Monday, 05 September 2016 21:11

Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell: Tested & Reviewed Featured

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A review by one of the 'Climbing and Mountaineering' team Fraser Brown, he's given Black Diamonds Liquid Point Shell a run in various conditions to test it's metal in the outdoors. As a bonus it turns out another member of the team, Alan McIntosh, has the same jacket and provides a short second opinion on the same jacket, see how they compare.

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Tech specs:

  • GORE-TEX® PacLite 2L, 75D plain-weave face with DWR finish (125 g/m2, 100% polyester)
  • YKK Vislon flat center zips with DWR coating
  • Internal chest pocket
  • Armpit vent (45cm 17,5inches on Large Size)
  • Adjustable Climbing Helmet compatible hood
  • Weights 413 g (14.6 oz.)
  • Available in 4 different colours Red, Blue, Grey and Mustard

THE TEST
Over the summer I was given the task of reviewing the 2016 Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell and in that time there hasn’t been much rain in Scotland which is a surprise! I’ve been wearing The Liquid Point constantly for 3 months nearly every time it rained and on as many occasions as possible tSono give it a good test. Hill days, climbing, walking the dog and I even used this while roofing a barn at a friend’s farm. Granted that’s not your normal way to test gear but it gave it the abuse that it needed for me to see how it would survive. I went for a trip up The Aonach Egaech Ridge with the review team and we all had gear to test that day and was great catch up with all the new gear.


MY REVIEW
The first impression counts and here they do just that! It’s A smart looking jacket that means business. There is no faff and it’s been designed for the minimalist and that’s what you get! The Gore-Tex PacLite 2L is fantastic and I’ve never been even the slightest bit damp. The pit zips are massive and work really well, they can be a little tricky with a backpack on but this is nothing to worry about as the zipper has 2 zips making it easy to only do the top, the middle or the bottom. I really liked the small areas with the soft material at the back of the neck and the front mouth area. It gives a very comfortable fit when fully zipped up.


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The hood is easy to adjust and closes up well. It did fit my climbing helmet well and didn’t feel too tight. I did think the sleeve are a little too baggy but then I tried to put the liquid shell on and off with gloves on and this answered why!

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It’s so easy to take on and off with gloves.

Ok you might get by now that I’m a little bit fond of this shell!! Well you would be right.

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However, there is only 2 small issues that I didn’t like. I find the fit a little tight around the chest area for me, with the rest of the Liquid Point fitting so well I wouldn’t like to go up to a XL size to sort this. My one and really my only complaint is the pockets! Why oh why put pockets on a jacket that as soon as you put a backpack on are useless! You can’t open them as the waste belt on all 6 bags I’ve got cover them up!

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There are no external chest pockets and I get this must be to save weight, if that’s the case why didn’t Black Diamond save more weight and remove the other pockets as well?

Other than the pocket issue I absolutely love the Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell. Its light weight but as tough as old boots and I'll be happy to have this in my bag in any season in Scotland, a very capable jacket with a few great thought-out features to help make your adventure that little bit more comfortable. It will happily take the very worst of the outdoors has to throw at you.

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In a nut shell or ‘liquid point’ shell I love it and it's earned a place in my bag ready for what this winter has to offer.

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So what's Alans' take, well when he read the review his response was "Fraser is bang on!" his only addition was the "cuff velcro on mine comes undone often and the hood while good for Fraser, with a helmet on could be roomy for me and hard to 'lock down' against wind on a smaller head or without a helmet. And definitely in need of a Napoleon pocket"

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 08:52
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District