Tried & Tested Reviews
Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka
by David Simmonite
I first saw this product at the BD Apparel launch in Kandersteg, Switzerland back at the start of 2013. It was Black Diamond’s first foray into a full clothing range and of all the great products on show I was particularly keen to try this jacket. Fast forward to late 2013 and the jacket duly arrived in a fantastic sapphire blue colour.
The Stance is filled with two independent layers of lightweight, highly compressible PrimaLoft Synergy insulation that was originally designed for sleeping bags and provides plenty of insulation even wet when so ideal for British mountain conditions. I was off out in the Peak District the day it arrived to do a photo-shoot, it was a markedly cold day with a stiff breeze, the sort that chills you to the bone very quickly and where I knew I would be standing around getting cold and waiting for the climbing action to unfurl, so where better to give it a baptism, I like to be warm and I'm happy to say that I was. A friend of mine bought the same jacket and can't praise it enough having virtually lived in the jacket for a week's ice-climbing in the Alps. He commented that even when soaking wet from snow it stayed warm. With such a wet old winter I've too have barely had this jacket off when out and about, either climbing in often rubbish conditions, belaying or even walking. Got to say I love it.
The hood is nice and big to wear over a climbing helmet and it is easy to put the hood up and down wearing hats or helmets, with gloves or mittens. There's a rear pull cord that allows you to reduce the size of the hood when needed but it is a little fiddly when wearing gloves. On the front the hood cords are inside the jacket collar to keep them blowing in your face in the wind. The downside is that you have to open the collar a wee bit to alter them.
The central neoprene backed zip is nice and chunky and it's nigh on impossible to snag the two multi-directional zippers either going up or down, something that makes opening and getting the jacket on and off an easy task. In addition there are two generously sized hand pockets that are big enough to take a gloved hand and these sit quite low with the intention of accessibility when wearing a rucksack hip belt. There are two good sized chest pockets and one of these has a small internal and stretchy mobile phone sized pocket. Regarding the fit, it has a trim and athletic fit, fitting close to the body and hence nothing snags and with a longer back length keeps your bum warm. It also fitted perfectly over my soft shell and harness and did exactly what it said on the tin. The sleeves have a partial elasticated cuff and are a perfect length and are pre-shaped and slightly tapered for a good fit and don't ride down when you reach up. If you're in the market for this kind of jacket where warmth when wet is essential then check this one out.
Materials: Pertex shell (40d 60g/m2, plain-weave nylon with DWR) with PrimaLoft Synergy insulation (80g/m2, two-layer)
Two interior drop pockets
Weight: 790g/27.87 oz.