Top 3 Best Tactical Gloves for the Survival Lifestyle

Have you ever made the mistake of buying a bad pair of gloves?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

I’ve had the opportunity to test out a pair of gloves from almost every brand imaginable. And I’ll be the first to tell you that not all gloves are made the same. 

If you want to invest in a good pair of gloves for the survival lifestyle then there are only a few brands that I would trust. Two that I would trust far more than the rest.

Those two brands are Ironclad and Mechanix. 

Best Survival Gloves 

So what makes gloves from Ironclad and Mechanix so much better than the rest?

One word. Durability.

There is nothing worse than buying a new pair of gloves, only to have them destroyed within a short amount of time. Especially if you’re using gloves for work (hard labor), gardening, or homesteading. 

This is why it’s so important to invest in a quality pair of gloves. It prevents you from having to reinvest in another pair of gloves shortly after. 

And the best part is you don’t have to empty your wallet either. A good pair of survival gloves will only cost you around $20 – $40 if you shop online. 

So without further ado, here is my review of the 3 best survival gloves.

Mechanix Wear Original Tactical Work Gloves

review of the Mechanix Wear Original Tacical Multicam Gloves

The Mechanix Wear original tactical gloves are lightweight, durable, and perfectly constructed for the survival lifestyle. 

However, with no rubber padding on top, these gloves won’t be as useful for working in construction or other dangerous professions. If you want your gloves to be lightweight and breathable though then these will certainly do the job. 

What I love most about these tactical gloves is how comfortable they are to wear, while still being constructed in a way that puts longevity first. You can tell Mechanix Wear put a lot of thought into making them. 

After examining the pair of gloves for some time, I noticed that you could effectively break these gloves down into two halves — the bottom and the top. 

The bottom half is made up of a simulated leather (60% nylon, 38% polyurethane, and 2% carbon black) that is soft to the touch and yet highly durable at the same time. Whereas the top-half layer is made up of two separate layers. The inside layer (opposite of the palm) is a breathable fabric referred to as TrekDry that’s used to keep your hands cool and comfortable at all times. 

The outside layer mostly consists of a weather-resistant fabric (94% Polyester, 6% Spandex) with some extra padding sewn on around the fingers for added protection. However, on the inside fingers are a thinner (and more breathable) fabric (96% Polyester, 4% Spandex) to promote breathability. 

On the bottom half of the gloves is a rubber wrist closure to give you a little extra comfort and protection. Next to the wrist closure is an extended carrier loop, which is perfect for tactical situations.

Oh, and let’s not forget these gloves have touchscreen capability. Even if you’re not a big fan of tech, you have to be prepared for anything nowadays!

Mechanix Wear: M-Pact MultiCam Tactical Gloves
9.4/10Our Score
  • Touch Capable: Touchscreen capable synthetic leather provides the perfect blend of dexterity and durability.
  • Impact Protection: Molded Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) impact protection meets EN 13594 impact standard.
  • Absorbs Vibration: Multi-zone D3O palm padding absorbs and dissipates high-impact energy through the palm.
  • Added Durability: Armortex palm reinforcement supports added durability.
  • Breathable: Form-fitting TrekDry material provides evaporative cooling and helps keep hands cool and comfortable while you work.
  • Secure Fit: Hook and loop closure provides a secure fit.
  • Machine Washable: We recommend washing our synthetic leather gloves with household laundry detergent and warm water, and air drying to maintain long-term performance.

Mechanix Wear: M-Pact Tactical Work Gloves

reviewing the Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical gloves

The name of these gloves tells you everything you need to know. When you put on these gloves you’re ready for impact. Or in this case, M-Pact.

And while it may be a clever name, it’s certainly well suited. 

These M-Pact tactical gloves from Mechanix Wear are effectively the same as the Original tactical gloves, just with a lot more added protection.

So what added features contribute to this extra protection?

For starters, there is strategically placed rubber padding on top of the gloves, the (non-index) fingers, and the wrist closure. Mechanix Wear calls this their Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) impact protection.

Next, is the foam padding sewn into the palm of the gloves. This small layer of D3O® foam padding offers a surprisingly large amount of protection, especially when shooting a firearm. The D3O® palm padding is built to absorb and dissipate high-impact energy.

Further up on the palm (opposite of the knuckle) is the Armortex® palm reinforcement. This unique material is highly robust and great at preventing cuts, punctures, and tears.

There is also extra padding inside the index finger and the thumb of the gloves for improved dexterity. This may not directly protect you, but it can prevent you from dropping something and that can help to protect you from injury. 

