Saturday, January 10, 2015

Black Diamond Dirt Bag Gloves Review

Got these about a year ago during the winter of 2013/2014 to replace a pair of MEC Cascade Fleece Gloves.

Black Diamond Dirt Bag Gloves in S (US$ ~40, CAD$ ~40)
Paid: CAD$ ~40

A pair of mustard yellow leather gloves with black fabric cuffs. The cuffs were an elastic material. With arms stretched forward and palms down, the gloves had rings (actually triangles) on the left and right, exterior sides. The tag noted that the product was made in Pakistan, and the shell palm and back were 100% genuine leather while the inside lining was 100% polyester.

Pretty good in the size I chose. Once again, I had some trouble deciding between the XS and S sizes. The one I settled on was S this time around. They fit pretty well with a bit of excess material and give at the digits. My wrists actually lined up at the point between the leather palm of the Dirt Bag gloves and the fabric cuff quite well. Having an elastic, narrower cuff helped when tucking the glove under the cuff of my jackets.

Top of the Black Diamond Dirt Bag Gloves
These gloves felt reasonably good. I found the interior liner to be soft, but on the rougher side. The stiffness of the leather didn't help. Putting them on and taking them off wasn't much trouble with the elastic cuff and slightly stretchy leather. There was some resistance when moving my fingers due to the stiffness of the leather, but I expected it to soften over time with use. And I felt a large loss in my sense of touch, enough so that I usually had to take my gloves off to do anything that required a bit of dexterity. Doors, zippers, and holding things were okay.

Palm of the Black Diamond Dirt Bag Gloves
Having learned a lesson about wind resistance from the MEC Cascade Fleece Gloves I bought the year before, I decided to splurge on these more expensive leather gloves. That sort of worked out, but not entirely. These gloves were warm enough for me down to the lower negative single digits (down to about -5 C). They definitely did a better job at blocking wind.

However, I did not find these gloves to be warm enough for really cold days when I needed it. Just like the Cascade gloves, though, they were insulated enough that it took a while for my body heat to warm up my hands when I put them in my pockets. I didn't find it too difficult to shove my hands in my pockets, but it wasn't as easy compared with my thin, knit gloves. There were also a few times that I formed a fist in the palm of these gloves to warm my fingers up.

They ended up sitting in my bag as a back-up glove in case I needed extra warmth and absolutely had to have my hand out of my pockets for long periods of time (e.g. when holding things).

Part of the inside of the gloves
Not bad, but in retrospect, I would have gotten mittens or thicker gloves. These were probably good for temperatures around freezing, even slightly below with some wind, especially when I needed some water resistance. I absolutely loved how they looked when warn with a dark colored jacket -- big yellow highlight at the hands.

However, I realized that my thin gloves were a good option because they helped in terms of warmth while still giving me a lot of feeling. If my hands got cold, I could very easily put my hands with thin gloves into my pockets where the lower amount of insulation would warm them back up relatively quickly. Forming a fist with these thing gloves also passed heat between my palm and fingers well. They essentially allowed a constant freeze and defrost cycle to occur that made me feel warmer than with these thicker, leather gloves.

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