- Pull strap with velcro closure
- Themolite/Fiberfill insulation
- Bemberg/polyester lining
- Hestra 4-way stretch
- Army Leather goat-leather palm
Test Locations: Niseko, Japan; Eaglecrest ski area, Alaska; Alaska Backcountry; Summit County, Colorado
Days Worn: 35
My home ski area, Eaglecrest in Juneau, Alaska, experiences extremely variable weather conditions throughout the course of a typical winter. Temperatures bounce around the freezing point, and we get pouring rain; storms that deliver perfectly creamy maritime powder; clear, frigid arctic high-pressure systems; and everything in between.
It may come as no surprise, then, that it’s nearly impossible to find a glove that can handle everything, but I’ve tried—without a great deal of success. It’s become a never-ending quest for me.
There are a few gloves, however, that seem like they can handle a particularly broad range of conditions. One is Hestra’s XCR Short. With a combination of Gore-Tex and leather, this glove utilizes two of the best materials available for a glove. Additionally, a sexy design and Hestra’s reputation for making quality gloves made the XCR Short an obvious choice to try.
Leather is an excellent material for gloves because of its outstanding balance of durability and dexterity. All-leather gloves are great in dry climates, but once you introduce a significant amount of moisture, their good qualities start to deteriorate. By including a panel of Gore-Tex to the XCR Short, Hestra aimed to give this glove all the benefits of a leather glove while making it waterproof and breathable.
I can say that this addition of Gore-Tex makes the glove more versatile than an all-leather glove, but the design has a few limitations. The majority of the glove is leather, which is going to get wet even if you waterproof it. After two liberal applications of Hestra’s leather balm, this was the case, even in the absence of extreme moisture during such activities as shoveling snow, building jumps, or skiing on days when the temperature was near the freezing point.
For the most part, this moisture affecting the outside of the glove wasn’t an issue, except when it was cold enough for the moisture in the leather to freeze, which caused the glove to stiffen. I never had any major dexterity issues with freezing leather on moderately moist days, but it certainly became harder for me to move my fingers after the gloves had hardened.
The biggest advantage of the added Gore-Tex became apparent on really wet days. The panel, which covers the back of the hand and part of the thumb, helped to extend the amount of time it took for the outer layers of the glove to become saturated, and even on really wet pow days, the XCR Short never soaked all the way through.
As long as there wasn’t any significant freeze-thaw action, I still retained adequate dexterity with the outwardly dampened gloves.