The Black Diamond Torque is marketed as a technical ice / dry tooling / mixed climbing glove ideal for climbing where dexterity and grip are key. I’ve been using my pair for 4 months and I’m quite pleased with them. They deliver exactly what they promise and are holding up really well to abuse. If you are looking for a pair of thin mixed / ice gloves definitely try these on.
These are thin gloves with a woven softshell backing and a slipstop palm. They won’t do much for warmth past about -5 C, but they stop wind and keep some wet out for long enough that even in much colder weather you can put them on for a lap and then tuck them back into your jacket while you wear big belay gloves to warm back up.
The gloves sport a super grippy palm material and the high wear and tear areas are double layered to help extend the life of the glove and give it some extra padding. They are thin enough that it doesn’t add fatigue from having to over grip through bulky material, and dexterous enough that you can tie knots, clip draws, place gear, and turn screws all with ease provided your hands aren’t too cold.
Something I really enjoy that I didn’t notice so much when buying the gloves is that the material also extends over the finger tips for when you are dealing with wet and frozen gear. This means your fingertips don’t stick to the metal, and don’t get nearly as cold when mucking about near the ice / cold rock. Somebody at Black Diamond was having a clever morning when they thought of that.
An articulated cuff and velcro system keep the glove snug around your wrist. I’m not a very big person and am able to cinch these small enough that they don’t let snow and ice in.
Protective padding helps keep pain to a minimum when you are hanging on your tools for a long time, although there are no knuckle guards or other padding to speak of.
A carabiner hole in each glove lets you clip it and stick it on your harness (although I usually put mine inside my jacket to stay warm when I’m not wearing them). I also sized mine big enough that I can fit a small liner in them, which adds alot more range to their usable warmth. Because of this I’ve also been using them as my go-to thin backcountry ski glove. Priced at approximately $60.00, they are in the same cost range as two golf gloves which definitely seems to be the handwear of choice among the competive climbers in the rockies, but they will last longer and hold up to far more abuse.
The one downside I will say to this glove is that you can feel the seams of the glove on the inside. It’s not necessarily uncomfortable, and doesn’t add any pain, but it would be really nice to not have the seams so pronounced on the inside of the glove.
I think these gloves are great when used as part of a “two glove” system. The Torques for leading and climbing, and a big bulky warm pair for belaying / warming up in between laps. They are going to last you a lot longer than a pair of golf gloves, and offer many of the same benefits plus a few extras. I do find them a bit too warm for extended indoor drytool training, but they still get the job done.
Not having to fight with bulky awkward gloves is much appreciated when flailing above my pay grade. Route: All Canadian Toque, M9. Bear Spirit, Alberta.
I also recommend you check out their nearest competitor, the OR Alibi II. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet because I can’t find a pair in my size, but they seem created in much the same spirit.
Pros: Snug fit, SUPER grippy, durable, dexterous
Cons: Seams are very pronounced on inside of glove
Conclusion: I use mine for multiple sports now I like them so much. Definitely worth trying on if you are in the market for this sort of glove.