We take a deep dive into everybody’s favorite work gloves
Mechanix gloves are a staple in pockets and on the work benches of garage mechanics everywhere. But why are they so popular? Let’s take a closer look.
If you spend any amount of time working in the garage, you know how essential a good pair of gloves can be. Cranking on that one stubborn, rusty stuck bolt until it breaks loose is a pain in itself, but when there are a half dozen of them, there’s virtually no chance of you finishing the job without a few blisters – unless you’ve got a solid pair of gloves to soften the blow. But it’s not just tinkering in the garage that these gloves are good for; some models are also remarkably good as riding gloves. Considering how few gloves have been designed specifically for use on ATVs and UTVs, mechanics gloves can be every bit as well suited for the job as, say, motorcycle gloves.
Few mechanics gloves manufacturers are as well-known as Mechanix (yes, the naming is a bit confusing), and here, in the latest installment of our “Everything You Need To Know” series, we will be exploring five of the company’s most versatile glove product lines. We’ll go over the features, designs, available sizes, real owner reviews, and possible alternatives to Mechanix gloves, with the aim of arming you with enough information that you can make an informed purchase.
Table of Contents
Mechanix Gloves Features
Central to the success of much of the Mechanix gloves product line is its form-fitting TekDry glove material – a comfortable, moisture-wicking blend that strikes a perfect balance between protection and dexterity. The material is found in Mechanix Wear’s prototypical glove, The Original, and it comprises the lion’s share of the rest of the company’s consumer-grade lineup, as well.
In addition to the form-fitting TekDry material on the back and palm, The Original also boasts a thumb and index finger support, reinforcing the most critical part of the glove to defend against wear and protect the most susceptible part of the hand from harm. An adjustable thermoplastic rubber wrist closure provides a tight, comfortable fit around the wrist – another feature shared with most if not all of the consumer-grade Mechanix gloves lineup – and The Original even features touchscreen-compatible synthetic leather touch points that let you use your smartphone without removing the glove.
The Original Grip is more of the same, except without the touchscreen-capable synthetic leather, but with an advanced, textured Armortex grip material over the fingers, thumb, and palm. That Armortek material displaces fluids and provides a sure grip even in slick conditions, whether you’re trying to grip a greasy engine component or to maintain a firm grasp on the throttle on a soggy morning ride.
The Mechanix Specialty Vent is one of the few consumer-grade Mechanix glove models not made from the company’s trademark TekDry material, instead opting for a lightweight mesh and a perforated micro-fleece material that work to eliminate heat and keep the hand cool and dry.
Perhaps the two Mechanix gloves most well-suited to both wrenching and riding, however, are the M-Pact and the Winter Impact Gen 2. The Mechanix M-Pact is made from the same familiar, form-fitting TekDry material with a thermoplastic rubber wrist closure, but it features soft, padded palms reinforced with Armortex and thermoplastic rubber guards on the back of the glove for extra protection. The same touchscreen-capable synthetic leather as found on The Original is present, as are the reinforced thumb and index finger supports.
The Winter Impact Gen 2 offers a similar level of protection, with EVA foam knuckle padding to spare the wearer’s hands from impacts and abrasions, but it’s aimed at cold weather performance with C40 3M Thinsulate insulation, water-resistant polyester construction, a waterproof membrane, and Armortex grips that deliver good gripping power in rain, sleet, and snow. Extended gauntlet cuffs cover the wrists and work to keep the elements out.
Mechanix Gloves Colorways
Of the Mechanix gloves products listed above, only The Original and the M-Pact offer multiple colors, applied to select portions of each glove. The other three gloves mentioned are available in just one color or combination each.
The Original is one of the most iconic-looking mechanics gloves around, with the name “Mechanix” printed proudly diagonally across the backs of the fingers and the knuckles four times. A total of seven colors are available: black, yellow, red, blue, gray, brown, and orange. In all cases except for brown, the color is applied just to the backside of the glove, where the “Mechanix” name is printed, with the rest of the glove being black. Brown is a special case, being applied over the entirety of the glove except for the backside, which is black.
The Original Grip
The Original Grip looks almost identical to The Original, but with some subtle gray contrasting on the backside of the glove and the word “Grip” printed near the thumb. Just the one colorway is available.
