Ski gloves are often an overlooked accessory. I personally went through life (and to some degree still am) digging through drawers looking for a matching set of gloves when I go ski with. But there is something to be said about purchasing an item that lasts, is finely crafted, and has a legacy behind it. The Hestra Fall Line ski gloves are just that. A robust construction, warm insulation and liner, and a classic look make them an investment—not just another pair of gloves—you’ll keep for many years to come.
The Hestra Fall Line ski gloves are made from supple cowhide leather. The inside is lined with a thin layer of foam insulation and polyester. The short cuff has a hook-and-loop closure and fits well under your jacket sleeve; although, I would recommend pairing them with a jacket that has internal wrist gaiters to be sure that snow doesn’t blow up and get into the gloves. The seams are all placed on the outside of the glove, so you don’t get any uncomfortable pressure points on your hands or fingers while wearing them.
I’ve been using these gloves for seven years and probably have upwards of 400 ski days in them. They are light, warm, and waterproof, as long as you maintain the leather with a bi-annual leather balm treatment. I’ve worn them in all conditions—powder, bluebird, fog, and extreme cold, both in the resort and backcountry. The leather provides robust protection from branches, and the slim profile of the foam allows your hands to maintain a high level of dexterity. The gloves have yet to tear or show wear beyond some stretching in the leather, even after a prolonged period without a leather balm treatment.
The Fall Line gloves are not exactly an “all conditions” pair of gloves. The thin foam insulation is not quite enough to keep your fingers warm on cold days. They are also not too breathable, which can make your hand quite sweaty on a warm spring day or ski tour. But for most conditions, they have done great.
They do take a bit of work, though. The leather exterior is only waterproof and supple if maintained with a leather balm treatment. Hestra makes their own balm that works well, but other leather treatments are appropriate as well. I would recommend treating your gloves three times a year: at the beginning of the season, in the middle, and at the end before storing them for the summer. The images in this blog show the gloves without a midseason treatment. As you can see, the leather looks dry in some spots. If that goes too long, the leather will degrade and crack.
The Hestra Fall Line gloves are incredibly comfortable and hard-wearing. They should last a lifetime (that’s a relative term, of course). That’s what I was looking for in a pair of gloves. The Fall Line gloves are also available in a three-finger version that boosts warmth by keeping your fingers closer together.
By Paul Boyle, Production Manager, jans.com