Episode 30 On Episode 30, we celebrate the podcast’s 1st Anniversary… four episodes too late. We also brought up our... View ArticleView Article
SKD Tactical recently contacted us about a new addition to the Patrol Incident Gear (PIG) line of products. My ears perk every time I hear about a new PIG product as I’m a huge fan of the PIG Plate Carrier and hydration carrier which I use at work.
In addition to the Plate Carrier, hydration carrier, gRUNT modular pack and other accessories they now have a line of gloves called the PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT-Alpha) Glove.
Why add another set of gloves to the market? Well read on my friends as it will make total sense.
So Many Gloves
So why did SKD produce the PIG FDT Gloves? With the sea of glove choices on the market today, there are certainly plenty of gloves to choose from. I have several pairs of gloves both personally bought and issued at work. I really wasn’t thrilled with the thought of adding another pair to the pile.
I have gloves sitting in the garage, in the trunk of my cruiser and in a few bug out bags. To be totally honest I really don’t like wearing gloves. Even during my time in the Army I avoided wearing them when I could. Therefore they sit in all these places waiting to be used which rarely happens.
All of them sit there except for my Army issue Nomex flight gloves and a pair of Mechanix gloves from Lowes. Out of all the gloves I own these are the ones that get used if needed. Most of the time its working in the garage or on my truck. They were inexpensive, light weight and disposable. If I put a hole in the finger I don’t get bent out of shape. I just tossed them in the trash and buy a new pair.
These type of gloves are the only ones I like wearing, as they have the best tactile feel. Since I grew up in Hawaii and now live here in Florida I’m not accustomed to wearing gloves much. It just wasn’t something I grew up dealing with, so when I need to put a pair on they have to be light weight and have good dexterity.
PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT-Alpha) Glove
Enter the PIG FDT Glove. This is exactly the target audience that SKD was going after. They saw a big gap in the industry and went after it.
For those like me who like the Mechanix style or flight gloves but want more out of them for shooting, SKD hit a home run. Mechanix are nice but they aren’t form fitting. Flight gloves are nice but they have no added “bump” protection. You could get something like the Blackhawk Fury, which tries to combine the two, but you lose too much dexterity and tactile feel.
The FDT combines the best of both worlds and adds some other awesome features, like an additional joint for your trigger finger. Let’s take a look at some of the features of the FDT taken straight from SKD’s website (* indicates industry firsts for a tactical glove):
- *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 Clarinoâ„¢ 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.
- Paracord Pull Loop – Featuring US made Milspec paracord.
- 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 protection for finger nails.
- Padded Knuckles – Thin padding takes the edge off of impacts.
As you see with the list above, there are features you can’t find on other gloves (this is really a category of its own). That being said, this is a niche category and SKD makes no bones about it. They tell you right up front on the product page that these are designed to be worn, worn out and thrown away. To quote them again they are labeled as a “consumable product” and you know what, it’s refreshing to see this from a company!
They will also tell you straight up that these are made in China, but offer this explanation regarding their overseas production:
We wanted terribly to have these gloves made in the USA. The heart-breaking and tragic reality is that there are NO manufacturers in the USA that are capable of making gloves of this complexity. While PIG gloves are designed in the USA by AMERICANS, sports glove manufacturing has been outsourced overseas for decades to the point where we no longer have the capability. The choice was make them overseas, or not at all and we felt these gloves were important enough that they had to be made regardless of country of manufacture.
Fit and Feel
As stated before I only wear three pairs out of this pile and I was a bit fearful the FDTs might end up here. I was really surprised when I tried the FDT on for the first time and was happy that the sizing (large) was consistent with the other gloves I own.
The first thing I noticed was how the fingers fit. They were tight, but not in a way that felt like the wrong size. I guess “form fitting” would be a better way to put it. They didn’t pull or shrink when I made a fist, or bunch up with a open hand (like my Mechanix like to do). I washed them once so far and dried them along with my uniforms and the fit has stayed the same.
