Hands-on Gear Review

Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex Review

A fantastic all-around winter glove that’s extremely warm; it's expensive, but is built to last, offering extra features to present a good overall value.
Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex
By: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 1, 2017
Price:  $180 List  |  $179.95 at Amazon
Pros:  One of the warmer models, inside feels soft and cozy, durable, above average weather resistance
Cons:  Expensive, just okay dexterity, leather needs to be retreated slightly more than other models
Manufacturer:   Hestra
86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 16
  • Dexterity - 25% 7
  • Warmth - 25% 10
  • Water resistance - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 10
  • Features - 10% 8
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Our Verdict

The Hestra Army Leather GTX is one of our favorite all-around gloves, particularly for colder climates or for folks with hands that get chilled easily. This contender is one of the most durable options on the market. With minimal upkeep, which involves retreating the exterior leather 1-2 times per year, it will outlast most alternatives, making its $180 price tag easier to swallow. With that in mind, its closest competition, considering both overall design and warmth, would be the Black Diamond Guide.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex should be a consideration for any skier or snowboarder who rides in colder climates, where their local mountain has ancient and slow double chairs, or simply for people whose hands get cold easily. This cozy feeling model offers so-so dexterity overall but pretty good dexterity when compared to models that feature similar levels of warmth that were both included in our review and considered for our testing. The Gore-tex insert means its ready to handle most storms especially if you re-treat its leather exterior quasi-regularly.

Performance Comparison


The Hestra Army Leather GTX is one of our favorite all-around gloves for its above average warmth and superb durability all while keeping respectable dexterity and while it barely didn't win an award  we still think its a fantastic glove.
The Hestra Army Leather GTX is one of our favorite all-around gloves for its above average warmth and superb durability all while keeping respectable dexterity and while it barely didn't win an award, we still think its a fantastic glove.

Warmth


The Army Leather GTX was one of the warmest gloves we tested. This contender was warmer than all of the other gloves, except for the Black Diamond Guide; there wasn't a huge difference in warmth between the Leather Gore-Tex and the BD Guide, but it was noticeable. We felt comfortable skiing in most conditions to around 0F, as long as it wasn't too stormy. This glove was certainly a step up in warmth from the Black Diamond Legend, but it is worth noting that the Black Diamond Guide performed similarly earning a perfect 10 out of 10.

Our testers noted that the Army Leather Gore-Tex had a cozy fleece lining that feels spectacular when you slip them on. Not only does it warm your hand up quickly, but we found that it added to the sensation of warmth and it was something we preferred over both of the previously mentioned gloves, earning the Leather Gore-Tex a third-place finish in our overall scoring.

The Leather Gore-Tex is easily one of the warmest glove in our review with the only glove we found to be warmer was the Black Diamond Guide. While due to its warmth the Leather Gore-tex was slightly below average in dexterity it was better than the BD Guide. We also were impressed with this glove weather resistance but found the leather while soft and requiring minimal break-in time compared to other models needed to be retreated marginally more often than other models (1-2 times per year with heavy use).
The Leather Gore-Tex is easily one of the warmest glove in our review with the only glove we found to be warmer was the Black Diamond Guide. While due to its warmth the Leather Gore-tex was slightly below average in dexterity it was better than the BD Guide. We also were impressed with this glove weather resistance but found the leather while soft and requiring minimal break-in time compared to other models needed to be retreated marginally more often than other models (1-2 times per year with heavy use).

Dexterity


The Army Leather GTX offered better-than-expected dexterity, especially considering the amount of warmth that the wearer is provided. In our real-world testing and side-by-side comparisons, this contender proved to be more dexterous than the Dakine Titan, and the Burton Gore-Tex. While it wasn't quite as warm as the Black Diamond Guide, it was close, and it offered better dexterity and softened FAR quicker than the Guide.

When performing fine motor skills, such as manually unlocking a car door and writing our name, this contender scored a 7 out of 10. Our review team determined that while the race was close, the Leather Gore-Tex was not as dexterous as the Gordini Storm Trooper II, the Outdoor Research Illuminator, Arc'teryx Fission, or the Outdoor Research Revolution. We found we could manually unlock a car door but only very sloppily write our name.

Jussi Tahtinen Pictured here wearing the Leather Gore-Tex  demonstrating its ability to keep the wearer warm  while offering above average dexterity while crossing over a very wind and cold Pas des Chevre  Switzerland.
Jussi Tahtinen Pictured here wearing the Leather Gore-Tex, demonstrating its ability to keep the wearer warm, while offering above average dexterity while crossing over a very wind and cold Pas des Chevre, Switzerland.

