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OK...anyone who is looking for a gauntlet style glove for winter conditions should check these sweet gloves ASAP. They are on sale for about 65$ right now and regularly run for 150$.
I've never owned a pair of Hestras before but I can now see what all the hype is about. These are the best gloves I've ever had. Thing is, BC.com has actually listed this item inaccurately...from the description you would think that these were straight-up softshell gloves with leather palms and fingers, and some thin insulation. In fact, what they left out is that this glove is a full-on Gore-Tex XCR model, which in my book makes it much more useful.
So these gloves, in effect, are very similar to the Hestra Army Leather XCR glove, except with a softshell fabric in the areas that are not leather. This is actually a great combo. The XCR makes this glove totally windproof and waterproof and the softshell exterior allows this glove to breathe better than most insulated gore-tex insert gloves, which tend to have more standard hardshell fabrics. Anyway, point is, you are getting a full-featured XCR-protected gauntlet glove, with insulation, leather palms/fingers, really nice cinches, straps, wrist-leashes, and mini-carabiner to clip them together when not in use.
I just used these gloves for 3 days at Mammoth during the season's biggest winter storm. Temps were as low as 5 degrees or so, winds up to 25 mph. I used them while skiing in heavy precipitation and also on the last day, full-on sunshine and upper 30's base temps. Not once did I find my hands at an uncomfortable temperature...in the freezing cold and wind, my fingers stayed completely warm, and waiting in a liftline after lunch at the base in 38-40 degrees, the gloves breathed enough that I did not ever have to take the gloves off once. In the warm temps, standing around at the base, my hands just barely started to perspire, but by the tme I made my way to the top of the mountain, it had breathed itself away. Impressive with a glove with full-on Goretex XCR protection as well as insulation.
The great thing abut these gloves is that while they are insulated with a relatively streamlined layer of Thermolite insulation, they are very form-fitting and the leather, easy to break in and moldable. As a result, you have great dexterity for a full-on insulated winter glove, allowing me to do just about anything short of cell-phone/ipod manipulaton while keeping the gloves on. I did not treat the leather with the included leather balm, and the leather did get moist after wiping down my skis at the base lodge, but the water was unable to penetrate the insert. I imagine after treating the leather, it will reject water much better. As for the fabric, the Hestra-branded softshell did a great job of beading up any precipitation and didn't seem to soak up melted snow at any point, which was my only concern with the use of a softshell back-fabric. This was impressive in light of the fact that I found myself surfing (at least attempting to ) through, literally, chest to neck deep powder at times during and just after the storm. The gauntlet and its excellent cinch cords kept all snow out of the glove.
In conclusion, I am highly recommending these gloves to anyone who needs an insulated cold-weather long glove and needs water and wind-proofing. If you are using these for lift-served skiing, I think you will find the complement of features to be ideal for just about any conditions besides maybe warm Spring skiing temps. In terms of sizing, the Hestra sizing here is dead on compared to their chart. Actually, my hand length put me a hair longer than the Hestra size 8, but the leather stretched a mm. or 2 as they broke in, so while they felt a hair short or snug, they molded perfectlyto my hand after a few days. User reviews do seem to recommend upsizing for other Hestra models if you are between sizes. But in this case I would only do this if you intend on wearing thin liners under the gloves.
I normally wouldn't go through the effort of reviewing a pair of gloves, but this is too good a deal for fellow bears here to pass up, and the only reason there are any left is probably b/c they failed to mention that they are Gore-tex protected. Oh...I forgot..the one caveat here is that the picture on the bc.com page is slightly off. In the pic, the glove has a strap on the palm-side of the wrist. The model I received had the strap on the back-side of the wrist..maybe this is an older version? Anyway, a fairly insignificant variation in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who pulls the trigger on these...lemme know how they work out for you!