Looking To Upgrade To A Pair Of Tactical Gloves? You’re In The Right Place
Because recently, I’ve been upgrading much of my survival gear, such as my:
But there’s one thing that’s slipped through the cracks until now…
It’s a piece of tactical gear that’s simple and often overlooked.
Yet it’s an integral part of everyday personal protection – Tactical Gloves!
My old gloves were okay, I guess.
They work as long as the most challenging task I need them for is splitting firewood or digging trenches.
But are beat-up old leather work gloves suitable for real-world emergencies?
They have rips and stretched stitching in the thumb.
And the palms are completely worn into tatters.
This level of wear and tear is due to years of rappelling with a heavy pack.
And honestly, I’m embarrassed I let them get so bad without looking for a replacement.
So I’m on a mission to fix this oversight!
I’m on a mission to upgrade to a new pair of quality tactical gloves, and I will share all my research notes with you.
That’s why today, I’ll be leaning on my extensive Engineering, Gear Review/Testing, and Mountain Rescue background to cover the following topics:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Utility Gloves
The PIG FDT Delta gloves are a great option if you like a close-fitting, second-skin type of glove.
They’re made of some of the thinnest material I’ve ever seen.
And they’re accordingly flexible and agile.
If you spend a lot of time on the shooting range, the Delta gloves are some of the most sensitive.
They’re also one of the few gloves that don’t interfere much with reaching into your pockets.
They even claim you can tie your shoes while wearing them.
But, the thin build and lightweight materials come at a durable price.
And the tight fit only compounds this durability concern.
If you’re hard on gloves, this might NOT be your best choice.
- Lightweight And Breathable
- Great Dexterity
- Touchscreen Compatible
- Very Tight Fit
- Durability Compromised For Weight And Dexterity
↓ PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Utility Glove Review ↓
Mechanix Wear High-Dexterity Covert Tactical Work Gloves
Mechanix Wear is a brand you’ll see on this list for a good reason.
These are the gloves that many professionals and military operatives turn to.
It’s rumored that the US Navy Seals prefer the M-Pact 3 Covert glove for special operations.
If true, that’s a massive vote of confidence for Mechanix Wear.
These gloves feature not only knuckle protection but full-length finger padding as well. *For all but the index finger.
The index finger is made of a thinner material to fit a trigger guard.
And thus, it has the proper dexterity for delicate tasks.
They also have some of the best touchscreen compatibility for gloves I’ve tried.
- Full Finger Padding
- Touchscreen Compatibility
- Great Fit And Mobility
- Some Users Mentioned Grip Wasn’t As Good On the Current Model
↓ Mechanix M-Pact III Glove Review ↓
WTACTFUL Touchscreen Motorcycle Tactical Gloves
The WTactful Touch Screen gloves are some of the best at the lower end of the price scale.
They’re comfortable and have adequate ventilation.
Thus, the WTactful gloves are extremely breathable to keep your hands warm but dry.
Plus, they’re fast-drying and have good anti-slip palms.
The knuckle guards are incredibly durable.
But a few users have felt they didn’t fit exactly where needed, leading to discomfort.
A different (larger) size would likely alleviate some of these issues, as they tend to run a little small.
The touchscreen compatibility is decent, but it’s only on the thumb and middle finger.
Not sure about anyone else, but the lack of index-finger compatibility would drive me nuts!
- Good Cuff And Overall Reinforcements
- Palm Material Appears To Peel Under Heavy Use
- No Index Finger Touchscreen Compatibility
5.11 Men’s Touch Screen Competition Shooting Gloves
Another big name in tactical gear, 5.11 Tactical, has several great gloves on the market.
The Screen Ops glove is medium-duty with a nod to touchscreen compatibility.
Every finger (and thumb) tip has a unique Touchscreen sensitive material. And it works great!
The Screen Ops glove also has a comfortable full leather palm.
And breathable padded knuckle guards as well.
They look more like casual or urban gloves than tactical wear.
But they may not stand up to heavy daily use, but they’ll do fine in most situations.
- Touchscreen Compatible On All Ten Digits
- Great Low-Key Styling For EDC Use
- Medium Weight Build May Not Stand Up To Heavy Use
↓ 5.11 Tactical, Screen Ops Tactical Gloves Overview ↓
FREETOO Knuckle Protection Tactical Gloves
Freetoo is a relatively unknown glove brand. But they have a great feature set at a reasonable price.
First, they’re comfortable and have excellent grip.
Plus, these gloves are well-vented and breathable to keep your hands dry.
The knuckle padding looks like carbon fiber molded material.
But it’s moderately flexible nylon with padding inside.
