Gray skies in morning, no need for warning.
There's no need to cancel your plans if you wake up to skies that are more gray than blue, because the Black Diamond Men's Alpine Start Hooded Jacket keeps wind and light rain at arm's length. Slip it on when the gusts come out to play, and the climbing-specific gussets keep your arms moving freely even as its nylon face blocks the wind. The Schoeller softshell fabric is highly breathable, so you can hike fast and climb hard, and the jacket is treated with Nanosphere technology, making the stretch fabric resistant to both moisture and dirt. Weighing even less than before, it can be easily stowed into its own pocket when the sun comes out, letting you clip it to your harness or stuff it into a pack.
- Softshell jacket for inclement weather on the crag or trail
- Underarm gussets offer performance mobility
- DWR treatment sheds dirt and light rain
- Stretchy cuffs and drawcord hem seal out the chill
- Adjustable hood can be popped for extra weather protection
- Lightweight design packs down into its own pocket
- Slim fit keeps bulk out of your way as you climb
- Item #BLD00Q6
- Q & A
- Size Bought: L
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 185lbs
For some this will seem like a niche piece to have, but this may be my most used jacket. It pretty much lives in my pack for whatever activity I am doing. It takes the edge of high winds, light snow, light rain, but is highly breathable. It's also great for a little extra warmth in the fall/spring when the temp drops and your in high output mode.
If you're looking for a light weight, packable, windbreaker/shell - this is by far the best option I've tried. After using the alpine start, the patagonia houdini feels like wearing trash-bag for a shell - the two products aren't even really comparable.
$160 for windbreaker type shell is on the high-side, but given the amount I've used this product over the last year plus, I think its worth it.
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 175lbs
Use it for spring ski touring and throwing in the pack for those colder mtb rides.