High up on Crested Butte’s Banana chute, the wind was kicking up snow swirls around my ski boots. I was fiddling with the adjustable buckles, trying to dial them into that sweet spot between cutting off circulation to my feet and being snug enough to still offer maximum control over my skis. I was testing new boots and hadn’t gotten them zeroed in just yet.
I was also wearing and testing the LEKI Griffin Pro 3D Gloves. The supple goat leather they were made from and their form-fitting cut allowed me to easily handle the boots’ buckles, twisting and turning them, snapping them down, gauging the fit, and trying again.
Thanks to the LEKI gloves, that process wasn’t such a hassle even in the cold. The dexterity these gloves offered made it easy to manipulate the gear. I love my trusty Kinkos — they’ve served me well for many seasons. I couldn’t tell if these Leki gloves were any warmer than those. But the nimbleness of my cloaked digits was clearly better in the Lekis. And my hands were certainly better protected, thanks to the padding on the knuckles.
I finished adjusting my boots. Then I clipped the LEKI gloves’ 3D trigger system loops onto the strapless handles of the LEKI 3D poles and dropped into the chute to catch up with my group.
In short: The LEKI Griffin Pro 3D Gloves ($160) clearly borrow design elements from ski racing gloves. They’re bombproof and sturdy. LEKI designed them with ceramic-reinforced padding on the fingers and knuckles, improving impact and abrasion protection. They’re also compatible with LEKI’s Trigger 3D poles, offering an alternative to conventional pole straps. But the feature that really stood out to me was the dexterity the Griffin Pro’s performance-oriented fit provided. They aren’t the warmest gloves ever made — but they may be some of the most nimble-fingered.
- Shell/Material Softshell, goatskin, and neoprene with a goatskin and silicone nash palm, polyester micro Bemberg liner, PrimaLoft insulation
- Cuff type Neoprene with pull strap
- Durable goatskin construction
- Protective design
- Dexterous performance-oriented fit
- Unique strapless ski pole attachment system
- Not fully waterproof
- Need compatible LEKI poles to utilize strap-free ski pole system
LEKI Griffin Pro 3D Ski Gloves: Review
When I pulled the Griffin Pros on for the first time, a few features jumped out at me right away. They have a much sportier cut than many insulated gloves — like Kinkos, or even LEKI’s own Patrol 3D. And the padding on the back of the Griffins is evocative of ski racing gloves. They look cool, but it’s a distinctly skier style of glove.
Aside from that, they’re pretty standard as far as premium ski gloves go. They’re made of goatskin leather, neoprene, and polyester, and they’re insulated with PrimaLoft synthetic insulation.
I first pulled on these gloves, new for the 2023-24 winter season, while testing gear at the annual GearJunkie Ski and Ride Week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where the wind and temps can whip while the snow runs deep. We were fortunate enough to test gear in blizzard conditions. Afterward, I continued to pull on these ski gloves throughout the remaining month or so of the season.
Fit and Feel
At first, these gloves felt pretty stiff. Compared to the LEKI Patrol 3D glove, which has a comfortable fit and leather finger waves, the Griffin Pros did not feel broken in right out of the box. However, even by the end of that first day of testing, I could feel the goatskin leather softening up significantly.
The Griffin Pros feature LEKI’s Pro Fit (hence “Pro”) with an advanced pre-curve. There is not a lot of wiggle room inside. But when my fingers got too cold, there was still enough room to ball my hands up in the palm.
That performance-oriented fit and goatskin leather construction gave these gloves their impressive dexterity. They felt tight enough around my hand that I could adeptly move my fingers. I could manipulate my boot buckles without feeling clumsy, handle items on the chairlift without too much fear of dropping them, buckle my helmet, and make goggle fit adjustments without removing the gloves.
LEKI also included MF touch with the Griffin Pros, so you can use touchscreens with the gloves on. However, despite their notable dexterity, don’t expect to text very efficiently in them.
Insulation and Weatherproofing
The LEKI Griffin Pro 3D gloves are insulated with PrimaLoft synthetic insulation. They’ve also got a micro Bemberg lining, which wicks sweat and humidity, is anti-static and anti-cling, and offers another layer of protection against the cold.
LEKI rates these gloves as “warm” and I would mostly agree. They’re at least comparably warm to other performance-oriented gloves. They aren’t heated electronically. They aren’t mittens. And they aren’t built for arctic conditions. But for most days on the slopes, they’ll work great.
During testing, my hands definitely got a little chilly on the lifts — but that would have likely happened with any similar ski glove, given the relatively cold conditions. While I was skiing, my hands were warm enough that I didn’t even think about them.
While the Griffin Pros do have water-resistant components, they aren’t fully waterproof gloves. I can’t knock them for that, though, as none of the leather gloves I regularly ski with are waterproof. Unless I’m skiing in an extremely wet snowstorm or digging around in slushy snow, water resistance suffices for most ski conditions.
As indicated by their name, the Griffin Pro 3D gloves are compatible with any poles with LEKI’s Trigger 3D system. GearJunkie reviewed the Trigger 3D system here, so I won’t go into too much detail on this handy feature.
Suffice it to say, that instead of a pole strap, all of LEKI’s 3D gloves have a small loop on the palm, right between the thumb and forefinger. That loop notches onto the handle of a Trigger 3D pole, fixing the glove to the handle on a hinge. It’s a clever alternative to pole straps. When you’re ready to detach, simply press a button on the pole. I almost never use pole straps, but I enjoyed using this system.
The Griffin Pro 3D gloves also have ceramic-reinforced padding along the backs of the fingers and knuckles of the hand. It’s a design feature borrowed from racing gloves, to help protect against contact with gates or the snow.
I liked the inclusion of these pads on the Griffin Pros. As someone who has broken a digit on a tree branch while skiing, they gave me some peace of mind. How much protection do they actually offer? I’d still avoid punching trees as you ski past them. But the padding definitely adds some abrasion resistance and extra impact cushion.
LEKI Griffin Pro 3D Ski Gloves: Conclusion
I could have changed into another pair of ski gloves over the week GearJunkie was in Crested Butte testing equipment, as we had a pool of options. But I didn’t. At times, the Griffin Pros felt slightly under-gunned for the cold weather we were skiing in, but their overall functionality was attractive. By the end of the week, they were thoroughly broken in. I could easily see the Griffin Pros as my daily driver.
Ambitious skiers who want a glove that will perform across a wide range of conditions, and that offers dexterity, protection, and durability, will like the LEKI Griffin Pro 3D ski gloves. They’re solid gloves with features that put them a step above many comparable options.
They won’t win any awards for warmth or weatherproofing, but if you’re looking for a glove that will serve you well, and protect your hands day to day throughout the season, you should consider the LEKI Griffin Pro 3D. These ski gloves can hang with some of the best.