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Black Diamond Solano Heated Gloves – Test and Review

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Updated April 9th, 2024

Black Diamond Solano Heated Gloves Review

Manufacturer and Model: Black Diamond Solano
List Price: $399


Summary

The Black Diamond Solano is a very warm set of ski gloves that also happens to be heated. They can keep fingers warm on the coldest of ski days. They have thick Primaloft insulation and GORE-TEX inserts to stay warm and dry. They have goat skin fingers, palms, and wrists for durability and grip. They are one of the warmest ski gloves made and the best set of heated ski gloves out there.

What we liked:

  • One of the warmest gloves available thanks to heavy insulation and strong heating
  • International adapters are included for the charger making them easy to travel with
  • Goretex membrane and Primaloft insulation keep your hands warm and dry
  • Primaloft 200g and 100g insulation
  • Goatskin on all glove surfaces from the cuff forward

What we didn’t like:

  • Stiffer fingers reduce finger dexterity
  • Very high price
  • No touch screen compatible surfaces on these gloves

Black Diamond Solano product image

Specifications

  • Battery Life Published – 3 hours high, 4.5 hours medium, 8 hours low
  • Touchscreen compatible – no
  • Waterproofing – Goretex insert
  • Insulation – Primaloft 200g-100g
  • Heating element area – Glove back, wrist, and fingers

Black Diamond Solano Heated Gloves Review and Test

Black Diamond makes great high end skiing and mountaineering gear. We previously tested a set of Black Diamond Guide Gloves and Mercury Mitts. They are what we use for cold day skiing when the Polar Vortex kicks in. We wanted to try out the Black Diamond Solano heated gloves to see how they would do. Black Diamond already makes very warm gloves. Would the heated gloves improve on that even further? The answer is yes.

The Black Diamond Solano is available in a glove or mitten. The mittens will give you a little more additional warmth at the cost of some finger dexterity.

Black Diamond sent us a set of Solano’s to try out. We took them out to ski with them on a few very cold below zero days. Let’s get into the details.

Black Diamond Solano on mountain

1 – Features

The Black Diamond Solano gloves have built in heaters with 3 levels of heat. They include a carrying case and a charger that comes with 3 plug adapters so you can use use it for international travel. They come with a set of 7.4 volt 1800 mah batteries. Charging takes around 4 to 5 hours.

Solano battery and charger
Solano carry case
Black Diamond Solano Heated Gloves

2 – Insulation (10/10)

The Black Diamond Solano gloves are really thick heavy feeling gloves before you add in the heating feature. They have 200g PrimaLoft Gold on the back of hand and 100g PrimaLoft on the palm side of the hand. They also have a GORE-TEX insert that makes them waterproof and breathable and adds a bit of insulation as well. They are very warm gloves when the power is off. They don’t have quite as much insulation as a set of non-heated Black Diamond Guide Gloves but they aren’t far behind.

3 – Heating Power (8.5/10)

The gloves has a 7.4 volt heating system with 3 heat settings. As with most heated gloves. You can feel all 3 levels when wearing them sitting at home in room temperature conditions. Out on the mountain, the low setting is a little hard to feel whether it’s doing anything. This has been true of every pair of heated gloves we have ever tried. The medium and warm settings make a real noticeable difference. The high setting quickly warms your hands up even on very cold chair lift rides on sub-zero days.

The heating elements cover the back and front of the wrists and fingers. The heating elements are oriented perpendicular to the orientation of the blood vessels in your wrists and palms. This helps to promote better blood flow which helps keep your hands warmer.

I timed how long the gloves lasted at the 3 heat levels. I got the following:

  • Low – 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Medium – 5 hours 4 minutes
  • High – 8 hours 10 minutes

The published time in the manual is 1.6-1.8 hours for high. I’m glad to see that wasn’t an accurate number. Most heated gloves we’ve tried last 3 to 3.5 hours on high. The Solano’s deliver on high power duration.

Solano battery pocket

4 – Overall Warmth (9.5/10)

The Solano’s are a really warm glove. The thick insulation, GORE-TEX lining, goat skin, and heaters all add up to toasty warm feeling hands. With the heat on these are the warmest gloves I’ve ever tried to ski with. If I go out skiing again on a -15F day, like we did a few years ago on New Year’s Eve, I’m bringing my Solano’s and a freshly charged set of batteries.

5 – Dexterity (8.0/10)

The fingers have some stiffness to them because of all the insulation and leather construction. They will soften up a little bit after use. They will never be super flexible gloves. Most very warm gloves aren’t very flexible to go with it.

6 – Glove Construction (9.5/10)

The Solano’s are very well constructed gloves that look like they are ready to go climb a mountain. Black Diamond makes gloves and other equipment designed for use on mountaineering expeditions and other extreme uses. The Solano’s follow that tradition.

Black Diamond Solano glove top
Black Diamond Solano glove bottom
Solano cuff

They have goat skin everywhere from the wrist forward. They have a water resistant shell from the wrist back. They have some padding built into them on the back of the wrist.

They use a GORE-TEX insert to make them waterproof and breathable. Under that, there is 200g PrimaLoft insulation except for the palms which have 100g Primaloft.

They have an elastic built into the wrist to keep them tight around your wrist without having a strap to adjust. They have an elastic you can cinch around the cuff opening to keep snow out. The battery pockets are on the palm side of the cuff. The heating control is a button on the outside of the cuff. The button is located where it won’t interfere with ski pole straps or get accidentally pressed.

The only thing missing that I would have liked to see is one finger have touch screen compatible material. There is none on these gloves. You will probably need to take a hand out of the glove to dig the phone out of whatever pocket it is in to use it anyway. It’s not a deal breaker for me. I can count on one hand with a lot of fingers left over how many times I’ve used the touch screen finger on a set of heavy ski gloves while skiing.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

The Black Diamond Solano’s Heated Gloves are very warm with heavy insulation and durable construction. If you want the absolute warmest ski gloves and mittens you can get, the Black Diamond Solanos are it.

Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

ryan@lowbudgetadventurer.com

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