Black Diamond Prodigy Glove

The Black Diamond Prodigy Glove is part of Black Diamond’s Mountain Gear series of gloves.  These super versatile gloves provide tons of cold weather dexterity and year after year of durability.  The Prodigy’s cold weather performance is provided via a removable Thermal Pro Hi-Loft liner and a waterproof breathable Gore-Tex insert.  The Black Diamond Prodigy glove allows your fingers to be free with a 4-way stretch shell and a Pittards Armortan goatskin palm.  The Prodigy’s high gauntlet keeps the snow and wind from traveling down your sleeve and protection from all the elements.  The Prodigy provides protection from the worst weather, whether moving fast down the slopes, handling tools in alpine environments or ascending mountain peaks.

Field Report

I began utilizing the Black Diamond Prodigy Glove while backpacking and hiking in the Ozark Mountains of Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas.  Upon putting on the Prodigy Glove, I immediately noticed that these gloves contained a goatskin palm that really seemed to give these gloves a burly feel.  The Prodigy gloves also contained a Hi-loft insert that added a tight fit and seemed to add enough warmth to keep my fingers and hands warm.  During the first few days of utilizing the Prodigy gloves, I was very impressed that while these gloves had a burly feel to them, they were also extremely soft, comfortable and very flexible. This flexibility made handling trekking poles, rope and ice tools easy and allowed me to keep my hands warm at the same time.

I continued to use the Black Diamond Prodigy Gloves in a variety of cold weather conditions, to include snow and temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.   While using them in colder temperatures and in the snow, the Prodigy gloves were very comfortable and warm.  The goatskin palms provided great durability and really added to the toughness of the gloves.  I really liked the fact that the gloves extended very far up the sleeve, which served to block the wind and prevent cold temperatures from traveling down my sleeves.  While using the prodigy gloves in highly aerobic activities, the gloves were breathable enough that my hands did not overheat or perspire.  These gloves performed well enough that I decided to test them further on the Patagonia Expedition for 2010.

During the Patagonia Expedition, I utilized the Black Diamond Prodigy Gloves on a daily around camp during the evenings and throughout the day during higher elevations.  Around camp, the Prodigy gloves were warm enough to keep my hands warm and dry.   The goatskin palm added a toughness and durability to the gloves that allowed me to remove rock and debris while making camp and utilize tools around camp without concern for doing damage to the gloves.  The long elastic cuff and drawstring was a must to prevent the infamous Patagonian wind from traveling up my sleeve or inside the gloves.

As the expedition continued and we reached the summit of the Paine Massif, the temperatures and conditions forced me to move from a windstopper type of glove to a warmer glove.  The Prodigy glove worked perfectly to fill this niche, by providing me with waterproof protection and the warmth that is needed in higher altitudes.  These gloves also continued to provide the required protection from the Patagonia wind, which at times was very harsh and challenging.  The Black Diamond Prodigy gloves continued to be flexible and warm enough to utilize my trekking poles and even access pockets in my hard shell jacket and backpack.

Upon preparing for the descent from the summit, the weather changed to freezing rain and snow, and the temperature continued to drop. I continued to use the Prodigy Gloves and they continued to keep my hands warm and block the harsh wind, snow and sleet.   I continued to be surprised how these gloves provided adequate warmth to keep my hands warm, but are breathable enough to keep my hands from getting to warm and excessive perspiring.  Upon reaching camp, I removed the Prodigy gloves, as they were a bit damp on the inside from the highly aerobic activities of the day. Even though the gloves were a bit damp onthe inside, they continued to keep my hands warm around camp.  I then removed the Hi-loft inserts from the gloves and let the gloves dry overnight inside my sleeping bag.  The next morning I found the gloves to be completely dry and continued to utilize them in the mountains.

The Black Diamond Prodigy Gloves proved to be a very tough and durable glove.  The Prodigy Gloves showed little signs of wear after several weeks of intense use, in a variety of weather conditions.  The goatskin palm makes these gloves tougher and more durable than most gloves I have used and easily allowed me to use utilize trekking poles, handle rope, use ice tools and other items, without fear of wearing holes in the gloves.  Storage and cleaning the Prodigy Gloves was both quick and easy.  I was able to utilize a clean damp cloth to remove the dirt and debris from the exterior of the gloves.  I then removed the Prima-loft liner from the inside of the gloves and cleaned then in the same manner.  I then let the gloves air dry and stored them in my gear closet.

The Black Diamond Prodigy Gloves are an excellent choice for those wanting a very tough, durable, warm and comfortable pair of gloves.  The Prodigy gloves are heavy and warm enough to keep your hands warm in temperatures into the teens and 20’s and light enough to utilize during backpacking, hiking, climbing and skiing trips.   The goatskin palms add a toughness and durability to the gloves and the long elastic cuff and drawstring prevent wind, snow and moisture from entering the sleeve.  These gloves performed well in a variety of cold weather pursuits and would be a welcome addition to your gear arsenal.

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