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Black Diamond Guide - Women's Review

A classic workhorse glove designed to keep hands warm and comfortable all day long
Black Diamond Guide - Women's
Photo: Black Diamond
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Price:  $170 List | $100.82 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super warm, removable liner, durable construction, weather resistant liner
Cons:  Bulky, difficult to get liner back into glove, expensive
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 18, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Dexterity - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Taking in key considerations like hand warmth and comfort, the women's Black Diamond Guide glove will protect your hands while you play (or work) in the snow. Designed for professionals that work in the snow all day long, this leather-nylon double construction glove is stacked with 170-grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation. It is protective and quite warm but offers less in the realm of dexterity. While it does take a few days to break in, and it feels cold during this time, we learned to love it quickly once it became more flexible and easy to use. Many users report using this glove for many years, including some of our gear-testing gang, making it a great value despite its high sticker price. Take it with you while you ski tall summits or prepare for a cold night while winter camping. It'll keep your hands warm and comfortable, just be sure to be patient with it when you try it out for the first time.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $100.82 at Amazon
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$200 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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85
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59
Star Rating
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Pros Super warm, removable liner, durable construction, weather resistant linerWarm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrousVery warm, dexterous for a mitt, durable shell, waterproof, removable and water resistant linerWarm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent valueGreat price, breathable, warm, comes with liner glove
Cons Bulky, difficult to get liner back into glove, expensiveExpensive, won't fit super small handsLiner packs out after a season, split finger design leaves index finger cold, no leashes includedNot a lot of extra insulationNot fully waterproof, less durable construction
Bottom Line A classic workhorse glove designed to keep hands warm and comfortable all day longThis unisex glove is off the charts for almost any adult, noticeably feeling different and excelling above other gloves on the market we have testedOur favorite all-around mitten for backcountry and resort skiingA mitten that is weather-resistant and dexterous at a reasonable priceA well-priced glove that'll work fine for your ski trips this winter
Rating Categories Black Diamond Guide... Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Mercu... Gore-Tex Mitten Dakine Camino
Warmth (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Water Resistance (25%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Dexterity (25%)
8.0
10.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Features (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Black Diamond Guide... Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Mercu... Gore-Tex Mitten Dakine Camino
Waterproof Material GORE-TEX waterproof insert 84% nylon/16% elastane, Gore-Tex Pertex Shield Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert Nylon Shell (black part), Hoxton (75% nylon, 25% polyester) DWR treatment, Leather palm (water-resistant)
Insulation Type 170 g PrimaLoft® Gold insulation 200g PrimaLoft Silver and 133g Gold synthetic fibers 340-grams Primaloft Gold w/ high loft synthetic insulation ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation 110/350g high loft synthetic
Palm Material Goat leather Goat leather Goat leather Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm Goat Leather
Inner Glove Material (if applicable) Boiled wool and 200 g fleece palm lining Octa Loft High-loft fleece Fleece 150g tricot, 100% polyester
Double or Single Construction? Single Single Double Double Double
Gauntlet or Cuff Length? Medium cuff Medium Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Special features Nose wipe, knuckle padding, no leash, kevlar stitching Unisex fit, kevlar stitching, removable wrist leash, carabiner loop Nose wipe, trigger-finger liner, carabiner loop, no wrist leash, foam padding on knuckles, kevlar stitching Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch Google wipe on thumb, touch screen compatible liners, removable wrist leash
Sizes (Women's) XS,S,M,L XS, S, M, L, XL XS, S, M, L XS, S, M, L XS, S, M, L
Fit Fits small Fits large (unisex sizing) True to size True to size A little smaller, size up if you're unsure
Treatment Required? No Yes No No No
Warranty 1 year Lifetime 1 year Lifetime Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black Diamond Guide is designed with professional guides in mind. This super warm glove will stand up for years and seasons of wear and tear, whether you're working the ski lift or shredding the gnar.

