You might have seen my outdoor gloves overview, which I put together couple of years ago. Well, that was just a beginning. After that I started my quest to find a pair of perfect outdoor adventure gloves. But I think I’ve finally found my personal Grail of all the outdoor gloves, crafted by Crud in Scandinavia.
Crud is a company that manufacturers leather accessories in Göteborg in Sweden. All the products in Crud’s range start life as raw piece of premium hide, and all the crafting and finish is done in-house in Sweden. Already sounds good, doesn’t it? But what they’re really famous for among the bushcraft community is… yes, gloves. Gjöra gloves to be exact.
There are several aspects that made the Gjöra my choice of glove. Let’s start with material – Crud uses premium cow hide for the Gjöra, which has been heavily treated with natural oils and waxes. As a result it’s meaty and heavy duty, but still very elastic. Dexterity is fine, especially after a break-in period (just a weekend in the forest is enough). Actually the adaptation to my palm’s shape and dexterity is surprisingly good considering the heavy duty nature of the hide – that’s clearly due to the oily/waxy finish of the leather.
It’s a good glove for work.
When broken-in, opening a one-hand folder with gloved hand is not an issue, both via Spyderhole (tried Spyderco Para3, Endura, SpydieChef) and via thumbstud (Chris Reeve Sebenza, Emerson Specwar). A backlock like the Helle Bleja is not an issue either. Thanks to elasticity of the wax treated leather and non-slip surface finish you can get a really firm grip on a knife, axe, shovel or other outdoor tool.
And that brings another point to the discussion – fit. First of all it’s true to size, so when ordering Cruds you can surely use the sizing guide with full confidence. What I like about Cruds is also a short cuff design, which corresponds great with long-sleeve outdoor shirts and jackets, something that is usually an issue with long-cuffed gloves. But it also makes putting them on and taking them off a quick and easy job.
Another small but cool aspect is a leashing hole. Instead of the usual loop (which you find on most gloves) they opted for a big rivet on the inside of the short cuff. That way it solves two possible issues: one – it doesn’t get in the way during work and doesn’t snag on stuff (especially when working in the bush). Two – it makes strapping them to belt hanger just easier, and (what really matters for me) makes the gloves ride considerably higher on my belt verses any other gloves I’ve used so far. And it looks good too.
Simplicity and functionality.
I’ve been using my Crud gloves for the last three months, quite extensively, in many different environments:
- In the forest, snow, ice and sand.
- When setting a fire in a rocky terrain at -10°C and also when working on Humvee in a dusty off-road area at +20°C.
- When chopping wood, sawing through branches, and doing all the outdoor / bushcraft activities you usually do when in the great outdoors.
So far I haven’t experience any issues with my gloves, they hold up great. All the stitches are fine, the leather is undamaged. Of course dust and dirt have put some marks on the Gjora’s leather, but that only makes it looking better and better – you can’t beat natural patina on quality leather stuff.
Quality is clearly premium. But at a price of roughly 120 EUR (ouch!) I wouldn’t accept anything less than that. All the stitches are even and the stitching pattern is very dense – which is exactly what it should be on high end stuff. The waxing compound is quite special too, and I believe it’s the true secret of Crud’s elasticity and toughness at the same time.
It also smells a bit like natural pine resin, which is very unique… and nice in my honest opinion. Maybe the resin component gives it that additional resistance? Anyway, the Crud’s wax composition works great to keep the gloves (and most importantly hands) protected from elements and quick wear. It’s actually so good that when my good buddy ordered his Gjöra gloves I asked him to get an extra tin of wax for my gloves. It would not be easy to substitute it with a common leather wax from a local store.
All in all I must say the upgrade from my previous gloves is simply massive. Cruds work great, look good, and foremost protect my hands from the harsh environment and all the hard stuff I work on (and with). So if you can spend that money on a pair of gloves – you should definitely give it a try! I like my Crud Gjöra gloves a lot and I’m sure they’ll serve me for years to come. Cool and functional, quality stuff, just what I like.
The product(s) being tested and reviewed here were purchased with a discount by the reviewer.
Editor: All of our contributors write without the pressure to review favourably, regardless of how they've been obtained. Most often we like to write about products or brands we already love but I always make every effort to make sure our reviews are honest. If you would like to read more about our review process please see our About page.