If you’re in the market for a solid ski glove that’s built to withstand many seasons of abuse while keeping your hands warm, the Hestra Heli Gloves make the cut. These gloves are some of the warmest, most durable, and well-made ski gloves on today’s market.
Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this ski glove, who it is best for, and other similar alternatives to consider.
- Where to buy: Amazon
- Best for: Cold weather skiing with durability and dexterity in mind.
- Pros: A well-designed ski glove constructed with high-quality materials from a reputable company. Extremely warm for a 5-fingered full-glove option and durable enough to last for seasons.
- Cons: A bit expensive. Warm, but I’ll always choose mittens over gloves if that’s the primary concern. Can be too hot for a spring season glove as well.
- Alternatives: Gordini Wrangell, Black Diamond Guide Gloves, Hestra Heli Mittens
Why Trust Me
I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I’ve skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I had a pair of Hestra Heli Gloves for four seasons and have worn them in just about every skiing situation imaginable. Below is my detailed review.
Ski gloves are an essential piece of equipment out on the mountain. If your fingers go cold, it can ruin an otherwise amazing ski day. I tend to run pretty hot when I ski but for some reason, my little and ring fingers are always the first to go cold. The Hestra Heli ski gloves solve that issue thanks to their insulation. They are also extremely durable and made to last a long time.
The main critical aspect of any glove is its warmth. Gloves need to keep your hands cold even when conditions turn nasty. Sure, you can always stuff them with hand heaters or a liner, but a high-quality ski glove will keep your hands and fingers warm on their own without any extra help. The Hestra Heli gloves check this first box and I would recommend them as a warm option.
That means they’re a great model for cold weather or for anyone who tends to run cold. No matter what weather I used these gloves in, heavy snow, bitter cold, or biting wind, they held up and kept my hands decently protected throughout the day. As I mentioned earlier, many gloves leave a couple of my fingers cold after a full day on the mountain. I rarely experienced that with the Hestra Heli.
Being a snug glove, they are not a great warm-weather option. Late in the season when the temperature and sun angle rises, I experienced quite a bit of sweating when wearing them. I do not like sweaty hands, so off they went. I would take too warm over not warm enough any day, but just know that these are not meant to be used in warmer areas. In the cold, however, they’re great.
Comfort & Fit
Another factor I weigh when choosing a ski glove is comfort and fit. The Hestra Heli gloves hold up strong there as well. They have a fit that is not too tight but not too loose. ThatGoldilocks zone creates a quality experience. Just make sure you get the right size for your hand, as the wrong one can lead to a bit of discomfort.
The gloves have the standard five-finger design that easily sits over your hand and pulls down snugly around your wrist. The cuff makes them easy to slip on and take off, and the strap adds another layer of comfort/security to keep them on tight at all times. I like my gloves to be loose enough to wiggle my fingers because I think that provides a little more warmth. These gloves have that feature.
While comfort is king for many clothing items, that’s not always the case in the ski world. Performance sometimes outweighs feel, as is the case with many ski boots. However, I found these gloves to provide a tremendous amount of comfort while also allowing serious performance. This is a win-win, and another reason they stand out. They are simply a comfortable item that creates an enjoyable experience.
Construction and Style
These gloves are well made with a long-held design that makes them popular for many experienced skiers. They are constructed out of high-quality materials that make them durable, warm, and comfortable. The back of the gloves are made with a layer of Triton polyamide that provides excellent weather and water repellent properties. It’s also strong and flexible.
The most notable construction feature here is the Army Goat Leather on the palms and thumbs. That extra touch provides you with serious grip and flexibility while also being durable and weatherproof. Plus, I’m always a sucker for military-grade gear – I just inherently trust that it’s going to provide serious performance. That’s definitely true here.
The Hestra Heli gloves are built with a Synthetic Fiberfill insulation that provides warmth alongside a removable lining that can be washed or dried out when needed. This is another great design element. They also come with other cool features like a velcro closure that helps to keep snow out, wrist cuffs for extra protection against the elements, and an elastic drawstring.
Durability is another concern I have when dropping considerable cash on a piece of ski gear. Even if an item provides solid performance, it’s not worth it if you have to get a new one every year. However, these do not have that issue. The pair I own have seen over 300 ski days, and while they look worn and beaten, they still provide tremendous warmth.