Performance Comparison


We ride out a super cold day in Lake Tahoe with the BD Guide glove...
We ride out a super cold day in Lake Tahoe with the BD Guide glove. Temps reached well below freezing, but we stayed warm.
Photo: Amber King

Warmth


As one of the warmest gloves tested, we are impressed with the ability of it to keep our hands warm on cold chairlifts and nasty winter weather. Designed with professionals that work in the snow in mind, Black Diamond has made a push to offer a specific range of warmth between -20F to 10F. While we can't verify that these gloves will keep you warm in these specific temps (everybody's biology is different), we will say that they are still our go-to if we know the temps are going to dip into the single digits… but not the negative digits.

On these super cold days, we hang out with our gloves in the snow...
On these super cold days, we hang out with our gloves in the snow. We stayed warm throughout the day, thanks to the mobility of the glove and the thoughtful placement of its hi-loft insulation.
Photo: Amber King

The liner that insulates the glove is stacked with 170-grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation. Most of the insulation is stacked behind the hand and around the cuff to help keep warmth and heat inside. The medium-sized cuff fits over a jacket nicely, locking in warmth when needed. In addition, the 100-gram fleece lining does a good job wicking away moisture. We also really like the water-resistant shell of the liner that can function on its own, but doesn't offer much in the way of features to allow it to do so. This is a nice option if the temps warm-up and you don't need the added warmth and weather protection from the shell. Overall, this is one of the warmest gloves tested, but be wary of companies that make specific temperature range claims, as everybody requires something a little different to stay warm in cold weather.

The liner is stacked with polyester, fleece, and wool. In addition...
The liner is stacked with polyester, fleece, and wool. In addition, this liner is water-resistant, making the glove more versatile to wear one of three ways - just the liner, just the shell, or in its full double-glove glory.
Photo: Amber King

We took it out during the polar vortex of winter in Canada and found that our hands stayed warm at around 10F. However, when it dipped colder, we found ourselves switching it out for a warmer pair of mitts. That said, if you're in search of a warm glove option, this is a great go-to, but we wouldn't completely rely on the temperature range recommendations set out by Black Diamond.

We felt cold while tromping around in the Northern woods of Canada...
We felt cold while tromping around in the Northern woods of Canada. The temps dipped way down into the double negatives. When it gets that cold, our testers prefer extra-warm mittens.
Photo: Amber King

Water Resistance


After many tests at home and putting this glove through the wringer, we learn that the overall design is fairly waterproof, but the shell is only water-resistant. Designed with nylon and leather-based shell, it does a great job of wicking away moisture from the surface. However, after hours of building snowmen and playing in the snow, the outer becomes saturated. When testing in the Pacific Northwest, we found the shell got wet after a huge day in the humid climate. What came to the rescue is the built-in Gore-Tex liner that kept our hands dry, even when the shell saturated. As a result, we'd recommend it for all types of climatic conditions, but it's important to note that the shell isn't 100% waterproof.

The outer shell is constructed of a nylon and leather mix, making it...
The outer shell is constructed of a nylon and leather mix, making it water-resistant but not waterproof. The inner liner also has a water-resistant coating on it that wicks away moisture readily.
Photo: Amber King

Dexterity


The Black Diamond Guide is designed for, you guessed it, guides who do more than simply hold onto ski poles throughout a day in the mountains. Guides and professionals need to use their hands for hours on end in the mountains. These gloves downward curving fingers help grasp objects more easily, which also helps when picking up items and tools. The leather palm adds friction that synthetic palms typically don't have, so ski poles and rappel lines are more manageable to hold onto.

Good enough to get up this ridge and back down, we didn't have to...
Good enough to get up this ridge and back down, we didn't have to take our gloves off while heading to the summit.
Photo: Amber King

The main issue we found is that the density of the liner is so thick, it is difficult to fully grab onto an item and ensure it is in your fingers. This thickness adds warmth but results in a lack of precision. Our testers were still able to use zippers and change skis from tour to ski/snowboard mode without having to take the glove off. However, when it came to finer tasks, we found ourselves wanting to rip off our gloves. Overall, while dexterity is decent for its basic purpose, it's not awesome like thinner contenders.

