Get a head start.
As the name may suggest, Black Diamond's Alpine Start Hoodie accompanies you high in the mountains while the rest of the world is still sleeping. The lightweight design is geared towards minimalist climbers and skiers who know all too well that every ounce counts in the backcountry. The Alpine Start is made with a breathable, weather-resistant softshell material, making it perfect for traversing ridges or sending it up a route when the winds are howling. The slim fit and climbing-specific underarm gussets lend ample mobility without being cumbersome, and the whole jacket stows in its internal chest pocket with a carabiner loop to clip it to your harness.
- Light, technical jacket for alpine ascents
- Schoeller softshell material breathes well and repels weather
- Underarm gussets for increased mobility when climbing
- Helmet-compatible hood adds extra protection from the weather
- Stows in internal chest pocket makes it easy to pack
- With a mission to bring high-quality climbing and ski gear to the public, Black Diamond has been driving the industry since 1957
- Item #BLD00O5
- Q & A
Wind/light rain layer
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 170lbs
I mostly wear my Alpine Start ski touring and rock climbing.
It is super light/packable, and keeps out the wind without insulating or heating up.
Mine has proven pretty durable but I don't think that the jacket is meant to take much abuse. I probably wouldn't climb a chimney in it, and if I chose to, I probably wouldn't expect much sympathy from the warranty folks.
The Alpine Start is a lot like the Houdini jacket that Patagonia makes, and most outdoor companies produce a comparable layer. I chose the Alpine Start because it feel long in the arms. Other than fit, I am not sure there is much differentiating any of the wind/light rain layers that Backcountry sells.
Crux piece, for sure!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
- Height: 5'6"
- Weight: 145lbs
This is quite possibly my favorite layer I own for climbing. I've had mine for a few years bringing it with my all over the US for climbing trips. Can't believe how much abuse this thing has taken. For just about any multipitch route I have it clipped to my harness. It's so light and packs so small that many times I've forgotten I've even had it back there until the wind picks up or the temps drop. And when the winds start whipping, that down jacket you carried isn't going to help much. This super light hoody it going to save your butt. I've been practically blown off routes, but still hung on to my warmth with this hoody's windbreaking abilities. Plenty warm on its own, but even better with a layer below.
Can't say enough good things about this piece of clothing. I brag about it so much I've gotten 5-6 climbing friends to pick up their very own.
I do wish it had hand pockets, but I get that's just going to add a bit of weight.