Hands-on Gear Review

Hestra Heli Three-Finger - Women's Review

Hestra Heli Three-Finger - Women's
Price:  $130 List | $77.97 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Warm, dexterous, versatile liners, cozy and comfortable, stylish, great fit
Cons:  Expensive, limited features, not suited for wet climates
Bottom line:  This lobster-claw design is a perfect balance of warmth and dexterity for both the resort and the backcountry.
Editors' Rating:   
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Waterproof Material:  Triton three-layer polyamide fabric
Insulation Type:  Polyester Fiberfill insulation
Palm Material:  Cowhide leather
Manufacturer:   Hestra

Our Verdict

The Hestra Heli Three-Finger provides a unique balance of warmth and dexterity for any women looking to charge hard in the mountains. We love its breathable Hestra three-layer polyamide fabric and fully gloved liner. The three-finger design provides more warmth than any gloves, and more dexterity than any mittens tested in this review. It has the exact same materials as our Editors' Choice winner (for mittens), the Hestra Heli Mitt - Women's, providing a similar level of performance. Not only that, but it comes in cute colors with a female specific design. Take this unique three-fingered glove anywhere you please this winter.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Tuesday
February 21, 2017

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The Heli Three-Finger by Hestra is built for women looking for a nice balance of warmth and dexterity. Being best suited for dry climates and bluebird days, it's a great addition to any girl's outdoor ski or snowboard wardrobe.

Performance Comparison


The Hestra Heli Three Finger Glove provides both warmth and dexterity in all sorts of mountain terrain!
The Hestra Heli Three Finger Glove provides both warmth and dexterity in all sorts of mountain terrain!

Warmth & Breathability


Providing a remarkable blend of warmth and breathability, the Heli Three-Finger glove features a plush, removable Bemberg polyester lining that breathes and wicks well. The Hestra three-layer polyamide fabric keeps water out while allowing water vapor to escape efficiently. As a result, this glove stays warm and dry inside all day long. Similar to its cousin the Hestra Heli Mitt, our Editors' Choice winner for winter mittens, it has an additional snow lock closure around the wrist and an extra long cuff that keeps snow out on the deepest of powder days.

Adventure into the unknown or on the resort with a pair of reliable gloves this winter. The Hestra Three Finger provide great warmth and breathability for all adventures into the wild.
Adventure into the unknown or on the resort with a pair of reliable gloves this winter. The Hestra Three Finger provide great warmth and breathability for all adventures into the wild.

The three-finger model did not score as high as the Hestra Mitt in warmth because the inner liner features a gloved configuration, while the shell is a lobster claw. Typically this means that heat energy can't be generated as efficiently as a full mitten. As a result, we found that on the coldest days the Hestra Mitt is warmer than the lobster claw. Regardless, in comparison to other gloves out there, like the Arc'teryx Fission Glove - Women's, it is much warmer, providing a nice intermediate level of warmth between a mitten and glove. Wear it on the coldest days at the resort or in the backcountry when temperatures dip well into the double negatives.

Water Resistance


Featuring Hestra's three-layer polyamide outer, this glove keeps moisture out — similar to the Hestra Heli Mitt. The cowhide leather on the palm is pliable and soft which keeps moisture out and hands dry in the field. Even though it proved to do well out in the field, our at-home tests didn't have the same result. In our dunk tests, this mitten-glove hybrid absorbed more water than the Hestra Heli Mitt (4.45 oz vs. 2.8 oz). Like the mitt, it also leaked along the seams of the finger after being submerged and squeezing just ten times.

Here we see where water leakage occurred during our dunk tests.
Here we see where water leakage occurred during our dunk tests.

Out in the field, we didn't have any issues with this mitt. In fact, it stayed dry and warm after seven-hour skin sessions and during all weather at the resort. Our testing primarily occurred in dry climates; based on our in-house testing, we would only recommend this glove for dry climates because of its performance in our dunk tests.

If you're in the market for a glove that is better suited for wet climates, check out this year's Editors' Choice winner for Gloves - the Arc'teryx Fission Glove. Or if you a prefer a mitt, check out the ultra water-resistant Dakine Tundra Mitt - Women's.

Dexterity


The three-finger construct provides better dexterity than a mitt, but not as good as a glove. We loved that we could easily do up boots, jackets, and tie shoes. Many of our testers preferred this glove in the backcountry in comparison to the Hestra Heli-Mitt simply because it was easier to perform simple tasks like removing skins and taking a quick snack out the backpack without removing the gloves.