Mechanix Wear: Original MultiCam Tactical Gloves
8.4/10Our Score
  • Touch Capable: Touchscreen capable synthetic leather provides the perfect blend of dexterity and durability.
  • Breathable: Form-fitting TrekDry material provides evaporative cooling and helps keep hands cool and comfortable while you work.
  • Added Durability: Reinforced thumb and index finger provide added durability.
  • Secure Fit: Hook and loop closure provides a secure fit.
  • Tactical Carrier Loops: Extended Nylon carrier loops for easier storage.
  • Machine Washable: We recommend washing our synthetic leather gloves with household laundry detergent and warm water, and air drying to maintain long-term performance.

Ironclad Command Tactical Impact Grip Gloves

reviewing the Ironclad tactical Impact gloves

Need a little more grip?

The entire palm of these Ironclad tactical gloves is covered with a silicon fused pattern for improved grip and control. This unique silicon pattern is designed with Ironclad’s Command™ Touchscreen technology.

But wait, it gets even better.

These gloves benefit from using Ironclad’s 16-point measurement system to give you a best-in-class fit with a no-bulk feel. And while I’m not sure how this 16-point system works, I can tell you that these are some of the best-fitting gloves I’ve ever had the opportunity of trying on. 

Another benefit of wearing these gloves is the back of your hands, wrist closure, and (non-index) fingers are covered with a thin layer of thermoplastic rubber for extra protection. There is also a small section of the gloves (located behind the thumb) that is covered with a Terry cloth so you can wipe the sweat off your brow at any time without having to reach for a rag.

This nifty feature is another reason why I support the brand Ironclad so much. It shows they go above and beyond to make the customer happy. 

Ironclad EXOT Tactical Impact Gloves
8.4/10Our Score
  • 100% Nylon
  • Imported 
  • Extra heavy duty material
  • Reinforced components
  • For tactical or civilian use

What to Consider When Buying a Pair of Gloves

When buying a pair of gloves you have many options to choose from.

You can buy comfortable gloves, durable gloves, or you can even gloves that are resistant to water!

Of course, the options are virtually endless when it comes to buying gloves. You could even buy a box of 100 plastic gloves if you’re only concerned about keeping your hands clean.

However, if you’re interested in buying a pair of tactical gloves for survival, then here are all of the features you want to consider before buying your next pair of gloves.

Let’s dive right in.

Comfort

It’s always important to be comfortable in a survival situation.

A little bit of discomfort may not kill you or anything, but it’s not going to help you out either.

You may even be distracted if your gloves are extremely uncomfortable. So I would at least try to avoid that if you can.

So what makes one pair of gloves more comfortable than the other?

Let’s start with breathability. If your gloves lack breathability then the sweat from your hands will slowly build up over time and make your hands feel hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. Leather gloves (or any type of glove that’s coated with rubber) will not breathe well (if at all), whereas nylon and polyester gloves are well-ventilated and breathable. 

Protection

The main reason to wear gloves is to protect your hands.

And when is hand protection more important than in a survival situation? When you need to build a fire, create a shelter, or possibly even create a primitive weapon, a pair of gloves will certainly come in handy.

You don’t need to be in the wilderness to need hand protection either. Having a good pair of gloves will help you greatly in an urban survival situation as well. Especially in a combat situation.

With a decent pair of gloves, you can protect your hands from getting cut, stabbed, and possibly even from blunt force trauma. If you plan on grappling down the side of a building it will even protect you from rug burn. Which I suppose is a nice bonus. 

Oh, and you can’t forget splinters either.

Durability

When you buy a good pair of survival gloves you expect them to last a long time. 

After all, you don’t want your gloves to fall apart while you’re simply trying your best to survive. With so many other things to worry about, your gloves shouldn’t be one of them. 

But how do you know if one pair of gloves is more durable than another? The first thing to do is to look at the brand.

Most of the brands that you’ll find online are e-commerce only. Meaning you can only find these brands when shopping online. 

These “brands” are often not real companies at all. At least not in the sense that they design the gloves themselves. Instead, these brands often consist of one person who mass-imports (dropships) a large number of gloves from a company in China, Kuwait, or Taiwan. 

With a brand like that, you can only expect so much in terms of quality. That’s why I recommend you stick to the more reputable brands that have been in business for a while. 

The second thing you should do to prove the durability of a pair of gloves is to view the stitching. If the gloves have double stitching then that’s one good sign of durability. But if the gloves are poorly stitched then you may want to look elsewhere. 

Insulation

When buying gloves for the survival lifestyle, you need to consider how cold the environment you’ll be wearing the gloves in is. If you plan on climbing snow-capped mountains, then you’ll need a different pair of gloves than you would if you were trekking through the everglades. 

So what makes the two gloves different from one another?

Insulation.