The addition of a joint on the trigger finger is a really cool feature. You will have to compare this to other gloves without the joint to truly appreciate how much more flexible it makes your trigger pull. I ran these at the range a few days ago while re-zeroing my rifle and going from these to the Blackhawk Fury was a a huge difference.
One way of testing tactile feel is to try to type on a computer with gloves on. Since we use in-car laptops I was able to test this out throughout a shift. I was able to use my Dell touch pad with the gloves, although it wasn’t always accurate (they won’t work on my MacBook but more on that later). I was able to use our CAD system, run tags, names and type messages without any issues. I’m very impressed with being able to do this since technology is creeping into every part of the Military and Law Enforcement. If you run a robot, drive a boat or fly a plane, (FR and touch-screen editions are in the works) these can be worn.
The padding over the top knuckles was in the right area, both with an open and closed fist. On other gloves it often feels like the padding compresses your knuckles, but not so with these. The area around the circumference of the palm doesn’t pull like some of my other padded gloves either.
The additional padding on the side of the glove is a nice feature as well. This is that area you smack that gives you that never ending bruise feeling. The product card says this is “extra protection for Karate chops to the face.” You have to love that and I’m sure Chuck Norris would approve.
The padding is in all the right spots, the tactile feel is excellent and at this price range I wouldn’t get heartburn if they served their duty and I had to toss them out. I’ve only had the gloves for a few weeks, so time will tell on the long-term durability.
Sure they aren’t super durable, they offer no puncture protection and they may not have a bunch of “cool looking” padding. But they fill that grey area that has been missing since “tactical” gloves have been in use. FR and full touch-screen compatible models are already in the works, so stay tuned for even more options. If you like a lightweight style of glove or have been waiting (like me) for something like the PIG FDT Gloves to come to the market, do yourself a favor and try them out. At $34.95 you can’t go wrong with these gloves that are in a category of their own.
If you’re like me and wear your Mechanix style gloves until they get holes in them, these are the gloves for you. You even get to try them on and send them back if they don’t fit right (keep them on the hangtag and hope Chuck Norris doesn’t pay you a visit). Add that to the super ninja shipping and superior customer service at SKD and you definitely can’t go wrong.
Note: I want to add that these gloves were provided to me by SKD for evaluation prior to them being released to the public.
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I would look into Franklin second skinz. Incredible dexterity, they've lasted for a year of hard use. I look forward to getting a pair of the Alpha gloves, if they're better than the Franklins, I'll be extremely impressed.
I like the looks of them, just not sure how they will work for EMT work. I am looking for something general purpose, plus protection if I am working around a car accident. Not looking for a full extrication, but something more functional for everyday use. Any ideas?
Like Eric (the product reviewer) I've been using some SKD products like the PIG plate carrier and I must say the SKD stuff does not disappoint. I too have been running several different types of gloves and one of the things I run into with many is since I have some skinny/smaller fingers I find that with a lot of gloves I get that annoying extra space inside the glove at the tips of my fingers. Some of the higher priced gloves do remedy this (I have a pair of Outdoor Research Firemark gloves that work well; approx $80 retail), but then this goes back to the point that if I spend $80-$100 or more on gloves, am I really going to run them as hard as I would like to? Some of us would, some won't. I've literally been running these gloves for just about a week, so no actual range time with them yet, but I have be putting them on quite a bit to get a feel for them and to break them in. So far I'm really liking the fit of the gloves for my skinny fingers, they flow well with all the movements of my hands during weapon manipulation and for the price I won't mind running these into the ground and just buying a new pair when they inevitably fail.
Ordered a pair yesterday. I've been looking for an inexpensive pair of gloves with good dexterity for a while. Thanks for the review.
I'm also interested in longevity, if you read their disclaimer on the order site (you must read it and acknowledge it before they allow you to place them in the cart) it specifically states they consider these "consumable goods" and direct you to plan on replacing them frequently. They definitely explain the theory and make a good pitch but I'm still curious to see exactly how long they last with actual use.
so craig g are you saying your not buying made in america tisk tisk tisk shame on you i go with out on a lot of things that are not made in america......proud american here
Thanks for the review Eric. I gotta say I'm really curious to check these out now. Any word on general lifespan per pair? I know it varies based on the type of work you're doing, but just curious about how long they will hold up with average duty use. Thanks.
