Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Shell is a reasonably priced, 2.5-layer waterproof/breathable rain jacket that’s light-weight sufficient for year-round use and for a number of sports activities from snowboarding and climbing to climbing and backpacking. It has many of the performance that hikers and backpackers need, together with an adjustable hood with a entrance brim, pit zips, zippered handwarmer pockets, and rip-and-stick velcro-style cuffs. The Stormline can also be absolutely seam taped and repels rain and wind properly. As well as, there’s a slight quantity of stretch constructed into the outside cloth that makes it comfy and quiet to put on whereas nonetheless offering further room for layering.
Specs at a look
- Waterproof/breathable: 2.5L BD.dry
- Weight: 11.3 oz (our check jacket is 10.5 oz in a males’s XL)
- Gender: Males’s (Ladies’s additionally accessible)
- Pit zips: Sure
- Adjustable hood w/brim: Sure
- Climbing suitable hood: Sure
- Pockets: 2 (handwarmer)
- Velcro-wrist cuffs: Sure
- Seam-taped: Sure
- Hydrostatic head: 10,000 mm
- MVTR: 10,000 gm/m2/24hr
- Match: Runs a bit massive.
There are a small set of match and thermoregulation options that I at all times search for on rain jackets for climbing and backpacking together with pit zips, an adjustable hood, and wrist cuffs no matter whether or not the jacket is made with breathable cloth or not. This stage of performance is crucial for actively managing your stage of heat and perspiration throughout a variety of temperatures, wind speeds, and path circumstances.
The Stormline Stretch has pit zips within the armpits to vent built-up physique warmth and cut back perspiration. I view it as a really constructive signal when a water-resistant/breathable jacket producer consists of pit zips. It signifies that they perceive the restrictions of the expertise and aren’t attempting to drag the wool over your eyes. The one really efficient strategy to regulate physique warmth when sporting a rain jacket is to crack open some zippers and let it escape. You sweat much less and keep drier once you’re cooler. That is notably vital in colder climate when extreme perspiration can compromise your midlayer insulation.
The Stormline’s pit zips are 12 inches lengthy which is fairly common. The zips have a single slider that pulls down from the higher bicep to the higher torso. Whenever you’re prepared to shut them, the zippers shut easily with out a whole lot of drive, though I’d nonetheless suggest that you just lubricate them periodically with Gear-Help Zipper Cleaner and Lubricant to maintain them working easily.
The Stormline Stretch jacket has a climbing suitable hood which is nice for those who put on a helmet, however most hikers don’t. Nonetheless, the jacket has a rear quantity adjuster on the hood that lets your shrink it right down to human dimension. The hood has a water-resistant brim, however is clearly designed to be used with a climbing helmet or ski helmet and I feel you’ll wish to put on it with a brimmed hat in rain. The brim has a stiffener routed by means of it you should utilize to comfortable it into place in your hat. But it surely’s not designed to shrink the face opening like a jacket that has a two-way adjustable hood with neck toggles. Not optimum, however the unhappy truth is that almost all rain jacket hoods aren’t designed for hikers and it’s laborious to get an honest hood on high of every thing else with out spending more cash. Should you hate outsized hoods otherwise you don’t want a multi-sport jacket that has one, the Stormline Stretch Rain Shell might be not for you.
When the hood is zippered up all the way in which, you get a great deal of face protection with it, so your mouth, neck, and higher chest are shielded from the wind, and blowing snow and rain. There’s no zipper storage or smooth face cloth on the inside of the neck although, which is comprehensible at this value level. However a excessive neck like it is a good characteristic to fend off nasty climate and is an efficient hedge towards having to put on full face safety like a balaclava through the colder months.
I feel Black Diamond calls the Stormline Stretch a “rain shell” and never a rain jacket since you actually can use it within the fourth season, i.e. winter. You possibly can conclude this by wanting on the cuffs, which have rip-and-stick (velcro) fashion closures as an alternative of a budget elastic wrists that you just discover on most warm-weather jackets. These are rather more environment friendly at sealing in physique warmth on the wrists and to be used with insulated gloves. It is a premium characteristic on a rain jacket.
The Stormline has two zippered handwarmer pockets which have rain flaps positioned over the zippers. The pockets are usually not hipbelt suitable, however that’s a fairly uncommon characteristic on US-designed rain jackets anyway. The jacket stuffs into its right-hand pocket for storage and there’s a loop so you may cling it from a harness. These stuff-it pockets are literally an vital characteristic on waterproof-breathable jackets which have an exterior DWR coating as a result of they assist lengthen its lifetime by lowering friction earlier than DWR reproofing is required.
The Stormline is a 2.5 layer jacket, that means that it has an outer cloth layer (layer 1) that covers a water-resistant/breathable membrane (layer 2), with a skinny liner (the half layer) on the inside. The skinny liner is normally printed or sprayed on the membrane to guard it from sporting out. Whereas 2.5 layer jackets are much less sturdy or breathable than a 3 layer jacket, which has an inner cloth liner, they’re a lot lighter weight which is a precedence for many hikers.
The waterproof/breathable membrane on the Stormline Stretch jacket has an MVTR (moisture vapor transmission price) of 10,000 gm/m2/24hr which is fairly mediocre when it comes to breathability, however proper in step with the proprietary (non-Gore-tex branded) waterproof/breathable membranes included in different producer’s rain jackets from Marmot, Patagonia, and others. That’s why there are pit-zips on this jacket, to mitigate the warmth buildup that may make you perspire and end in sweat. Nonetheless, Black Diamond will get an ‘A’ for transparency since they let you know what the breathability score is for his or her proprietary membrane. Most corporations go to nice lengths to obscure that truth.
The Stormline Stretch is seam-taped which prevents the jacket from leaking within the rain. It additionally has a YKK reverse coil PU coated middle entrance zipper, which is successfully waterproof. This eliminates the necessity for further cloth flaps to guard the zipper and reduces the jacket’s weight.
Comparability Desk – Our Prime Rain Jacket Picks
The Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Shell is an efficient selection for those who’re in search of a four-season rain shell that can be utilized for a number of sports activities, along with climbing and backpacking. I feel Black Diamond has carried out a very good job at balancing the technical specs and options to create a jacket that’s light-weight however nonetheless maintains the performance that’s most vital to 4 season-hikers. By way of match, I discovered the Stormline Stretch to run a bit massive in a males’s xl and that the quantity of stretch within the cloth is definitely fairly restricted, so don’t get your coronary heart set on that characteristic. However general, the Stormline Stretch Rain Shell compares fairly favorably towards barely cheaper rain jackets and is unquestionably a step up in utility and efficiency.
Disclosure: The writer bought this jacket.
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Final up to date: 2022-03-22 10:05:58
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