The amount of insulation in the gloves will determine how warm the gloves are. So the puffier the gloves, the warmer your hands will be.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistance

Do you plan on getting wet?

If you’re going to be active around water or expect to be in the rain for an extended amount of time then you may want to consider getting a pair of gloves that are either waterproof or water-resistant.

What’s the difference?

Water-resistant gloves are treated with either a silicone or a PVC-based fabric spray to repel some of the water off of the fabric. Whereas waterproof gloves are built with either a single, double, or triple-layer solution to completely prevent water from passing through the fabric.

However, there is a downside to wearing waterproof gloves. 

Since water can’t get into the gloves, the sweat from your hands can’t get out of them either. This may be annoying when the temperature is hot outside, but when the temperature is freezing outside then it can accelerate frostbite. 

If you’re going to be in cold weather for an extended amount of time then you may want to consider wearing waterproof gloves that are built with a double or triple-layer solution. This way the gloves will have an inner layer to help wick away the moisture (sweat) from your hands.

Touchscreen Capability

In the modern age, you may want to consider getting a pair of gloves with touchscreen capability. 

While some may see this as nonsense — and I understand why — there are many beneficial ways to use a smartphone in a survival situation. 

However, if you have to remove your gloves every time you use your phone then you may not want to use your phone at all. But if you have gloves with touchscreen capability then you can use your phone while simultaneously performing whatever task you’re wearing the gloves for. 

Best Types of Gloves for Survival

Many different types of gloves can be used in a survival situation. 

Tactical gloves, work gloves, gardening gloves, and even hunting gloves all have their own survival uses. Deciding what type of gloves you should wear depends on what you’ll be doing and what kind of environment you’ll be in.

If you’re going to be in an urban environment then you may want to wear a different type of glove than if you were in the wilderness. The same goes if you’re going to be working on the homestead or if you’re going to be fishing on the coast of Alaska. 

Let’s find what type of gloves will work best for you. 

Tactical Gloves

top 3 best survival gloves for tactical situations

The most popular type of survival gloves is tactical gloves. 

Tactical gloves are commonly worn by soldiers and law enforcement due to their improved dexterity and protection. This dexterity comes from the relatively thin fabric used by the gloves, combined with its snug fitting design. 

Some tactical gloves are insulated to help keep you warm during colder months, but most are designed to fit snugly so they won’t get in the way of your shooting. 

Some people even choose to use fingerless (also known as half-finger) gloves to have maximum dexterity when using a firearm. If you’re more worried about protection, you may want to opt for gloves with impact protection or hard knuckles made from thermoplastic rubber (TPR). 

Thermoplastic rubber is essentially a combination of plastic and rubber. And it’s a great material for protecting your hands against danger. 

Work Gloves

used leather work gloves for survival

Work gloves are designed to protect the wearer. 

They’re referred to as work gloves because they’re mostly worn as a safety precaution when performing labor. The benefits of wearing work gloves are to prevent cuts, scrapes, punctures, and any other possible injury from happening to your hand. 

Some gloves will offer more protection than others, such as those made out of leather (or other robust materials) and those designed with impact protection, hard knuckles, and/or foam padding. If you plan on working with dangerous chemicals or liquids then you may want to get a pair of rubber-coated gloves. This will help to protect you against absorption and chemical burns. 

Rubber gloves can either be made out of butyl, natural /latex neoprene, or nitrile. Whereas non-rubber work gloves can either be made from leather, string knit, cotton, or a combination of those materials. 

If you’re going to be working in cold weather then you may want to get a pair of insulating rubber gloves.

Gardening Gloves

gardening gloves for survival

Gardening gloves are used for much more than simply keeping your hands clean.

You can wear gardening gloves to avoid blisters and calluses, prevent cuts and scrapes, protect against insect bites and stings, and to protect your skin from dangerous chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.

Most gardening gloves are either made from leather, cotton, nylon, polyester, or some type of fabric (typically stretch knit) dipped in or coated with rubber. The rubber can either be made from latex, neoprene, or nitrile, with neoprene and nitrile being the better option for working with fungicides and fertilizers as both are impermeable.

Neoprene and nitrile are also lightweight and breathable, offering improved dexterity in the garden. However, if you need your gloves to be waterproof, then you may want to consider getting latex-coated gloves instead. 

Hunting Gloves

Hunting gloves come in many different shapes and sizes.

Some hunting gloves are water-resistant or waterproof, and other hunting gloves are insulated or come in the shape of a mitten for use in cold weather.

Most hunting gloves come in one form of camouflage pattern or another. Although some come in bright neon orange to enhance the visibility of the person wearing them. This is to keep other hunters from accidentally thinking you’re an animal of some kind.