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Black Diamond Tour Review

Lightweight and dexterous gloves that are perfect for backcountry skiing
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Black Diamond Tour Review
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi
Price:  $85 List
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Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 16, 2024
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 22
  • Warmth - 25% 3.0
  • Dexterity - 25% 10.0
  • Water Resistance - 25% 5.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Tour is a backcountry-specific glove that performs well in a variety of weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for human-powered skiing. While other gloves use as much insulation as possible, the Tour uses only a soft fleece lining for warmth. This renders the glove unsuitable for cold days at the ski resort, but on the uptrack, it provides the perfect amount of warmth. The tailoring is great, and the soft leather palm adds even more dexterity. These gloves are waterproof to a degree, and while other gloves may keep your hands drier, these gloves do an adequate job for most days in the backcountry. If you're looking for features, you won't find many here, but these gloves do everything they need to do for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
REASONS TO BUY
Dexterous
Comfortable
Perfect warmth level for touring
REASONS TO AVOID
Wet out easily
Not warm enough for the resort
Light on features

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Black Diamond Tour
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $38.23 at Backcountry
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$75 List
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$20.99 at Evo
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Bottom Line Warm enough for the skin track, these gloves offer dexterity and comfort for all-day toursThis excellent ski glove provides warmth and weather resistance at a budget-acknowledging priceA warm and comfortable mitten at an excellent valueAverage warmth, weather resistance, and durability, for an attainable priceReliable and ringing in at an affordable cost, this model offers many features
Rating Categories Black Diamond Tour Gordini GTX Storm T... The North Face Mont... Gordini AquaBloc Do... Dakine Titan
Warmth (25%)
3.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Dexterity (25%)
10.0
4.0
2.0
5.0
5.0
Water Resistance (25%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Features (10%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
Specs Black Diamond Tour Gordini GTX Storm T... The North Face Mont... Gordini AquaBloc Do... Dakine Titan
Double or Single Glove Single Single Single Single Double
Gaunlet or Cuff? Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Palm Material Goatskin leather Polyurethane Synthetic leather Rugged ripstop softshell, bluesign® approved Rubbertec
Waterproof Material Pertex Shield Gore-Tex DryVent AquaBloc® insert Gore-Tex insert
Insulation Type 150g Fleece Megaloft Back of hand: 250g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 160g Heatseeker Eco
Back of hand: 600-fill GooseDown, Palm: Megaloft® synthetic insulation Back of hand: 230g high-loft polyester fill
Palm: 110g high-loft polyester fill
Nose Wipe? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

These gloves sacrifice warmth and some weather resistance for dexterity and breathability.

Performance Comparison


black diamond tour - skinning in the black diamond tour gloves.
Skinning in the Black Diamond Tour gloves.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Warmth


With only a thin fleece lining for insulation and a soft leather shell fabric, these gloves are not warm enough for cold days at the ski resort. They kept our testers' hands warm down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celcius), but below that, our hands got cold. That means that these gloves aren't warm enough for most days at the ski resort. They perform well on spring days, but other than that, these gloves won't keep you warm.


That said, for backcountry tours, we found that these gloves provide the perfect amount of insulation. As long as we were moving aerobically, we produced enough heat to keep our hands warm. The fleece traps just enough heat while the rest escapes through the leather shell. The hook-and-loop cuff strap seals the glove securely against the wrist, trapping more warm air. For backcountry tours in most winter weather, these gloves provide the perfect amount of warmth.

black diamond tour - a soft and thin fleece lining provides all the warmth you need for...
A soft and thin fleece lining provides all the warmth you need for most days in the backcountry.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Dexterity


The major upshot of using less insulation is that these gloves are supremely dexterous. We had no problem using our hands and fingers to complete detailed tasks like zipping zippers and finding lip balm in our pockets while wearing these gloves. We rarely had to take these gloves off throughout entire days in the backcountry.


