Hands-on Gear Review

Hestra Leather Fall Line Review

The Leather Fall Line is tough and offers optimal dexterity for almost any application.
Hestra Leather Fall Line Glove
By: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 1, 2017
Price:  $150 List  |  $154.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Top-notch dexterity and durability, great for technical descents and rope handling, fantastic feel
Cons:  Not as warm as other models, weather resistance requires more maintenance than other models
Manufacturer:   Hestra
83
OVERALL
SCORE


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

The Hestra Fall Line is a sweet under-the-cuff style glove, offering top-tier dexterity and durability. This contender's only downsides are that it provides average warmth (unless that's what you're after) and its weather resistant capabilities need upkeep; we found that these downsides were minor. In fact, most of our review team found that these gloves provided comfort down to 10-15F. Even when using them 50+ days a year in a very damp Pacific Northwest, we found that we only needed to retreat them 1-2 times per season. The upsides are high: the Fall Line is easily among the most dexterous gloves on the market.

They have a cozy fleece lining that allows for damp hands to dry quickly and they feel fantastic. We have used this pair of gloves far more than many of the other gloves in this review; despite a heavier workload, the Fall Line is easily in better shape than many in our fleet, helping to showcase its top-notch durability. On stormy days, if we are going on a tour that requires rope work for setting up a rappel, or for stormy days in the backcountry, these are one of the first gloves we reach for. If these gloves are your favorite, but you find yourself wishing that they were a little more water resistant and slightly warmer (but marginally less supple and dexterous), consider the Black Diamond Legend.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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One of our review teams favorite models for its all-around feel, durability, and toughness. While we loved this glove for more mild temperature days that weren't particularly stormy its slightly below average warmth and weather resistance kept it from being a real all-arounder that we'd recommend to someone as their only glove despite its best-in-review dexterity, feel and toughness. With that said if your someone who is going to own multiple pairs of gloves this is an excellent option when coupled with another model for when the temperature dip or a moist storm is in the forecast.

Performance Comparison


The Fall Line is an excellent spring ski glove that is built to last  and featured the best dexterity of any model in our review.
The Fall Line is an excellent spring ski glove that is built to last, and featured the best dexterity of any model in our review.

Warmth


The Fall Line is a rad glove in so many ways, though offering a high amount of warmth isn't one of those ways. We see this as a positive in the sense that maybe extreme warmth is not what you're after, or a negative, as they are bomber, but on the thinner side of the spectrum, offering less insulation than many of the contenders in our review. Don't get us wrong; these gloves still offer warmth, and we were comfortable when wearing them in 10-15F temperatures. If these temperatures sound ideal to you, and dexterity and durability are what you're looking for, the Fall Line's level of warmth might be perfect.

To help keep their wearer warm, the Fall Line uses a polyester lining (AKA fleece lining), which feels nice and cozy, allowing damp hands to dry quickly; they just weren't as warm as other models we tested. That said, most of our testers still found these gloves kept their hands warm when worn down to 10F, as long as the weather was mostly dry. We do think that the low profile neoprene cuff and foam on the back of the hand likely contribute to this glove's overall warmth. Compared to similar gloves in our fleet, like the Black Diamond Legend or the Outdoor Research Illuminator, we found that the Fall Line gloves were not as warm, scoring a 7 out of 10, while the Legend earned an 8, and the Arc'teryx Fission earned a 9. If you do need serious warmth, the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex, and Black Diamond Guide can provide, earning a score of 10 out of 10.

The Fall Line offers very good weather resistance  but to keep it working well it does need its' leather to be retreated 1-2 times per year with heavy use. For the little extra effort you get a glove that offers nearly unparalleled dexterity and requires only minimal break-in time; an irregularity among most all-leather ski gloves.
The Fall Line offers very good weather resistance, but to keep it working well it does need its' leather to be retreated 1-2 times per year with heavy use. For the little extra effort you get a glove that offers nearly unparalleled dexterity and requires only minimal break-in time; an irregularity among most all-leather ski gloves.

Dexterity


The Fall Line features some of the very best dexterity in our review. While these gloves feel marginally on the stiffer side when you first try them on, they soften up quickly (in half a day of use or less), eventually feeling similar to the Outdoor Research Illuminator. We found that in real-world use and in our side-by-side motor skill tests (like writing our name and manually unlocking a car door), the Fall Line was among the top scorers, like the Outdoor Research Illuminator.

