Hestra have a long history of making gloves – the company was founded in 1936 in Hestra, Sweden, and originally made gloves for the local lumberjacks. They are now one of better known ski glove manufacturers at the top end of the market, so when Snowgenius’ old pair of gloves finally expired and (and no more gaffa tape could save them…) we decided to try out a pair of Hestra’s Army Leather Heli Ski Gloves.
Hestra don’t go for a simple small/medium/large approach to their sizing; instead the gloves come in a series of numbered sizes, and there is a webpage on which you find out precisely what size should fit you. Or, like we did, you can just try out the various sizes in a shop!
The Heli Ski gloves have a goat leather palm, a waterproof and breathable back section, and a long powder cuff. The latter is designed to go over (rather than under) the cuff of your ski jacket. While this is different to some other ski gloves, once we got used to it we preferred the arrangement. The gloves have a number of other excellent features. The velcro fasteners around the wrists, coupled with toggles on powder cuffs, mean that there is no danger of snow or cold drafts getting into the glove while you’re wearing it. We also liked the “handcuffs” – elasticated loops that prevent you from losing you gloves when you take them off – no more dropping them off the chairlift! The insulated liners are also easily removable, which means the glove is much more easy to dry out after a day in the snow.
While the back of the glove is waterproof, the leather palm of the glove will eventually let water through (though Hestra supply you with a sachet of leather balm with which to treat the gloves after use). However, even skiing on days when it was snowing hard, we didn’t find that our hands got wet in the gloves, and even when at the end of the day the leather was damp on the outside, our hands stayed warm inside.
Overall, we’re impressed with the Hestra Heli Ski gloves, though only time will tell how long they will last. We’ll post an update in due course on how they are holding up!