The Specialty Vent is available in only one colorway, with a retro-looking steely blue and white geometric pattern on the back featuring the same repeating “Mechanix” print, and a warmer gray on the palm and insides of the fingers.
The M-Pact looks remarkably like some heavy-duty dirt bike or motocross gloves, with bulky guards over the knuckles and the back of the fingers. The same “Mechanix” name motif is present, but largely obscured by the guards. Five colors are available: black, yellow, red, brown, and gray. All feature contrasting guards, and for the bolder colors – yellow and red – the color lives only on the finger fourchettes and in the wrist.
Winter Impact Gen 2
The Winter Impact Gen 2 looks decidedly like a typical winter glove, available only in all-black with the “Mechanix” name printed multiple times diagonally up on the cuffs in gray. About the only visual intrigue comes from the mix of different textures on the backside of the glove.
Mechanix Gloves Sizes
Mechanix gloves are available in sizes ranging from Small to XXL, depending on the product. Here is a thorough breakdown:
|Size||Finger Length||Palm Width|
|S||12.3 – 13.0 cm / 4-7/8 – 5-1/8 in||6.5 – 7.5 cm / 2-1/2 – 3 in|
|M||13.0 – 13.8 cm / 5-1/8 – 5-3/8 in||7.5 – 8.5 cm / 3 – 3-3/8 in|
|L||13.8 – 14.5 cm / 5-3/8 – 5-3/4 in||8.5 – 9.8 cm / 3-3/8 – 3-7/8 in|
|XL||14.5 – 15.2 cm / 5-3/4 – 6 in||9.8 – 11.0 cm / 3-7/8 – 4-3/8 in|
|XXL||15.2 – 15.9 cm / 6 – 6-1/4 in||11.0 – 12.2 cm / 4-3/8 – 4-3/4 in|
Mechanix gloves are among the best known, most trusted mechanics gloves around, but there are several viable alternatives out there, such as those from Ironclad. The Ironclad line is comparable in price to the Mechanix gloves line, and the Ironclad Heavy Utility work glove is a worthy competitor to The Original. Where the two product lines differ is that where Mechanix Wear’s gloves are more general purpose, Ironclad’s are 100% designed for the job. As competition for the Mechanix Winter Impact, the Ironclad Cold Condition Waterproof is a prime example. It lacks the Winter Impacts big, protruding knuckle guards and snow-blocking extended cuffs.
Another alternative glove brand is Grease Monkey, which produces a range of mechanics gloves that will gladly double as riding gloves when needed. The company’s wares are, by and large, very affordable; a pair of general purpose work gloves from Grease Monkey will run you significantly less than a pair of Mechanix Original gloves, and for around $20, the company’s ’47 Pro Protect 2.0 has all the markings of a good riding glove: extensive knuckle and finger back protection, construction that offers excellent dexterity and breathability, touchscreen-compatible finger tips, and reinforcements at key high-wear areas. What the brand seems to lack is anything that can touch some of Mechanix Wear’s more high-end or specialty gloves.
One of the best ways to ascertain how a product really performs before buying is to look at real, actual owner reviews. Here, we’ve made some observations regarding common themes or trends from reviews spanning across the internet.
Generally speaking, reviews for Mechanix gloves are effusive. Owners love the dexterity and fit, not to mention their ability to hold up to abuse. One reviewer said their pair of The Original gloves held up for a full four years without tearing, only meeting their end when they were lost. They do a good job of protecting the wearer’s hands from basic cuts and puncture wounds, too, according to most reviews we’ve read, and owners have used them for everything from mechanics work to skiing and snowmobiling, to bow hunting, to outdoor training. Granted, those things are outside of The Original’s intended use cases. Your mileage may vary.
We detected two main criticisms from some reviewers, however. The first is that, according to some customers, the sizing tends to run a bit small, meaning you might be better off moving up a size if your hands measure close to the upper limits.
The second involved allegations that the gloves were made poorly, with inconsistent material trimming inside the glove and material that can wear through in a matter of days. Bear in mind, though, that such comments represented a miniscule portion of all the feedback we looked at, and without any knowledge of how the gloves were being used or whether they were sized properly to the wearer, we can’t know whether such claims hold any water.
Overall, most reviewers had positive experiences with their Mechanix gloves, maintaining that they live up to all the hype they’ve amassed over the years.
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