The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Black Diamond Legend Review

A all around decent performer providing a dexterous and warm alternative to double gloves.
The 2018 Black Diamond Legend
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $150 List | Check Price at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Dexterous, lightweight, already broken in feel out of the box, packable
Cons:  Not very durable, exposed stitching on palms, leather soaks up water, large thumb
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers  ⋅  Dec 12, 2018
  • Share this article:
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Dexterity - 25% 9
  • Water Resistance - 25% 5
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Legend is an all-around performer. It resists wetting out and provides decent dexterity after loosening up the leather. You can tie knots in these gloves, while also being strong enough to handle ropes without falling apart, although we have considerable doubts concerning the non-reinforced palm and its water resistance following results from the testing period.

Black Diamond tends to make high-quality products in our experience with this manufacturer, but we think there are better glove options on the market for a similar design and price range. Our testers much prefer the Hestra Fall Line, which performs on par or significantly better than the Legend in most performance areas. It's also a leather, under-the-cuff glove with excellent dexterity, but also improved water resistance and more reliable durability.


Compare to Similar Products

 
The 2018 Black Diamond Legend
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price Check Price at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$189 ListCheck Price at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$174.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.95 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
68
100
0
89
100
0
84
100
0
84
100
0
84
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Dexterous, lightweight, already broken in feel out of the box, packableVersatility, durable palm, lightweight and packable, dexterous, ergonomic shape, freedom of movementSuper warm, extremely tough, great weather resistance, removable liners help them dry quicker, our go-to expedition gloveWell designed features, tough as nails, dexterousWARM, lifetime warranty, basically two gloves in one, super water resistant
Cons Not very durable, exposed stitching on palms, leather soaks up water, large thumbLong gauntlet tricky to get under jacket, gauntlet can slowly open, expensiveNot very dexterous, take time to break in, if in between sizes you should consider sizing upNot as warm as other high-end ski glovesNot super dexterous, inner glove not as durable
Bottom Line A all around decent performer providing a dexterous and warm alternative to double gloves.Easily the most versatile model for conditions, climates, and activities with top-tier performance across the board make this glove our favorite overall.For really cold activities, where giving up some dexterity for some serious warmth is a must, these gloves are hard to beat.This is an excellent day in day out resort glove for skiing in milder climates.You'll love this glove if you do multi day tours and spend a lot of time in the backcountry.
Rating Categories Black Diamond Legend Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research Alti
Warmth (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Dexterity (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Durability (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
Features (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Black Diamond Legend Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research...
Waterproof Material Gore-Tex insert Gore-Tex Gore-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert
Palm Material Goat leather with neoprene cuff Leather Goat leather Cow-hide leather Alpengrip
Gaunlet or Cuff? Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Insulation Type PrimaLoft Gold Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco and primaloft silver eco PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool PrimaLoft® Gold PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester
Double or Single Glove single single double single double
Nose Wipe? Yes (thumb) Yes Yes (thumb) Yes Yes (thumb)

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The most legendary aspect of this glove is its dexterity.
The most legendary aspect of this glove is its dexterity.

Dexterity


The Legend features some of the better dexterity among models we tested. These gloves use a sheepskin leather on the palm, which is incredibly soft and broken in straight out of the box. Unfortunately, the thumb on the Legend is huge and floppy. It was frequently caught in buckles and carabiners but still proved extremely dexterous for everyday resort skiing use.

During both real-world use and in our side-by-side motor skill comparisons, we compared each model's ability in allowing the wearer to write their name and manually unlock a car door. The Legend was certainly above-average overall and equal to several other more expensive models. The Legend offers a higher level of dexterity than the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper, but were slightly stiffer and not quite as dexterous as the Hestra Fall Line. Comparable in performance to some of the highest performers, the Legend remains among the most nimble gloves.

The Legend handles technical tasks requiring finger mobility well.
The Legend handles technical tasks requiring finger mobility well.

Warmth


This glove is among the warmer under-the-cuff style gloves. Our testers were comfortable wearing this glove in 5-10F - as long as it wasn't excessively storming. Compared to over-the-cuff/gauntlet style gloves, these gloves are similar to the Outdoor Research Revolution. They were noticeably less warm than the Hestra Army Leather Gore Tex or Black Diamond Guide.

Water Resistance


The Legend glove severely lacks in water resistance. Multiple times during our test the glove soaked up water into the palm, and the stitches would have a line of frost on them. The gloves were treated with the supplied leather treatment and seemed to also absorb that rapidly without increasing water resistance. The saving grace is their Gore-Tex liner which allowed them to do well in the bucket of water test and when the leather was fully soaked. We believe this glove needs some redesign as it would not be suitable for multiple days of use during a ski tour. The Legend performs toward the bottom in this category.

Wetting out in the Legend gloves after relatively few days of employment.
Wetting out in the Legend gloves after relatively few days of employment.

Durability


The BD Legend was redesigned (Winter 2018/'19) with a significantly softer and already broken in style of leather. This has also brought durability concerns with it. The glove's stitching being exposed in the high wear area of the palm is also a big concern for us. We often grab ski edges and reinforcement in the palm is standard for a glove in this price range. The Legend performed poorly in our durability testing and showed noticeable wear and tear after eight days of skiing.

Features


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 worked for our nostrils!

The Legend has many of the features most people look for the most in a ski or snowboard glove  but the cuff is our favorite of them. Jussi Tahtinen appreciating this glove while making his way to the top of a steep boot pack.
The Legend has many of the features most people look for the most in a ski or snowboard glove, but the cuff is our favorite of them. Jussi Tahtinen appreciating this glove while making his way to the top of a steep boot pack.

Best Application


The Black Diamond Legend is best used by skiers and snowboarders who want a lower profile under-the-cuff option that's still pretty warm and has very good dexterity. It is an extremely dexterous glove that will find its home doing tasks that require a large amount of dexterity in fair weather conditions. The glove is also quite warm for its weight and will do the job in conditions down to 10F. The glove's leather on the palm lacks any reinforcement and is extremely supple to begin with, indicating this glove will not wear well over time.

Especially in fair weather  the Legend is equally at home ripping groomers  cursing in the backcountry  or attempting technical descents. Photo: Brian Muller skiing RFS in these gloves near Thompson Pass  AK.
Especially in fair weather, the Legend is equally at home ripping groomers, cursing in the backcountry, or attempting technical descents. Photo: Brian Muller skiing RFS in these gloves near Thompson Pass, AK.

Value


If our concerns about durability are not found to be true, the glove would be an excellent value. However, our test model did not hold up well during our trial period.

Conclusion


Compared to its closest competitor, the Hestra Fall Line, the Legend misses the target. The Black Diamond Legend is a good glove, but for a few dollars more, the Fall Line performs better. We do not feel like the leather Black Diamond employs is of as high of quality.


Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers