Expert Review: Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitt

Published on 11/18/2022 · 5 min read This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
Austen Law, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Austen Law

All photos courtesy of Austen Law 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.

My take

These Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitts are made for deep snow with the warmest liner to keep me comfortable as I ski in cold conditions. With a high cuff, these can conquer the deepest pow days and stay durable for many years.

About this gear

  • Model: 2022 Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitts
  • Size: 10

About me

  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 175lbs
  • Experience: 26 years skiing, 16 years ski racing

Test conditions

  • When I bought them: November 2020
  • Days used: 30+ days
  • Weather conditions used in: Powder days, cold days
  • Where I’ve used them: Backcountry Japan/Pacific Northwest/Utah and resorts in the Pacific Northwest
  • Terrain: Powder and heli-skiing

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I was looking for a new pair of gloves that could ski in deep blower powder conditions and keep my hands warm and dry. I was also looking for a glove with a large enough cuff that powder and other snow could not blow up into my coat sleeve.

Why I chose this gear

The Hestra Heli Ski Mitts met all my needs for a deep snow glove that would keep me warm and dry. The goatskin leather was a plus, knowing that would last many years of hard skiing. I did not even consider any other options, as Hestra makes the best gloves on the planet. If I had to think about other gloves, it would be other Hestra models.

What I love about them

  • Fit: The fit is oversized, but that is the point. I have more room to move my hands around.
  • Ease of movement: As a mitten, these have great ease of movement. There are no built-in finger slots, which I like so that I can move my hand as needed.
  • Warmth: It is extremely warm — almost too warm at times. The liner inside keeps my hands toasty.
  • Weight: For being ultra-warm, deep snow gloves, they are incredibly light.
  • Conditions: They are for very cold conditions and are also great for powder days with lots of snow flying. They are not great for rainy wet days, as they don’t have a big waterproof coating.
  • Touchscreen compatibility: These gloves aren’t touchscreen compatible, which isn’t a problem for me. I would rather have gloves that perform powder skiing at the highest degree. The gloves do have their elastic tether, so if I need to take my gloves off, my gloves won’t fall off, and they’ll just hang off my wrists instead.
  • Features: These gloves have long handcuffs, an eagle grip, a carabiner to keep them together, and most importantly a snow lock that keeps snow on the outside and my hands warm on the inside.
  • Quality: The quality of the product is incredible. I can see the craftsmanship on the stitching and feel it in the material on the inner liner. It has quality goat leather on the outer.
  • Durability: They have excellent durability. Since I have had these gloves for a whole season, they still look brand new. Its leather outer holds up nicely as does the inner liner.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: The waterproofing isn’t great on the Heli Mitts. They are built for cold, cold conditions. While riding these gloves in the rain, they did not handle the Pacific Northwest rain and ended up being wet.
  • Breathability: They are** **not very breathable, which makes my hands sweaty at times if it isn’t cold enough. The leather material on the hand plus the really warm inner liner with the long cuff up the arm make them too warm at times.

Favorite moment with this gear

Skiing in a white room of snow in the meadows of Japan absolutely getting drowned in nipple-deep powder, my hands were the warmest things on my body thanks to Hestra. My Heli Ski Mitts kept my hands warm and comfortable, and I had never had that from a ski glove in the 20+ years I had been skiing. My hands were comfortable, warm, and never once uncomfortable. I deal with marginal circulation to my hands and feet, so to have such warm hands without hand warmers was such a great feeling.

Value for the money vs. other options

Hestra gloves are always worth the money. In my opinion, there is no better glove; Hestra makes the best gloves on the planet. Although spendy, I am getting what I pay for in the quality, durability, and functionality of the gloves. If there was any other option, it should be for another Hestra glove. But if the Hestra’s price is a bit too high, another comparable option from another brand to consider is the Give’r from Jackson Hole; they are great utilitarian gloves at a somewhat lower price. Black Diamond leather gloves are also a good option to consider, and they are under $100.

Final verdict

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitts are the most well-known mitts that Hestra produces and for a great reason. The longer cuff allows a skier to always keep that snow out and have dry and warm hands. The Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitts are the only choice for a mitten for deep snow and cold conditions.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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