Hestra Fall Line Gloves ReviewNovember 8, 2016
- Comfortable with good dexterity
- Leather reinforcements in high use areas
- Snug neoprene cuff
- Warmth without bulk
- Not for long fingers
- No nose wipe
- Not for exceptionally cold days
The Hestra gloves are warm, comfortable, durable, and functional, and while no glove is perfect for every condition, this one seems to come pretty close. The gloves fit snug against your hand and thoughtful design, including articulated knuckles and shaped palms prevent them from being restrictive and actually give the Fall Line better grip, dexterity, and comfort than almost any other glove tested. The simplistic design of the gloves means you have to sacrifice some features that come standard on other gloves. The superior grip and dexterity comes at the cost of decreased warmth on especially cold days.
The Fall Line was not the warmest of the gloves tested, but the warmth-to-bulk ratio was among the best tested. During the majority of the season, the gloves were sufficient for temperatures that hovered around freezing, and they kept our hands warm – but not necessarily comfortable – for the entire 30 minutes of the ice bucket test. The leather construction provided a solid barrier against any wind and while the aniline leather prevented a significant amount of water from penetrating the gloves during the ice bucket test, water did seep into one finger of one of the gloves, but this was after they’d been worn all season without being re-treated with another application of wax.
The all-leather gloves provided a solid grip on ski poles in nearly all conditions. The leather reinforcements on the palm and pole finger/thumb combined with outseams on the fingers improve the grip even more. The articulated knuckles on the back of the glove made it easy to move our fingers and wrap them completely around the poles.
The Fall Line were the softest leather gloves tested, which also gave them the best dexterity. The thin layer of insulation combined with the supple leather exterior made these gloves feel more like a second layer of skin than a pair of ski gloves, which meant that grabbing thin zipper pulls to access pockets or pulling a Buff up over a nose was never a hassle with these gloves.
The quality and durability of these gloves is obvious. The leather is thick and soft, and double-layered in all the critical wear areas. Even after a season of use, they still look as new as the day they arrived.
The Fall Line were among the most comfortable gloves in the test. The only complaint is that even in the largest size, the fingers are a little short for XL hands. The leather exterior is soft and supple giving them a worn-in feel even when they’re brand new and the polyester lining is extremely soft against the skin. The Fall Line gloves have the kind of comfort that make them easy to keep on your hands all day.
Features & Design
The Fall Line gloves have a simple design that definitely works, but could be significantly improved with just a few small added features. The double layer of leather on the forefinger, thumb, and palm greatly improve the grip and durability of the gloves and the articulated knuckles and ergonomically inspired design make them comfortable and add to their impressive dexterity. The neoprene cuff and the fact that the liner is sewn snug against the shell makes it easy to get the gloves on and off even when your hands are sweaty, while the Velcro closure allows you to cinch the cuff down against your wrist to prevent any snow from getting inside the gloves. Instead of the flimsy plastic clasps that most gloves use today, the Fall Line gloves have a leather tag with a metal grommet and a small carabineer that you can use to clip them onto your jacket or pants.
The two features that would have improved the Fall Line gloves score in this category are a wrist leash and nose wipe. Although the leather on the gloves is the softest of any we tested, it still feels rough against a frozen nose.
Although they are often not given much thought, ski gloves are one of the most important tools in a skier’s arsenal. To give readers a better appreciation of how gloves perform in different conditions, we tested these gloves in every possible real-world skiing condition we could – from blue-bird days on the resort to cold, wet, blizzardy conditions that keep most sane skiers home. Because warmth and waterproof are such critical elements, we also subjected each of the gloves to an ice-bucket challenge where the gloves were worn for 30 minutes while submerged in a bucket of icy water.
Christopher Cogley is a freelance writer who spends as much time as possible biking, hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoor playground of Western Colorado where he lives with his wife and two boys.