Those that know me, know I like to get the most out of my purchases. If I can find an item that will work for shooting, work, outdoor and home life then I’ll probably be more inclined to buy it. So when Tactical Kit asked me if I’d like a pair of Mechanix Fast-Fit Insulated Gloves, I was more than happy to put them through their paces.
It just so happened that I had an upcoming weekend at Longmoor FIBUA training village where I was certain it’s be cold, added to the fact that the chance of being caught in the rain would be almost unavoidable.
Not strictly aimed at the tactical market but as part of their general wear range, I wanted to see how useful they’d be as both a day to day and also a shooting glove.
Firstly though, let’s have a look at the construction compared to my current “Work” glove of choice… The Mechanix Fast Fit (Reviewed Here).
The first thing I’ll mention is fitment, it’s really simple to work out and it’s in line with Mechanix’s other ranges.
Measure your hand sizing on the Mechanix chart below and simply order the size that they recommend based upon the measurement.
The palm of the glove feels almost identical to the original fast fit, from the outside at least there is no real discernible difference between the regular and insulated Fast Fits.
The same synthetic leather is used and the cut pattern is virtually the same around the thumb, Mechanix obviously not wanting to change a design that’s worked for so long?
The only pattern difference I could see was on the heel of the palm where the regular fast fits have a bit of padding, the insulated gloves being fully lined with fleece do not require this additional padding and therefore they don’t have any specific padded areas on the palm.
The internal 230g fleece is literally on every surface, from the palm and back of the hand to the fingers and fourchettes. This means that you’ll sacrifice a little dexterity for comfort but having used and shot with these gloves, they are certainly more “combat ready” than a insulated glove without Mechanix’s military heritage.
The glove is fully synthetic with the aforementioned fleece being covered with a mostly soft-shell covering, along with Neoprene and Ripstop Nylon in key areas and synthetic leather on the palm and inner fingers.
An important thing to bear in mind is that the gloves are not fire retardant or flame resistant, so be sure to wear other appropriate gloves if you should need this level of protection. The gloves are also both wind and water resistant, which should help keep those hands warm in cold and/or inclement weather.
Bear in mind however that they are not fully waterproof, get them wringing wet and they’ll stay wet for a fair while.
Having said that though, they are pretty good at keeping the water out and I managed to wear mine in the rain for a fair few hours without getting wet hands.
The back of the hand is made from a single piece of soft-shell material with a Ripstop Nylon overlay stitched over the knuckle area, a clever and low profile alternative to the ungainly and frankly pointless hard moulded covers you see on many of the less well made “Tactical” gloves.
The area between the fingers (Or fourchettes) is slightly different from the main Fast-Fit design, in a way that actually makes the glove more comfortable despite appearing like an additional seam just for the sake of it.
Instead of meeting at the tip for a contoured point, the fourchettes wrap all the way around the fingers from the thumb to the tip of the little finger.
The fingertips are the typical inward stitched type that I’m usually not a massive fan of, the rolled fingertips of the Patrol Incident Gear range being better in my opinion. However due to the soft fleece lining in these gloves, it becomes almost a non-issue and I’ve yet to have that horrible feeling of material forcing my nail away from my finger. The full panelled fourchettes appears to take the seams away from where they cause discomfort under the nail and make the glove more comfortable than you’d appreciate at first glance.
The cuff is the Fast-Fit design I absolutely love for general purpose gloves, an elasticated band running around the wrist with a slightly overseized hem to aid in donning the gloves.
The wrist area is made from a Neoprene material, which helps insulate the top of your hand whilst remaining relatively rugged and durable.
There is also a small section on the outside of the thumb which is made from a microfibre type material, ideal for cleaning glasses or optics.
Another great feature that’s been passed across from the standard Fast Fits is the “Touch Tec” touch screen compatible thumb and forefinger, a great benefit for you instagram whores out there.
I certainly found it useful during a wet and windy weekend on Longmoor FIBUA Village, gotta gran those pictures for the ‘gram.
There is a small plastic S-Biner attached by a triangular plastic D-ring to keep the gloves together (although I prefer the paracord loops on the standard gloves), next to this is a low profile webbing loop if you wish to cut off the D-rings completely and keep it ultra low profile.
The key point with gloves though is in their comfort and dexterity in use, having spent a weekend in all weathers I can vouch that these gloves are indeed warmer and more cosy than the standard Mechanix.
They’re also perfectly usable whilst moving and shooting through Longmoor’s buildings and alleyways, I can’t think of much more that will test an outdoor glove than a weekend on a FIBUA site, I’ll happily state for the record that they passed the test though.
There’s always going to be a compromise when it comes to a glove that wants to be both insulated and warm, whilst retaining its core ability to work on tasks such as firing a gun or changing a wheel nut.
I think Mechanix have done incredibly well, the glove doesn’t feel particularly bulky and beats the other outdoor gloves I’ve used in the past in terms of comfort and dexterity.
I’ll be using these a fair amount over the next few months, from de-icing the car to those colder winter days out I’ll be sure to keep these close at hand (geddit?).
I’ve had warmer gloves that have sacrificed dexterity and I’ve got more dexterous gloves that are certainly not insulated at all, these have hit a good midway point in my opinion that for the relatively modest £17.50 price tag is a great addition to your wardrobe.