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Field Test: Patrol-Oriented Gloves, Part 2
The Durtac gloves from Wiley X include an injection-molded thermoplastic knuckle for impact and abrasion resistance. The synthetic leather palm provides durability and breathability and is ergonomically shaped.
Reviewers were very pleased with this glove overall. Most said the initial fit was excellent with no break-in period required. They found the relatively thin material to be comfortable and said it allowed free range of motion. Officers were able to wear these gloves for an extended period of time or even an entire shift.
The Durtac gloves were reported to be very durable and tough, particularly the hard thermoplastic knuckles. The knuckle material provided extreme protection from cuts, abrasion or impact. However, the knuckles also restricted officers from putting their hands in their pockets or other small areas.
Most, however, had little to no issue with the knuckles. Yet, as with the Damascus gloves, some suggested the Wiley X Durtac gloves were more suited to SWAT use than general patrol duty. Fewer officers reported bulkiness or restriction with the knuckles on these gloves as compared to the Damascus gloves.
The majority of testers thought these gloves provided great dexterity. Movement was not restricted, and officers were able to write, type, pick up small objects, load magazines, fire weapons, operate cell phones, etc.
Sweating was not an issue with the Durtac gloves. In fact, many found these gloves to work well in both warm and cool weather, providing both the necessary breathability and wind protection. The gloves were reported to be well ventilated.
The TAC A2 gloves from 5.11 Tactical, produced in collaboration with Ironclad, feature Tactical Touch precision fit fingertips for maximum dexterity and comfort. Other features include a synthetic leather suede palm and a breathable stretch nylon back panel.
Comfort and initial fit with the 5.11 glove were excellent for the majority of reviewers. Most said they provided a snug fit and required no break-in. One described these gloves as “a second skin.” A couple of officers said they could wear them for an entire shift with comfort.
Dexterity was excellent for most. The gloves are relatively thin compared to others and therefore did not restrict movement. Though some reported issues with picking up small items or operating cell phones, most testers were able to write, operate MDTs, and load and fire weapons with ease.
A couple of reviewers did report issues with durability, noting minor wear and tear issues. Two officers observed seam separation, one after only four days of wear. Another expressed concern with the quality of the palm reinforcement. The majority of testers, however, did not have issues and found the gloves to hold up well.
The TAC A2 gloves seemed to work well in a variety of climates and weather conditions. Officers in warm and cold regions alike found them to provide breathability and warmth as required. There was no excessive sweating with these gloves, though a couple of testers suggested that the grip was compromised when the gloves got wet.
The overall consensus was that these gloves provide adequate protection for everyday patrol use. A couple of officers suggested more padding in the knuckle area, though one also said these gloves were easy to store in a pocket due to pliable fabric.
From CamelBak, the Impact Elite gloves include Thermal Plasticized Rubber knuckle padding to resist impact while preserving flexibility and dexterity. They also feature a tacky fingertip design for increased sensitivity and finger control.
Overall, officers reported this to be a quality, durable, comfortable glove, though there was some discrepancy in certain areas. Many found the initial fit to be excellent while others required a break-in period, but almost all agreed that the CamelBak gloves were extremely comfortable for extended wear.
Some found dexterity to be excellent and had no trouble performing typical patrol duty tasks. Others found dexterity to be moderate, in that they had trouble with tasks such as writing or dialing a cell phone but could easily load and operate firearms.
The CamelBak gloves provided above-average durability and protection. Testers remarked on the convenience of the additional reinforcement in vulnerable areas. Some found the extra padding and rubber knuckles to be bulky, while others did not experience any restriction of movement. These gloves seemed to find a balance between protection and functionality.
In general, the Impact Elite gloves performed well in all temperatures. Some reported slight sweating in hot weather, but others said the gloves provided breathability as well as protection against cold weather. One officer wore these gloves during extended highway motorcycle riding and received excellent results.
NS430 Specialist Duty Glove
The Hatch NS430 Specialist Duty Glove is designed for all-day wear and for shooting in all weather conditions. It is made with neoprene for comfort, flexibility and warmth. Synsi-feel™ synthetic leather and Extreme-grip™ are used on the palms and fingertips for improved grip and feel.
The Hatch glove was the favored glove among the testing panel. The NS430 had the best combination of comfort, durability, protection and functionality. Most said these gloves were extremely comfortable and could be worn for the duration of a shift. They were also observed to be the easiest to quickly doff or don.
Dexterity was excellent with the Hatch gloves, described by one as “second skin” dexterity. Most said they could perform all the necessary tasks, including writing, typing, loading and firing weapons, picking up small items, etc., without restriction of movement. A couple noted issues with dialing a cell phone or picking up small objects.
The advanced dexterity and functionality were attributed by some to the reduced thickness of these gloves compared to other models, particularly in the palm and fingers. Multiple testers also remarked on the efficacy of the rubberized abrasion reinforcements found on a portion of the palm and three of the fingertips, though one officer felt that this feature made it difficult to extract items from his pockets.
Despite the thinness of the gloves, the rate of wear was consistent with other models and provided the same level of protection and abrasion resistance. One officer remarked that these gloves were much more rugged than they appeared. Testers felt comfortable using them for normal patrol duties, such as searches of subjects.
The thin material also helped the testers’ hands remain cool in warm temperatures. Some still reported sweating in hot weather, likely due to the neoprene, though this did not affect grip. Some found them to perform well in cold and wet weather, while others found the thin palm to lack heat retention.
In this Field Test, two of the more preferred gloves actually had the lowest MSRP. Next up – a Field Test on pistol-mounted lights.
Kelly Spence is the assistant editor for Tactical Response magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Don Munson
Panel of Testers
Michael Brady: Sergeant; City of Erie PD; Erie, PA
Ted Byerly: Deputy Sheriff; San Bernardino County Sheriff; San Bernardino, CA
Glen Dorney: Sergeant; Allentown PD; Allentown, PA
Juan Duran: Officer; Chicago PD; Chicago, IL
Thomas Gallagher: Patrolman; Boston PD; Roxbury, MA
Vince King: Detective Sergeant; Willmar PD; Willmar, MN
Andre Licon: Deputy; Sutter County Sheriff’s Dept.; Yuba City, CA J.A. Littlejohn: Officer; Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD; Charlotte, NC
Paul Solorzano: Officer; Torrance PD; Torrance, CA
Kevin Sparks: Officer; Georgia State Patrol; Brunswick, GA
Published in Tactical Response, Jan/Feb 2011
Rating : Not Yet Rated
Click to enlarge images.