Features


Outfitted with all the necessary features, the Guide has everything you need. A carabiner loop on the finger makes it easy to take off and clip onto a harness or pack without losing it on the trail.

The carabiner loop is located on the finger so the gloves can be...
The carabiner loop is located on the finger so the gloves can be clipped to the harness, cuff-down. A perfect function for ski mountaineers and guides alike!
Photo: Amber King

The cuff is naturally tapered around the wrist for a more precise fit. The cinch cords allow you to retain heat or release it easily with a single pull.

The fitted cuff provides a concise fit.  However, it makes the liner...
The fitted cuff provides a concise fit. However, it makes the liner hard to put back in once it has been taken out.
Photo: Amber King

The layered leather on the back of the palm is a nice cushioned pad to punch away ice on ice climbs. In addition, it has a double-glove construction that is supposed to make it more versatile.

The cinch strap around the medium sized cuff is easy to use with a...
The cinch strap around the medium sized cuff is easy to use with a single pull. It's big enough to grab with your glove with ease.
Photo: Amber King

However, because the inner liner is so hard to put back in once it is out, we found ourselves treating this glove-like a single construction design. Specifically, once the liner was pulled out, and because the insulation is so thick, it is hard to arrange the fingers of the liner to match with the fingers of the shell. The liner bunches and simply doesn't go back the way it started. This took so much time and frustration to put back together, that we simply opted to keep the glove intact. As a result, even though it should be more versatile, it functionally isn't because of poor construction in this regard. Aside from that, we appreciate all the necessary and key features this glove offers.

The soft nose wipe ensures that you won't rub your nose raw when...
The soft nose wipe ensures that you won't rub your nose raw when you're out crushing it in cold weather.
Photo: Amber King

Durability


Outfitted with a goat leather palm and exterior, there is additional durability where it's needed most. This product protects against everyday abrasion, and according to online reviews, it lasted some users up to 8 years! Based on our assessments, we believe that it can continue to perform in this way. The craftsmanship is spot on, and all the key pressure points of the glove are reinforced. We didn't notice any durability issues in our testing period. It will last you for years.

The leather on the outside of the hand makes it easy to punch...
The leather on the outside of the hand makes it easy to punch through choss on any ice route. In addition, this leather construct makes this glove super burly and ultra-durable.
Photo: Amber King

Constructed with highly durable materials, this glove feels rigid and uncomfortable out of the box. Give it a few wears and romps in the snow to break it in. After that, you'll be psyched for years to come.

The stitching is tight on this well-crafted glove. We didn't notice...
The stitching is tight on this well-crafted glove. We didn't notice any fly-aways or wear and tear during our testing period and expect this glove to last for years of use.
Photo: Amber King

Value


This glove is expensive but works well when it performs. It offers good heat and durable shell construction. Unfortunately, the liner will pack out after a season of heavy use (100 days/year) and the liners can't be replaced. Keeping that in mind, there are other options with replaceable liners or those that offer a more durable option. However, you're going to be hard-pressed to find one with a shell that is as durable and water-resistant.

Assessing the conditions before we drop into the steep turns found...
Assessing the conditions before we drop into the steep turns found in the San Juan mountains. The BD Guide is a great option for ski touring, working at the ski lifts, or simply hanging around in cold weather.
Photo: Amber King

Conclusion


The women's Black Diamond Guide is designed to tackle cold weather all day long. Wear it while snowboarding, skiing, or working at the ski hill. It'll keep you warm and comfortable for many years to come.

Whether you're a snowboarder or a skier, a good glove like the Black...
Whether you're a snowboarder or a skier, a good glove like the Black Diamond Guide will keep you happy at the ski resort.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King