There's no room for distraction when you're swinging axes 100 feet off the deck, so Black Diamond made sure to design the Sharp End Men's Shell Jacket to keep you dry, comfortable, and focused when you need to be. The Gore-Tex Pro 3L waterproof and breathable membrane keeps you dry no matter how burly the weather, while the DWR-treated 70D nylon shell stands up to sharp ice and rocks, ski edges, and misplaced ice tools. When you're working up a sweat on the skintrack, you can pop open the underarm vents, or flip up the helmet-compatible hood to keep your noggin warm when a storm rolls in.
Black Diamond knows that little details can make a big difference, so it built the Sharp End with features like the integrated Cohaesive cord-lock system, which is incredibly durable and easy to use, even with gloves on. The expandable chest pockets are compatible with packs and harnesses, and even the hem drawcord is concealed so it doesn't get in your way when you're climbing, skiing, or roping up on your way to the summit.
- A durable and lightweight shell for fast-moving alpinists
- Gore-Tex Pro shell is waterproof, packable, and breathable
- DWR finish provides durability and protection from precipitation
- Integrated Cohaesive cord management system
- Hood is compatible for climbing helmets for safety
- Climbing-specific underarm gussets for temperature regulation
- Item #BLD00JK
- Q & A
Nice, But Fit & Pit Zips Broke The Deal
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs small
- Size Bought: Large
- Height: 6'
- Weight: 195lbs
Alrighty then. Let’s get this review underway. I purchased the Men’s Black Diamond Sharp End Shell in size Large for year round use in inclement weather. Activities for me currently include hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, skiing, and even standing for multiple hours in the rain during spring soccer games with winds up above 20 mph. I do climb, but mostly indoors at this point so I cannot attest to the climb-specific attributes at this moment.
I wanted a jacket to replace my last GORE jacket which was stolen. I wanted GORE-TEX PRO with at least one inner pocket, pit zips, hood and which fit me slightly below the waist, but not as long as a ski or snowboard-specific jacket. (I understand there is no perfect solution for waterproofing and breathability but I felt I’d give a jacket which had GORE’s best offerings a go. Magua understand moisture management very well).
~Nice matte black color. If KITT from Knight Rider wanted a new look, he’d go with matte black.
~Pockets sit lower near the hip which is more comfortable for resting hands. (I realize that this may cause a problem with some harnesses.)
~Inner pocket. Keep stuff dry. Yay.
~Waterproof zippers. Ditto.
~Pit Zips for venting. Ditto Ditto. Don't skimp on the vents.
~Lightweight (I’m not climbing thousands of feet but perhaps I’d go with a lighter jacket if I were).
~Sleeves were adequate in length when arms were lifted and also to hide hands if not wearing gloves.
~Integrated cord pulls. These really are a nice touch.
~The collar. I’ve seen this over and over where jacket collars come so close to the neck, jaw, and chin that it constantly touches. A major annoyance for me and probably the biggest reason I returned this.
~Zippers. They were pretty stiff. Perhaps they would relax over time?
~Pit Zips. These are located quite far back on the rib cage and required a lot of twisting to unzip. This was exacerbated by the stiffness of the zippers themselves. (Go-Go Gadget Arms!)
~Upper back. When I reached out with both arms forward or crossed my arms in front of me, the jacket got quite tight . More so when I layered underneath. (I do lift some weights, but the Mr. Universe title is not on my radar.)
~The hood, although roomy enough for a helmet, did not seem as adjustable as it could be if, say two more cords were added on the front like some jackets have. (If the idea was to save weight, I get it. But if I can’t see what I’m doing, then the loss of functionality is a no-go for me).
Black Diamond makes some fantastic products and I'd give it 4.5 stars and say it runs "slightly small" if the system would let me. It might fit the next person perfectly, but I bet those pit zips will make anyone frown... I did really like this jacket and wanted to keep it, but in the end, the better fit and functionality of the Arc’Teryx Beta AR won out. I wish I could leave feedback regarding the durability and moisture management, but alas, it was not to be.
6ft, 195lbs, Sleeve length to middle of hand with slightly bent elbow 36in, Chest 45in, Waist 35in. Sorry ladies, I’m taken. ;-)
Great Winter Shell
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Large
- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 195lbs
As the other reviewer very accurately pointed out, this is definitely not a ski shell. If you are looking for ski features like a pass pocket, wrist and waist gaiters, goggle pocket, etc. I would look elsewhere. BD makes a great ski shell called the Mission if you want to stick with BD.
With that said, this jacket is great when you don't want the frills and just need a basic, reliable shell for winter hiking, climbing, etc.. Using it as an alpine shell, I actually love the lack of gaiters and other extras because it makes it easier to slide on and off, and more pack-able to stow away when I don't need it. For these reasons it's great for ski touring as well, but definitely beware of the lack of features.
Bare Bones Gore-Tex Shell
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
This is a very lightweight and well put together Gore Tex Shell. For ice climbing, alpine climbing, etc I'm certain its a good jacket. Its missing several things I would look for on a ski jacket however, and its missing several components I would search for in a jacket at this cost.
-Solid Construction and if it is like other BD outwear it will be pretty bomproof.
- Lightweight (at a cost of features)
- Good helmet ready hood.
- For a Jacket at this price point I would look for things like wrist gaiters (missing), powder skirt (missing), and better arrangement of pockets (only two chest pockets).
- very crinkly for a shell (makes noise moving around in it).
Its apparent that the lack of features was probably driven by the desire for a simple & lightweight waterproof and breathable shell. However, with that said, there are several alternatives in the same weight category with Goretex Pro in the same price range. I'd go with Arc'teryx at this price point any day given the longer history and track record. Their jackets are less noisy, and every bit as good and in some cases even cheaper. At this price point thier jackets have even more features people actually use. Norrona would be another alternative for a good shell that is more robust with features that folks actually use.