Let me start by stating that I absolutely love aviator gloves. Aviator gloves tend to offer me the best balance between fit, finger dexterity, and protection. I’ve been using aviator gloves in professional capacity since the first time my platoon Sergeant yelled at me to camo my hands while west of Gruber Rd on Ft Bragg (circa 1996). The gloves provided me with the ability to camouflage my hands while also providing me with a degree of protection while out in the field. When I moved into law enforcement I brought my aviator gloves with me. From searching suspects to protection from glass and other debris during dynamic warrant services, the aviator gloves have served me well. While everything has been cotton candy and puppy dog tails so far, aviator gloves have a huge drawback…….durability. The standard issue aviator glove and commercial copies simply do not last in my experience. It wasn’t uncommon to have the stitching in the finger tips or along the side of fingers fail within a short period of time. I remember one time having a pair on whiling flying out to a drop zone in order to start a month long field problem. When I hit the ground the entire side of my right index finger of my glove had blown its stitching. WTF over?
In late 2015 I heard that Magpul was looking to launch a series of gloves. While curious as to how well a company known for its prowess in the polymer market could perform in the clothing market I started trying to find more information on the upcoming glove debut. It was at this time I discovered that one of the first glove to types to be released was to be an aviator glove. The new gloves are called Magpul Core Flight Gloves. Here’s the original video for them:
Armed with this information I contacted Magpul and asked what the retail price was likely to be and when would the items be available for sale. Instead of getting an answer to my questions; I received a package a week later containing one pair of Flight Gloves and one pair of Breach gloves. While I tried the Breach gloves on, I quickly put them in my range bag for later eval and jumped right into using the Flight gloves.
As I write this; I have been using the Flight gloves for approximately 12 months. During that time, I have used the gloves to search suspects, serve dynamic search warrants, work multiple barricade suspect and active shooter incidents. In addition to this use; I’ve also spent countless hours on the range with them shooting and teaching classes. During this time the gloves have held up like a champ and have yet to blow a single stitch or tear in any way. The only wear that is evident on the gloves is a bit of pilling that is present on both gloves. But if pilling after a year of constant use is the only wear I’m going to see; that’s a HUGE improvement over the aviator gloves I’ve worn in the past. Here’s some pictures of the pilling:
With all of that being said are there any negatives to the Flight gloves? So far, the only real issue I’ve had with the gloves is that they aren’t very warm during winter conditions. Of course, I don’t expect the gloves to be heavily insulated, but holding a carbine’s metal handguard for an extended period during colder weather can become quite painful after a bit. The metal tends to leach the heat from your hands even though the glove is serving as a barrier. I was able to counter this a bit by squeezing a glove liner inside the glove but doing this greatly reduced finger dexterity for me. Luckily, I work in a region where this isn’t a major issue for me though.
Here are some of the features of the gloves per Magpul’s website:
• Durable and soft one-piece leather palm and finger construction for enhanced feel and control of firearms
• Back constructed with flash-resistant Nomex®
• Narrow, minimalistic forefinger for easy access and better control of firearms triggers
• Gauntlet coverage extends past the wrist
• Ambidextrous three-finger touchscreen capability
• Excellent flexibility and dexterity
• Subdued branding for better camouflage and concealment
Of these features, I can say the touchscreen capability in the gloves has been a godsend. Having the ability to work the screen of devices without removing gloves has made it much easier to establish perimeters and retrieve data on suspects during emergency calls for service. Great job on that feature Magpul! The three fingers that are touch screen compatible are the thumb, index, and social finger (aka middle finger).
When it comes to sizing I found the gloves to fit true to size. I prefer my gloves to be on the tight side and these did exactly that. You can find specific sizing instructions on the Magpul page and I’ll be sure to include a link at the bottom of the review.
In conclusion Magpul hit a homerun with their Flight gloves. The gloves have fixed the durability issue I had with issue aviator gloves while retaining all the positive attributes to include fit and finger dexterity. These gloves are so good in fact; I’m about to buy a pair of the Sage colored ones that are now available. I hope you guys enjoyed the review and to read more about the specifics of the gloves and order a pair; be sure to click here.