Expert Review: Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski GlovesPublished on 12/28/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Austen Law
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
Hestra is known for making some of the world's best gloves, and the Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 5-Finger glove proves why they are the best. The long model is suited for those seeking powder snow and keeping their hands warm and dry. They are catered for powder skiing or cold ski days.
About the gloves I own
- Model: 2021 Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 5-Finger Glove
- Size: 10
- Height: 6’0’’
- Weight: 185lbs
- Experience: 26 years of skiing and 16 years of ski racing
- When I bought them: January 2021
- Days used: 20+
- Weather conditions used in: Blizzards, deep powder days, cold days
- Where I’ve used them: Japan, PNW, Montana
- Terrain: Resort, backcountry, powder
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a glove that would be great for powder skiing and cold-weather days. I wanted a glove that could be warm and versatile enough to handle the cold powder days and breath enough to dry out from keeping my hands warm.
Why I chose this gear
I chose these gloves because, in my opinion, Hestra makes the best gloves out there. I have owned multiple pairs and have loved every single pair of them. The Army Leather Heli Ski 5-finger is the best glove for cold weather and powder days. Some other options were the same Army Heli glove in a mitten or a lobster cut, both are great, but I just liked the 5-finger better. Some other long-cuff gloves are the Black Diamond Soloist, which is great.
What I love about them
- Fit: These gloves run a little bulky for me, but then again, I have fairly slim fingers and hands. Fit and cut are good for a standard hand. The long cuff comes up about 4-5 inches up the arm and has an elastic pull to tighten.
- Comfort: These gloves are super comfy, and the inner material is very soft and cozy for all-day riding.
- Ease of movement: Great movement, as I am sure Hestra designed that in their engineering. The ease of movement is great, and I never feel like I am inhibited in motion by these gloves.
- Warmth: The warmth of these gloves is unmatched. At times, my hands are almost too warm. The long collar of these gloves almost keeps all that heat inside.
- Waterproofing: The backhand consists of a waterproof, 3-layer polyamide fabric. These gloves can take on moisture really well. No glove will be completely waterproof unless one uses rubber dishwashing gloves, but these Army Leather Heli Ski gloves wick and repel water well.
- Conditions: I use them only in cold weather and dry powder days. Otherwise, these gloves overheat. They are designed to keep Canadian heli-ski guides warm in the backcountry, so these are a little too warm for ordinary skiing.
- Features: These Heli gloves offer a lot of great features. They come with a carabiner to carry them on the belt together, an elastic wrist leash, and a removable liner or shell to swap either out if one gets too wet or too warm.
- Quality: Exceptional material on all Hestra gloves, especially the Army Leather Heli. They have goatskin leather and waterproof material on the outer, and G-Loft Bemberg synthetic wool inner lining keeps my hands warm.
- Durability: I now have three pairs of these Hestra Army Leather Heli gloves, which are awesome. I've skied over 100 days a season, and these gloves have held up great. The leather breaks in and forms to my hands nicely.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Breathability: Because it's pretty waterproof and warm and has some leather covering most of the glove, these gloves aren’t so breathable.
- Touchscreen compatibility: Since these gloves are thick leather, they are not touchscreen compatible, as there is no heat transfer from leather to screen.
- Any workarounds? They are not excellent everyday gloves, as they almost get too hot. My hands get sweaty quickly when I use these on a normal ski day.
Favorite moment with this gear
Taking these on a backcountry ski trip to Japan might have been the best decision of that entire time. It was so cold and dry that my normal gloves were not cutting it, so I am glad I had my Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski gloves. They are a great backup because they were so warm and allowed me to enjoy my ski day without being uncomfortable or cold. They kept my hands warm, and when we stopped to have a beverage, the wrist leash was great because I could just let them hang off my wrists and not worry that they would drop into the snow.
Value for the money vs. other options
In my mind, these are the best gloves out there, so there is no argument that they aren’t worth it. These Army Leather Heli Ski 5-Fingers are epic. They are great for backcountry and powder and worth every penny. Otherwise, Black Diamond makes a great glove similar to these called the Soloist, another long-cuff leather glove for deep powder, but Hestra will outlast them.
These Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 5-Finger gloves are their best-known ski glove with really well-thought-out functionality. They are built for the skier seeking powder and want their hands to stay really warm.