stabilizes to remains usable for quite a long time. We have tested the XL length here (3-pack for $4.75) because the stand length is very short and by Tourna’s own admission will only cover ¾ of the handle. The XXL size is suggested for two-handers.
Head Pro Grip
Manufactured: Head Sports GmbH
Except for the name and outer packaging, the 0.45mm thick Head Pro Grip appears identical in almost every aspect to Tourna Grip. It is only available in one length in a 3 pack ($5.99) which is more expensive than Tourna Grip. The grip is used by top professionals Taylor Fritz and Ashleigh Barty. Tourna Grip is more readily available in larger pack sizes and cheaper. So, if you like this grip, we suggest buying Tourna instead.
Babolat Pro Team SP
Babolat’s Pro Team SP 0.55mm thick overgrip uses SilkPowder technology that they claim ‘absorbs 160% its own weight’. This high-quality overgrip has a tapered start and silver Babolat branded finishing tape. At $6.95 for a 3-pack, the Babolat Pro Team SP grip is more expensive than most. It is very dry with almost no tack. It performs pretty well in mild humidity but struggles to cope in extreme conditions.
Manufactured: Dunlop Slazenger Group
Dunlop’s U-Sweat is a new entrant in the dry overgrip space. At $4.50 for a 3-pack, it is a reasonable value choice. U-Sweat is absorbent with an ultra-dry, felt feel. It performs similarly to Pacific Xtack Dry. The quality and performance of the overgrip are decent for slightly sweaty hands but the durability was not the greatest.
Technifibre Pro Dry ATP
Technifibre has a wide range of grips and overgrips. Their Pro Dry ATP overgrip uses NaturalFelt technology. It is available in 3 pack ($5.95). The Pro Dry ATP has a protective plastic wrapper to protect this 0.4mm super thin grip that provides good feel. The inner side of the grip is dry and the outer slightly tacky. The Technifibre Pro Dry ATP performs well in slightly humid conditions but struggled in extreme environments.
Pacific Xtack Dry
Manufactured: PACIFIC-Entermark GmbH
At $5.95 for a 3-pack, the Pacific Xtack Dry is 0.55mm thick and a decent contender in the overgrip space with a no tack, extra dry felt feel. In many ways, it is similar to the Dunlop U-Sweat, and like that grip, it is a decent choice for players with only moderately sweaty hands.
Luxilon Elite Dry
Made: Japan (Packaged in Taiwan)
Manufactured: Luxilon Industries NV
Luxilon is well renowned for high-quality strings but are a new entrant into the overgrip space. Their new Luxilon Elite soft-touch grip is a worthy contender at $5.95 per 3-pack. When new, it has a low tack feel from Moisture-Tack that is comfortable and reassuring in moderate humidity situations. The challenge is that in humid conditions the grip does deteriorate relatively quickly. If you use any talc or Roisin gel, then that really accelerates the degradation.
Color: White, Yellow, Green, Black
The Volkl Dry grip is a super absorbent that is thicker than most other absorbent grips providing supreme levels of cushioning at a good price ($4.99 per 3-pack). This Volkl Dry grip works well and performs well in all but the hottest and most humid conditions when it becomes slightly slimy.
The best eight overgrips all offer decent performance but four grips are ahead of the pack and worth trying - Tourna Grip, Volkl Dry, Head Pro, and Luxilon Elite Dry. Even with new entrants, Tourna Grip (Original) heads the pack and after 40 years still delivers performance where it matters. That’s why hundreds of touring professionals use it every day. Its durability is not the highest so replace regularly for optimum grip.