When it comes to keeping your hands warm, dry, and protected there are super tech snow gloves, super rugged insulated leather workers’ gloves, and then there’s Hestra’s Fall Line glove that blows everything else away. Literally there is no glove that combines such high performance with rugged style, and such bomber protection with such absurd softness and dexterity. These gloves are like a Porsche Cayenne for your hands – beautiful, strong, timeless.
Hestra’s Fall Line Tech
At first glance, you can’t help but fall in love with the cowhide leather outer on Hestra’s Fall Line Gloves. They’ve made of aniline leather with some extra leather padding and layering in key places, like the inside of your thumb, the palm, the top of your index finger (where your poles rest), and especially on the back hands where you’re likely to take the most impact from everything. The leather is also impregnated with a special cream that keeps them pretty waterproof. But it also keeps them supple, though the foam insulation helps with that. Aside from keeping your hands warm, which they did for me in single-digit temps when gloves around the same weight turn my much-frozen digits into numb chunks.
The velcro-closure neoprene cuff helps to lock in the warmth and the waterproofness, while the mini-diner that loops through two big loops to keep them connected and easy to find is a nice finishing touch. Yes, these gloves look like a work of art. But how do these pretty (and pretty expensive) hand shields actually work?
Hestra Fall Line Leather Gloves Warmth
I’ve been testing Hestra’s Fall Line gloves in the Teton’s early winter 2021/22 freezing-temp wetness. This is arguably one of the harshest climates for testing gloves since the snow is so wet it turns even the most bomber ones into a soggy mess. But for the Fall Line, from the first trip, a tour up in the Teton Pass side country, I haven’t once had them get soaked, including a day riding all day in some of the wettest steady snowfall I’ve encountered this side of California. Plus these gloves are so soft that I could actually put my skins on and off with them on, a huge plus for any gloves. Especially leather ones (I love my Kinkos but they’re definitely prohibitively clunky).
Then it was time for a day of resort riding, following my son into tight little kid trees where I was slamming and fending off branches and pine needles. Did I mention we were in 12-degree sunny Targhee? They didn’t get scratched, dinged, or perforated. They also held up to a little rock scrape as I took them down a rocky outcropping.
In single digit temps, again, they were warmer than comparable gloves but my hands still got cold; this was where the soft inner lining in addition to the foam insulation was not only super comfortable and flexible, it also let me ball my hand easily into a fist to warm my fingers back to full feeling. All told, there is literally nothing that hits dexterity, warmth, ruggedness, and style at the same time even close to as well as the Hestra Fall Lines.
“Those gloves will probably last, like, the rest of your life,” said one shop geek I ran into on the top of a backcountry peak as he spied my Hestra Leather Fall Line gloves. And so far I’m thinking he was right. Not even fazed after an early season of constant wear, I’ve found the comfort endless, the leather bomber, the look jaw-dropping. Are there more waterproof gloves? Sure, but not by much. Are there warmer gloves? Sure but not with this dexterity. And definitely not with this much steeze, nor do any synthetic winter gauntlets even come close to matching the rugged flexibility of leather. To ensure your gloves stay like new forever, Hestra even includes a tube of their special leather treatment, an amazing testament to the thought and precision Hestra puts into the gloves (like a snowboard binding company using weird screw sizes that actually thinks to include a set of screws with the expensive tools).
Unbeatable across the board, the Hestra Fall Line Gloves ($159.99) are the luxury all-terrain performance vehicle your precious little hands deserve for coming along on all your winter adventures.