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When it comes to winter, having a great pair of gloves is crucial for daily activities and winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and just playing in the snow. You want your gloves to provide warmth, some element of waterproofing, grip for sports, and maybe extra padding for the kids to protect on impact. Some of the best gloves that 10Adventures’ founder Richard and his family have ever tried come from the reputable Black Diamond label, which has been in the outdoor gear business since 1957. Their products beat out the competition consistently with their high-quality, innovative features, and durability. Black Diamond gloves are our go-to, and we want to share a review of the best Black Diamond gloves so you can make an informed purchase next time you need a new pair.
Black Diamond Kingpin Gloves
Temperature range: -7 to 2°C (20 to 35°F)
Weight per pair: 133 g (4.7 oz)
For 10Adventures’ founder Richard, the Black Diamond Kingpin Gloves are his go-to pair for a daily glove. The only time he would reach for another pair is for heading on an adventure on super chilly days. He claims these are the best pair of daily gloves he has ever owned. And this man has been through a lot of gear! For a classic, durable, protective work glove or everyday glove, these will impress you. They’re lightweight at 133 g (4.7 oz) per pair and come in five sizes from extra-small to extra-large. And, they’re unisex.
What makes them so great? The shell is constructed from 100% goat leather, creating water-repellency and excellent insulation while remaining breathable. Inside the glove, you’ll slide your hand into 190 g of super-soft fleece lining, and the cuff is short but long enough to tuck in your outer layer. These will keep you protected best in temperatures from -7 to 2°C (20 to 35°F), and when that nose starts running in cold weather, just dab it off with the suede nosewipe on the thumb. The goat leather coating is treatable, so you can waterproof these gloves to your liking and maintain their lifespan by taking care of them.
Black Diamond Mercury Mitts
Temperature range: -29 to -12°C (-20 to 10°F)
Weight per pair: Men’s 260 g (9.2 oz) | Women’s 300 g (10.6 oz)
Here’s a pair of mitts designed for the coldest days you encounter during the year. Ideal for backcountry winter sports, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts keep you cozy in temperatures from -29 to -12°C (-20 to 10°F). The liner of these gloves is made from 340 g of high-loft fleece and PrimaLoft® Gold insulation. The liner features a trigger finger split for added dexterity, but the liner is removable if you’re not a fan of that design. For added weather protection, a fully-waterproof BD.dry™ insert keeps your hands dry.
The outside of the mitts complements the liner’s warmth with a lightweight, abrasion-resistant Pertex® Shield shell. On the palm, a patch of goat leather adds grip, increased durability, and the entire mitt has incredible stretch. The lengthy gauntlet cuff and adjustable strap outside the wrist will prevent any ice-cold air from entering the mitts and compromising your warmth. Men’s and women’s models are both available in a selection of five sizes.
Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Temperature range: -29 to -12°C (-20 to 10°F)
Weight per pair: 312 g (11 oz)
Much like the Mercury Mitts above, the Black Diamond Guide Gloves are one of your best options for the coldest days of the year. With more dexterity than mitts, you’ll be fully protected on your backcountry adventures and be able to fidget with bindings and zippers more easily. Lined with removable wool inserts made from 170 g of PrimaLoft® Gold insulation and 100 g of fleece, your hands don’t stand a chance of getting cold in temperatures reaching a minimum of -29°C. The liners are fitted with a Gore-Tex XCR® breathable membrane for extra protection from harsh conditions.
The Black Diamond Guide Gloves stand out from the rest for their added foam padding around the knuckles, offering protection from impact and a little extra warmth. With the four-way stretch nylon shell, you’ll enjoy total mobility while these gloves are on. They’ll withstand wear and tear, plus the goat-leather palm patch adds strength and grip. The large gauntlet cuff pulls easily over your jacket to keep warmth locked in. They’re unisex and come in six sizes, from extra-small to extra-extra-large. While the price point is higher than most, you get what you pay for, and in this case, that’s a high-quality, rugged, warm pair of gloves.
Black Diamond Recon Mitts
Temperature range: -29 to -12°C (-20 to 10°F)
Weight per pair: Unisex 195 g (6.9 oz) | Women’s 170 g (6 oz)
The Black Diamond Recon Mitts are a lighter version of the Mercury Mitts listed above. These mitts are ideal for skiing or snowboarding, but they might not be your first choice for prolonged backcountry experiences. Inside these gloves, you’ll find Black Diamond’s innovative technology in the BD.dry™ waterproof insert and super-cozy PrimaLoft® Gold insulation.
