Black Diamond Legend Gloves Review

Black Diamond Legend Gloves

Few lightweight gloves give you the comfort of the Black Diamond Legend. This model is warm, flexible, and breathable without being too bulky or stuffy. Though it doesn’t have the strength, water resistance, or durability for tough conditions, it works well enough for warm or calmer days.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
  • Best for: Skiers who like to ride in light or pleasant conditions. Great for warm days as well.
  • Pros: These are some of the least intrusive gloves on the market. They are easy to pack, incredibly lightweight, and flexible. You get almost no restriction, and the look is pleasing to the eye.
  • Cons: The Legend Gloves don’t have the durability seen in similar models. They aren’t made for tough conditions and will wear out much quicker than other gloves. The water-resistance is lacking as well.
  • Alternatives: Arc’teryx Fission SV, Black Diamond Guide, Outdoor Research Arete

Why Trust Me

 

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items over the years. I have spent a lot of time both researching and testing these gloves in different conditions, which has allowed me to see and understand their features.

Detailed Review

The Black Diamond legend is a flexible and comfortable glove made for skiers who like to ride with lighter gear. They aren’t the most durable or waterproof options on the market, but they are worth a look for people who spend their time in warm or mild weather. They also have a great look and some useful extra features like neoprene cuffs.

Incredible Flexibility

Dexterity and mobility are where the Legend Gloves shine. These allow for an incredible amount of mobility thanks to the soft sheepskin leather on the palm. Not only is it soft, but they are broken in and pliable directly out of the box. I personally love any flexible glove that doesn’t require extra work to properly set. Just put them on and go.

As you can imagine, the extra dexterity makes these glovers perfect for skiers who need to use their hands a lot out on the slopes. Any tasks that require fingers, such as using your car keys, taking out your phone, or operating straps, are easy and simple. I really appreciate this because it means you don’t have to take them off and expose your fingers to the cold when you want to do basic tasks.

Lacking True Warmth

Put simply, this isn’t the warmest glove around. While the flexibility is there, the insulation is lacking. They don’t offer the same protection as over-the-cuff models, which can be a bit of a problem in harsher weather. Another issue, especially if you’re a skier who wants to crash into the backcountry, is that water and moisture build up in them quite quickly.

All of that being said, it does have pretty good warmth when compared to other lightweight options. The synthetic insulation does a good job of keeping out biting wind, and the fleece lining is surprisingly comfortable. Something else worth mentioning is that these feel quite nice, giving you the ability to wear them for a long time without worry. As long as you stay out of harsh climates, you’ll be fine.

Not the Strongest Model

These also don’t quite have the durability I would like. The Gore-Tex insert does a fine job with the Pertex softshell to keep water out of the hand chamber, but the soft fabric on the exterior absorbs water much more easily than leather. That’s a change I would have really liked to see. You’re never going to get soaked hands, but more water leads to more wear and tear over time. It doesn’t have a great feel either.

Additional Features and Design

Something else all skiers, including myself, can appreciate about these gloves is that they don’t just function to keep your hands warm. There are several key additional features as well.

Most notable are the neoprene cuffs, which utilize a Velcro closure that seals shut and does a good job of keeping the snow out. That helps give a little bit extra oomph to the insulation and warmth, but I still didn’t think it did enough to make the Legends warm weather gloves. There’s also a handy nose wipe, which is easy to use and helps add an extra layer of functionality to the design.

Beyond that, there aren’t a lot of extra straps or drawcords here. Some skiers may want something a bit more, but for those that like a simple approach, it’s a great way to get gloves that won’t get in your way. This is something I personally prefer.

Price and Value

The Legend gets medium marks for value. First and foremost, these gloves are definitely not cheap. While that’s not a huge problem for skiers with a larger budget, I always find paying for something with low durability a bit dubious. There’s no doubt they are worth the price if you need a flexible glove option for light days, but if you’re a hardcore skier who wants something that can hold up in rougher climates, you might want to go with stronger construction.

What I Like

Few gloves give the mobility seen in the Black Diamond Legend. These are absolutely made to be flexible, and they more than deliver on that promise. You’ll have no problem performing tasks. That’s why I would recommend these to skiers who like to use electronics or who have boots with a lot of buckles and straps.

Going hand-in-hand with the design is the light weight. These are not too bulky, which is something many people (myself included) will greatly enjoy. There’s nothing worse than being weighed down or held back by your clothing. This shell is relatively breathable and prevents your hands from sweating too much on warmer days.

I also love the look and feel here. Black Diamond has equipped these with a simple color scheme and nifty design. They are also extremely comfortable and can be worn for hours without any issues.

What I Dislike

As much as these gloves serve their purpose as a lightweight option, they fall short in terms of both weather protection and durability. Though they have special materials made to cut down on moisture, they easily get bogged down by extra wetness. Even a little bit of time spent in tough conditions can cause them to become waterlogged. That tends to give them a weighted, sloshy feeling that I don’t like.

These gloves also do not have the durability of heftier models, which is a bit concerning given their price. If you’re someone who plans on putting their gear through a lot of abuse, these aren’t for you. That being said, they do tend to hold up nicely if they don’t get too wet or take too much of a beating out on the mountain.

The Alternatives

The Legends work as a solid lightweight glove with ample amounts of flexibility. However, if you want something else, these options will give you the same feel with a few different traits:

  • Arc’teryx Fission SV – Those who like the Legends’ flexibility but want a bit more features will value the SV. This glove is more expensive, but it’s more durable and has a stronger construction as well. Great for skiers who want high performance and dexterity without losing too much in terms of sturdiness.
  • Black Diamond Guide – The Guide is similar in look, style, and comfort to the Legend but is a heavy-duty model made for cold or freezing conditions. If you like Black Diamond products and want something to wear when things get tough, this is your best bet.
  • Outdoor Research Arete – These gloves, like the Legends, are flexible, lightweight, and give you a lot of mobility out on the slopes. They have a similar price point as well. What sets them apart is the stronger construction – useful for those who want more strength without getting too much extra bulk.

FAQs

Are these gloves waterproof?

While these have a Pertex softshell and Gore-Tex liner, they don’t quite hold up in wet or extremely stormy conditions.

How is the sizing for these gloves?

These gloves tend to run on the smaller side. If you have bigger or wider hands, it’s best to get a size or two up.

Are the Black Diamond Legends comfortable?

These gloves have a nice, snug fit that works for most hand sizes.

Final Words

All in all, the Black Diamond Legends fall into a strict middle ground. While they are lightweight and flexible, they also do not have a lot of durability and take on moisture in an unfortunate way. If you don’t plan to get them too wet or put them through a ton of abuse, they can be worth the price. That’s especially true if you primarily ski in warmer regions. However, they aren’t for backcountry skiers traveling off-piste.

These gloves do excel in their dexterity. They have a nice feel and allow you to handle a range of different tasks with ease. If you need your fingers while you’re on the slopes, I would highly recommend them.

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