Hestra Army Leather Heli Review
Cons: Expensive, not that warm
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Hestra Army Leather Heli
$154.72 at Amazon
$199.00 at REI
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|$83.96 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great features, good dexterity, weather-proof||Warm, water resistant, durable, dexterous, lightweight and packable||Excellent dexterity and durability, fairly warm, water resistant||Warm enough, weatherproof, inexpensive||Incredible warmth, weather resistant, durable|
|Cons||Expensive, not that warm||Expensive, lacks some features||Expensive, lacks some nice features||Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles||Poor dexterity, could have better features|
|Bottom Line||This stylish and heavily featured glove is a good choice for everyday use||With top-tier performance across the board, this glove is what we recommend to those seeking the best pair||A weather-resistant and warm glove that retains dexterity, ideal for ski touring||A warm and fully featured ski glove for a great price||These mitts provide extreme warmth and weather resistance at a good price, nailing the two most important aspects of ski mittens|
|Rating Categories||Hestra Army Leather...||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Arc'teryx Sabre||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Hestra Army Leather...||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Arc'teryx Sabre||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...|
|Double or Single Glove||Double||Single||Single||Single||Double|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Palm Material||Goat leather||Leather||Leather||Polyurethane||Goat leather|
|Waterproof Material||Impregnated leather, polyamide||Gore-Tex||Gore-tex||Gore-Tex||BD.dry|
|Insulation Type||G-Loft Polyester||133g Primaloft Gold Eco and 200g Primaloft Silver Eco||Primaloft||Megaloft||340 g PrimaLoft Gold, high-loft fleece|
Our Analysis and Test Results
These gloves don't stand out in any one performance metric, but they don't fall short in any, either.
The Hestra Leather Army Heli is warm enough for most days, but it doesn't have enough insulation for the coldest days of winter. The thick, removable fleece liner provides all of the glove's warmth, and we found that our hands got warm on days below about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. They are great on days when you ride a gondola or heated chairlift, and although we haven't had a chance to test them in their namesake activity of heliskiing, we imagine they would excel in this alternatively hot and cold activity.
Hestra gloves are known for their dexterity, and although these gloves have good sensitivity, they could be better. Nonetheless, they are plenty capable of performing tasks like buckling boots, zipping jackets, and manipulating helmets. The finger tailoring isn't as good as other high-end products, but it's good enough, considering the price.
These gloves feature a Gore-Tex membrane that keeps water and wind out of the inside of the glove. They also feature large, long wrist gauntlets that easily fit over the cuffs of large puffy jackets, making it easy to seal out stormy weather. During our test period, we were unable to get water to penetrate the inside of these gloves, but in our long experience with Hestra gloves, the palm leather eventually wears down and becomes more absorbent. Hestra includes a leather treatment wax with these gloves, anticipating this eventuality. Overall, these gloves offer great weather resistance for the average skier and a good lifetime of weather resistance for guides and ski mountaineers who need excellent protection.
The supple leather palm is similar to that of other Hestra gloves we've tested in the past, and that experience tells us that these should last about 125 days of use. For the average skier, that's 3-5 years of use, which is great. But for professionals like ski guides and patrollers, that is just over one season. Realistically, few gloves exceed that lifespan, but there are a few on the market that do.
These gloves are loaded with useful features. They have wrist straps that tighten the glove in place, gauntlet cuffs that fit over jackets to seal out bad weather and cold temps, and wrist leashes so that you don't lose your gloves when you take them off on windy days or chairlift rides. They also come with a carabiner to keep a pair together, and a small loop of fabric on the back of the index finger that facilitates hanging from a harness when alpine climbing or mountaineering. Finally, the liner is removable and can be used during fall hiking or spring skiing.
While not cheap, these gloves deliver good performance across the board. If you are looking for a solidly-constructed glove that will last a reasonably long time and deliver good performance across a range of metrics, these are a great choice and a good value.
The Hestra Army Leather Heli is a great glove that performs well across our range of testing metrics. It is a solidly constructed glove that will last for many seasons for most users, and provides plenty of performance for the average skier.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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