Black Diamond Stance Belay Hoody Review

black-diamond-stance-belay-As has been mentioned elsewhere, with many brands expanding their offerings horizontally, the amount of quality product out there is growing substantially. No longer do you have to get one thing from brand x, and another from brand y. Loyal fan of brand x? Just buy everything from them!

So when I first heard about Black Diamond apparel, I wondered if this would be stuff that stands out, or just a way for them to fluff out their product offerings. I got the Stance Belay Hoody last spring, right at the tail end of the cold season and only had a handful of days in it before warm weather settled in. This fall, however, cold weather came in early, and I’ve now spent plenty of time in it to give my honest opinion. The verdict? Black Diamond apparel fuses high end materials with interesting designs to produce quality apparel that’s as good as anything else on the market.

The first thing I tell people, and what others are noticing, is how warm this jacket is. It’s plenty trim, yet it keeps you toasty with ease. This is due to PrimaLoft ONE insulation and the Pertex shell that keeps the wind and moisture at bay. Another feature that stands out are the low profile cuffs. I’ve climbed a few rock pitches wearing it, as unlike other puffies, it doesn’t get in the way, and it’s easy to look down to see your feet. As a climbing belay jacket for fall and spring cragging, it offered the perfect amount of warmth to stay psyched when the sun went behind a hill but there was still plenty of daylight left for getting more pitches in.

The internal pockets are nice for stashing things, though they are a bit small for something as big as skins. The helmet compatible hood easily slides over the 3 different models I tested it with. I’ve also skied in the this jacket, and again its low profile was nice, keeping me warm without feeling like I was a marshmallow waiting to be skewered on an errant tree branch. Durability-wise, I have had it for almost a year now, and it’s showing little signs of wear.

At a retail of $229, it’s comparably priced with other jackets in its class, and offers a lot of bang for its buck. There’s also the Stance Belay pants, which I’ve taken out ice climbing and are a dream when slipped on. The combo is great for belaying your partner on long pitches, as you’ll hardly notice the time go by when drift off to your happy place, snug in your cocoon of warmth.

Overall, the Stance Belay Hoody is an excellent choice for an all around jacket you can use throughout the year that will keep you warm in most conditions.

More info and tech specs on the Black Diamond website.

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was provided to for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

2 Responses to Black Diamond Stance Belay Hoody Review

  1. Hi there. Considering this jacket for winter hikes/climbs and commuting around town. Normally, I wear a Large in jackets, which gives me a bit of room to spare. Do you think the cut of this warrants going with a Medium instead? I’d be wearing a t-shirt and a thin fleece pull-over most of the time. Thanks!

    DRomanell March 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm
    • I usually wear large and that was perfect in this jacket. I would stick with large, it has a slim cut and not excessively roomy underneath.

      BJ Sbarra March 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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