Black Diamond Soloist
$110, 9 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XL, women’s XS-L
Routinely getting cold fingers is a real drag when you like to ski fresh backcountry powder. I’ve tried a lot of gloves over the years, looking for ones that will keep my fingers from turning white, not cost a fortune, and allow me reasonable dexterity. For most of last winter and my first days on snow this winter, skiing the backcountry and resorts from Idaho’s Boise Mountains to Oregon’s Wallowas, I’ve pulled on the Soloist for cold days and never suffered painful digits.
Like many gloves designed for backcountry snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, where you can be very warm while climbing uphill but need extra insulation for going down, the Soloist is a system glove: It has a removable liner within a waterproof shell. What sets it apart is the incredible warmth of the liner, made with five ounces of synthetic Primaloft and Polartec Hi-Loft insulation. With many other gloves, I’ve commonly started a day of backcountry skiing with my fingers at that painful edge of numb for 20 or 30 minutes—even when skinning uphill. With the Soloist, my fingers have stayed warm even in wind and temps in the low teens. The waterproof BD Dry membrane unfailingly kept my hands dry through all snow conditions, including dumping snowstorms. The leather palm and Kevlar stitching ensure serious durability. They have become my first-pick gloves whenever I know it’s going to be frosty.