This setup is reasonable since it helps contribute to overall comfort.
But buyers should be aware that they’re not stiff-knuckle armor.
The full-length cuff keeps debris out. And it also wraps around the wrist, giving an extra level of protection.
One unfortunate miss, these are NOT touchscreen-compatible gloves.
- Reasonable Price
- Good Ventilation
- Knuckle Padding Could Be Stiffer
- Sizes Run Small
- Not Touchscreen Compatible
↓ FREETOO Tactical Gloves ↓
Oakley Men’s Factory Pilot Glove
Most of us associate Oakley with high-end athletic sunglasses.
But they’ve been working on their “Standard Issue” (SI) lineup of tactical gear for years.
This new lineup of gear includes gloves, goggles, and even boots.
These gloves are built with 4-way stretch material and full-grain leather palms.
The stretch material contributes to a close but comfortable fit.
And the leather is excellent for durability and is more breathable than micro-perforations.
The padded knuckles and rubber finger guards are a welcome addition.
And the secure stretch wrist cuff is secured with an inside tab.
This design leaves a cleaner surface on the back of the hand and wrist.
As with many well-known brands, there are some reports of possible knockoffs.
These will have inferior stitching, so be careful where you order your gloves.
Check out what UFC President Dana White had to say about these Oakley Pilot Gloves.
- Great Durability
- Super Comfortable
- The Expensive Side
- Possible Counterfeits
↓ Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves: After 2 Years Of Abuse ↓
Under Armour Men’s Tac Blackout Glove 2.0
Under Armour is another sports apparel brand who’s has gotten into the tactical gear game.
They’ve added the minimalist Tac Blackout 2.0 gloves to their lineup.
They have a durable, synthetic leather palm and breathable synthetic elsewhere.
This solution provides a smart balance between ruggedness and comfort.
They have a slim profile that’s easy to use for delicate work, with minimal bulk in the fingers.
The neoprene cuff fits securely and keeps dirt and debris out.
The Tac Blackout gloves are one of the thinner ones out there.
So prepare to add an over-glove or an extra liner when temps drop.
- Close Fit
- Clean Look
- Touchscreen Compatible
- Too Thin For Cold Weather
- No Padding Or Knuckle Armor
Glove Station The Combat Motorcycle Gloves
Solid construction and a durable build define these tactical shooter gloves.
They check all the boxes on our feature list yet still come in on the price range’s low end.
Padded knuckles and rubber vents help with protection from abrasion and cuts.
And the full synthetic leather palm provides a firm grip.
The index and middle fingers feature touchscreen-compatible tips.
This feature is a large addition to a glove in this price range.
Again, there are reports of counterfeit versions out there.
So be sure to order from a reputable source.
- Durable Build
- Touchscreen Compatible Fingertips
- Good Price
- Possible Counterfeits
- Sizes Run A Little Small
Tactical gloves are one of the most underrated pieces of survival gear.
Why? I’m not 100% certain, but I believe it has to do with all the crappy gloves on the market.
Many people have no idea what they’re missing out on when choosing a pair of cheap gloves off a discount rack.
These impulse buys are often value traps because cheap and tactical gloves ARE NOT THE SAME THINGS.
They don’t fit the same way, wear the same way, or protect the same way.
Cheap gloves use inferior materials and have no tactical design features.
And this is a shame because your hands are one of your most crucial tools.
Losing the use of your hands would be one of the biggest hurdles to navigating in an emergency.
Imagine performing all your tasks on a given day without using your hands.
I’m willing to bet that you couldn’t do even the most basic tasks in such a situation!
And we’re not just talking about significant injuries here.
But, a small cut left untreated can lead to infection.
Or severe blisters can make using tools and weapons an exercise in pure torture.
Plus, exposure to cold and wet conditions can leave you vulnerable.
Affecting your shooting accuracy and fumbling with all sorts of delicate mechanisms.
So, a good pair of gloves is a huge asset in all sorts of tactical situations.
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Gloves (like all performance gear) are designed based on their intended use.
This strategy leads to a vast range of options on the market today.
But since many gloves are made for a specific task, they’re not always great for broader range use.
“Tactical” gloves protect your hands from common injuries (like scrapes, blisters, and burns).
They should remain both flexible and close-fitting.
These features provide extreme dexterity and minimal restriction on your range of motion.
Tactical glove manufacturers construct them for maximum durability.
And often offer increased padding and protection at injury-prone or high-wear locations.
Some gloves also have strategic armoring at the vulnerable knuckles and palms areas.
These features make high-impact tasks less likely to develop into stress injuries such as chopping wood, firing weapons, or operating heavy machinery.
