The 5 Best Gloves for Pilots in 2024 for Safety and Comfort
10 November 2023 | Updated on December 03, 2023 | 0 comments
If you’re a pilot, you know the importance of having the right gear and equipment to ensure safety, comfort, and efficiency during every flight.
While wearing gloves isn’t a universal practice for every pilot in every airplane, pilot gloves certainly have their advantages. Gloves offer protection for pilots against extreme temperatures in case of an onboard fire, enhance grip and tactile sensitivity, and reduce hand fatigue.
Whether you’re at the helm of a vintage biplane, feeling the rush of the wind in an open-cockpit ultralight, or just seeking extra comfort and safety, the right pair of gloves can be a game changer.
In this article, we will explore the top 5 gloves that are specifically designed for pilots, offering both safety and comfort during your next flights!
(And with winter approaching, we have included some warmer pilot glove options as well)
Why Gloves Matter for Pilots
While it’s true that not every pilot opts to wear gloves in the cockpit, those who do understand the unique benefits they offer. Gloves are more than just a piece of apparel; they are a functional tool that can significantly enhance a pilot’s experience, especially in specific flying conditions.
Comfort in varying conditions: Flying at high altitudes or in cooler climates can be challenging for pilots. Gloves provide the necessary insulation to keep hands warm and responsive, which is crucial for precise control. On the flip side, in warmer climates, breathable gloves can prevent sweaty palms, ensuring a steady grip on the controls.
Enhanced Grip and Control: Gloves designed for aviation are not just about warmth; they also improve grip on the control yoke, throttle, and other instruments. This can be especially useful during long flights where hand fatigue might set in, or in situations requiring delicate manipulations of the controls.
Protection against the elements: Pilots are often exposed to various elements, such as sunlight, wind, and in some cases, even oil or fuel. Gloves protect the skin from these elements, reducing the risk of dryness, chapping, and other skin irritations that can be distracting during flight.
Reduced vibration impact: For pilots flying smaller or older aircraft, the constant vibration of the controls can lead to discomfort or even numbness in the hands over time. Gloves can help dampen this vibration, reducing its impact on the pilot’s hands and allowing for more comfortable, longer flights.
The Best All Leather Gloves for Pilots
Leather gloves are a classic choice for pilots due to their durability, flexibility, and excellent grip. When choosing the best leather gloves for pilots, it’s important to consider the quality of the leather, stitching, insulation, and sizing.
Here are our some of our top picks for the best leather gloves for pilots!
1. SKYDEER Full Deerskin Leather Gloves
Crafted from 100% natural deerskin leather, SKYDEER gloves offer a unique combination of softness, durability, and flexibility, making them a suitable choice for pilots. The deerskin material is known for its comfortable fit and excellent abrasion resistance, ensuring both protection and ease of movement. These gloves are designed with a double shirred elastic wrist, enhancing fit and flexibility, crucial for pilots who require precision and comfort in their hand movements.
2. Alepo Genuine Sheepskin Leather Gloves
The Alepo Genuine Sheepskin Leather Gloves are a fusion of elegance and practicality, tailored for those who appreciate a classic design without sacrificing functionality. The outer layer is crafted from premium sheepskin leather, renowned for its soft touch, durability, and enduring comfort. These gloves are fully lined with Italian cashmere, making them an ideal choice for pilots flying in cooler conditions. One of their standout features is the 360° touchscreen compatibility, allowing pilots to operate touchscreen devices without removing the gloves – a convenient attribute for modern cockpits.
Each of these gloves offers excellent comfort, protection, and functionality for pilots. Whether you’re looking for a classic design, advanced technology, or a budget-friendly option, there is a perfect pair of leather gloves for every pilot.
The Best Nomex Flying Gloves for Pilots
Nomex gloves are essential for pilots who operate in high-risk environments and require protection against flames and extreme temperatures. These top Nomex gloves offer durability, comfort, and flexibility, enabling pilots to perform their duties with confidence and ease.
