Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Stone Glove Review

Black Diamond Stone Glove
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Mar 15, 2010
Price:  $33 List  |  $24.71 at Backcountry - 25% Off
Pros:  Great dexterity, soft, durable
Cons:  Large wrist closure, expensive
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Stone gloves offer a great combination of durability and dexterity by using many different layers of goat skin thicker at the high use areas and thinner and the low use areas. The downside is that at $40 they are the most expensive fingerless glove out there. They are the only fingerless glove we know of with longer protection on the bottom of the finger than the top. The thumb area is particularly well protected.

This is our top-rated glove for big wall leading. Is it worth $40? That is a hard call. You could make about seven pairs of Homemade Fingerless Climbing Glove for the same price. Will these make you a better wall climber? No. Will you be really psyched to have such an awesome pair of gloves when thousands of feet off the ground? Yes.

Our Analysis and Test Results



These are the most tricked out fingerless gloves. They have a few features not found on other gloves like an extra leather extender under the fingers and Kevlar stitching. The coolest thing about them is the fit; they have great articulation and the goat skin fits perfectly. There is no extended break-in period: they fit great right away. They have great reinforcement in the high wear areas and great dexterity.


The elastic cuff around the wrist is a little bigger and bulkier than we like. We prefer the smaller Velcro closure on the Metolius gloves. But that is a small dislike and most people may not care.

Best Application

These are ideal for big wall leading. For belaying, we would rather have a full-fingered glove like the Black Diamond Transition.


This is the most expensive glove we tested. It is $10 more expensive than most other gloves. It comes down to just how much you love the fit and feel of this glove.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: March 26, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

Mar 26, 2013 - 11:37pm
spidey · Climber · Berkeley CA

NIce gloves but haven't used them yet - I ordered the medium and I need the large. Softer than the metolius but the fingers are a bit shorter as noted in previous review. They seem more comfortable though, I wish they fit me.

Will trade for a large or sell for reduced price…

Seams on the outside is a great idea.

Person Icon

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   Mar 26, 2013 - 08:52pm
I should say right now that I have not used these gloves.
I have used the metolius gloves on a number of walls. They are now blown out and I need new ones. Days and days of sweat have left them very stiff so I'm looking at these with the softer leather.
Unfortunately, I can see right now just looking at the picture that they will not be very good on walls.
They are cut the wrong length.
This looks more like a 2/3 length. The guy's knuckles are exposed on his 2nd and 3rd fingers. Grabbing aiders and gear that is close to the wall for days means constantly scraping those knuckles on the rock.
Just that little bit extra on the metolius ones make a big difference.
I should also say that I wish I could get wall gloves with the seams on the outside like wildland firefighters do with their gloves, usually by turning them inside out. Those seams really dig into you sometimes -especially the pinky while jugging.
But, cutting off your own gloves just means the finger seams blow out pretty quick and the extra leather at the wrist is awkward.

A dumb thing about the metolius glove is that they need to swap the velcro placements on the wrist. If you don't close the tab all the way over the hook side on the hand then every piece of webbing that comes near it sticks to it, of course then the hook side on the tabs would rub your skin -maybe half each, I dunno, whatever, end OCD rant, already more than needed for something like gloves.

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