Leki Fiona S Women’s Ski Mitts Review
A few months ago I started my 2019 ski season using some Leki Stella S Lady ski gloves. As you can read in my review here, I found them to be a great quality high performance glove which I know is destined to be a firm favourite on my future ski adventures. The glove features are spot on, but I also found that pairing with any of Leki’s Trigger S poles was a real revelation - perfect control and no more faffing with wrist straps.
I do often get cold hands and, as great as the Stella S are, they are a fairly lightly insulated glove that (for me at least) probably won’t offer enough warmth for really frigid slope days. In situations like this I go for mittens. I was aware that Leki also make a variety of mittens with the Trigger S feature and so, with another ski trip looming, I asked them if I could test ride some of their Fiona S Lady model. Time to hit the slopes…….
Just like other Leki products I have used, the Fiona S Lady Mittens are a beautifully crafted product. The materials are clearly very high quality, the construction impeccable and the styling is…..well…stylish! In the case of the Fiona, the mitts combine a full sheepskin leather outer construction with a micro bemberg polyester and soft plush polyester lining. The mitts come in a matt black colour with the Leki logo neatly embossed on the back.
After that there are some very well thought out touches like a grippy palm material (made from 60% nylon, 40% polyurethane silicone nash) at the point where you will hold your ski poles, a velcro closure wrist tab and, because these are Trigger S compatible, the loop for pole attachment sits in the crook of the thumb/hand position. The Fiona is filled with high performance Primaloft insulation and they are described by Leki as an ‘extra warm’ mitten for icy conditions.
I have used the Fiona S Lady for a week on pisted slopes and a splash of that time was off piste. Therefore, although this isn’t a long term review, I certainly know them well enough to comment comprehensively on their performance. The conditions they have been used in so far have varied from days in damp slushy snow through to some much colder and drier conditions.
Pulling the Fiona’s on was initially a bit of a challenge as they are quite tight around the wrist. I can get them on and off well enough, but they are certainly snug at that point. However, once on my hands they always feel spot on - comfortable and with enough finger wriggle room to keep my digits moving around. The tight wrist also means that, once in position, they feel very secure.
I did fasten up the velcro wrist tab but this was as much to keep it from flapping about as it wasn’t really essential for keeping them in place. It does seal up the wrist and would stop snow getting inside and I imagine would help with sealing in the heat, but largely for me I could happily manage with or without this as they stay in place quite happily due to the cut and fit.
Inside the mitt Leki have used a plush lining material which feels lovely and yet still allows you to slide the mitts on if your hands are damp. I also like their addition of finger channels inside. I was concerned that this would make them less warm as I have always thought mittens work best by the fingers being able to wriggle about together, but this has certainly not been the case and the channels help to keep the mitts both centred on the hands and also, as far as can be with mitts, helps to make them more dextrous.
I initially wondered if the Primaloft insulation layer would be thick enough, but again I was happily proved wrong. The Fiona S Lady strikes a great balance between dexterity and warmth and I think Leki have this spot on. I usually wear a liner glove for skiing but found my hands were too warm with a liner on and so soon stopped using them.
The Sheepskin outer is quite grippy and has fought off all the conditions I’ve thrown at it so far. On a day that turned from damp to super cold a layer of ice built up on the outside and yet they shrugged this off without any loss of performance. The mitts seem to be very weather resistant and, although I imagine I will wax them at some point, so far they are doing fine without. The outer leather is very soft and supple so far and looks set to stay that way.
The silicone nylon band Leki have added to the palm is a great feature. It sits exactly where ski poles handles lie and really holds them in place without the need to grip too hard. I imagine this layer will also add some durability in the long term.
And so to the Trigger S system. In my review of the Stella S gloves and the Leki Venom SL poles I couldn’t praise this system enough. I still can’t! The ability to simply and quickly unclip your mitten (or glove) from your pole is so much more useful than you will ever realise it is until you’ve tried it (if that makes sense). You simply clip yourself in at the start of a slope and a quick press allows your to disconnect at the bottom. They make controlling your poles on lifts a boon but also making controlling your poles in any situation a complete breeze.
The system wroks as well on the Fiona S Lady as it does on the Stella S gloves that I tested and again it holds the mitts in just the right place. It also means that, if you push your poles into the snow, leave your mitts connected and slide your hands out, that your mitts are held in place dangling on your poles and don’t fall in the snow. Do please check out my more detailed explanation of the Trigger S system in my other review here.
I have used a number of brands and models of mittens for skiing and these are certainly the best I’ve tried. Besides loving the subtle styling, the Primaloft insulation means that, for a mitt that isn’t too thick, the insulation level is spot on. It also means that, certainly unlike some I’ve tried, the dexterity level is great and you can leave the mitts on your hands for things that would otherwise prompt mitt removal first. These are a primo mitt!
So, just as the trusty Leki Stella’s I have been using will continue to be my go to ski gloves for warmer days, I am delighted to welcome the Fiona S Lady as my cold weather warmth warriors. They are a superb product in keeping with Leki’s history of attention to detail and great design.
But, one of my favourite features of these mitts is that Leki have incorporated their Trigger S system. Get a pair of these and team them up with some Leki Trigger S compatible poles - the combo will revolutionise your skiing adventures.
The Fiona S Lady mitts have a RRP of £135.00 and more details are available on the Leki website here.
Reviewed and posted by Cal