1. Nomex Flight Gloves – Our top pick!
The Nomex Flight Gloves are a favorite among pilots, earning over 600 5-star reviews on Amazon. These gloves, made from soft sheepskin leather and heat-resistant Nomex Fabric, are designed for durability and safety. They feature an extended length for forearm protection, setting them apart from shorter styles. The gloves offer excellent thermal protection and are ideal for pilots, providing a comfortable fit and superior finger dexterity for precise control in the cockpit. Their popularity and high ratings underscore their effectiveness and quality as a top choice for aviators.
2. Pentagon Men’s Short Cuff Pilot Gloves Coyote
The Pentagon Men’s Short Cuff Pilot Gloves in Coyote are robust and designed for durability. These gloves are tailored to shield hands from external hazards, featuring fire-resistant DuPont Nomex knitted fabric for added protection. Made from high-quality goatskin leather with reinforced stitching on the palm, they are built to withstand rigorous use.
The short, 1.5-inch protective cuff provides safety while maintaining flexibility and ease of movement. Additionally, these gloves are accented with an embroidered Pentagon logo and include convenient hanging loops. Their composition of DuPont Nomex and leather makes them a reliable choice for pilots seeking a combination of protection, comfort, and functionality.
3. Magpul Flight Glove 2.0 Nomex Flight Gloves
The Magpul Flight Glove 2.0 is a modern upgrade to traditional flight gloves, offering enhanced flexibility, dexterity, and protection. They feature a fire-resistant combination of Nomex and Kevlar on the back for flash and flame resistance, and a durable goatskin leather palm for a tactile feel of controls.
Notably, these gloves include a three-finger touchscreen capability, perfect for pilots in technologically advanced cockpits. The increased gauntlet length and hanger loops for drying add to their practicality. Designed to fit like a second skin, they are ideal for pilots and other high-dexterity tasks.
4. Rothco G.I. Type Flight Gloves
The Rothco G.I. Type Flight Gloves are another popular choice on Amazon, boasting over 140 5-star reviews. These gloves are specially designed to offer superior protection against flame and heat, a crucial feature for pilots. Made with flame and heat-resistant fabric and thread, they provide maximum thermal protection without compromising on dexterity.
Adhering to military specification standards for flight gloves (MIL-DTL-81188C), they are not only suitable for pilots but also for law enforcement officials, military personnel, and as tactical or shooting gloves. These gloves strike an excellent balance between protection and functionality, making them a versatile choice for various demanding professions.
The Best Touchscreen-Compatible Gloves for Pilots
With the technological advancements in aviation, touchscreen displays are becoming increasingly popular in modern aircraft. As a result, pilots require gloves that provide a high level of touch sensitivity while still ensuring safety and comfort.
The following gloves have been selected as the best touchscreen-compatible gloves for pilots in 2023:
1. ONETAC Outdoor Touch Screen Nomex Pilot Gloves
Designed for pilot operators, ONETAC Gloves combine functionality with protection. The gloves feature heat-resistant Nomex fabric on the back, offering safety in varied temperatures. The soft leather palm ensures durability and excellent finger dexterity, crucial for cockpit control. A standout feature is the touchscreen-compatible leather on the thumb, index, and middle fingers, facilitating the use of touchscreen devices in modern cockpits. Additionally, the gloves provide robust protection with a comfortable, secure fit, thanks to their protective cuff design. These gloves are an ideal choice for pilots prioritizing both digital interface compatibility and hand protection.
2. Magpul Flight Glove 2.0 Nomex Flight Gloves
Again we’ll include the Magpul Flight Glove 2.0 as these gloves include a three-finger touchscreen capability, perfect for pilots in technologically advanced cockpits.
The Best Cold Weather Gloves for Pilots
When flying in cold temperatures, wearing the appropriate gloves is essential for pilots. Gloves that provide adequate insulation, protection against cold, and maintain dexterity can make the difference between an enjoyable flight and a painful one.
Here are some of the best cold-weather gloves that every pilot should consider:
1. SKYDEER 3M Thinsulate Thermal Winter Work Gloves
The SKYDEER 3M Thinsulate Thermal Winter Work Gloves are particularly suited for pilots flying in cold-weather conditions. Crafted entirely from premium genuine deerskin suede, these gloves offer a combination of softness, flexibility, and breathability, essential for maintaining comfort and control in chilly environments.
