Black Diamond Legend Review
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Black Diamond Legend
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|Bottom Line||Very supple for fantastic dexterity, our reviewers found doubt in its durability||Top-tier performance, coupled with exceptional versatility across a wide range of conditions||This excellent ski glove provides warmth and weather resistance at a budget-acknowledging price||Boasting a toasty level of warmth, this mitt protects your hands well at a fair price||A warm and comfortable mitten at an excellent value|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Legend||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face Mont...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Legend||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face Mont...|
|Double or Single Glove||Single||Single||Single||Double||Single|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Palm Material||Sheep leather||Leather||Polyurethane||Goat leather||Synthetic leather|
|Insulation Type||170g PrimaLoft Gold||133g Primaloft Gold Eco and 200g Primaloft Silver Eco||Megaloft||340 g PrimaLoft Gold, high-loft fleece||Back of hand: 250g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 160g Heatseeker Eco
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Legend is a decently warm glove, especially considering it's lightweight and lack of a large storm gauntlet. Our testers were comfortable wearing this glove down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to the over-the-cuff/gauntlet style gloves we tested, these aren't as warm, but they are far more dexterous. Synthetic insulation in the palm, back of hand, and fingers keeps your body heat in, and a soft fleece lining adds comfort and warmth. Overall, this glove is surprisingly warm and will be adequate for most days at the ski hill, unless you live and ski in very cold environments like the northern Rockies or Alaska.
The Legend features some of the best dexterity among the models we tested. These gloves use sheepskin leather on the palm, which is incredibly soft and broken in straight out of the box. Common skiing tasks like bucking boots and opening zippers are a breeze while wearing this glove. Writing, using car keys, and taking a phone out of a pocket are also easily accomplished. These gloves were designed for snow professionals like ski patrollers and guides, and their dexterity reflects this purpose. We felt that the thumb is tailored a bit large and could be more snug, but this didn't affect overall dexterity that much.
The Legend lacks somewhat in terms of water resistance. It uses a Gore-Tex insert to keep water outside the hand chamber, and a Pertex softshell material on the back of the hand and cuff, which also repels water from the outside of the glove. However, most of the glove's exterior is made from a very supple and soft leather that seemed to absorb water more easily than other leathers we have seen in glove construction, both from Black Diamond and also from other manufacturers.
All leather gloves should be treated with a snow sealant before use and regularly throughout the winter. We treated these gloves with the best snow sealant on the market, and still, the leather seemed to get soaked in the afternoons of the wettest days, and after about two weeks of testing, the gloves needed another snow seal treatment. Water never reached the interior of the glove, but when the leather soaks through, the glove feels wet and is more prone to damage and breakdown.
The Legend's palm leather is significantly softer than any other ski glove we have seen. While this material provides excellent comfort and dexterity, it also brings major durability concerns. After about two weeks of heavy use, the leather palm showed significant signs of wear, including minor rips and thin spots. A common practice in leather glove construction is the placement of additional leather patches in areas of high use, and these gloves don't have that. Furthermore, the soft leather can more easily tear away from the stitching used to keep the glove together, because the stitches are sewn through a very soft material to begin with. All of these concerns are exacerbated when the leather gets damp, which we found to happen quite easily.
The neoprene cuff is one of our favorites, especially among the under-the-jacket-cuff models we tested. It seals tightly around the wearer's wrist, with a Velcro closure keeping snow out and reducing volume. This makes it easy to pull your jacket sleeve over the top of the cuff of the glove. The nose wipe is very comfortable as well. Otherwise, there aren't many other features to speak of, which is welcome news to those who prefer to avoid dangling straps and drawcords.
Should You Buy the Black Diamond Legend?
The Legend is a relatively expensive ski glove, and despite all of its strengths, the poor durability performance makes us doubt the value of this product. It wears out faster than a hardware store leather winter glove, and for the price, this short lifespan is a turnoff. The good news is that Black Diamond has an exceptional warranty program, and they will most likely replace the glove if it wears out prematurely.
What Other Ski Gloves Should You Consider?
The Outdoor Research Alpinite is almost identical to this glove but has slightly better durability. The North Face IL Solo Pro FUTURELIGHT is even better, and less expensive, making it our top pick for backcountry skiing. If you want more performance, you'll have to pay a bit more, but not much, to get the Rab Khroma Freeride. A little more money gets you our top overall glove, the Arc'teryx Fission SV. If you are looking for a good glove that fits into a tighter budget, the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II is the way to go.