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Review: Hestra Heli Pro gloves...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Santa brought me a pair of size 11 Hestra Heli Pro gloves to fit over my shovels of hands. Here's my review after 3 ski days in very mixed conditions...

First impressions...
Very simple, very well made and quality feeling. The small sachet of leather balm that was packaged with them is a nice touch and the (now lost!) carabiner that holds the gloves together when not in use is a novelty. Shame i lost that novelty on first use... probably on the ground of Cairngorms car park somewhere.

First thing i did was take the liners out and see how easy they went back in. The liner is made of a supremely soft fleece material which is the most instantaneously warm material i've felt. Put them on my hands and slipped them back into the outer glove. The fit is flush and the liner is held in place by a velcro seem that encircles the gauntlet par of the glove, just above the wrist.

The gloves have an elastic loop, which is nice and wide, which is attaced to each glove and goes over your wrist to prevent dropping the glove in the snow, or from a chairlift, when you need to use your hands up the mountain. It fits well, is un-noticed when in use and is much better designed than the efforts of my previous gloves.

There is a velcro closure loop that is on the palm side of the glove, as opposed to many gloves that have it on the outside. This is a great touch and i'll outline why later on. There is also a "one hand" elastic tightener around the top of the gauntlet to restrict snow from getting inside the glove. The gauntlet is well sized - not too baggy, but roomy enough to easily slot the cuff of my jacket in and out without too much fiddly effort.

The leather is nice and soft and once on the glove fits well and doesn't have any bagginess. This is down to sizing though for your particular hand size so try on before buying. Santa allowed me to do this.

Multi conditions skiing
Skiing in Scotland can provide a very very wide extreme of different hill side conditions. The first day i wore the gloves was on a +3ºC day at Cairngorm. It rained... a lot. All i can say is that i was impressed that day. While my ski buddies were struggling with cold fingers and soaking wet gloves, actually ringing water out of some cheaper Trekmates gloves, whilst my hands were slightly damp, they were not once less than warm. The outer membrane did a great job of keeping most of the water out and the leather did an excellent job of still providing grip on my poles and especially the pomas and T bars.

The gloves were easy to take on and off when necessary and on that day i knew i had chosen wisely.

They were easy to dry out and actually dried out very quickly as well. Take the liners out, leave them laying on the kitchen table over night, wake up, put them back together and hey presto!

Since then, i've skied in -8ºC with windchill nearing -30ºC and not once have i suffered from cold fingers. Even when i was stupid enough to allow some snow to drift inside my glove the thermal properties of the fleece liner took care of that. Roasty toasty hands when others were visibly suffering from cold hands.

In white out conditions, the seal between jacket and glove has dealt with the worst of Scottish highland blizzard.

Negatives out of the way first... that carabiner is a silly idea. Yeah, it looks good when it's sat on the shelf, but it was way to easy to lose. That truly is the only negative i can think of.

It's a very very good mountain glove... the best i've used. If you need a glove that is simple, clean looking, fits well, provides warmth in the coldest of conditions and can also cope extremely well with wet conditions, then look no further. The only test left to do is see how it copes in the longer term, but for now, i'm happy as larry!

I'd recommend these to anyone.
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