I will have to check these gloves out, I wear gloves for everything and can run through a set of mechanics brands gloves in 2-3 months. My current go to gloves were the Mechanics Super Duty Contractor series gloves (I can get about 4 months from them) but have since moved towards the new Camelback FR magnum Force gloves. They have been very durable as I have used them for 8 months and they still look new. I have used the for shooting, metal grinding, tig welding, carpentry, and lots of other general use. Anyways getting off track disappointing they can't be made in the US. I might take a look at them for light use tasks. I like the cuff, the camel backs cuff is too short.
Good review Eric. Where abouts in FL? I'm in the S. Fl area.
I'll probably pick up a pair and give them a run through as I'm an SRT Operator/Medic. Thanks again. Be well.
Good review Eric. Where abouts in FL? I'm in the S. Fl area. I'll probably pick up a pair and give them a run through as I'm an SRT Operator/Medic. Thanks again. Be well.
I wear a large in all my glove sizes and these are sized appropriately. I've washed them once with my uniforms (warm water/perm press dryer) and they didn't shrink.
This is the second review that I've read for these gloves so far and they really seem like a winner. Makes me tempted to get a pair although I have no real need for them since I don't work with guns for a living, I don't do airsoft, and I don't get out shooting all that often. They are tempting to get as a pair of "work" gloves that would do double duty as shooting gloves although it would seem a shame to get a perfectly good pair of gloves dirty from using them as work gloves.
Btw, it's lose not loose (which is just the opposite of thight) as in to lose or in the case of what you wrote, ". . .you lose too much dexterity. . ."
This is the second review that I've read for these gloves so far and they really seem like a winner. Makes me tempted to get a pair although I have no real need for them since I don't work with guns for a living, I don't do airsoft, and I don't get out shooting all that often. They are tempting to get as a pair of "work" gloves that would do double duty as shooting gloves although it would seem a shame to get a perfectly good pair of gloves dirty from using them as work gloves. Btw, it's lose not loose (which is just the opposite of thight) as in to lose or in the case of what you wrote, ". . .you lose too much dexterity. . ."
Thanks for the informative writeup Eric. A question on sizing, how do these compare to Mechanix sizing, and your Nomex gloves? (ie does a medium translate to a medium, or a different size)
Thanks for the informative writeup Eric. A question on sizing, how do these compare to Mechanix sizing, and your Nomex gloves? (ie does a medium translate to a medium, or a different size) Thanks, Sam
I have a lot of problems with my hands, so I wear gloves all the time, like it's 90 degrees out and i have on gloves. Have had good luck with Blackhawk SOLAG gloves, I hve 4 pairs that have worn well, about a year of every day wear, and I am a High Drag, Low Speed guy, back problems, ( guys, always be careful of your back). I just picked up a pair of Mechanix gloves, I believe I'll have to give the SKD ones a try.
I have a lot of problems with my hands, so I wear gloves all the time, like it's 90 degrees out and i have on gloves. Have had good luck with Blackhawk SOLAG gloves, I hve 4 pairs that have worn well, about a year of every day wear, and I am a High Drag, Low Speed guy, back problems, ( guys, always be careful of your back). I just picked up a pair of Mechanix gloves, I believe I'll have to give the SKD ones a try. Thanks Bob
Just got a couple pairs of these in the mail yesterday. My initial impression is that fit and dexterity are excellent, and the way the finger joints are constructed is pretty ingenious. I'm very much looking forward to trying these out at the range soon.
As for their lifespan, only time will tell I'm afraid. Like you said its going to depend on usage also.
Sam, I wear a large in all my glove sizes and these are sized appropriately. I've washed them once with my uniforms (warm water/perm press dryer) and they didn't shrink.