As some of you may have noticed from my rant against Mechanix a while back, I’ve given up on the stalwart of tactical gloves and moved on to newer pastures. My deployment to Kenya seemed like the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and go for a look at a utility glove (Delta) and a more combat orientated one (Alpha).
I measured my hands with the guide provided and settled on a medium. Fitting with both pairs is quite snug, which is given as a warning on the website, but there is some stretch in them.
If you did find yourself filling out medium Mechanix then I’d recommend going for a large in PIG. The stitching in the ends of the fingers promises ” Wrap-Over Finger Tips- Provides additional comfort and protection for finger nails.” which, I’m happy to report it does… I think. Which is to say I’ve not had any problems with my finger nails associated with the gloves.
Design wise, well PIG have gone against the current trend with manufacturers. There are no reinforced knuckles, no rubber bumpers on the fingers. Just gloves that fit well, allow you full dexterity and look understated and pretty sexy. The logo on the Deltas is a pretty beautiful touch, it’s a shame they didn’t stick it on all of their gloves.
The materials used in both sets are a hard wearing, quick wicking material that offers more than adequate protection from the day to day life of the bush. The Alphas come with 1000D nylon reinforced knuckles and finger tips, which is more of a durability feature than one that inspires you to breach a building with your fists.
The stitching is bombproof, and the palms maintain grip even when your hands are dripping with sweat or a bit of spillage from the bowser. Both gloves are advertised as being touchscreen compatible, a claim that is true, but I don’t find particularly useful. After all, we come to Kenya for the wildlife, not the wifi!
Both sets of gloves have had 3 weeks each, and have been pretty rigorously put through their paces. Where possible I tried to mirror what I’ve done wearing them, and have as broadly as possible covered real world usage. Tasks have included setting up local defences (including razor wire, trip flares and TES IEDs), digging in, weapon handling on the majority of infantry weapon systems, patrolling, CQB, reports (think ammo/cas slate cards without removing the gloves), clearing trip flares from defended locations etc etc.
I also tried to make sure I was wearing these gloves for as many hours as possible, with the Deltas managing around 70 hours constant wear at one point. I can honestly say that neither have let me down. Even when snagging constantly on the notorious ‘Bastard Bushes’ and the general day to day abuse that Kenya brings, the stitching, seams and general makeup of the gloves have withstood it all well, with only minor discoloration and loss of some of the more cosmetic logos (why you’d cover the palm of a glove in sticky logos for grip like on the Delta I’ll never know).
The Alpha glove: this one is the more tactically orientated, with a more robust construction and 1000D knuckle strips. The palms are ventilated, which works well, although does allow a lot of ingress of grit and dirt. No additional grip on the palms, although the faux leather/suede is more than up to the task.
The look is understated and simple, something I’ve come to appreciate. Dexterity is good, with all but the most fiddly of tasks being achievable with them on. I did have to take them off to get the pin back in a trip flare, but in my defence it was extremely dark! The velcro fastening allows you to adjust the tightness around the wrists slightly, and is pretty secure, although in my opinion it could do with being slightly wider to allow more adjustment.
The Delta glove: advertised as a ‘utility glove’ which I suppose means the jack of all trades, master of none. No additional reinforcement or protection, these are the lightweight option for those that value dexterity over everything. Additional grip is provided by rubber stick on PIG logos, but almost all have peeled off.
The palm is the same faux leather/suede as the Alpha and grips well without them. Dexterity is fantastic, I don’t even bother taking them off to sit through full O-Groups now. Construction is much more robust than anticipated and they’ve survived multiple meetings with razor wire unscathed. My main complaint would be the lack of Velcro on the cuffs. Once your hands start to swell in the heat they can be a bit of a pain to get on and off.
Are PIG gloves Mechanix killers? Well, from a purely functional point of view? Yes. Will they achieve it? Depends on getting the message out to the kids about the quality and durability of PIG products. So long as PIG maintain the levels of quality with regards to materials and construction, I won’t be buying anything else for the foreseeable future, and judging by how well these two pairs have taken Kenya I doubt I’ll have to replace them any time soon.
- Single Layer Multi-Piece Palm- Designed specifically so that only one layer of material contacts your shooting grip.
- Sensitized and Isolated Trigger Finger- The thinnest available Clarino_ material available, only on the trigger finger for ultimate sensitivity.
- Selective Forschette Material- Inside forschettes are ventilated for maximum wicking. Outer forschettes are Clarino for durability.
- Low Profile Hook Closure- Reduces abrasion on clothing.
- Flex Joints- Enhanced flexibility and ventilation on each finger.
- Dual Flex Joint Trigger Finger- Providing maximum flexibility where you need it most.
- Bar-Tacked Para Cord Pull Loop… YES, NOW BAR-TACKED..
- Short Cuff- Lightweight comfort and convenience.
- Micro Suede Nose Wipe- Fights against cold-weather drip.
- Ventilation holes in Palms and Fingers- Increased wicking.
- Isolated Edge Padding- Protection without compromising the shooting grip.
- Wrap-Over Finger Tips- Provides additional comfort and protection for finger nails.
- Stretch Cordura 1000D Padded Knuckles- Stretch Cordura reduces pressure on the seams, thin padding takes the edge off of impacts.
This article courtesy of our friends at Kit Pest Review