As with most of Black Diamond’s gloves in this review, the Recon Mitts have a goat-leather palm for added strength, and the shell is made from Pertex® Shield nylon, which is resistant to abrasion and allows decent dexterity. There’s no wrist leash or adjustable strap, so you’ll have to trust that these won’t fall off. Ladies, you luckily have six colourway options since these mitts come in a unisex model and a women’s model. These are a great choice at a lower price point.
Black Diamond Soloist Finger Mitts
Temperature range: -26 to -12°C (-15 to 10°F)
Weight per pair: 260 g (9.2 oz)
For technical winter activities, these are the gloves for you. With the trigger finger separation, the Black Diamond Soloist Finger Mitts give you the mobility of gloves with the warmth of mitts. The solo finger allows you to easily access GPS or fiddle around with bindings, ice axes, or whatever else you’re using out there. The removable liners of high-loft fleece and PrimaLoft® Gold insulation keep you warm while facing the harsh mountain elements. The insulation extends to the cuff’s seam for full coverage.
During technical winter activities, you’re bound to encounter some abrasion situations, right? Well, the high-quality Pertex® Sheild nylon shell protects you from wind, water, and potential tears from rocks or branches. The goat-leather palm adds extra protection and gives you a solid grip for holding tools or poles. We find these a little bulky, but the trade-off is getting glove-like dexterity with the warmth of great mitts.
Black Diamond Spark Finger Gloves
Temperature range: -14 to -1°C (7 to 30°F)
Weight per pair: Unisex 194 g (6.8 oz) | Women’s 153 g (5.4 oz)
The Black Diamond Spark Gloves come in many models: gloves, mitts, finger gloves, Spark Powder, Spark Angel, and Spark Johnny. They all utilize the same materials for the lining and shell, but you can choose from any of those varieties for your preferred design. For this review, we tested the Black Diamond Spark Finger Gloves, which have the solo finger design for extra dexterity with more warmth.
The Spark model is super tough, with a full goat-leather shell with an extra goatskin palm patch providing superior strength. Inside, you’ll get the signature PrimaLoft® Gold lining and fine fleece. What sets the Spark series apart is the additional EVA foam padding on the knuckles and the back of the hand for prime cushioning against any impact. To keep this glove in place, you can tighten it with a hook-and-loop closure like a boxing glove. These are ideal for cold days out in the backcountry, but not the coldest.
Black Diamond Kids’ Spark Gloves
Temperature range: -12 to -1°C (10 to 30°F)
Weight per pair: 158 g (5.6 oz)
Now for the kids! 10Adventures’ founder Richard had always hoped that Black Diamond would release gloves for kids. And when they did, he jumped on them. After seasons of trying different brands and models, once the kids got the Spark Gloves on their hands, they were sold. These are the best the 10Adventures family has ever tried. Like the adult models, the Kids’ Spark Gloves include a goat-leather reinforcement that extends over the fingers from the palm. Extra grippy for hanging onto poles and abrasion-resistant in case of rogue branches or rocks.
The Kids’ Spark Gloves’ extra features prevent them from getting lost, like the elastic wrist leash and drawstring closure (maybe the adult versions should have wrist leashes, too?). There’s one downside that Richard noticed, though: when they eventually get very wet from prolonged use, they take a long time to dry. Best to hang them up near a vent as soon as you can after your snow-filled adventure.
Black Diamond Kids’ Spark Mitts
Temperature range: -17 to -1°C (1 to 30°F)
Weight per pair: 151 g (5.3 oz)
Much like their sibling above, the Black Diamond Kids’ Spark Mitts are the kids’ glove game champions. Two of the differences between the mitts and the gloves are their weight and target temperature range. The Kids’ Spark Mitts are lighter and will keep you warm at a lower temperature. So if you don’t need the dexterity of gloves, the Kids’ Spark Mitts are a prime choice.
Like the Kids’ Spark Gloves, the mitts are super robust, and Richard expects them to last long after one season, unlike many of the other pairs they’ve tried that get destroyed pretty quickly. The goat leather can be treated, maintaining the glove quality and giving them some extra water-repelling abilities. For more details on the Kids’ Spark Gloves and Mitts, check out our recent gear review.
After reading this review on the best Black Diamond Gloves, have you found a pair of gloves that suits your needs? Great! The next step is to prolong their use by properly taking care of your Black Diamond gloves following their glove care guidelines. When you test out your Black Diamond gloves or mitts, leave us a comment and let us know what you think! Happy exploring!