KINCOS are an amazingly affordable alternative to the high end gloves at your local specialty shop.
Every few years I would wince at having to purchase another pair of high end technical climbing gloves to replace the beloved pair I had blown out after countless days of mountaineering, skiing, and ice climbing. Nothing destroys quality gloves faster than rappelling, and I wasn’t sure if there was a solution. Then I discovered Kincos.
After seeing these are priced between $18-$25 on Amazon, and available at your local Lucy Hardwear store, I decided to try both popular models. What could I lose at that price?
First off the “Lined Grain Pigskin Leather Palm with Knit Wrist”, which is pictured on the left, have a patented “HeatKeep” lining that was warm enough to keep my partner Bob’s hands toasty for a recent 8-hour day on Mount Washington climbing Pinnacle Gully.
Bob wore these gloves exclusively from the time we left the parking lot to picking our way across the Alpine Gardens with -20 wind chills. His hands were toasty through-out.
I like very dexterous gloves when leading ice, so I opted to wear my new Outdoor Research Alibi 2 Gloves (review forthcoming) for the technical climb, but once we topped out I donned the Kinco Ski Gloves. These kept my hands incredibly warm as we crossed the Alpine Gardens and descended down the Lion’s Head Route. Yesterday I took them skiing at Bretton Woods and confirmed they are the bees knees.
While the Ski Gloves are pre-treated with “REVIVEX waterproofing solution” I opted to bust out the Nixwak Waterproof Wax that I use on my boots & hiking shoes. Rubbing this stuff into the leather with bare hands adds an extra layer of protection, protects the leather, and brings back fond child-hood memories of trying to break in a stiff baseball glove. If you really want to waterproof the model with fabric on the back you could also use this.
Advantages: Affordable, Durable, Warm
Disadvantages: Not a “Precision Fit” but just fine for mountaineering, skiing, and seconding hard technical climbs, needs some maintenance to treat & break in.
In summary, KINCOS are an amazingly affordable alternative to high end climbing/skiing gloves. They are not however an absolute replacement. High end gloves definitely have their place, as an upcoming review for the Outdoor Research Alibi II Gloves will allude too, say stay tuned for that and thanks for reading!