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seths are slightly thinner and a slimmer fit. that makes them more useful if you're using your fingers a lot in the backcountry to fiddle with bindings, skins, etc, but it also means less warmth. if you're using your fingers a lot, then i wouldn't recommend 3-fingers eventhough they give you the opposable thumb and index finger.
the vertical cut freerides are a bit thicker and warmer which means slightly less maneuverability but it's not like trying to do anything with mittens. i don't have an issue with my hands getting cold but they definitely do on occasion. that being said, my hands have never gotten cold while using the vertical cut freerides and i ski in vt where it gets cold as fuck sometimes. the seths are still awesome gloves, you can't go wrong with hestra, i just prefer the verticals
Hestras = best. I haven't purchased a different type of glove in 5 years. I think Gator's explanation was excellent. I have worn Seth's for three years now, but I also don't have the coldest hands. The 3-fingers are pretty sweet, but as someone mentioned above, unless it is really cold your fingers can get clammy. If you are really cold though, go for mittens. Warmth > function every day of the week.
hestras are the most durable gloves i have ever owned. a pair will last like 10 years but i've never really abused mine doing hand drags. if worn as normal gloves they last forever but idk how they do under abuse. obviously their life span will be shorter but it still might be really long. they are very expensive so if you're looking for gloves to abuse, get cheap mittens, but if you want durable gloves to last a lifetime through normal wear, get hestras
Personally I don't like the 3-fingers. On hotter days I use normal gloves and on colder days I use mittens. It's either cold enough to use mittens or warm enough to go with gloves, so I really don't feel the need for having something in between, like a 3-finger. So if you can afford it, I would definately go for 2 pair of gloves/mittens instead of 1. Gloves > steezy sticks
I ski in Norway and despite -25*C and icy winds, I never froze on my hands while wearing Hestra mittens.
Yes and no. They are durable if you are just doing regular all-mountain riding. But, they are also made of a nice, soft leather in most cases, which can definitely take some abuse. If you are doing like 5-10 hand drags a day, nah, don't waste your money on Hestra. Get two pairs of Dakine's for the same price. But, if you are all over the mountain and do the occasional hand drag, I will always endorse Hestra for that.
i tried on a pair of the 5 fingers, and they felt absolutely FANTASTIC. i didn't wind up pulling the trigger on the purchase cause i got a rreeeeaaaaalllyyy good deal on some others, but they felt like angels were giving my fingers a bj.