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Hestra initial impressions and question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I recieved a pair of Vertical Cut Freeride and Ski Cross. The Ski Cross is cowehide aniline, has thinner insulation giving them better dexterity. I untangled the power cord to my laptop with them without a problem. The Verticle Cut is made of the "Army Leather goat" in black, is bulkier with added padding over the back of the hand and fingers for protection, thicker insulation and outer stitching giving it a beefier feel and probably warmer. The Army Goat Leather has a texture to it while the cowhide is smoother surface. Both are really soft and feel broken in out of the box. Both have Cordura stretch over the nuckle with again more padding on the Vertical Cut, both have neoprene cuffs but the strap to the velcro on the Vertical Cut is made of a non stretchy strap that is more durable then the stretchy one on the Ski Cross.

The Verticle Cut is definitely built to take more punishment while the Ski Cross can be used in a lot more situations due to it's excellent dexterity, I can see myself stopping to pull lunch out of my pack and eating it without taking off these gloves.



My question is, which would be more waterproof? I've read online and they mention "waterproof" in some of the Ski Cross descriptions and less so in the Vertical Cut but I've also read in a forum somewhere that Goat Leather is naturally more water resistant then cowhide. Both gloves came pretreated with balm so they both reacted similarly to running water in my sink. I live and ski in the NE so we don't get that many dry fluffy days.



post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

oh and I usually wear a medium in most other gloves and 9 fit me perfectly.

post #3 of 10

Best way to keep water from penetrating the leather is to use the Hestra balm regularly. Their own brand is designed to provide protection and still maintain breathe ability.

post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Best way to keep water from penetrating the leather is to use the Hestra balm regularly. Their own brand is designed to provide protection and still maintain breathe ability.


True! I used the balm on my BD legend gloves and it kept the gloves quite waterproof as well as my wife`s Hestra XCR that was used during the whole winter. I got my BD legend by the end of the season after retiring my terrible TNF after just a couple of months...


Hestra does quality stuff as well as BD, to me the best gloves on the market depending on your preference, I particularly like under the cuff gloves so both brands work for me. 


I also bought a 3-finger seth pro model in the summer on DOG and I`m looking forward to put in use! Some people tell to put the gloves in the oven to help the leather to absorb the balm, but I wouldn`t try that on gloves that are expensive like these. One thing you can do though is to put the gloves in front of the air vents in your home or maybe inside a heated boot bag if you have one. Not sure if this helps though! :-)


Don`t forget to reapply the balm at the end of the season or maybe mid-season depending on how much days you put on them!

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've read Sno-seal is similar to Hestra Balm both being beeswax based.

Any truth to that Cowhide vs Goat skin comparison? Goat skin supposed to have more natural oils but does that make a difference in use for winter use over time? 

Edited by Blikkem - 8/5/12 at 10:22am
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Found this post on Tetongravity. Explains a lot. I wish the Vertical Cuts had the same dexterity as the Ski Cross because it's made of a better leather. So the debate for me less dexterity and better leather or more dexterity and less durable leather. Hate compromises!


"Please, please, please understand that the Hestra Leather Balm's main purpose is to condition the leather which keeps it supple and prolongs the life of the leather. It may also add a bit more *repellancy*, but it does not EVER make them waterproof. If you need a waterproof glove, make sure you buy gloves that have a waterproof CZone or GoreTex insert. If your Hestra's have neither of these then please do not be mistaken: the leather balm's main function is to keep them supple. As long as the leather is not allowed to dry out or be exposed to heat sources, it should last much longer than your average leather glove, normal wear and tear like ski and snowboard edges excluded. Leather balm does not prevent ski edges from scratching the leather nor does it make your gloves indestructible. But it will darken them. 

Please do not expose the leather to any type of heat. This is what degrades the leather in the first place. I've been learning a lot about the types of leather and where we source the leathers from and I still don't have all of the answers (been at Hestra just over 3 months now), but I hope to learn more after meeting the Magnusson family this November. They've been sourcing leathers from many of the same people for 4 generations now. I have a list of questions to ask regarding the leather but communication is slow right now as we are preparing for the new season worldwide; product is shipping soon. In any case, climate (where the animal was raised) is a major key to some of the more durable leathers that we use, like the Army Goat leather. 

The army goat leather is pretreated (impregnated) from the get-go. This is the same leather that is used by the Swedish Army. While NONE of our leathers are waterproof, the army goat is proven to be the most effective at repellancy. The leather balm that comes with your gloves is to be used at the first signs of dryness. Do not wait until the leather gets stiff or starts to crack. Leather balm will need to be used more frequently in models that are made of cowhide, as this leather is less resistant to dryness and heat. The Vertical Cut Freeride, for example, comes in army goat as well as cowhide. Unfortunately communication in the past has not made this clear to many people. This season the Vertical Cut Freeride in black as well as grey colors are army goat leather. They will feel stiffer at first, which is why so many people end up buying the cowhide- that, and the cowhide takes dyes much better so the cool colors are all cow. Cow= not as durable as goat. I'm hoiping to incorporate more colors in the Army Leather moving forward, but that's another story...

I did receive an email back from the designer in Sweden, and she said exposing external sources of heat to your Hestra's is not recommended, even for short periods of time. Again, this goes back to the type of climate that the animal was raised in. 

As an aside, I have found out the leather balm is sourced here in the US by a farmer, so that explains why sometimes it looks different than others. I feel confident saying to use Nikwax when necessary, but again, please do not put your Hestra's anywhere near heat sources when treating your gloves. Despite my own beliefs prior to working at Hestra, that warming them up allows the pores to open more, letting more treatment into the leather, etc...rubbing them back and forth with the balm applied causes a little friction, and that is all the leather needs for proper absorption of the balm. Keep it simple. And please keep your Hestra's away from heat. 



post #7 of 10

Thanks for that post.


FWIW, I am going into my 3rd season with my Seth Morrisons (the "cool" plum color... all they had left in my size). I treat them with neatsfoot oil since I've found it hard to get the Hestra balm in Canada. RM Williams make a nice saddle dressing I use on my Blundies but I haven't used it on my Hestras - not sure if it is for hard leathers only.


Occasionally I'll pop them into the glove compartment of my boot bag and warm/dry them overnight on medium. I always use liners, usually silk but I have a pair of merino liners for really cold days.  I'm doing a rethink now about this given his strenuous assertion to keep them away from heat. But the mid setting is 100F-110F so shouldn't be too bad.



post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by Blikkem View Post

I've read Sno-seal is similar to Hestra Balm both being beeswax based.



NOT equivalent products.       Be very careful using Sno-seal on dyed leather for the first time  - the mineral spirit carrier can easily make dyes run both out of and straight through the leather  (and give you black fingers frex).    Hestra's emulsifier doesn't do that (but some people may be rash-sensitive to it).     


For non-Hestra gloves I like Brooks Proofide :  no dye runs, no rash risk to gf (yet).

Edited by cantunamunch - 8/6/12 at 3:30pm
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Canuk1w1 View Post
. But the mid setting is 100F-110F so shouldn't be too bad.




"Do not, ever, wear these gloves if you're running a fever."   smile.gif

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sounds like rubbing the gloves together is enough to open the pours when waxing. I believe this for higher quality leather Hestra uses. I wonder if it's different with the Goat leather and Cowhide?


Cantunamunch, I already have a bottle of the Sno-seal, maybe I'll give it a go on an older pair of gloves first.

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