I was able to try out the Wiley X nomex gloves (CAG-1) during a series of training exercises while operating in Camp Williams, Utah. The training was over the course of several days and involved CSAR and Fast Rope training.
The two unique features to these gloves that appealed to me most, prior to even wearing them, was the short/wrist length and the knuckle protectors. I am accustomed to using the nomex gloves and these gloves had the typical feel of nomex but they did not have the full length that often gets looses around the wrist and interferes with finger dexterity. I could tell that the ability to tighten around the wrist with the same leather palm was going to be a great added feature. I especially liked the knuckle protector. Some gloves use padding, however, the plastic knuckle protectors looked solid.
As in all CSAR operations in a helo, a lot of time is spent on the cold floor of the A/C. Either sitting or kneeling, or leaning out of the bird can lead to your hands getting cold, or you knees getting sore. The gloves worked great and I often found myself leaning on my knuckle to get up and down as I moved around the A/C. I wondered if I the knuckle protectors would get in the way if I had to fast rope in to reach any potential survivors in a ‘No Land’ Helo scenario.
I was happy to see that the gloves fit snugly underneath my fast rope gloves (white leather work gloves) and did not impede my abilities in any manner.
CONCLUSION: There were no limitations provided by the knuckle protectors, in fact, I truly like them and feel they are an excellent edition to a classic NOMEX design. I really like the wrist length glove, especially because I often find myself taking my gloves on and off frequently coupled with the desire for a snug fitting pair of gloves. Sincerely, A 19th Special Forces Group Operator