These lightweight, close-fitting gloves offer excellent dexterity, touchscreen compatibility and tacky grip. Their only drawback is their lightweight build – you might need to wear a liner glove underneath them for extra warmth in full-on winter conditions.
Soft and comfortable
Good dexterity and grip
No wrist leash
No rollover fingertips
Not the warmest
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Hestra CZone Contact Gauntlet: first impressions
If you haven’t heard of the brand behind the Hestra CZone Contact Gauntlet, it’s a family-owned Swedish company that has been making gloves – and only gloves – for 85 years. The CZone Contact Gauntlet is the brand’s all-purpose cold-weather glove. It’s close-fitting and precise, offering excellent dexterity.
It’s made of durable nylon, incorporating a stretchy and reflective nylon-elastane softshell fabric across the back of the hand. A tacky patterned overlay called Duratan is placed at the fingertips, palms and thumbs. The tip of the index finger and thumb are also fitted with conductive patches to enable touchscreen use.
The wrist cuff offers good coverage and has an elasticated section as well as a drawcord lock. Insulation comes solely from a cozy microfleece lining, which makes these gloves lightweight and not too bulky. They’re still fairly warm for their weight as well as being fully waterproof and breathable, thanks to Hestra’s own CZone Contact membrane.
• RRP: £65 (UK) / €75 (EU)
• Sizes available: XS / S / M / L / XL / XXL
• Gender specificity: Unisex
• Colors: Grey / Black
• Weight: 150g / 5.3oz
• Materials: Polyamide/elastane softshell outer with Duratan palm and finger reinforcement, C-Zone Contact waterproof insert, foam insulation and polyester microfleece lining
• Compatibility: A versatile glove, good for everything from hiking and biking to fishing in the winter months
Hestra CZone Contact Gauntlet: on the trail
The CZone Contact Gauntlets are among the best-fitting of all the winter gloves we’ve tested for our best hiking gloves buying guide. They have a dexterous feel, with pre-curved fingers and a low-profile, streamlined design. Having said that, they do employ end-on finger stitching rather than the more durable and tactile rollover design of some rivals.
They’re fully waterproof and reasonably warm, though it’s worth noting that the only insulation comes from the cozy microfleece lining – there’s no added synthetic fill. You could, of course, wear them with a ‘thinny’ merino or synthetic liner glove underneath to boost their warmth. Even without a liner, however, the microfleece liner is luxuriously soft and inviting, and wicks well.
The Duratan overlays on the palm, fingers and thumb provided excellent non-slip grip. The conductive tips of the thumb and index finger are also useful when using a smartphone, handheld GPS unit or other touchscreen device.
Admittedly, these gloves lack some of the technical features found in dedicated mountain gloves, like clips, wrist loops and wrist leashes. That’s because they’re more of an all-round cold-weather glove – they’re light and compact enough to stuff easily in a down jacket pocket if needed.
They do have an adjustable drawcord closure and a gauntlet cuff to ensure good coverage and a weatherproof seal over or underneath a shell. Overall, we were still impressed, and though we might look elsewhere for full-on winter mountaineering or ski gloves, when it comes to cold-weather hillwalking or general outdoor use, these are a great pick.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.
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