There are plenty of reasons to love leather, and it’s no surprise that skiers and boarders have embraced it as the glove shell du jor. As Ricardo Montalban once quipped “Cornithian leather? Of course, why not the best?”. The Fantasy Island host had a good point; leather is water repellent, abrasion resistant, and damn if it ain’t pretty cool. I have been rocking a pair of Helly Hansen Covert HT Gloves for the bulk of this winter season, and have to say that I’ve been very impressed by these supple hand protectors.
First, the basics:
- Shell: Premium water repellent goat skin leather
- Palm: Goat skin leather with Touch capable thumb and index finger
- Helly Tech® Performance, waterproof and breathable insert
- Lining: anti pilling polyester micro fleece
- Primaloft® Gold 113gr insulation
- Closure: Ultra magic® hook and loop
- Fur lined inner cuff
- Easy on webbing loop
Now, the harder stuff, such as: are the gloves any good? Well, they sure look good. That’s a good starting point. The pair I tested are a standard black color, and the leather shell feels soft to the touch. Inside, things are even better. The gloves are very easy to pull on, thanks to the webbing loop, and the Primaloft insulation is warm and cozy. My fingers did get cold when temperatures hovered near the zero-degree mark, but from 5-35 degrees these gloves were great. That’s a pretty big sweet spot for the Covert HTs, which means they are an ideal “every day” glove.
As for the goat skin shell, I must say this was the most impressive point of the gloves. When the heavens heaved down wet/sloppy snow, my hands stayed warm and dry. Even during extended exposure (>4 hours on the slopes) the elements didn’t stand a chance. Durability was also impressive. I find myself wearing through the fingers on almost any glove or mitten very fast, as I wipe the snow out of my binding baseplates somewhat obsessively. Usually a couple months is all it takes before I need to break out the duct tape, but the Helly Hansen Covert HT gloves have nary a thread pull on them after close to a full season of abuse.
My only complaint is that the cuffs are very low profile, so you will definitely get some snow on your wrists and lower arms during any powder day crashes. However, this slight inconvenience was not enough to deter me from wearing these gloves nearly every day I rode this season. They might be a bit beefy for Montalban’s driving gloves, but as for skiing and boarding, you’d be hard pressed to do much better.
The Good: sleek good looks, water repellant, and bomber build
The Bad: Low profile cuffs are no match for pow day bailouts
The Verdict: The Helly Hansen Covert HT gloves will stand up to cold and wet conditions, and look pretty smooth doing it.