I’ll chalk this performance attribute up to the goat leather because obviously, I’m a fan. However, beyond that, they are just well-built and can be a glove that lasts you for years and years. If you only ski a handful of times a season, I’d say these could easily last you a decade. I did break one of the cinches for the drawstring, but that was easy enough to replace.
Price and Value
These gloves aren’t the cheapest option on the market, but they aren’t the most expensive either. For their durability alone, I would say they have great value. That goes double when you consider all of their high marks for warmth, comfort, and construction. Definitely not a budget option, but if you’re looking for something that will keep you warm for this season and many after, they’re awesome.
What I Like
There’s a lot to like about these gloves. First, they provide excellent warmth and water protection. They will also keep your hands toasty when the temperature dips. In that way, they provide serious comfort to the point where you’ll barely notice they are on your hands. Those attributes alone are enough to recommend them.
I also like how durable these gloves are in terms of their construction. I ski hard and have been known to burn through all sorts of equipment. Four years on and these are still holding up strong. To me, that’s impressive and would make me buy these gloves again in a heartbeat if they did every give out.
Something else I appreciate is their look. Leather has an old-school ski vibe that really appeals to me, especially when it’s painted blue. Being able to get some cool-looking items to wear out to the slopes is never a bad thing. The Helis get high marks for their design.
What I Don’t Like
There isn’t a whole lot to dislike about the Hestra Heli gloves. Even so, I will say that I do prefer mittens to gloves when conditions really get cold. I know I said earlier that the gloves hold up well in cold weather. That’s true, but they don’t do it as well as high-quality mittens. If you need some extreme warmth for a dark, frigid day on the slopes, you’re going to need something a bit more heavy duty.
I also don’t like using these gloves during the spring time or on warmer days. They simply get too hot and cause sweaty hands. They can certainly work when temperatures go up, but I’d avoid them when possible. Just know they do have removable liners as a line of defense if you have no other option. I’d avoid using them if the weather goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re looking for an alternative option to the Hestra Heli gloves that will provide you with long-lasting performance in cold weather, check out these options:
- Gordini Wrangell – Another recommended five-finger ski glove with decent warmth and excellent comfort, the Wrangell can both meet and exceed your expectations. They don’t have the wrist cuff like the Heli, but they do have a similar style and look. Warm and comfortable with an excellent fit, these gloves are great for the park or for general resort skiing on a day that’s not too snowy.
- Black Diamon Guide Gloves – These gloves look and feel a lot like the Heli gloves, but they come in at a cheaper price point. They aren’t quite as warm, but they still give you plenty of insulation for cold-weather and have an extended wrist cuff to block out snow. More of a budget option, these will still provide you with everything you need out of a ski glove. Read my detailed review to learn more.
- Hestra Heli Mittens – If you want to next level the Hestra Heli Gloves, then I would recommend going with the Heli Mittens. You’ll get all of the same comfort, fit, and feel of the gloves but with the added warmth of being mittens. This style obviously means you lose a little dexterity and gain heat. A great option for the backcountry.
Do the drawstrings on the Hestra Heli Gloves get in the way of ski poles?
Yes and no. The drawstrings can be a bit in the way and dangle around when they are cinched down tight due to excess cordage sticking out. However, that shouldn’t really get in the way of your poles or the ability to strap them to your wrists.
Does goat leather work well as a waterproof material?
It works really well. The Army Goat Leather used in the gloves’ construction is well known for being weather resistant and highly durable. It keeps the gloves flexible and grippy as well.
Are these gloves warm?
For a five-finger ski glove, they are extremely warm. You can get a warmer option in the mitten version (or just plain mittens) if you want extra warmth or an alternate option.
The Hestra Heli Gloves are a solid ski glove option. They are warm, comfortable, and durable. That trifecta makes them a recommended model for any skier who wants an all-season glove that can be used season after season. These are well designed and come with additional features like a wrist cuff and drawstring to keep your hands both warm and dry no matter how long you ride. Perfect for more advanced skiers.
The gloves are a bit pricey, but when you consider how long they can last their value becomes apparent. All of the above factors make the Hestra Heli Gloves a worthy option for just about any skier out there. Plus, they look pretty dang cool as well.