This review is on the Oakley Pilot Glove, or as it is often referred to as, the SI Assault Glove. The Pilot Glove is a warm weather glove designed with breathability, comfort, and tactile feedback in mind. The glove allows you to operate a weapon system without really knowing they are there. This helps when operating safeties, bolt catches and other controls. The lack of bulk and shape of the glove also slow down fatigue in the hand.
-Extremely comfortable fit shaped the same way your relaxed hand sits.
-Highly breathable to stop your hands from overheating in hot temperatures
-Great knuckle protection that keeps your knuckles safe from whatever you may hit with them.
-Near perfect tactile feedback allowing you to feel what you are doing.
-The shape and lightweight design allows for great manual dexterity.
-Thin material can lead to rips, and seams coming un stitched.
-Obviously not meant to be worn in wet or cold conditions.
-Possible quality control issue where some gloves don’t last long and others do.
The Oakley Pilot gloves are a mish mash of various materials that in the end seems to make an exceedingly comfortable glove. I cut the tag that says the materials and to be honest most of you don’t really care but I will list them from memory. The palm is a very thin leather with tiny vent holes. The knuckles are carbon fiber with a padded underside. The section closest to the wrist is made of neoprene. Above that is a ridged weaved fabric complete with a firmly affixed Oakley O. The area surrounding the knuckles and at the base of the fingers is a nice and strong died leather. The top of the fingers have neoprene leather and the ridged fabric on them. The sides of the finger are covered with leather at the tip and a stretchy venting fabric along most of the length. The tips of the pointer and middle finger have a thicker piece of leather on them to aid in longevity and grip.
The Oakley Pilot is a mid length glove that extends slightly past the wrist joint. It is made with warm climates and manual dexterity in mind. The entirety of the glove is covered in a way to let out moisture and heat to keep your hands fit to fight. This makes for a fairly light glove but it comes at a cost. The thin materials can give up along the seams of the fingers and I have witnessed this in friends as well as my own.
This photo shows the area a seam has let go on the pointer finger
That said these gloves do hold up fairly well to the abuse of military life. I have been using mine for a bit over a year and a half and use them for almost everything. I use them in the wood shop, as moving gloves and throughout the rigors of my Army job. I liked them so much I ordered a black pair for my motorcycle.
At the wrist of the cuff there is a textured grip of nine raised rubber nubbins which aid in putting the glove on. These work well but will eventually start to come off. The wrist part of the glove can be tightened with a Velcro strap to ensure your gloves doesn’t come off or foreign object like a shell casing, sand or bugs get in. I have fairly large wrist and hands so I don’t often use this strap other than to secure my gloves to my gear when not in use. The cuff is made of a neoprene material and is holding up great so far on all of the gloves I have seen.
Showing the front section of the glove. You can see the raised nubbins and Velcro cinch on the wrist area.
The tan leather in the knuckle region of the glove is stained with a nice tan die. It is a smooth piece of leather on the tan version while a slightly textured version on the black. The carbon fiber knuckle is double stitched in to ensure it doesn’t get ripped off easily. The underside of the knuckle is padded with a nice foam that even when you give a decent punch to something it’s not really felt. I can confirm that it is very painful to get hit in the face with these gloves. My hands were soaked and I was yanking at something and my hand came free and met up with my lip. It hurt a lot and my teeth made a visit to the inside of the back of my lip. This knuckle has also protected my real knuckles from all sorts of smacks and dings in an urban environment. Just above the knuckles are four rubber exhaust ports. I haven’t really noticed them doing a whole lot except with a strong wind or when on my bike.
The fingers are made up of several materials and different features. The tips of the middle and pointer finger are covered in a thicker leather to stop them from wearing down. They were also given little grippy circles on them made of a rubber like material. This material will go away eventually with repeated use.
The palm of the glove is made of a thin perforated leather. I like this a lot because I can feel my weapon a lot better and it allows for awesome breathability .
A close-up of the palm showing the perforations
All good things must come to an end and these gloves are not the exception. I have had the textured grip on the wrist lose its nubs, the grips on the fingers come off, and holes through the side fabric of the fingers. Does this bother me well yes and no. I really like these gloves and I know sacrifices need to be made in order to have the level of breathability, flexibility and weight these gloves permit. I also put them through a lot of hell for example tons of rain, CLP from the machine gun shoot, and wear and tear as work gloves. They held up decently well for that but they are fairly expensive and some of the faults happened early in its life.
If asked do I think I got my money’s worth out of these gloves I would say yes. My hands sweat fairly bad with a thick glove in the Summer and these leave my hands comfortable. My hands will still sweat but its wicked away and evaporates fairly quickly keeping my hands at a decent temperature. If you’re in need of a set of gloves that allows you to feel what you are doing, are breathable and have knuckle protection then these are for you.