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Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 3-Finger Mitt Review

The Leather 3-Finger is best for those looking for a warm option that is highly durable.
Hestra Army Leather 3-Finger
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Price:  $145 List | $64.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great dexterity for a "mitten", ultra warm, super durable, very cozy interior
Cons:  Not extremely water resistant, leather palm needs regular waterproofing treatments
Manufacturer:   Hestra
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 29, 2017
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Dexterity - 25% 5
  • Water Resistance - 25% 7
  • Durability - 15% 10
  • Features - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Hestra Army Leather 3-Finger Mitt has a unique design, in that it's a mitt, plus it has an isolated "trigger finger." This semi-lobster claw and separate index finger design, combined with overall solid ergonomics, make this mitt an excellent choice for those who feel too fumbly with more classically designed mittens and want more dexterity. The 3-Finger sacrifices some warmth and is not as warm as the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, but it's not far behind and offers more dexterity. The 3-Finger is super tough, and while the removable fleece liner seems basic, it resists packing out much better than its synthetic competitors. This contender doesn't feature a waterproof membrane, and in wet and snowy climates, the leather palm must be retreated more regularly.

Over the years, we have tested out many versions in Hestra's Army Leather line-up, including the glove version and the mittens.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great dexterity for a "mitten", ultra warm, super durable, very cozy interiorVersatility, durable palm, lightweight and packable, dexterous, ergonomic shape, freedom of movementSuper warm, extremely tough, great weather resistance, removable liners help them dry quicker, our go-to expedition gloveWell designed features, tough as nails, dexterousWARM, lifetime warranty, basically two gloves in one, super water resistant
Cons Not extremely water resistant, leather palm needs regular waterproofing treatmentsLong gauntlet tricky to get under jacket, gauntlet can slowly open, expensiveNot very dexterous, take time to break in, if in between sizes you should consider sizing upNot as warm as other high-end ski glovesNot super dexterous, inner glove not as durable
Bottom Line The Leather 3-Finger is best for those looking for a warm option that is highly durable.Easily the most versatile model for conditions, climates, and activities with top-tier performance across the board make this glove our favorite overall.For really cold activities, where giving up some dexterity for some serious warmth is a must, these gloves are hard to beat.This is an excellent day in day out resort glove for skiing in milder climates.You'll love this glove if you do multi day tours and spend a lot of time in the backcountry.
Rating Categories Army Leather Heli Ski 3-Fing... Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research Alti
Warmth (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Dexterity (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Durability (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
Features (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Army Leather Heli... Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research...
Waterproof Material Triton Polyamide Gore-Tex Gore-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert
Palm Material Goatskin Leather Leather Goat leather Cow-hide leather Alpengrip
Gaunlet or Cuff? Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Insulation Type Polyester Fleece Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco and primaloft silver eco PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool PrimaLoft® Gold PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester
Double or Single Glove single single double single double
Nose Wipe? Yes Yes Yes (thumb) Yes Yes (thumb)

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 3-Finger Mitt is our review team's favorite "lobster claw" or "trigger finger" mitten. It is among the warmest models we tested but offers far better dexterity than any other mitt in our review. Even for folks who don't typically like the clunky feel of a mitt still liked this model because it provides enough dexterity and respectable feel combined with a TON of warmth.

Performance Comparison



Warmth


The Leather 3-Finger Mitts are warmer than you might think, especially when you consider that it has a removable glove (not mitten) fleece liner. After our side-by-side testing, we thought the 3-Finger Mitt is one of the warmest overall. While some of the contenders were close, the 3-Finger was not quite as warm as our warmest gloves, the Black Diamond Guide, and a little warmer than The North Face Montana Mitt. We didn't think the 3-Finger was as warm as the Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt.

The Leather 3-finger  with its unique isolated index finger design  provided an excellent blend of warmth and dexterity.
The Leather 3-finger, with its unique isolated index finger design, provided an excellent blend of warmth and dexterity.

Dexterity


When compared to most mittens, the 3-Finger Mitt has an obvious advantage when it comes to dexterity, as it features a separate index finger. We think this contender takes full advantage of this in its design; not only does the separate index finger add to the dexterity, but the feel of the removable fleece glove make this mitt feel significantly less clumsy. We don't feel it sacrificed too much warmth. These mittens felt more dexterous than the warmer Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt or the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt.

Water Resistance


Water resistance is the main downfall of the Leather 3-Finger. They are fairly water resistant, as the 3-finger will fend off colder snow, and most Rocky Mountain or East Coast skiers will find this glove will be a great option. However, because there is not a waterproof membrane, they were less than ideal in near freezing temps. The leather palm started to wet out after extended use and needed to be regularly treated. That said, these mitts are designed to be used in colder climates where water resistance is less of an issue. The more classic mitten, the Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt, and the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, all suffer from this same problem.

Durability


The Army Leather 3-Finger is tough. Using a supple leather palm and beefy nylon backing, they are built to last. We feel that these mitts are some of the toughest gloves or mittens in our review and are built to last many seasons. We also think that the fleece liner, while a little bulkier and heavier, takes a lot longer to pack out and is thus warmer, lasting longer than PrimaLoft or other synthetic insulated options.

Features


The removable keeper leashes are especially nice. They are low profile, seemingly the perfect length, well-designed, and comfortable. We found ourselves using them often, even more so than a glove, as the chances of removing this "mitten" for a task are higher. The wrist side strap helps lock the mitt into place, providing increased dexterity, while the gauntlet cinch does a great job of keeping snow out. A small feature we like is the loop on the index finger; this loop can be used to hang the gloves up, so they have the opportunity to dry out more efficiently. The pile fleece liner is also removable, which makes drying the glove quick. The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt was the only other pair that scored higher.

Best Applications


The Army Leather Heli 3-Finger is best for skiers and snowboards who need something that is exceptionally warm. It is a good option for those in cold climates, or for those instances in which a glove just won't cut it (but the lack of dexterity and the clumsy feel offered by most mittens is not welcomed).

Value


At $145, this pair of ski gloves are average in price but still provide nice features, long lasting durability, and warmth.

Conclusion


The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 3-Finger is best for someone who skis in climates where an extremely warm mitt is desired and typically doesn't like the feel of the lack of dexterity that most mittens provide. While the 3-Finger performs well in wet snow climates, like the Pacific Northwest, they are better suited to colder and drier climates, like Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and New England; this is because they lack a waterproof membrane and the leather palm needs frequent waterproof treatment.


Ian Nicholson