Kinco 901 Lined Heavy Duty Premium Grain & Suede Pigskin Driver with Knit Wrist
If you place a premium on durability and cost-effectiveness, these four-season beasts might be your gloves. Well-insulated, made from pigskin with a double-layer of leather on the palms and fingers. You have to waterproof them, they take a fair bit of time to break in because the leather is so firm, and there are warmer options. Buy them from hardware suppliers—outdoors sellers overcharge for them.
- Built to last
- Break-in time
- Need to be waterproofed
- There are warmer options
Though Kinco is a brand more often associated with people who work hard outside, their 901 insulated gloves are a good ski and winter hiking glove and an outstanding value.
These gloves are made from pigskin leather which is robust but softens nicely once it is treated. The back, palms, and inside patches of three fingers are thicker and less flexible, probably full-grain for better durability. The gloves are insulated with what Kinco calls ‘heatkeep’ insulation, which must be some sort of synthetic. Cuffs are knit, and the gloves have a clip to attach them.
The cuffs can be folded inward when you put the gloves on, in case you don’t want or need an extended cuff sticking out. That’s pretty helpful if you wear a watch or fitness tracker.
These gloves are clearly made with abuse in mind and should last for a long time. The palms and finger patches are stitched on with heavy grade thread. They could have been finished a little better, some ends were trimmed, but I have shoveled plenty of snow this winter with no visible impact to them. It took a few months before they started to feel more flexible, including two generous applications of Obenauf’s heavy duty LP. I highly recommend this leather conditioner if you don’t want or need silicone as an ingredient.
The gloves are stuffed with insulation. Over time, it packs down a little bit, which is actually beneficial. They don’t feel quite as tight and still keep your hands fairly warm. I have found that if I keep my core warm, these gloves keep my fingers in good shape in cold weather. If you anticipate persistent single-digit or sub-zero cold, there are better-insulated options, both gloves and mitts, but you could easily ski or hike in these gloves in "normal" cold weather.
I have worn these gloves in colder weather, low 40s and below, since October. I have hiked in them, walked the dog, shoveled snow, spread salt, and stood still outside while the dog ran around with her friends on various fields.
These gloves retail for nearly $60 but are available, particularly from vendors that cater to construction trades as opposed to outdoorsy/hiking types, at very good discounts. I purchased these over the summer, when they were not in demand, for roughly $30 shipped. That compares very well with insulated guide gloves that aren’t much warmer or better but retail for $150.
Takeaways? You can get warmer gloves that feel more nimble, but not at this price and not with this kind of sturdy build quality. If you condition the leather properly, it becomes easier to move your fingers around with some time and use. I didn’t have high expectations for what I viewed as construction site gloves; they are warmer and higher-quality than I anticipated.
3-4 months of use, hiking, shoveling, and generally being outside.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30
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Current Retail: $44.73-$53.99
Reviewers Paid: $30.00