Water Resistance


As you might expect from the name, the Army Leather GTX uses a Gore-Tex insert inside a water-resistant leather. This glove was one of the most water resistant in our fleet, scoring a near perfect 9 out of 10, offering optimal protection. It excelled in our bucket of water comparisons, as well as in real-world use.

We found it offered approximately the same level of weather resistance as the Black Diamond Guide. The Army Leather Gore-Tex performed better than Hestra Leather Fall Line, Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II, Dakine Titan, and Burton Gore-Tex.

Durability


The Leather Gore-Tex is pictured here on our pole  earning an incredible 10 out of 10 for durability. Out entire testing team is simply straight-up impressed with the durability of this glove. Even after several seasons of abuse it is still holding up nicely.
The Leather Gore-Tex is pictured here on our pole, earning an incredible 10 out of 10 for durability. Out entire testing team is simply straight-up impressed with the durability of this glove. Even after several seasons of abuse it is still holding up nicely.

This glove is tough! Like other Hestra Gloves, the leather is best served when a leather conditioner is applied. This helps keep the exterior leather water resistant. Applied one or two times per year, the conditions will extend the life of this (and all) contenders. Throughout our testing, we found that this glove did not have any durability issues whatsoever during our three-month testing period, taking home a perfect 10 out of 10 for durability.

Features


This glove has a solid number of extra features that make it easier to use, like one of our favorite wrist-leash/keeper straps; these straps were removable and low profile. It also has a hanging loop on the pinky to facilitate faster drying, along with a wrist strap, which is positioned under the wrist. The wrist strap is low profile and stays out of the way, all while doing a fantastic job of keeping the glove snug and increasing dexterity.

We did like the included carabiner (not for climbing) to keep the gloves attached when not in use. Unfortunately, it was so big that we didn't like it dangling while skiing or snowboarding, but we felt that if we took it off, we were just asking to lose it. The Leather Gore-Tex scored an above average 8 out of 10 in this metric, ensuring that the wearer is getting decent features for the buck.

Pictured here are the included keeper cords  while they might seem dorky  our review staff loved them and utilized them while resort skiing and snowboarding making it (nearly) impossible to loose the chair lift. For those who don't like them  they are easily removable. You can also see the basic but effective elastic draw string closure featured on this glove.
Pictured here are the included keeper cords, while they might seem dorky, our review staff loved them and utilized them while resort skiing and snowboarding making it (nearly) impossible to loose the chair lift. For those who don't like them, they are easily removable. You can also see the basic but effective elastic draw string closure featured on this glove.

Best Applications


The Army Leather GTX is a killer glove for winter recreation, especially in colder climates. Being one of the warmer gloves out there, it also has decent dexterity, which allows it to be a good choice for a wide range of applications. For skiing purposes, it fits the bill and is an excellent option, scoring third in our fleet. If being used for mountaineering, it certainly serves its purpose, but keep in mind that the fixed lining takes longer to dry out than the Black Diamond Guide's removable liner, which will affect those planning extended trips.

The Hestra Army Leather GTX is a great colder-weather ski glove or an all-around glove for folks whose hands get cold easily. Its gauntlet seals nicely and was one of the more effective and easier to operate designs among models we tested.
The Hestra Army Leather GTX is a great colder-weather ski glove or an all-around glove for folks whose hands get cold easily. Its gauntlet seals nicely and was one of the more effective and easier to operate designs among models we tested.

Value


At $180, this is one of the more expensive gloves in our review. The Leather Gore-Tex is close in price to the similarly performing Black Diamond Guide, $170, and our Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Fission, $175.

Posing down is a tester wearing the Leather Gore-Tex gloves. We found these gloves will keep almost any skier or rider warm in temps 0F and will give you the piece of mind of having above average dexterity.
Posing down is a tester wearing the Leather Gore-Tex gloves. We found these gloves will keep almost any skier or rider warm in temps 0F and will give you the piece of mind of having above average dexterity.

Conclusion


Close in price to the top performers, the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex is indeed a high scorer. Earning fantastic marks across the board, but specifically in warmth and durability, the Leather Gore-Tex has what it takes to accompany you on those cold weather missions. It will also provide excellent dexterity and a fair amount of features.

Ian Nicholson

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