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The Hestra Heli 3-Finger Gloves are available in a shorter and slimmer shape for female hands. Designed for keeping hands warm and dry while skiing or boarding in deep snow, these stylish gloves sport a three-finger design that provides the warmth of mittens (well, almost) while giving more flexibility and control because the pointer finger has its own compartment.
Hestra, based in Sweden, has been making gloves for outdoor activities since 1936 and is now run by Claes and Svante Magnusson, grandchildren of founder Martin Magnusson. In 2008, it made about 1.4 million pairs of gloves in 2008, sold in more than 20 countries. This is a company that is serious about keeping hands warm during cold-weather sports and the Heli 3-Finger is an example of what it does best.
The Heli's exterior combines soft white water resistant leather (a little pouch of leather balm is included) and Hestra's own lightweight waterproof Triton/polyamide fabric in black.
The interior linings contain Quallofill and Fiberfill insulation and cushion hands in softness and warmth. They attach at the top of the glove by Velcro, so they can be easily removed on those spring-skiing days when the goal is to keep hands dry but not necessarily warm. Other Hestra linings can also be purchased for use with these gloves.
Other thoughtful features include a handy (and very comfortable) wrist cuff, so there's no chance of dropping a glove from a chair lift; and a long portion at the cuff of the glove that fits over a jacket sleeve and then tightens at the top via a string and pull-and-lock closure system.
Elastic along the wrists, and an adjustable Velcro closure, ensure a comfortable fit that keeps snow out and warmth in.
Tested on a New England slope over the course of two days with temps in the teens, the Hestra Heli 3-Finger Gloves performed admirably, keeping hands warm most of the day. However, by the last couple of runs, inevitable cold and fatigue set in, and it's quite possible no technology in the world could keep those fingers and toes toasty.
The Hestra Heli 3-Finger Gloves are comfortable, warm and stylish. They are made with skiers in mind. They are easy to pull on and off, adjust well to the individual's hand and coat sleeve, and, thanks to the wrist cuff, hard to lose. (MSRP $110)
Karen Nitkin likes to run, hike, bike, camp and swim. She spends as much time as possible on these activities, while juggling a writing career, family life, and doing errands like laundry and going to the grocery store.
Nitkin lives in Maryland, where the relatively mild climate allows her to run and bike year-round. She also spends at least a few weeks each year in New Hampshire, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. She has set a goal of hiking all 48 New Hampshire peaks that are above 4,000 feet. As of the fall of 2010, she is at number 20, following an epic rain-drenched four-peak overnight in the Pemigewasset wilderness over the summer.
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