Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Rain Shell ReviewJune 10, 2018
- Soft next to skin and to touch
- Stretchy fabric
- Good value
- A little heavy
- Not the most breathable jacket
For a jacket called the StormLine we expect some solid weather protection and we weren’t disappointed. Black Diamond used their proprietary BD.dry membrane in a 2.5 layer construction. It’s not the most waterproof barrier out there, but did a solid job in our testing, which including full day soakers. Waterproof zippers kept leaks out of the pockets and the fully adjustable hood, hem and cuffs locked in the protection. In a howling gust we were able to batten down the hatches and not feel a whisper of wind inside the jacket.
The BD.dry membrane is not as breathable as some of the others we’ve tested. Grunting uphill on a drizzly run in 50 degree temperatures we noticed vapor condensing on the inside of the jacket. But pit zips save the day, helping to dump lots of heat.
What we noticed most wearing the Black Diamond StormLine was how soft it felt. The exterior feels almost as smooth and quiet as a soft shell. Even when we overwhelmed the membrane with heat and moisture the inside never felt clammy. Add a bit of stretch throughout the jacket’s fabric and the StormLine was the most comfortable jacket to wear. It’s also really well equipped, with two hand pockets, pit zips and elastic pulls at the hem and hood. The hood is helmet compatible. With gusseted armpits high and long reaches—think leaning over a bike—kept everything well covered.
Black Diamond has one of the best warranties in the business: they’ll repair or replace the jacket if there are any issues. That adds to a solid build that impressed testers with its attention to detail. The fabric is not particularly burly, but it’s stretchy nature helps prevent tears.
Turn one of the StormLine pockets inside out and it turns into the jacket’s stuff sack. Fully stuffed away it’s about the size of grapefruit, about average for this category. A hang loop allows it to be clipped to a harness or the outside of a pack. It weighs in about middle of the pack.Continue Reading