KINCOS Gloves Review

KINCOS are an amazingly affordable alternative to the high end gloves at your local specialty shop.

Photo from

Photo from

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?

Kinco Gloves

Kinco Gloves

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 finishing up Pitch 1 with Kincos gloves

Bob finishing up Pitch 1 with Kincos gloves, 11-20-14

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.

Yes, those are new skis, and yes, those will be reviewed soon too.

Yes, those are new skis, and yes, those will be reviewed soon too.

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!

About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
This entry was posted in Gear Reviews, Glove Reviews, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to KINCOS Gloves Review

  1. Pingback: Outdoor Research Alibi II Gloves Review | North East Alpine Start

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