If you’ve ever patrolled, chances are you used leather gloves. Once you’ve had a leather glove, nothing else comes close to its fit and function. I got this sample pair of the Black Diamond Patrol back in 2006 or ’07.
As a former patroller, I value a glove with a lotta leather. You beat the crap out of gloves handling ropes and dealing with sleds. In fact, I’ve never met a patroller who doesn’t own a pair of leathers, whether they’re Kinkos or a big, brand-name glove. They simply hold up the best.
These gloves, in particular, are a downhill-oriented glove. They just don’t breathe that well. Fortunately, the Patrols have the perfect amount of insulation to keep you warm on the ride out. Above all else, I’ve been most impressed with their insides. They’re pristine. So despite the glove’s ragged exterior, the incredibly important interior is still in good shape. It says a lot about the quality of the gloves because, in a cheaper glove, the lining is often the first to go.
My Patrols probably have more than 300 days of use in them. That includes carrying wood, shoveling snow, doing carpentry, everything. It’s one thing if you’re holding ski poles, but if you’re working and getting in and out of a pack constantly, you want a glove with good grip and durability. And frankly, there’s something about leather that just looks good. The bottom line with leather gloves is that the stitching is bound to wear out before the material does. At the end of the day, it’s also about fit. BDs work for me.
+ Reinforced leather palm is perfect for handling ropes and equipment.
– The snow wipe has been disintegrated by nose juice.
= Super long lasting, comfortable and trustworthy.
$150 – SCOTT-SPORTS.COM
Rugged, water-resistant Pittards leather covers the palm, forefingers and backhand of this sturdy glove, while a stretch material rounds out what isn’t draped in leather. Add a Gore-Tex insert and wool lining, and you get a pragmatic, warm and sturdy ski glove.
Marmot Exum Work Glove
$80 – MARMOT.COM
The Exum Work Glove combines a leather-reinforced palm with Marmot’s proprietary MemBrain waterproof/breathable fabric. Designed for alpine climbing, the Exum has an ample gauntlet for a fully covered, form-fitting feel. Fits small.
Swany Big Bruiser
$80 – SWANYAMERICA.COM
Swany makes comfortable gloves, and the Big Bruiser is simply that. Constructed with supple leather, the Bruiser has a soft feel, but the entire palm and part of the index finger and thumb are reinforced for durability. Fingers fit long.
Outdoor Research Knuckleduster
$79 – OUTDOORRESARCH.COM
What appear to be motocross gloves is actually a pair of brawny, under-the-cuff ski gloves offering ample warmth and protection—from cold, wetness and obstacles. Waterproof and insulated, the Knuckledusters are padded on the knuckles and reinforced on the palms.