Most ski and snowboard gear is specifically designed for the sport. Nearly every single feature on every single piece serves a purpose, whether it’s for comfort, function, or good looks. The grippy elastic band at the bottom of the inside of your jacket? That’s a powder skirt, meant to prevent snow from getting under your jacket. The tiny pocket on the left arm of your jacket? A ski-pass pocket, of course! The zippers on the side of your snow pants that just open up a hole to your legs? Air ventilation, duh!
Sometimes, though, a part of your gear might seem absolutely useless. You might be looking at something on your jacket, your boots, your helmet, or your gloves wondering “why was this put there?” Like that little loop you might find on the ring finger of your ski gloves. What does that do? It looks kinda cool, sure, but looks can’t be its only purpose, right? Fortunately for you, friendly reader, I asked myself that question, and I went on the find the answer.
If you take the time to do a little digging for yourself, you might find that, even across company lines, the gloves that feature this loop share something else in common. There’s Hestra’s Army Leather Heli Ski 5-Finger gloves, there’s Black Diamond’s Tour Gloves and Guide Gloves, and there’s the Burton Helium Expedition Gloves. All of those gloves feature the loop, but they’re also all designed for the backcountry. Even the gloves with names that don’t relate to the backcountry, like the Helly Hansen ULLR SOGN HT SKI GLOVES, are described as being meant for backcountry skiing and mountaineering.
So the loop is related to the backcountry, we can safely make that assumption given the products it appears on. But what is it actually used for in the backcountry? Fortunately, the friendly folks over at Gear Patrol actually went to Hestra to find an answer, and they got it.
“Those loops on the finger allow you to take a carabiner and hang your gloves on your pack with the opening facing down. That way you don’t get any snow or debris in the gloves when you are hiking. They also allow you to dry your gloves with the fingers upward so that any condensation rolls out the bottom instead of pooling in the fingers.” – Hestra marketing manager Drew Eakins
Well, there’s your answer! They allow you to hang your gloves with the opening facing down while hiking to prevent snow from getting inside, but they can also be helpful for those of us who don’t hike with our gloves. Place them somewhere warm, hanging from that small finger loop, and the condensation will be able to drip out the bottom.
Featured Image Credit: Hestra Gloves via Instagram