For pilots flying in colder climates, these gloves offer a blend of warmth, comfort, and dexterity.
2. Houart Mens Sheepskin Leather Gloves
The Houart Men’s Sheepskin Leather Gloves are another excellent choice for pilots in cold weather. Crafted from 100% pure sheepskin leather, they provide flexibility, softness, and essential warmth. The gloves feature a high-quality fleece lining for added insulation without bulk, maintaining necessary dexterity. They also offer high-tech touchscreen compatibility, allowing pilots to operate digital devices seamlessly. Durable and designed for cold conditions, these gloves are ideal for pilots needing reliable warmth and functionality.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pilot Gloves
Selecting the right pair of gloves is crucial for pilots to ensure optimal comfort and safety during flights. Here are the key factors to consider when choosing the best pilot gloves:
- Material: The material of the gloves should be sturdy, durable, and offer good grip. Besides that, they should also be fire-resistant, as they will play a major role in protecting your skin in case of a fire inside the cockpit. The most popular materials for pilot gloves are leather, Nomex, and neoprene.
- Fit: It is essential to select gloves that fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. Gloves that are too tight can cause discomfort and affect dexterity, while those that are too loose can hinder grip and tactile sensitivity.
- Dexterity: Pilots need gloves that allow them to perform intricate tasks, such as operating instruments and buttons, with ease. Gloves with high dexterity are crucial for a smooth and effortless flight.
- Durability: The gloves should be able to withstand frequent use and avoid wear and tear quickly. High-quality gloves that last for extended periods can save pilots money in the long run.
- Touchscreen compatibility: With the widespread use of touchscreens in modern aircraft, pilots need gloves that are compatible with these displays while retaining other essential features.
Considering these factors when choosing gloves for pilots can help ensure a comfortable, safe, and efficient flying experience.
Maintaining Your Flying Gloves
Once you’ve found the perfect pair of flying gloves, maintaining them is key to ensuring their longevity and performance. Proper care will not only extend the life of your gloves but also ensure they remain comfortable and effective for every flight.
Cleaning Your Gloves
For leather gloves, use a gentle leather cleaner and avoid harsh chemicals. Always let them air dry away from direct heat sources.
Synthetic gloves can often be machine washed, but it’s best to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a mild detergent and avoid fabric softeners that can degrade the material’s properties.
After cleaning, use a conditioner for leather gloves to keep them supple. For synthetic gloves, ensure they are completely dry before storing them.
Store your gloves in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and drying out. Even though most gloves are usually put inside a flight bag, we recommend to not crumple or stuff your gloves into tight spaces. This can cause them to lose their shape and reduce their effectiveness.
Regularly check your gloves for signs of wear and tear, such as thinning material, tears, or loose stitching. This is crucial for maintaining their protective qualities. Pay attention to how they fit. Over time, gloves may stretch or shrink slightly. Ensure they still fit snugly and comfortably.
When to Replace Your Flying Gloves
Even with the best care, gloves will eventually need to be replaced. Look for signs of excessive wear, reduced grip, or discomfort.
Consider replacing your gloves if they have been exposed to chemicals or extreme conditions that could have compromised their integrity.
By taking good care of your flying gloves, you ensure that they will take good care of you in return, flight after flight!
In summary, while gloves may not be a staple in every cockpit, their benefits are undeniable for pilots who choose to wear them. They offer a blend of comfort, control, and protection that can make a significant difference in both the quality of the flight and the pilot’s overall experience.
Choosing the right gloves is crucial for pilots to ensure they have a safe and comfortable flying experience. Leather gloves are perfect for those looking for durability and excellent grip, while Nomex gloves are ideal for pilots operating in high-risk environments. Touchscreen-compatible gloves are an essential choice for pilots who use electronic instruments and touchscreen displays extensively, and cold weather gloves provide adequate insulation and protection against freezing temperatures.