I am not a “glove guy.” I do not run around wearing them all the time, not touching anything without them as if I were an ER doctor waiting for the next patient. That being said, I do find gloves a useful and often necessary addition to my daily gear and always have a pair handy. So, when I received a pair of the Condor HK220 Tactical Gloves for review I was looking for one thing – a pair of gloves that were functional and able to protect me when needed because that is what I believe gloves are for.
When I opened the package I was impressed. The gloves, which I received in tan, but are also available in black or sage, are of quality construction with hook and loop closure at the wrist, reinforcement on the finger tips and palm, and Kevlar integrated into the fingers and back of hand for extra protection. Extra padding on the finger joints and interchangeable knuckle protectors, either hard plastic or memory foam inserts, provide additional protection from common bumps and bruises.
Next, I tried them on – after all, if they do not fit I will not wear them. If I do not wear them, they are just taking up space in my bag, space I could use for something else. Initially, the fit was not perfect. In fact, I thought maybe I had received the wrong size. Not only were the gloves tight enough to make getting them on and off difficult, but it also made manipulating small items next to impossible. This problem was compounded when I attempted to insert the hard plastic knuckle protectors. There was no way to force them into the provided pocket while wearing the gloves, and inserting them prior to wear made the fit even worse.
One positive area concerning the fit was the Velcro wrist closure. I always wear a watch, and the biggest problem I have with gloves is finding ones which allow comfortable wearing of BOTH gloves and my watch. Whoever designed the Condor H220s must wear a watch too, because the fit was exactly what I was looking for.
Over the next couple of weeks I wore the gloves every chance I had; honestly, I wore them more than I would normally wear any gloves. Shooting, driving, home improvement projects all found me gloved up. Over time I found the leather stretched and the fit improved. No longer excessively tight, I found I was able to not only perform normal functions, such as changing a magazine, but also more detail oriented tasks such as reloading that same magazine or field stripping my Glock. I still could not comfortably utilize the hard plastic knuckle protectors, but that was not really a deal breaker as I normally do not purchase gloves with this feature. If you are looking to take advantage of this feature, or if you do not have time to break in the gloves themselves, I would suggest ordering a size larger than you might wear in other styles.
As I put the gloves through the paces, either on the range, while goose hunting or completing unexpected home improvement products, I found they held up quite well. All the seams held up, with no fraying or loose threads observed. The Velcro remained strong and did not collect dirt or debris as is often the case.
All in all, these gloves performed better than expected and, although not equal to what is available for more money, they are better than most gloves in that price range. While they may not fit like a second skin, they do fit like a quality glove and provided the protection I was looking for.
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