A Note on Fit

It is worth noting that these gloves run about a half size small when compared to other Hestra Gloves. If you aren't between sizes, you'll likely appreciate the snug fit that gives this glove exceptional dexterity; the leather will stretch and model to your hand to further increase comfort. However, if you are between sizes, we would recommend going with one size larger, as they do run small. If you find the fingers are too short, the similarly designed Black Diamond Legend offers longer fingers.

This glove featured some of the best dexterity in our fleet and was able to stand among the top scorers  earning a 10 out of 10 for dexterity. We could easily complete a series of tasks when wearing the Fall Line.
This glove featured some of the best dexterity in our fleet and was able to stand among the top scorers, earning a 10 out of 10 for dexterity. We could easily complete a series of tasks when wearing the Fall Line.

Water Resistance


The Fall Line offers respectable weather resistance when out in the field, earning a 7 out of 10. If you do purchase these gloves, an important tip to keep in mind is that you must be dedicated to retreating the exterior leather to maintain the weather resistance found with most models. If treated regularly, these gloves will serve you well, staying dry in fairly wet snowstorms. If you do not have the time to treat them on a regular basis, they will not offer the weather resistance that we assume you're in need of. The frequency of retreating them depends on what activities you're using them for and how often you use them. We found ourselves retreating them 1-2 times each season after using them for 50+ days of skiing in the stormy and wet Pacific Northwest climate.

This contender offers excellent durability and dexterity  scoring highly among the other gloves in our fleet. These gloves scored highly and are an excellent option for most winter activities.
This contender offers excellent durability and dexterity, scoring highly among the other gloves in our fleet. These gloves scored highly and are an excellent option for most winter activities.

The top scorer in this metric was the The North Face Montana Mitt, earning 10 out of 10. Trailing closely behind, the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex, Black Diamond Legend and Black Diamond Guide all received scores of 9 out of 10, proving their ability to protect and stand up to severe weather.

Durability


The Fall Line Glove is easily among the most durable gloves in our review, taking home a top score of 10. We have used these gloves extensively skiing in-bounds, touring, digging pits, and handling ropes while lowering friends and clients into technical ski entrances. After two years of pretty intense use, we are especially impressed with how well these gloves are holding up.

The Fall Line features a neoprene cuff that not only helps snug the glove around our hand  keeping the glove in-place and helping with dexterity but also seals out any snow from getting in fantastically. Our testing team also liked how low profile it was and how easy it was to pull our jacket cuffs over-the-top of it.
The Fall Line features a neoprene cuff that not only helps snug the glove around our hand, keeping the glove in-place and helping with dexterity but also seals out any snow from getting in fantastically. Our testing team also liked how low profile it was and how easy it was to pull our jacket cuffs over-the-top of it.

Best Applications


The Fall Line is nearly a do-everything glove. It performed well across the board, standing up to our testing, and coming out toward the top. The one activity that the Fall Line doesn't excel at is cold weather skiing; they are some of the thinner gloves in our review and don't offer quite as much warmth. We think they are better than most for applications such as spring skiing, as they will excel when the temperatures are not extremely cold (below 10F). While the insulation is slightly thinner, the top-notch dexterity and durability will not disappoint, making a big difference to help you enjoy your day.

Value


At $150, these gloves aren't astronomically priced, but they certainly aren't cheap. With that said, we do think the Fall Line is a rad value; while they take some maintenance, they are built with the serious skier in mind and will withstand abuse, lasting you many seasons.

Conclusion


The Hestra Fall Line is an incredible glove that can be used for a whole slew of adventures, especially if you do not frequent cold climates below 10F. This contender makes a great spring quiver glove, with its upsides being that it offers great durability and dexterity, as well as an overall feel. It's a great choice for those that are willing to put in the extra effort of treating them 1-2 times per season to increase their weather resistance capabilities. If you like this glove but would prefer something that would require less effort concerning treating, consider the Black Diamond Legend. Do keep in mind that it is stiffer, slightly less dexterous, and marginally warmer.

Ian Nicholson

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