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Black Diamond Rebel Review

Black Diamond Rebel Glove
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Price:  $140 List
Pros:  Durable, super dexterous, we dig the heavily padded knuckles
Cons:  Very stiff at first, not as warm as many other gloves we tested
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 24, 2013
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  • Dexterity - 20% 9
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Water resistance - 25% 10
  • Durability - 10% 10
  • Features - 20% 8

Our Verdict

Discontinued - September 2015
The Black Diamond Rebel Gloves have been discontinued. Check out the Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Men review to find your new favorite pair!

Though not an award winner the Black Diamond Rebel was one of our overall top performers in nearly every category. It is a full goatskin leather design with a Gore-Tex XCR insert keeping out even the wettest of storms. We thought it breathed better than most others we tested and while it was a little too warm to ski in, we thought it made for a great side country option while hunting for stashes. We really like this all leather free-ride design for moderate temps but for New England or other cold weather areas they might not be warm enough. The leather on the Rebel was softer and more supple than almost all the other leather or mostly-leather models we tested. It offers solid freedom of movement that only increases quickly as it breaks in. Despite the quick break in time we thought they were some of the most durable in our review. We thought this toughness extended to both the structural integrity of the product but also to the life of the water repellancy. It runs a little smaller and narrower in size than most other Black Diamond contenders but it does stretch and pack out a little to help bring it closer (but not completely in line) with its BD counterparts.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Black Diamond Rebel has excellent dexterity and could accomplish medium and even most of the more challenging tasks like taking a photo with a camera, unlocking a car and even tying shoes with ease. When it came to the most complex tasks like writing it started to suffer a little but over all it had some of the better dexterity in our review. We thought it was just behind the Rab Guide Gloves, Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno and our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Alpha SV Glove, in dexterity - but just barely. We did think it was more dexterous than the Outdoor Research Northback Sensor or the Outdoor Research Southback and more dexterous than the Black Diamond Legend or Black Diamond Squad. The Rebel got even more dexterous after it broke in for a few days.

Water Resistance

This glove was one of our top performers for water resistance in both our side-by-side bucket of water comparisons and in real world testing. The Rebel uses a Gore-Tex insert along with some of the most water resistant leathers we've tested. Even after several days of use, as of yet we don't feel the need to treat it again, something that several other contenders like the Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno, Hestra Heli and Rab Guide can't say the same for. While it scored our highest possible for water resistance and we wouldn't even hesitate to use them during some of the wettest Pacific Northwest winter storms, we didn't think it was quite as water resistant as our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice the Arc'teryx Alpha SV.

Warmth and Breathability

We thought the Rebel was average in warmth during our side-by-side testing. It features 142 grams of PrimaLoft One insulation on back of the hand and a fleece lining on the palm. It was a little less warm and had a little less insulation than either the Black Diamond Legend (133g on palm and 170g on the back) or our OutdoorGearLab Top Pick, the Outdoor Research Magnate (133g on palm 266 on back). The Rebel was however very comparable in warmth to the Outdoor Research Northback and Southback and though it had less grams of insulation, we felt the thick leather shell and foam helped make up the difference. We did think the Rebel was warmer than other completely leather designs like the Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno, or the Rab Guide.


The Rebel was easily one of the most durable challengers in our review. It is completely covered in a beefy but fairly subtle goatskin leather with EVA compression molded foam padding to protect your fingers, increase warmth and add a little durability. While it did have some break in time before the leather softened up, it wasn't nearly as long as the others like the Black Diamond Guide or Legend. We thought it was easily as tough as our award winners the Outdoor Research Magnate or the Black Diamond Guide.


The Rebel is a relatively simple under the cuff length ski and snowboard glove that doesn't have a lot of extras. One feature that the it did have that helped it stand out was its polyester cuff. While this feature might seem a little unimpressive or even old school at first, it not only helped keep our hands a warmer, but also did a fabulous job at keeping all the snow out of our gloves even during the worst falls. The polyester cuff could get a little damp during extremely wet storms if your jacket sleeve got pulled up for an extended period of time, while this is possible, it never happened to us.

Value and the Bottom Line

While the Black Diamond Rebel didn't receive any OutdoorGearLab awards it was a tough call and really a close decision between the Rebel and the Outdoor Research Magnate. In the end the Magnate just barely edged out, but the Rebel performed well in all of our tests and is worth considering for an all leather option for skiing and snowboarding in temps 10-15F and warmer. It is also a good choice for people who are just plain hard on their gloves, because its so durable you could buy two pair (at $140) or one pair of our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice the Alpha SV ($300). We did like it better than the less expensive Best Buy winner, the Outdoor Research Southback, but the Rebel is $60 more.

Ian Nicholson