Expert Review: Hestra Leather Fall Line Mitt
This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I have purchased with my own money twice, once in December of 2011 and once in September of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I have purchased with my own money twice, once in December of 2011 and once in September of 2022.
The Hestra Leather Fall Line mitten is my go-to mitten. They are not only a well-made product but also comfy, warm, and stylish. This mitt is for those who hate cold hands.
About the mittens I own
- Model: 2022 Hestra Fall Line Mitten (Brown)
- Size: 10
- Height: 6’
- Weight: 179 lbs
- Experience: 29 years skiing/outdoor/mountaineering
- When I bought them: 09/01/2022 (first pair lasted from 12/25/11-05/30/22)
- Days used: 69
- Weather conditions used in: These mittens were tested in all weather conditions.
- Where I’ve used them: Alyeska, Turnigan Pass, Johnsons Pass, Thompson Pass, Copper, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Powder Mountain, Alta, Snowbird, Crested Butte, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, and Winter Park/Mary Jane.
- Terrain: Resort, Backcountry, Sled skiing, Scraping snow off the truck
How they perform
What I was looking for
Growing up in Alaska, one grows fond of gear that not only does the job but gear that lasts. Extreme cold conditions can sneak up, and being prepared keeps one alive.
Why I chose these mittens
I wanted gloves/mittens to keep my hands happy in sub-zero temps. These do exactly that. They not only do this for one season but multiple. I don’t mind mittens as they typically keep my hands warmer than gloves. I looked at other brands, but none mentioned using high-quality material like the Hestra Fall Line.
What I love about it
- Fit: If sized properly, these have plenty of wiggle room for fingers. I outgrew my first pair, but that was after 10 years.
- Comfort: These are very comfortable. Warm hands are happy hands.
- Ease of movement: They don’t feel as cumbersome as some mittens I’ve tested/owned before. However, mittens can make it hard to open zippers until one is used to them.
- Warmth: Hestra uses top-quality materials. The liner is made up of foam and fiberfill material. These are the warmest mittens I’ve used in 29 years of skiing.
- Waterproofing: The Hestra Leather Fall Line mittens are made from cowhide material. They are decently waterproof if kept conditioned. (Hestra has an ointment to apply to these.) Keep in mind that, over time, owners will need to recondition the gloves to keep them waterproof.
- Weight: For a well-insulated mitten, these don’t feel heavy.
- Conditions: These thrive on the -2° days when my buddies don’t go riding because their hands get cold. The Fall Line mittens have been tested in many weather conditions.
- Features: Wrist cords are a feature I didn't think I needed. Never drop a mitten off the lift again. It took six years or so before the Velcro started to wear down.
- Durability: I had my first pair for 10 seasons. I conditioned regularly, and they lasted. Eventually, a hole started on the pointer finger area from buckling my boots. I have two seasons with my current Hestra mittens. They are showing no signs of use yet holding strong.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Breathability: On warmer spring days, I might experience sweaty hands as the cowhide isn’t as breathable as other materials.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite memory with these mittens would have to be in Japan. It was a crisp, cold, DEEEEP powder morning. Two roommates in my hostel decided to stay in because of the temps. A lot of other people had the same plan. But I, with my toasty Hestra-warmed hands, skied snorkel deep pow from bell to bell.
Value for the money vs. other options
I get it. Spending over $100 on mittens sounds absurd. However, I can honestly say these are the only mittens worth more than what they sell for. These are built to last with high-quality materials. I looked at Swany mittens/gloves as they are a great product too. Unfortunately, they don’t compare to Hestra’s craftsmanship.
My overall thoughts on these are, if you get cold hands, here is your fix. I had my first pair for 10 seasons. What other mittens last that long? These aren’t the best for spring riding because one's hands will get sweaty. But, they are made with great materials and are worth every penny.