The three-finger construct allows free use of your pointer finger and thumb  providing more dexterity that most mittens out there. In addition  the thin leather allows you to feel the objects you're dealing with  providing (once again) more dexterity than other contenders in this review.
The three-finger construct allows free use of your pointer finger and thumb, providing more dexterity that most mittens out there. In addition, the thin leather allows you to feel the objects you're dealing with, providing (once again) more dexterity than other contenders in this review.

However, if you're looking for the glove that offers the best dexterity out there, opt for a glove with thinner insulation like the Arc'teryx Fission Glove or the Outdoor Research Arete - Women's (Our Top Pick for Backcountry Skiing).

After a day on the mountain  Amber enjoys a nice cold drink. These gloves allow you to grab bottle  zip up jackets  and more!
After a day on the mountain, Amber enjoys a nice cold drink. These gloves allow you to grab bottle, zip up jackets, and more!

Features


Like the Hestra Heli Mitt, this glove isn't loaded with features like the Burton Gore-Tex - Women's glove, but it does stand out for its removable and interchangeable liner. Since you can switch the liners out for something a little less or more plush, this is truly an autonomous contender. In addition, the liners are quick to dry.

We love the wrist cinch strap that provides a better fit  in addition to the carabiner clip that keeps gloves together when not in use. In addition to these features  we love the removable (and interchangeable) liners and leashes.
We love the wrist cinch strap that provides a better fit, in addition to the carabiner clip that keeps gloves together when not in use. In addition to these features, we love the removable (and interchangeable) liners and leashes.

We also loved its removable leashes (also found on most gloves in this review) and the carabiner loop that keeps the pair of gloves together when not in use. If you're looking for a double glove option with a carabiner loop on the finger that can easily be clipped to a harness, check out the Outdoor Research Arete - Women's.

If you're looking for a glove or mitten with touchscreen compatibility, check out the Burton Gore-Tex glove or the Swany Legend II Mitt - Women's. Both are touch-screen compatible which is especially useful for the chilly lift ride at the resort.

Durability and Construction


Our main author is a long-time Hestra user. She has owned a pair of gloves for the last four years that have shown just minimal levels of wear and tear from abrasion. Since these gloves feature a highly durable cowhide leather palm, it's important to make sure they are treated regularly to maintain the integrity of the leather. As an added bonus, Hestra offers a lifetime warranty on all its products. The only reason this glove did not earn a perfect ten in this metric (like the Arc'teryx Fission Glove) is because the stitching isn't 100 percent seamless, resulting in some water leakage that we observed directly in our at-home tests. Other than that, we think these gloves are super bomber, just like our Editors' Choice winner - the Hestra Heli Mitt. We believe this contender will last years if you choose to invest in them!

The leather palm and beautiful craftsmanship makes this an incredibly durable glove with a fantastic warranty!
The leather palm and beautiful craftsmanship makes this an incredibly durable glove with a fantastic warranty!

Best Application


If you're looking for a balance of warmth and dexterity, we believe this contender is the best option out there. Given its fantastic warmth and slimmer profile specific for women's hands, this is a favorite among our testers. It performs well at the resort, whether you're skiing the greens or double black diamonds. If you prefer to explore in the backcountry, we would highly recommend this product given its interchangeable and removable liners and enhanced dexterity (in comparison to the Hestra Heli Mitt). If you're in super wet climates that see heavy, wet snow, this glove may not be the best option. But if you're only planning on skiing on bluebird days, it's a perfect fit!

The Hestra Three Finger is versatile with a great fit and incredibly warm. The shell is super waterproof and dries out quickly. Here our main author is pictured here using the gloves on a long backcountry ski tour.
The Hestra Three Finger is versatile with a great fit and incredibly warm. The shell is super waterproof and dries out quickly. Here our main author is pictured here using the gloves on a long backcountry ski tour.

Value


Even though this price tag is high at $130, we believe this glove is worth every penny. Given its fantastic durability and warranty, you will get your money's worth. If you're looking for a less expensive option, check out the fully featured Burton Gore-Tex Glove or the Gordini Gore-Tex Down III - Women's (Best Buy award winner) for just $70-$80. Or if you're really pinching pennies, the Kinco Pigskin Leather Gloves (~$16) take the cake for Best Glove While Pinching Pennies.

Conclusion


If you're in search of a glove that provides warmth and dexterity, this hybrid mitten-glove (aka the lobster claw) may be the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe. Take it with you on long ski tours or up and down the lift lines all day long.
Amber King

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Most recent review: February 21, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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