Flylow Tough Guy Product Review
Tough Winter Gloves for the Bushcrafter on a Budget
First off, leather gloves for snowy, winter activities? Yeah, I was skeptical too. However, they’ve been treated with water resistant treatment and baked (yes, baked!) in an actual oven to seal in the treatment.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
I’m not into cross country skiing, telemark, mountaineering, or anything like that. I bought these gloves for winter hiking, camping, and snowshoeing. I’ve seen bushcrafters like Joe Robinet use similar gloves for cold weather bushcraft, as they’re thermal but can also be used to pick up hot pots or skillets, but the price is always too high. I have leather work gloves, but I wanted a glove that would keep me warm without needing to take them off to put on other gloves to tend the fire or chop wood.
These gloves are made with pigskin leather. Pigskin is thinner than cow skin, but it’s also softer, lighter weight, and more durable. So what you’ve got is a warm, durable, working class glove that should hopefully last for years.
I love the canvas on the back. It makes them look like work gloves! And with the nice thick elastic wrist cuff, it’ll definitely keep the warmth in and the snow out.
So far I’m only finding one negative—these run small. I don’t have giant hands. I wear a size large, but these large gloves seem more like an “extra medium.” I think, after wearing them a bit, I actually prefer a slightly snug fitting glove so I can actually use my fingers rather than fumbling with oversized digits.
I’ve used these for cold winter bike commutes on my fixed gear, and for an overnight camp in sub freezing temperatures in the Wasatch mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ll be using that campout experience as the basis of this review.
We arrived at sunset, set up our tent, and got the Dutch oven started. Chopping firewood was a dream with these gloves. The insulation provided just enough padding to make each impact seem minimal. Tending the fire, I was able to reach for sticks and logs already in the fire and reposition them for adequate burn and heat. Handling hot kettles and pots was simple and comfortable.
Temperatures dropped to about 9°F that night and everything froze solid. We each slept warm in our 0° sleeping bags inside a US Military pup tent, which also iced up with condensation from our breathing. Getting up the next morning was difficult. Neither of us got enough sleep, despite being warm in our bags, and getting up to go have a morning bathroom visit was filled with reluctance. I pulled my tough guy gloves out of my sleeping bag and slipped them back on, happy to have the warmth.
I did bring my regular deerskin gloves, just to be safe, and was surprised to find that they began to become stiff within minutes of being exposed to the bitter cold. I am happy I had them, but having these Flylow gloves was a lifesaver.
I imagine that a skier or snowboarder using these gloves won’t find much use in this review, but from my viewpoint, I’m putting these through some heavy use. Hot pot holders, utility gloves, warmth, grip, and abuse. I’d be surprised if a day of skiing or boarding doesn’t turn out as positive as my night in the woods. I’m happy with how these turned out and will happily buy another pair when these wear out.
Flylow is a small, independently owned company out of Colorado. The guys that own it started out wanting gear that would last but was also well fitting and good looking. I think they definitely accomplished that with this glove.