By David Hildebrand, PCI #404T/EMSCI #118T
Denton (TX) Police Department
For the past 15 – almost 16 – years, I have always worn half-finger gloves while biking. This included road, mountain, and patrol riding. The only time I wore anything with full fingers was when the temps here in Texas got down into the frigid 50’s (just kidding…sometimes it gets down into the 20’s and even lower around here).
At the beginning of the summer, I was speaking with Bill Paine, who reps for Spenco and is very active supporter of IPMBA and our efforts. He sent me a pair of Heat Wave 2.0 gloves to try and my summer of full-fingered glove activities commenced.
I was impressed with the fit of the gloves from the start. They are nicely designed and seem to follow the contours of my hands quite well. One thing that was different from any of my other gloves is that the Velcro® closure at the wrist wraps around underneath the wrist rather than on the top of it. I do have a tendency to wear my equipment until it falls apart, but I now realize that many glove makers have moved to this configuration, and I will admit that I’m a fan of it. The closure is smaller and narrower, and its positioning under the wrist makes it much less likely to get snagged and pulled open accidentally.
The backs of the gloves have a mesh covering that makes them breathable, which is very important here during the summer. This partially addressed one of my concerns about full-fingered gloves for summer time use. The fingers themselves have a soft spun finish that provides for decent dexterity while riding and doing other tasks, further assisted by silicone patches on the tips of the index and middle fingers. The gloves also have the requisite terry thumb for keeping things clean while riding.
The gloves have worn well for several months, and I have enjoyed the additional protection that the full fingers provide. I’ve even moved to wearing them singularly for off-road riding. The padding is well-placed and not so bulky that it hinders manipulation of bike-related gear or weapons. The tips of the fingers have started to fray a little due to use and washing but they are still very serviceable. The only issue that I have had with their construction is some small tears at the base of the thumb where the padding is placed. The stitches of the thumb and the padding pulled away slightly early on but have not gotten any worse with further use.
My only major problem that I’ve encountered since using these gloves is that I have entered the 21st century regarding electronic components, and I cannot use my iPHONE while wearing them. While this is not a major issue for some, as a supervisor who is on his phone quite a bit, this has caused me some consternation because I have to take one glove off each time I need to use my phone. It’s probably not fair to blame this on the glove but it is something to consider if you have a touch screen phone and want to wear full-fingered gloves on duty.
Overall, I have been suitably impressed with the Spenco Heat Wave 2.0 gloves and would recommend them for use by our members.
They can be purchased from Bill who participates in our Product Purchase Program and is a staunch supporter of IPMBA. Visit www.spencogloves.com for more information, and then contact Bill at 215-327-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org for 40% off the retail price.
David Hildebrand is the Southside Patrol Lieutenant for the Denton Police Department. He has been a firearms instructor since 1997 and a bike officer since 1996. He currently serves on the IPMBA Board as President. He can be reached at email@example.com.
(c) 2012 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of IPMBA News.