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Hestra Gloves: With Age And Use Comes True Beauty

Tim Foley
February 27, 2024
Last Updated: March 4, 2024
Hestra work gloves hot tenting

A pair of well used and loved Hestra gloves.

Made to be used

There’s always a certain satisfaction with getting a new piece of gear - clean, pristine, and brimming with possibilities of adventures yet to come. Here at the Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co., while we certainly appreciate ”factory fresh” gear as well, what provides us even greater and deeper satisfaction is when customers bring in gear that they’ve had for years or decades that is still performing and enabling them to do the tasks that it was designed for - not as pristine looking, and definitely with more than a few dings, scratches, stains, marks or even a hole or two that are testaments to the many trips, hikes, portages, paddling routes, campfires, stunning night skies, and early morning mist that has come with their use.

This is the fulfillment of our mission - to provide customers with products that last, and can be relied on, and also to help do our part to reduce the amount of products and materials being discarded and making their way to landfills due to failure in materials, poor manufacturing methods and standards, and/or planned obsolescence.

Hestra gloves winter camping
Hestra new and well used gloves
Hestra gloves and wood stoves

Hestra Quality

One product line that illustrates this very well (literally, and figuratively) are our Hestra gloves. Hestra is a Swedish company who started making gloves in 1936 in the Swedish province of Småland for local lumberjacks and recreational ski enthusiasts. Now an international company, but still headquartered in Sweden, Hestra maintains tight control of all leather, fabric, wool and other materials used in production, and use only their own production facilities to ensure that the product chain provides only a high level of quality.

This makes for a superior product in terms of durability and longevity. While there certainly are cheaper alternatives to Hestra, by the time one adds up the number of repurchases due to failure, wearing out and loss of functionality of inferior products, it becomes clear that paying a bit more up front, and having the product for a much longer time, is the best way to save money in the long run, and have the confidence that when you need your gear to perform, it will.

Care and Mantenance

In order for this to happen, however, products must be maintained and cared for. In our instant/break it/throw it away/get another culture, this is becoming more and more a novel idea - much to the detriment of society and the planet. Hestra leather gloves do require maintenance - but it's nothing to onerous: applying an application of leather balm a couple times of year (for most users, this will suffice - heavier use will require more frequent application), cleaning the gloves when heavily soiled (by removing the liner, and wiping with a damp cloth and high fat soap), and allowing gloves to fully dry when wet in an upright position before stowing or storing (to avoid mold or rot taking hold) is all it takes to ensure your Hestra gloves are with you for the long haul - well worth the minimal investment of time into their care.

After a few years, as the gloves darken, and start to display a patina of all the myriad tasks they've undertaken, we feel it's at this stage that the wearer can appreciate the true beauty of the product that comes to the fore - one built on performance, reliability and longevity.

Hestra Skullman gloves

A pair of new Hestra gloves - hopefully, they don't stay looking like this for long!

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Tim Foley

Tim grew up spending summers and much of his spare time in the backwoods of Northern Ontario and has been canoeing, camping and hiking ever since. When not running the Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co., you can find him riding his bike, hiking the Bruce Trail, canoeing, or clearing trails, cutting firewood and testing gear out in the bush.
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