Hestra XCR Short (2010)
Full disclosure: I am a long time Hestra devotee. This is despite an unreasonable fear of goats stemming from a tragic incident involving a petting zoo, my favorite Batman pajamas, and Superman ice cream. Fortunately, Hestra gloves with goat-leather palms have helped me move on over the years. This season’s XCR Short gloves maintain the supple goat leather palms and have softshell fabric on the back of the hand, a warm Thermolite insulation, and soft nose wipe thumb panels. The difference in this model from other Hestra gloves is a Gore-Tex XCR insert between the outer fabric and insulation, which is supposed to provide more breathability than other inserts while retaining the windproof and waterproof qualities Gore-Tex is known for.
I tested the XCR Short on a wet, chilly day on Colorado’s Mt. Evans with temperatures around 35 degrees and an incessant slushy precipitation. With the XCR inserts, sweat moved away from my hands remarkably well throughout the climb. By the end of the day, the gloves were soaked from rain and snow, but my hands, while damp, were still warm and not nearly as wet as the glove’s outer layers. Plus, their dexterity allows for fiddling with boot buckles, adjusting climbing skins, or eating a sandwich.
XCR inserts are available in several Hestra models including the gauntlet style XCR Glove, the XCR Mitt, and XCR 3-Finger. Sizes range from 6-11 (see their website for chart). I usually wear one size up and throw in a thin liner for added warmth. —Jake Davis