Black Diamond Recon gloves review: ultra-warm paw protectors for frigid powder days

A burly pair of ski gloves for the serious skier intent on thrashing powder from first chair to last bell

Black Diamond Recon gloves
(Image: © Black Diamond)

Advnture Verdict

These burly gloves shield your paws from extreme cold, wind and heavy snow so you can focus on thrashing powder and not blowing on your hands to keep warm

Pros

  • +

    Waterproof

  • +

    Windproof

  • +

    Insulated to withstand -11°F/-24°C temperatures

  • +

    Breathable and sweat wicking

  • +

    Leather reinforced palm

Cons

  • -

    Pricey for the casual skier

  • -

    Bulky

  • -

    No touch screen compatibility

Why you can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Black Diamond Recon gloves: first impressions 

When it comes to shredding the soft stuff, these gloves pack a serious winter protection punch. The Black Diamond Recon gloves are meant to shield your paws against cold, wet conditions, with a Pertex exterior to keep off wet snow and rain even in the worst storms. Sturdy weather protection is combined with a breathable BD.dry insert that wicks sweat away from your hands if you’re working up a sweat thrashing powder or skinning uphill, and a double layer of Primaloft insulation to keep your digits toasty even in negative temps.

On the hill, a goatskin leather palm protects these gloves from any abrasion caused by your poles, and the long, drawstring cuff keeps cold drafts and snow out. These gloves trade a little dexterity for the bulk required for skiing in temperatures as cold as -11°F/-24°C, but they are burly enough to wear in the gnarliest conditions. They don’t mess around with touch screen compatibility because they’re meant for lapping lifts from first chair to last bell, not checking your phone. Priced for the serious skier, these gloves will hold up to the test of time and keep you warm on the coldest days.

Specifications

• RRP:  $99.95 / €100
• Sizes available: XS - XL
• Unisex: Men’s and women’s specific fit available
• Materials:  Pertex shell, Primaloft insulation, BD drylining, Goatskin leather palm
• Colors: Black, Astral blue, Amber
• Weight:  218.6 g / 7.7 oz
• Best use: Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing 

 Black Diamond Recon gloves: on the slopes 

Black Diamond Recon gloves

These gloves are priced for the serious skier, but they feel absolutely indestructible when you pull them on (Image credit: Black Diamond)

As a skier who runs cold, I’m not afraid to break with tradition and don a down jacket on cold days so these gloves are just what I want for mid-winter skiing when the temperatures are still on the frigid side. These gloves are priced for the serious skier, but they feel absolutely indestructible when you pull them on, so if your gear tends to take a bit of a beating, these are well worth considering.

They are ultra warm, insulated up to -11°F, and I’m certainly not interested in skiing in colder temps than that so they provide all the protection I need, and I like the long, drawstring cuff for keeping out the drafts and loose snow. The water and windproofing is impenetrable, with extra insulation on the back, where you bear the brunt of the wind on the downhill and for such a bulky, warm glove, I’m impressed with the breathability. For skinning, I almost never wear gloves anyway but for breaking a sweat in heavy powder, you won’t need to pull them off to let your hands dry off.

The bulky factor means you won’t have the dexterity of some other gloves, so you might want to have a different pair for backcountry touring where you need to be fiddling with gear, but these are meant for cold resort days and definitely deliver on that.

Here’s how they performed:

Sizing

These fit true to size. I have long fingers and wear a medium and found there to be just the slightest bit of room at the end of my fingers. If you’re in between sizes, size down not up. 

Fit

These are sturdy, bulky gloves on the outside, as you’d expect from a good pair of resort ski gloves, and snug without being tight on the inside. 

Comfort 

Ultra cosy thanks to a soft, brushed fleece lining. For very slight hands, the bulk of the fingers may be almost too much. 

Temperature regulation 

These gloves keep your hands warm on the coldest days, and will be too warm for mild spring skiing. 

Breathability 

The fleece lining wicks moisture away so if you get sweaty hands on powder days, you won’t get chilly on the lift or have to take them off between runs. 

Durability 

These are seriously sturdy gloves with reinforced palms and knuckles so they stand up to ski poles, lift bars, sharp ski edges and heavy wet snow. 

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.