Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical Gloves

In Review by Jawor | Leave a Comment

Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves are lightweight and provide a firm grip. At the same time, they allow you to maintain high precision, operate the electronic devices or use the equipment. It would seem that such a combination of features should certainly guarantee a great product? Well, almost…

As we agreed with the specshop, in our tests we focused on the the Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves’ performance in the outdoor activities. For information whether the gloves are suitable for the shooting related activities you should seek opinion of those who specialize in this field.

Design

The inner part of Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical is made of the black AX suede which provides a firm grip. Additional holes were made on each finger to improve ventilation.

The top of the Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves is made of dense polyester mesh what results in a very good ventilation. Unfortunately, the material is also very susceptible to contact with Velcros, which simply damage its construction.

On the knuckles and finger nails the manufacturer has added additional suede panels reinforcing the gloves and providing additional protection – especially thanks to the thin layer of neoprene under the panel on the knuckles. The Airprene neoprene can be also found on both index fingers. A rubberized Oakley name was put on them, but unfortunately it started to peel off pretty quickly.

Touch screen compatible panels can be found on the thumb and middle finger of Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical.

The Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves are comfortable and have a rather tight fit so that they provide a rather high degree of precision allowing to operate the electronic devices – cameras, smartphones or GPS.

Our thoughts on Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves

Over the past five months, Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves have been a good companion for many different trips ranging from Iceland to the Polish Tatras. The design of the Factory Lite model made the gloves provide adequate protection on the chains appearing on mountain routes or during a bit of climbing – all this without being really noticeable during the parts with “normal” walking.

What’s more, the gloves work well with all the gear taken on the trail – cameras, GPS, smartphones – not to mention the clothing, flashlights or backpacks. One of the things I appreciated was the very good breathability of the gloves that allowed me to keep Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves on even when they weren’t really needed.

However, the breathability is not perfect – on the tip of the index finger, from the thumb’s side, the excess of neoprene material put under the suede creates a spot where sweat collects and which makes it so that it is better to take off the gloves from time to time.

Very good ventilation in the Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves has also its dark side. As I realised during the very first use, the dense mesh used on the outer part of hand has a nasty habit of catching any velcro, which simply destroy it. Let’s face it – nowadays Velcros are everywhere and being caught by them each time you adjust the backpack, unzip the jacket or reach into the pocket is really annoying.

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Another vulnerable part of Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical are the panels that allow use of touch screens with the thumb and middle finger – a bit of contact with rocks was enough to damage them.

The Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves have also a rather upleasant feature. The rubberized letters placed on the index fingers have quite sharp edges – as a result contact with skin can result in scratches. And if you forget about it on a cool day and you wipe your nose with the bakc of the index finger… Ouch. To make matters worse (or maybe a bit better?) the letters are peeling off quite unaesthetically. Perhaps a better solution would be some form of embossion? It would be not only more aesthetic, but also more comfortable.

Conclusions

Oakley SI Factory Lite gloves provide comfortable protection of hands suitable for the conditions on the trails (where the contact with rocks isn’t that common). They also make it possible to operate the camera, smartphone, GPS or other handheld electronics. The gloves will be also suitable for lighter work requiring precision – the best example of this is that I was able to write this text with the gloveson my hands and it was a rather comfortable process (a bit of a final precision test 😉 ). Unfortunately, the major disadvantage of the Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves is that they shouldn’t be kept anywhere close to the Velcros. This clearly is an issue, as the Velcros are now an inherent part of clothing and other equipment and simply can’t be avoided. And when you add the rather annoying (and unesthetic) inscriptions and a quite high price (189 PLN / 40-50$ depending on the seller) this model doesn’t perform as well as it could after a few adjustments.

PS: In the description of the gloves on the specshop’s site I came across the statement that they are suitable “even for the most demanding activities”. Unfortunately, this is not entirely accurate as Oakley SI Factory Lite gloves will work in many tasks, but they have limits – after a bit more contact with the rocks encountered inside a cave both gloves ended up with holes. Okay, so why put it up as an extra note, and not as a part of the main review? Still, as the name implies, this model is a lightweight glove for lighter activities – therefore, basing our judgment on the fact that it has been damaged during inappropriate use doesn’t seem to be a good idea… But how could we not to mention it? 😉

Many thanks to specshop.pl for giving us a chance of reviewing the Oakley SI Factory Lite Tactical gloves!

~Jawor

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About the Author

Jawor

Hikes since he learnt to walk. Happy to spend hours discussing jackets, backpacks and other gear. Caver, diver and a leader of the Gear Insider project.

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