Other gloves may be (much) warmer, but there is a warmth advantage to a glove that you never have to remove. Any hot air that is trapped inside the glove will escape when the glove is removed, and since we never had to take these gloves off, our hands developed a cozy equilibrium temperature that was easy to maintain all day. Furthermore, these gloves are dexterous enough to use while ski mountaineering, and we were able to place rock protection, tie knots in ropes, and climb 4th-class rock while wearing these gloves.

black diamond tour - the black diamond tour has enough dexterity to do most tasks that...
The Black Diamond Tour has enough dexterity to do most tasks that you could do with your fingers.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Water Resistance


The BD Tour uses Black Diamond's proprietary waterproof and breathable membrane, BDry, to keep the water out of these gloves. This membrane works well most of the time. In light snow, these gloves stay dry. However, if you spend a lot of time with your hands in the snow, these gloves eventually let the water in. While digging snow pits or using an ice axe while climbing steep couloirs, the leather quickly absorbs water, which then somehow makes its way through the membrane and into your hands.


This problem is mostly mitigated by the regular use of a waterproofing treatment. The leather quickly soaks up these treatments, which seem to last for a few weeks of daily use before they need to be treated again. The softshell material around the wrists is waterproof, and the wrist straps create an effective seal.

black diamond tour - the softshell wrist area doesn't let any water through, thanks to a...
The softshell wrist area doesn't let any water through, thanks to a Pertex Shield membrane, but the leather tends to wet out quickly.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Durability


We are impressed by the long-term durability of the Black Diamond Tour. Other similar products from this manufacturer have shown wear and tear in the leather after a short life of usage, but these gloves seem to do better. Our gloves show no signs of wearing through the leather after about 50 days of use, which is better than other products we've tested. Black Diamond has historically provided excellent customer service for their gloves and we have always received a warranty replacement when we've asked for one.


These gloves have a short break-in period, which suggests expert tailoring and design. The finger seams aren't placed in locations that receive direct wear and tear, which helps add longevity. Inevitably, the soft goatskin leather will wear out, as all leather gloves do. However, we are surprised by the lifespan of the pair that we tested, especially considering how supple the leather feels right out of the box.

black diamond tour - we've used the black diamond tour gloves for a few seasons and have...
We've used the Black Diamond Tour gloves for a few seasons and have not experienced durability issues. The leather seems to last.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


The Black Diamond Tour is decidedly light on features. Since its primary use is backcountry skiing, it can do with fewer features than gloves made for resort skiing since backcountry skiers rarely need wrist gauntlets, handwarmer pockets, and cinch cords. That said, these gloves come with a soft nose wipe pad on each thumb and a keeper clip that helps keep the pair together. The large wrist strap is easy to operate, especially given the supreme dexterity of these gloves.


Resort users might want more features to make their day more convenient on the ski hill, but in the backcountry, these gloves have everything you need. Our testers appreciated the keeper clip since we often take our gloves off while skinning on hot days and hang our gloves from the waist belt of our pack. Additionally, these gloves have a carabiner clip on each middle finger, which allows the user to hang them from a harness.

black diamond tour - a small carabiner clip on the back of the middle finger allows the...
A small carabiner clip on the back of the middle finger allows the user to hang the Black Diamond Tour from a harness or backpack.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Should You Buy the Black Diamond Tour?


If you spend a lot of time on the skintrack, and find yourself constantly taking your gloves off when you're hot and putting them on again when you get cold, this pair is a must-have. They provide the perfect amount of warmth for uphill skiing, and offer great dexterity and enough weather protection to make life in the backcountry easy. These are our go-to glove for 90% of backcountry ski days. They're also a great value, and Black Diamond has a reliable warranty policy.

black diamond tour - the black diamond tour offers enough warmth and weather protection...
The Black Diamond tour offers enough warmth and weather protection for most days in the backcountry, and it seems to have a long lifetime.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Ski Gloves Should You Consider?


If you are looking for an even lighter pair of gloves for the warmest ski days and ski routes that require technical climbing, the Hestra Ergo Grip Active is an even better choice. If your hands get cold easily, but you still want a glove with dexterity and durability for the backcountry, the Hestra Fall Line is a good option that can also be used for warmer weather resort skiing. We always ski with a pair of warmer gloves in the backcountry that can be used in case of emergency or very cold fingers, and we prefer the Arc'teryx Fission SV or Rab Khroma Freeride Gore-Tex Gloves for this.

Jeff Dobronyi