13 January 2016

Review- Mechanix Fastfit Insulated Gloves

Mechanix Insulated Fastfit Gloves pictured with Hill People Kit Bag and Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack
Even though I have tried other brands and types of gloves over the last 15 or so years, I always seem to come back to Mechanix Gloves.  The reasons are as follows-

Fit- they run true to size even from style to style, even the insulated.
Function- because they run true to size, they don't suffer from thumbs and fingers that are too long as I have found in some other gloves.  I am a fan of the Fastfit series because I hate having a Velcro closure over my watch.  Because of their spot on sizing, they have better tactile sensation than other comparable gloves.

Cost and ease of replacement-  I am brand loyal, especially in what I consider essential gear, and gloves being protective gear are essential.  Because of contact with surfaces and use, they also wear out the most.  There is nothing worse than loving a piece of gear, having it wear out, and having to wait to have a replacement shipped.  You can find Mechanix Gloves at just about every auto parts store, and some styles at Wal Mart.  Also, any Mechanix retailers can order any of their gloves.  This is good to know since I have yet to see the insulated Fastfits for sale where I see Mechanix for sale.  The only reason I know about the insulated gloves is because I stumbled across them on their website.  At under $20, these gloves don't really have any competition.

Obviously the first thing I worried about was that in manufacturing they just added insulation to the regular Fastfit and the result would be the glove being too tight.  As soon as I put them on, I found that was not the case.  They fit better than any cold weather glove I have ever worn.  Most "outdoor" insulated gloves are puffy and bulky and only good for keeping your hands warm, but don't lend themselves to actually working with your hands.  If you need to be able to immediately use your hands, say for such things as using a firearm, that is a problem.

The gloves were thin enough to allow me to perform full manual of arms with pistol, AR, and pump shotgun.  I was also able to speed load my 38 snubbie.  But the obvious question you want answered is if they keep your damn hands warm when it is cold out.

Here in southern PA we had some very unseasonably warm weather at the end of 2015, so this review has been delayed.  Over the past month or so I have worn the gloves while road marching, but today was by far the coldest.  When I was out rucking today, the temperature was a brisk 20 degrees, but the windchill dropped that to just 10 degrees.  My ruck today lasted 45 minutes.  Here are my thoughts.

One of the biggest things I have learned while rucking is not to dress too warm. It is amazing how much heat the human body generates while exercising, even in the bitter cold.  My hands were comfortable the entire ruck even with wind gusts coming across wide open fields.  It was only at the end that I could feel that my hands were just starting to sweat.

These gloves are not waterproof which is a good thing because waterproof gloves usually mean that moisture does not get in...or out, They are often bulky as well. That means your hands get sweaty and will not stay warm.  Don't use these for making snowballs.

The best use for the insulated Fastfits are to keep your hands warm when involved in moderate activity.  They would not be my first choice for sitting in a deer stand.  They are an excellent cold weather EDC glove.  On days when the wind is light and the temp is hovering around freezing, I think I would wear my regular Fastfit while active and switch out to the insulated while not exerting myself very much.

In closing, I just want to say that I am glad to find a glove to fill the void between the regular Fastfit and the Polar Pro, which I have yet to try.

Remember, take care of your hands.  You only have two.

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