Expert Review: Hestra Army Leather Extreme Mitt Men's
This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
The Hestra Men's Army Leather Heli Mitts have a removable liner and wrist straps, meaning they not only shine on the coldest days but are also quite versatile when it starts to heat up.
About the gloves I own
- Model: 2021 Hestra Men’s Army Leather Heli Mitts
- Size: Medium
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 160lbs
- Experience: 4 years of skiing
- When I bought them: September 2021
- Days used: 30
- Weather conditions used in: Dry cold days, rainy wet days, sunny spring days
- Where I’ve used them: Killington, Stowe, Okemo, VT; Jack Frost/Big Boulder, Rountop, PA; Hunter, NY
- Terrain: Resort
How they perform
What I was looking for
I oscillate between very cold hands and very warm hands—hardly ever a comfy in-between. So, in many ways I felt that I was looking for the impossible. I like to ski in frigid temperatures and warmer spring days alike, and I wanted a glove that could perform well in both conditions.
Why I chose this gear
I tested several different pairs before deciding on these, but they won out in terms of comfort, warmth, style, and trustworthy construction (proxy to long-term durability and ROI). The other models I tested include Auclair Panorama, Hestra Tarfala 5 Finger, and Give’r 4 Season Weather.
What I love about them
- Fit: Because they’re mitts, they’re never tight around my hands or fingers. The adjustable wrist webbing keeps the gloves in place.
- Comfort: These gloves are incredibly comfortable. The GLOFT lining is very soft and stays in place thanks to the velcro that adheres it to the outer.
- Ease of movement: The goat-leather palm offers protection while remaining very soft and pliable, making it easy to grab items like poles, helmet, etc.
- Warmth: This glove is super warm. The goat leather paired with the fiberfill GLOFT-insulated liner makes for a toasty mitt, even on the coldest days.
- Weight: This glove is on the heavier side, though that’s not noticeable on most occasions.
- Conditions: It performs best in very cold, dry conditions. It also performed quite well on cold, rainy days.
- Features: These gloves/mittens feature a super soft, toasty liner, wrist straps, gauntlet coverage, and tightening webbing at the wrists.
- Quality: All of the materials used in construction feel very high quality and durable.
- Durability: While these have great construction and materials, it's important to remember that the supple goat leather palms will be prone to damage from sharp edges (think holding ski edges).
Issues I’ve encountered
- Waterproofing: While the gloves are not inherently waterproof, they come with a curing balm that can be applied to the stitching and the leather to increase waterproofing. Over time, and after a few applications, they do become quite resistant to moisture and the elements. Water may get through the stitching, especially if it has not been cured with leather balm first.
- Breathability: The glove itself is not very breathable, but one of the benefits is that it is easy to take off/put on to dump heat when necessary.
- Touchscreen compatibility: These gloves offer no touchscreen compatibility unless paired with a different, screen-compatible liner.
Favorite moment with this gear
My first time in Jay Peak, Vermont, was one to remember. It was late spring and my friend and I weren’t really sure how to prepare for the conditions on the mountain. First steps on the mountain felt like walking on corn, with a thick layer of fog all around. At the very top, it was extremely cold and windy. No fog, but lots of snow flurries. These gloves quickly saved the trip. They could easily come off and hang from my wrists at the bottom where it was hot and muggy, and quickly back on when getting off the lift. The next day of course it rained all day. I could not feel a drop of moisture until about five p.m., when it was already time to head home. That trip and weather combo definitely solidified these gloves and Hestra in my collection.
Value for the money vs. other options
These gloves are definitely on the pricey side but well worth it. I tried other pairs in a similar price range for the features (Auclair, Give’r). Compared to the Auclair Panoramas, these Hestras were more comfortable, had less aggressive construction, and had less plastic elements. The overall feel of the Auclairs were good, but more restrictive. One great thing about the Panoramas that the Hestras did not have was a hand warmer pocket. Compared to the Give’r 4 Season, the Hestras had a more understated style. This added a lot of value to me because I thought the Give’r gloves really stood out visually. In terms of comfort, the Hestras were more comfortable and just as warm. The Give’r gloves were likely more waterproof given their layered construction, but I did not test them in very wet conditions. The leather of the Give’r gloves seemed a bit rougher and therefore more durable than the Hestras, but this took away from the aesthetic significantly. Overall, the Hestras sat in the middle of the two other gloves I tested, and in terms of the qualities I was searching for (style, ease of use, warmth, durability), they were well worth the price.
These are a pair of gloves that can stand up to the coldest days while keeping one comfortable and versatile.