January 18, 2023

Product Review: Black Diamond Soloist Finger Cold Weather Gloves

It's been a while since one of my product review posts! The number of folks that reach out to me publicly and privately to tell me how valuable they find these posts means a lot, and I have a couple of great additions to my winter wardrobe this year that will make for good reviews.

First up. My new lobster claw "Alpine climbing" gloves.

I let the other co-op members go out of town with their families at Christmas this year, which meant I had a LOT of chores. I had hoped my own family would come visit, but that didn't end up happening, so I was alone on Christmas, AND we had some of the most brutal winter weather I've ever experienced, with wind chills pushing -40F and the horses staying inside for multiple days since we don't have shelters outside.

Christmas morning was the first time they could safely go out in three days, and Disco was a perfect gentleman for turnout despite that. Good baby.

I'm not typically one to complain, but man it sucked. I bought myself a consolation present in advance: the best ultra cold weather barn gloves I've found so far, the Black Diamond Soloist Finger Cold Weather Gloves, which are designed for "technical Alpine climbing", which I hoped meant they would be more durable than ski gloves.


These gloves have a 100% waterproof outer shell, a removable/washable liner with 340g of insulation, and a Kevlar-reinforced goat leather palm. They also feature a split finger design, with the thumb and index finger being separate and the middle, ring and pinkie fingers together in a mitten space.

The removable liner. It's basically a sleeping bag for your hands.

I hoped that design would split (lol) the difference between the dexterity of gloves and the warmth of a mitten, and that's exactly what it does. They were more certainly more cumbersome than gloves, but I was able to do and undo blankets (slowly), throw hay bales, and open tab-top Ziploc supplement bags without taking the gloves off. Turns out I really don't use my middle, ring and pinkie fingers for much at the barn, unless I'm riding, which clearly these gloves are not suitable for.


In terms of warmth: WOW. Without a doubt the warmest gloves I've ever worn. For reference, my SSG 10 Belows have 100g of insulation, and these have 340g. Truly, they're so warm most of you will not need them, because you'll never experience temps cold enough to need them, they are that warm.

My index finger does tend to get a little cold when it's in its little pocket, but unless I actually need my index finger for something, I tend to tuck it into the mitten area where there's more than enough room for it, and then it stays warm.

(And for reference: it was so brutally cold that when I did take the gloves off for less than two minutes, my hands froze so quickly and thoroughly I had to spend 10 minutes in the heated office to avoid frostbite. They definitely got put to the warmth test.)

Some of the fuzzy liner visible on the inside. It's fleece against the skin and then 340g of Primaloft Gold insulation between the fleece and the waterproof shell.

Features I love: I love that the liner is removable. All of my gloves are washable of course, but these are going to dry faster and stay waterproof longer if I'm only regularly washing the liner. And in theory you could buy a second liner to alternate with, although I haven't found them for sale anywhere.

I also love the long cuffs. The SSG cuffs are elastic and designed to fit against the skin, which is annoying when you wear a smartwatch and have other sleeves in the way. The Black Diamond cuffs go comfortably over your coat sleeve and have a toggle to seal against snow getting into them, although I didn't feel the need to use it.

What are the negatives? First, I wish they had straps to keep them attached to my wrist when I take them off like the SSG 10 Belows do, although I can fix that with aftermarket glove straps. Second, they won't go small enough for everyone. I wear a medium in SSGs and a 6.5 in Roeckl, and I'm wearing the X-small here. Third, they are not cheap, at $129/pair (I paid $99). 

(I recommend buying them in a fit of rage when you JUST CAN'T EVEN with f****** winter anymore. It makes the price easier to swallow.)

Bottom line: If you have actual barn chores to do in climates where it's regularly below 15F, I can wholeheartedly recommend these. If you live where you just think it's cold (lol) or you only go to the barn to ride, you'd be better served by buying something cheaper that will give you more dexterity.

What: Black Diamond Soloist Finger Cold Weather Gloves

Where: Amazon or the Black Diamond website

Price: $129 (I paid $99 on sale)

Colors: Black, Dark Curry (brown)

Sizes: Men's XS to Men's XL


  1. Hi some people can not comment so can you change the setting on your blog to allow all comments not just google.

    1. Ugh, I'd love to, but last time I did that I got flooded with spam. The only options are to open it wide up to any anonymous commenter, any Google account, or lock it down to a membership-only style system.

    2. That is unfortunate. I have almost no comments usually. If it gets too spammy I will adjust it back. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. I love this review! In past winters, we have had weeks of days that don't go above 10 degrees. So I will definitely be looking into a pair of these! I especially like the long cuff!