No Burns! Mechanix Wear Team Issue Carbon-x Gloves and Kevlar Sleeves
By Mike Kojima
In the world of Pro Drifting crew people often are caught in the world of the 5 minute rule. If a car is too damaged to continue, you can have 5 minutes to fix it. If you cannot you are disqualified. Under this pressure repairs have to be made quickly. This means that you often have to work around components that are glowing hot and most of us have scars to prove this. The same thing with pit stops in endurance racing, especially for chores like brake pad changes or working around exhaust components. In the world of racing, there are often times where you can’t wait for a part to cool down enough to work on.
|The Mechanix Wear Team Issue Carbon-X gloves and Kevlar sleeves offer burn protection all the way past the elbows. This is great for those fast pit stops when you don’t have the time to let things cool down. All racers end up in these situations sooner or later.|
After a memorable 5 minute repair where I had seconds to attach a power wire to an electric fan straight from the alternator and ended up burning the crap out of my arms, I decided never again. My arms got branded and my Alcantara and polyester work gloves melted. Ouch. I got real lucky that the gloves didn’t melt to my skin as this usually causes really nasty third degree burns.
After doing some research I ended up getting some Mechanix Wear Team Issue Carbon-X level I gloves and Kevlar sleeves. Carbon-X is a fire and heat resistant pre-oxidized acrylic fiber. Pre-oxidized means that it is sort of burnt already so it won’t readily burn. It is more flame and heat resistant than Nomex. When knit it is soft and comfortable.
|The Team Issue gloves are made of fire and heat resistant Carbon-X with leather reinforcement in the palms and fingertips. This is way better than the Alcantara and polyester that most work gloves are made of around heat. The only bad thing is that these gloves are not machine washable and oil saturated fire resistant gloves are not so fire resistant. This means that they should be reserved for hot work or for duties when a flame resistant glove is needed in the pits like fueling. I carry two pairs of gloves myself, regular Mechanix gloves for general work and these for the hot pits.|
The team issue gloves are made with two-ply knit Carbon-X in the body. The reinforcements of the glove are made of leather instead of the more common Alcantara. Leather resists heat and burning better than the synthetic Alcantara. The Mechanix gloves are SFI 3.3/1 rated. They are great for work around hot parts, for fueling and other areas where the action may get heated. The palms are lightly padded and the fingertips thin for dexterity. Mechanix Wear also makes higher SFI rated work gloves in this line but the thicker gloves have less dexterity.
|The Mechanix Kevlar sleeves protect from just past the elbow and most of the hand including the palm.|
The Mechanix Wear Kevlar sleeves are made of knit Kevlar and are actually soft and comfortable. They protect your arms from contact burns from headers, brake rotors and other nasty things. They also offer some protection against cuts. The sleeves protect your arms just past your elbows as well as your knuckles and part of your palms. The won’t protect against all out fire but they do really help if you brush up against something hot. The Kevlar is treated with Fibershield to repel oil, fuels and other liquids.
|The back of the hand is well protected as well.|
As a warning, this stuff will not allow you to plunge your arms into fire or liquid metal but they will go a long way towards preventing those nasty contact burns that anyone on a pit crew ends up getting sooner or later. Now this stuff is part of my backpack full of pit stuff that goes everywhere with me at the races. This stuff is cheap insurance to eliminate those pesky little burns that I have been accumulating. Now that I am not afraid of getting burned as much, I can be faster in those repairs where seconds count.