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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > Kinco 1927KW-Lined Pigskin Gloves > Owner Review by Christopher CappettaKinco 1927KW-Lined Grain Pigskin Gloves
Owner Review by Chris Cappetta
24 April 2011
Photo from Kinco Website
The Kinco Lined Grain Pigskin Gloves, Knit Wrist, are a very economical winter glove. They are designed for work but are very adaptable to recreation. They have a leather palm and a coarse, almost canvas-feeling material on the back of the hand. The wrist is made of snug, elastic, knit-material that extends about 2 in (5 cm) past my wrist joint. I find the elastic-knit material comfortable for nose-wiping use, which I consider an important glove function. These gloves have a Heatkeep Lining for cold weather; which is soft and comfortable. I have found them warm enough for use in extremely harsh winter conditions. The leather is not waterproof from the factory so to use as a winter snow glove I had to treat them first. I have had great success with SNO-SEAL Brand All Season Leather Protection.
The combination of SNO-SEAL beeswax waterproofing and Kinco Lined Grain Pigskin Gloves (I will be calling this combination simply Kincos) is extremely common in my home town of Crested Butte, Colorado. I would estimate that more than half of all locals use a pair as their primary winter glove. I can not speak for other sealers than SNO-SEAL because that is what all of my friends have used. I chose to write this somewhat unorthodox owner review because I was thrilled when I learned about this glove, and wanted to spread the word.
My Kincos on a clothesline
The elastic knit wrist extends 2 inches (5 cm) past my wrist joint.
My Kincos integrate perfectly with my Red Ledge Gauntlet Jacket. I have never had a problem with snow getting through to my arms.
Experience with the product:
I have owned two pairs of Kincos. The first pair was my primary ski glove two winters ago; and was lost traveling in the front-country over the summer. The pair I own currently has been with me since the fall. It served as my ski glove for the entire winter. It also came on an overnight ski-tour and on many single day backcountry ski trips this winter.
The waterproofing process was not difficult. I left the gloves in the oven at its lowest heat setting for about 5 minutes to warm the leather enough to absorb the wax sealer. I then put the gloves on and squeezed a large amount of SNO-SEAL into one palm. The pair absorbed about a third of a 3.5 oz (100 g) tube. I was able to treat both gloves at the same time by simply wringing my hands like an evil overlord. I wore these gloves just about every day from October to May. The temperature this winter dipped as low as -40 F/C. More than 80 days were spent on snow and the rest were around town. The water treatment was starting to wear off by the end of the season so very recently I re-applied SNO-SEAL and they are currently back to their November-level of water resistance. For about five days after applying SNO-SEAL the leather feels very tacky.
As you may have noticed, I would designate Kincos water resistant rather than water proof, even after the treatment process. That said, the leather seal does really work wonders. I've taken an unsealed pair of these gloves skiing and they absorb water very quickly. After sealing I do not feel water coming through in even the wettest conditions; though I do avoid letting water stand on them. The problem is more often dampness from within. The Heatkeep Lining does hold sweat when I'm heavily exerting myself. After I get them damp I try not to take them off for any reason. In such a situation they will stay warm as long as I leave them on, but quickly get cold if I am not wearing them. They are then slow to re-warm. I find it is fine to take these gloves onto the ski area without a backup pair - even with heavy inbounds hiking; but I always bring a second pair of gloves when heading into the backcountry. Overnight these gloves will dry completely from sopping-wet on my indoor clothesline; and will dry completely from damp in the foot box of my sleeping bag in the backcountry.
These gloves are also pretty darn tough. A number of times this winter I found myself stuck atop precarious pitches on a snowboard. My method of getting down was to mercilessly drag these gloves the entire way down a jagged rocky snow face- stabilizing myself in a vertical tripod-type stance as I use little toe-side Billy goat hops to drop a few feet at a time.
My first pair (and other pairs that friends have bought) had a bad seam at the time of purchase. The elastic knit wrist has a strip of leather on the inside of the forearm. At the conjunction of the wrist-leather and the palm-leather the seam is sometimes not closed completely. This is the only manufacturing complaint I have heard about these gloves and I will be sure to check this on any future pairs prior to purchasing. If the seam isn't already opening at the time of purchase I haven't heard any complaints about it opening with use. Below is a picture of the problem area, however in the glove shown the seam is very solid.
I have primarily used my Kincos in the harsh Rocky Mountain winters of Colorado. The temperatures are very cold, though the conditions are generally very dry as well. Temperatures can dip to -50 F (-45 C) in the Gunnison Valley. The terrain in which I use Kincos is almost exclusively mountainous. As a mark of these gloves' quality, during an avalanche course this spring both of my instructors were wearing Kincos. In the Crested Butte backcountry the stakes are high- frostbite is one serious consideration among many- yet these gloves remain a local staple.
These are photos of my roommate wearing his Kincos in bounds at Crested Butte.
To summarize these gloves absolutely excel as a ski area glove. They also perform pretty well as a backcountry heavy-exertion glove, but if there is a chance I'll be caught out overnight I always bring a lighter weight glove in which I hike. I keep my Kincos dry as a replacement glove. Crested Butte doesn't get the same type of tourism income as an Aspen or a Vail so most locals here are semi-broke but very resourceful- and single minded in the pursuit of steep lines. I think this explains why Kincos have such a strong user base in our valley. They are burly enough to be used in our extremely cold temperatures, and tough enough to stand up to our mountain. Additionally they are very water resistant after treated, and as long as I can avoid sweating heavily in them they maintain their warmth. Best of all in my opinion is the extreme affordability. I foresee the pair I use currently lasting me a number of years (with renewed waterproofing every season), yet the gloves and the sealer together cost less than 20 dollars.
I do plan to bring more technical gloves than Kincos on some serious high-altitude expeditions I plan to take in the future. Having said that Kincos will certainly be my go-to ski area glove for the rest of my life, and an often-used addition to my backcountry system. They range in usefulness as I move between these two extremes depending on the sustained exposure and potential dampness of my plans; and on my ability to dry my gear.
Things I Like:
A Crested Butte dirtbag-fashion statement.
Things I Don't Like:
Holds sweat when heavily exerting myself.
A particular wrist seam must be checked before purchase, it is sometimes bad from the manufacturer.
Read more gear reviews by Christopher Cappetta
Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > Kinco 1927KW-Lined Pigskin Gloves > Owner Review by Christopher Cappetta