Expert Review: Black Diamond Men's Tour Gloves
This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2019.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the gloves, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2019.
The Black Diamond Tour Glove is designed to be an all-around backcountry touring glove. This glove has been the go-to glove in my kit for the last three seasons and gets the job done as long as conditions are not too wet or too cold.
About this gear
- Model: 2019 Black Diamond Tour Glove
- Size: Medium
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 140 lbs
- Experience: Backcountry skiing for 5 years
- When I bought them: September 2019
- Days used: 120 days
- Weather conditions used in: Sunny touring days, winter whiteouts, blizzards, and negative digit mornings
- Where I’ve used them: Wasatch Backcountry and San Juan Mountain Range
- Terrain: Backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
My desire was to have a go-to backcountry glove I could wear during the uphill and even perhaps use on the downhill as well if conditions are not too atrocious. I was looking for something with lots of dexterity and range of motion to adjust straps, poles, etc., without having to take my gloves off while doing so.
Why I chose this gear
I chose to purchase the Black Diamond Tour glove because they appeared to be more durable touring gloves with lots of dexterity and ease of motion. They also appeared a bit more durable compared to other touring gloves on the market.
I considered getting the Black Diamond Dirt Bag Gloves, but decided they were too insulated and would likely make my fingers overheat. I also considered a super lightweight pair of liners, but they seemed likely to leave my fingers too cold. Essentially, the Tour gloves seemed like the perfect compromise.
What I love about them
- Fit: I have the size medium and they are very true to fit.
- Comfort: Honestly comfort is one of the best parts of these gloves. They have a fixed fleece lining that keeps my hands nice and happy.
- Ease of movement: This is another superb quality as the gloves allow great movement considering their warmth. This Tour glove was absolutely successful in allowing me to fiddle with zippers, adjust my bindings, and do other miscellaneous gear upkeep without having to take them off. This is a must-have quality for a touring glove, especially in colder weather conditions.
- Warmth: The goatskin leather and 150g fixed fleece lining make these gloves very warm. However, on extremely cold days dipping below 10°F, I would opt for a warmer pair. For reference, my hands do not run particularly cold, so someone who has issues with circulation may want to look for a different glove.
- Conditions: These gloves do best on dry colder days ranging from 10°F to 35°F. Below 10°F I found my hands getting pretty cold even on the uphill and resorted to putting a bulkier pair on. Above 35°F my hands got too warm/sweaty and I found it better to simply go barehanded. This is no gripe against the gloves themselves, it’s just the nature of ski touring in general.
- Features: This glove has a very simplistic and minimalist design which I prefer. The Tour gloves do come with a cord hook to keep them together in storage because there’s nothing worse than losing just one glove.
- Quality: These gloves are very good quality from Black Diamond, which I truthfully cannot say the same about some of their other apparel. The goatskin leather and fixed fleece liners held up pretty well considering the heavy use I put them through.
- Durability: I’d give them a pretty solid rating for durability. I have put about 120 days on them and, although they are losing a bit of insulation, none of the stitching has come undone. They do need to be re-waterproofed, but that is to be expected with leather gloves.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Waterproofing: The Black Diamond Tour gloves have a two-layer Pertex shield on the cuff, meaning they will keep water out. However, the main body of the glove is goatskin, which starts to soak through in the times when I have to continuously put my hands in the snow. Black Diamond gives you a pouch of Nikwax to apply, and this helps, but it definitely needs to be replenished every season. They are fine when touring, but as soon as I am boot packing and my hands seep into the snow they start to get wet and heavy. Honestly, this is one of the biggest drawbacks to them.
- Touchscreen compatibility: These gloves do not have touchscreen compatibility, which can sometimes be frustrating when you are trying to do things like look at the map or take a picture. It’s not the biggest deal breaker in the world for me, yet sometimes I was envious of my friends who could do it all with a smaller pair of liners.
Favorite moment with this gear
These gloves have served me extraordinarily well on so many occasions. One of my most cherished memories, however, is going on a hut trip in the Sawtooth Mountain Range in Idaho and exclusively using these gloves for all the main tours I encountered. We had such a wide variety of weather and I was extraordinarily grateful these gloves were able to adapt to all instances. The experience is what matters but the tools certainly help you get there!
Value for the money vs. other options
The Tour gloves are certainly pricier compared to other options. For instance, Black Diamond’s Dirt Bag gloves come in at a little over half the price. In addition, the Dakine Sentinel glove is another cheaper option around the same price as the Dirt Bag gloves. Both these other options appear to be an extremely similar glove during use, but may not be quite as durable in the long run.
Overall I have been extremely satisfied with the Black Diamond Tour Gloves and would definitely recommend them to another winter sport lover as long as they don’t live in an extremely wet area like the Pacific Northwest. But if you live in Utah, Colorado, or anywhere else with dry snow, these gloves would be a great choice.They are sleeker and nimbler compared to other gloves on the market, and are great all-arounder gloves. They can definitely get the job done in a variety of conditions.