View Full Version : NAVAIR gloves

4 September 2013, 09:16
I know this is a long shot to ask here, but my normal go-to source for this kind of stuff has only yielded a couple of limited data points so far.

I'm in the market for a new set of NAVAIR Approved fingerless gloves for work. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to buy them myself for now. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these:


The only other option out there that I'm aware of is the Wiley X gloves, but they have a checkered history in the durability department.

Also, please don't turn this into a "my gloves are great, you should try these!" thread. Due to various rules and regs, they can only be NAVAIR Approved (flame retardant) gloves, and specifically I'm looking for fingerless. Sorry if that sounds rude, just trying to direct the discussion productively.

Thanks for any thoughts.

4 September 2013, 11:16
Being from the Air Force the only options we had were the Wiley X's and the Massif if we wanted something other than the standard issue nomex gloves. Those were the only two brands authorized by our squadron for flight line work. Other than that it was the standard issue stuff that was pure crap for durability.
Camelbak makes a set called Max Grip MX3 DFAR Gloves that are NAVAIR but I don't know if that is what you are looking for.

4 September 2013, 15:04
I'll have to look at the Camelbak ones.

The OR ones linked above are the Massif ones. Any thoughts on comfort and/or durability? I've heard great things about durability, but comfort/dexterity is still the muddled question.

4 September 2013, 15:38
With the massif they are pretty stiff compared to the standard nomex, and I had always broke them in using mink oil. Mink oil would soften the leather and help with weather proofing them. They were comfortable and dexterity was so so.

I have never tried the WileyX's or the CamelBak's. Durability was always the concern something I wasn't replacing every quarter. The massif's lasted and it was what was recommended to me by people on the job so it's what I went with.

4 September 2013, 17:35
Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like it's on par with what I'm hearing...a little less dexterity but more ruggedness.

The Wiley Xs apparently fell apart initially and I've heard that "someone" went back to them (presumably NAVAIR) to work on improvements and they're supposed to be better now. Not a ringing endorsement, especially from guys who still have them now and aren't sold. My other main input is from students I fly with who haven't had them very long, so it's tough to get an accurate read on long-term reliability.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

3 May 2015, 12:52
Thought I'd write a follow up after a year of use with the Massif FR fingerless gloves. While my use may not be relevant to many, I do know that these things are used by shooters on the civilian side and I've seen some .mil pictures of rifleman using them on the military side, as well.

For normal shooting, I generally use the PiG Alpha gloves for grip and some very minor heat control. Because they're so good at communicating the sensations of touch, they aren't meant for extended hard use, as SKD points out on their site. These Massif gloves are much more robust and with the added leather palm and knuckle areas, would be well suited to an environment where you might want a little more protection to your hands from the ground/objects. They're not as thick as Mechanix gloves, but thicker than the PiG gloves.

These are also FR, which is something I personally need, but is probably not a selling point to most. That said, I've been wearing this pair for over a year now, averaging about once a week (sometimes more, sometimes less) for several hours per use in the cold (well, 30F or warmer) and during the hot Florida summer. They are warmer than wearing no gloves, but they do breath very well. The fingerless portions come to just below your last knuckle/crease thingy (whatever that's called). These particular gloves were pretty tight for me, but it was the size based off of the directions. As I've worn them, they've loosened slightly and are slightly easier to get on and off, but you still have to work at it. Since ordering these, I've ordered another two sets (they were on sale at a crazy price a few months back) and the newer ones were a little easier to get on and off, so maybe this first pair were just a bit small for the size.

They've worn absolutely great. The aramid is still mostly soft and the leather still allows for flexibility. The discoloration on the leather is just from all of the fluids/POL/lube/sweat/whatever that they encounter in the cockpit, but it's color only and nothing has deteriorated because of that. I should probably throw them in the wash at this point, but I'm too lazy.

Overall, I've been very happy with these gloves and they've been far more robust than the Wiley X gloves I see others struggle with.

Obligatory picture of gear: