As expected from Black Diamond, the redesigned Liquid Point is an attractive and clean cut jacket with plenty of performance. It handled heavy rains with aplomb, but proved to be a bit sweaty on uphill approaches. As shell weights continue to plunge, this one seems a bit heavy, but has all the features we like to see in a shell. It may not break new ground, but it’s a solid choice at a good price.
Weathershedding When we put on a Gore Tex jacket we don’t worry about getting wet. After testing dozens of them in the many Gore iterations, we’ve come to rely on them to provide solid protection. The Gore Paclite in the Black Diamond Liquid Point was no exception. In two days of heavy rain we never felt a leak. A helmet compatible hood and a high collar helped create shelter. The hand pocket zips aren’t waterproof but are hidden away. The main zip isn’t waterproof either, but it is backed by a strip of fabric and didn’t show cause for any concern.
Breathability Paclite is not the most breathable membrane. It got swampy in the Black Diamond Liquid Point when we were racing uphill. Pit zips helped but they were a little hard to open fully.
Function I really like how the two hand pockets on the Black Diamond Liquid Point are neatly hidden behind a flap of jacket. It gives the shell a clean, minimalist look without sacrificing an essential feature. Another, small pocket hides just inside the main zip at chest height, perfect for keeping a phone or GPS dry and safe. The cuffs are adjustable and the hood has three adjustment points for dialing in a snug fit. The fleecy patch at the chin is a nice touch.
Durability The Paclite in the Black Diamond Liquid Point is not the toughest membrane but with a little bit of stretch it didn’t show any signs of heavy wear or scratches after several weeks of use.
Packability At about 15 ounces the Black Diamond Liquid Point is about average for a summer weight three-layer shell with two hand pockets and pit zips.
Ryan Stuart is freelance writer and jack of all sports—trail running, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, surfing, climbing, skiing and mountaineering—based on Vancouver Island. Follow his testing on Google+.