Expert Review: Black Diamond Guide Gloves

Expert Review: Black Diamond Guide Gloves

By Kristin L.

Cold hands, no more! Black Diamond hit the bullseye with their Guide Gloves. After using these season after season, we can safely say these are the pinnacle of Black Diamond gloves.

Quick look

Product: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Price: $169.95 USD
Pros: Sturdy, built to last, warm, keeps snow out
Cons: None yet!
Worth it? Yes, definitely

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Tan and black leather BlackDiamond brand Guide Gloves

Black Diamond Guide Gloves: The Verdict

Investing in Black Diamond’s Guide Gloves is a purchase you will not regret. These robust gloves, made to withstand harsh winter conditions, will last years of wear and tear thanks to innovative technology, material, and design. While they’re not the warmest (the Guide Mitts are warmer), they’re pretty dang close, keeping your hands protected down to -29°C (-20°F).

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Overview of Black Diamond Guide Gloves

Brrr! It’s cold out there! And your body heat loves to escape from your extremities, so you need a tough set of gloves to keep your hands warm. Well, here they are, the Black Diamond Guide Gloves. Not only will they keep you warm, but they’re so well-designed that they’ll last for seasons. 10Adventures founder Richard still uses his Guide Gloves from 2007 (!!). He has since purchased new pairs, but those relics are still in good condition. When you get your first pair of Guide Gloves, they’ll feel a little bulky, but don’t worry—they’ll break in after a couple of good uses. While this review discusses the gloves, there are two other models with similar materials and technology: the Guide Finger Gloves and the Guide Mitts (the warmest of the bunch). Richard has tried all of them, and by his account, he has no complaints about these and claims they are the pinnacle of Black Diamond gloves.

When to use

You want to pull these gloves out of the closet when temperatures start creeping past pleasant. And in Albertan winters, that’s usually in February. They’re branded as ski gloves, but these are handy (pun intended) multipurpose gloves. Marketed for temperatures between -29 and -12°C (-20/10°F), use the Black Diamond Guide Gloves when you require superior warmth, so grab them for any winter activities performed in harsh mountain conditions. Think backcountry skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and whatever the kids are doing these days.

Double black leather BlackDiamond brand Guide Gloves

Weight and size

With all the technical material and durability features, you may think these gloves would be super heavy and not worth it. But, they only weigh in at 312 g (11 oz) per pair, making them light enough to offer dexterity in such a tough glove. Made for adults of every size, the Guide Gloves are unisex and come in six sizes, from extra-small to extra-extra-large (true to size).

Pros

Gauntlet cuff for easy on-and-off. Instead of a Velcro fastener, the Guide Gloves have an extended wrist cuff, making these super easy to pull on and pull off. The length over the wrist also prevents snow from entering.

Well-made + weatherproof. As with most of Black Diamond’s products, the Guide Gloves are innovative, well-thought-out, and tough. The breathable Gore-Tex XCR® membrane in the liner and the goat leather patches on the exterior make these gloves waterproof and windproof.

Great value. Yes, the price tag on these gloves is high, but think of it as an investment. You will get many good years out of these gloves. Richard, the founder of 10Adventures, still uses his Guide Gloves from 2007!

Warm + comfortable. Lined with removable wool inserts made from 170g of PrimaLoft® Gold insulation and 100g of fleece, your hands will stay toasty and cozy inside the Guide Gloves.

White grey and black leather BlackDiamond brand Guide Gloves

Cons

No replacement liners available. One complaint we’ve heard is the lack of replacement liners available from Black Diamond. If and when they bust (after a loooong time), that’s that. If you want replacements liners, you’ll have to find them from another company.

Built to last

We know you hear this all the time as a way to market great gear. But this is no joke! Richard, the founder of 10Adventures, has been using his pair of Guide Gloves that he bought in 2007, and they’re still in good condition. (And you can imagine the CEO of an adventure company uses his winter gloves regularly!) With a four-way stretch nylon shell and goat-leather palm patches, the exterior is tougher than tough. Inside, you have wool liners that are cozy and soft with wool and fleece insulation. There’s also a Gore-Tex XCR® breathable membrane for extra protection from harsh conditions. All these layers wrapped into one pair of gloves? Yeah, these are built to last. But you have to take care of them, too! See Black Diamond’s glove care guidelines on the best way to prolong their lifespan.

Gear testing BlackDiamond brand Guide Gloves winter in the canadian rockies

Abrasion-resistance + impact protection

If you’re taking these on a snowshoe or cross-country ski, worry not about tearing a hole. Winter scrambling? No problem. Grabbing onto a tree to keep your balance? Great. The Guide Gloves are designed to withstand potential abrasions with a woven nylon shell with four-way stretch. As you probably know, a sure-fire way to see a pair of gloves deteriorate is with a tear that becomes a hole that becomes a glove you can no longer use because too much cold air gets in. For more extreme sports with increased speed and possible crashing, the Guide Gloves protect you from impact with added foam padding around the knuckles. Full send with no fear! (Okay, maybe a little fear.)

Mobility + dexterity

The separate fingers on the Guide Gloves give you more dexterity than mitts, even though you’ll sacrifice a teeny bit of warmth that the mitts provide. With the dexterous design, you’re able to fidget with zippers and bindings or adjust your buffs and toques without removing your gloves—a delight on freezing days when you cover everything on your body and don’t want to remove anything until your adventure ends. The Guide Gloves are constructed with a four-way stretch nylon shell for total mobility while these gloves are on. Plus, the goat-leather palm patch adds strength and grip. With these gloves, you get superior warmth with unencumbered mobility.

Winter weather proof BlackDiamond Guide Gloves waterproof gortex primaloft gold insulated warmth

Should you buy the Black Diamond Guide Gloves?

We’ll admit, the Black Diamond Guide Gloves are pricey, but approach it as an investment and spread the price over years of use. If the price scares you away, we’ve reviewed the Best Black Diamond Gloves—perhaps there’s a pair in there that suits your budget. You get what you pay for, and in this case, you get a reliable, high-quality, rugged, warm pair of gloves. The Black Diamond Guide Gloves gets 10Advenutures stamp of approval!

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