As with any other visible equipment, tactical gloves come in various colors and styles.
You can find them in a military appearance to something looking surprisingly casual.
Your stylistic choice often depends on your desire to blend in or not.
And your willingness to draw attention to yourself or not.
For example, my daily life involves both work-from-home and in the office.
That’s why I prefer gear on the more discrete end of the spectrum.
But military-style gloves may be better for you if you work in a more rugged setting.
They’ll be less of a distraction or perceived threat in such an environment.
Note On Legality Of Knuckle Armor
Many tactical gloves feature padded or “armored” knuckles.
This feature is meant for resistance to abrasion and cuts across your knuckles.
This “armor” is generally made of thick leather, fabric, or lightweight thermoformed plastic.
But tactical gloves also include weighted or “loaded” knuckles.
These “loaded knuckles” are designed to cause damage when throwing a punch.
They also tend to have extra weight to make the blow more impactful.
And some even have exposed metal to injure an opponent as well.
The bottom line is:
These glove-based weapons are made to provide an advantage in hand-to-hand combat.
But they’re generally NOT LEGAL in many areas around the world.
So we will not include this type of glove in this article.
If you desire this glove type, please check your local laws before purchasing it.
As noted earlier, our hands are critical tools. They’re necessary for humans to accomplish, well…just about ANYTHING!
That’s why you should consider looking for a well-built pair that won’t disappoint when you need them most.
But what features are requirements, and which are “nice to have”?
As always, it comes down to how you use them and what tasks you face.
First, they’re rubbish if you can’t keep a grip on things while wearing gloves!
Fortunately, most tactical gloves feature textured palms and fingers to increase grip dramatically.
Split-grain leather is also excellent as well. But this type of leather can get polished smooth over time with heavy use.
Finished leather, however, often has minimal grip from the start. So make sure you know the difference before you buy.
Just as necessary as the grip is dexterity.
Dexterity allows you to do delicate tasks without taking your gloves off.
There are two schools of thought on how to achieve this.
Some manufacturers make gloves with thin material and a close fit on the fingers.
This option is accomplished with synthetic materials or very high-grade leather.
But can come at the price of durability.
The other option is fingerless gloves.
These protect your palms and the first joint of your finger.
But stop at the second knuckle, leaving your fingertips free to do detailed work.
These are great for warm weather and fair conditions.
But I’ve had injuries that could have been easily prevented with full-finger gloves.
Bulk / Ease Of Movement
Insulation and padding are essential features to keep your hands comfortable and warm. But it can also be too much of a good thing.
When the gloves get bulky, you tend to lose range of motion.
Fit and ease of movement are critical here – you need a glove that “fits like a glove.”
They should go on and off smoothly.
And you should be able to move your hands freely while wearing them.
Check the sizing guide from the manufacturer, but don’t let that be your only guide.
If possible, try them on before buying, or if you buy online, return them ASAP if they don’t fit well.
Always check online reviews to see if others mention the fit.
The chances are a poor-fitting glove will be more hassle than it’s worth.
It’s a fact of modern life: Touchscreens are everywhere!
And not just smartphones either. GPS units, vehicles, computers, and small electronics sport touchscreens.
You can’t even unlock the keyless entry on my front door with thick gloves on!
So look for a glove with touchscreen compatibility.
Or be prepared to take your gloves off dozens of times a day.
These gloves have a unique material on the fingertips to register on touchscreens.
But there’s a wide range of effectiveness, so test any gloves as soon as possible.
Comfort is a product of all the other features, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Whenever you wear gloves, they must be as comfortable as possible, or you’ll take them off often.
Breathable materials, durable stitching, and a soft liner help dramatically.
Padding, armor in the right places, and a secure fit make some gloves stand out.
Cost plays a role here as the final deciding factor in many gear purchases.
You can expect gloves ranging in price from under $15 to $75 per pair.
Materials, design, and brand names all play equally important roles here.
So be sure to understand what you need from your gloves and what you’re willing to spend.
↓ The Basics Of Tactical Gloves ↓
Protecting your hands is a non-negotiable part of being prepared for survival.
Or even just a day at work.
Finding the right pair of tactical gloves for you is a matter of determining your needs and price range.
I tried many different tactical gloves to upgrade my gear this year.
I’ve found differences between the makes in fit, comfort, and utility.
Pay attention to what your friends have on at the range or work.
If, in the end, you still like the hardware store version best, that’s great!
But don’t skimp on the research with something so critical as your hands!
P.s. Are you ready for the tough times ahead?
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Once complete, you’ll know exactly where you stand on the “fragile” vs.” resilient” spectrum.
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