Black Diamond Liquid Point Review
- Clean & minimalist aesthetic
- Improved fit
- Bit of stretch helps with coverage
- Good value
- Pit zips hard to open completely
- Less breathable than others in test
As expected from Black Diamond, the redesigned Liquid Point is an attractive and clean cut jacket with plenty of performance. It handled heavy rains with aplomb, but proved to be a bit sweaty on uphill approaches. As shell weights continue to plunge, this one seems a bit heavy, but has all the features we like to see in a shell. It may not break new ground, but it’s a solid choice at a good price.
When we put on a Gore Tex jacket we don’t worry about getting wet. After testing dozens of them in the many Gore iterations, we’ve come to rely on them to provide solid protection. The Gore Paclite in the Black Diamond Liquid Point was no exception. In two days of heavy rain we never felt a leak. A helmet compatible hood and a high collar helped create shelter. The hand pocket zips aren’t waterproof but are hidden away. The main zip isn’t waterproof either, but it is backed by a strip of fabric and didn’t show cause for any concern.
Paclite is not the most breathable membrane. It got swampy in the Black Diamond Liquid Point when we were racing uphill. Pit zips helped but they were a little hard to open fully.
I really like how the two hand pockets on the Black Diamond Liquid Point are neatly hidden behind a flap of jacket. It gives the shell a clean, minimalist look without sacrificing an essential feature. Another, small pocket hides just inside the main zip at chest height, perfect for keeping a phone or GPS dry and safe. The cuffs are adjustable and the hood has three adjustment points for dialing in a snug fit. The fleecy patch at the chin is a nice touch.
The Paclite in the Black Diamond Liquid Point is not the toughest membrane but with a little bit of stretch it didn’t show any signs of heavy wear or scratches after several weeks of use.
At about 15 ounces the Black Diamond Liquid Point is about average for a summer weight three-layer shell with two hand pockets and pit zips.
How We Tested It
The shells in this test were used in the summer and fall of 2016 (one of the wettest falls in 36 years on Vancouver Island). Storm after storm hammered this already rainy area. At one point it rained for more than 30-days in a row. On the dry side of Vancouver Island almost two feet of rain fell just in the month of November. That’s all to say it was one of the best testing labs for three layer storm shells ever. With the help of a team of sea kayak guides, mountain bikers, trail runners, and climbers we rigorously tested this and the other shells in this test on day trips and multi-day expeditions, where staying dry is the key to staying safe.
For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our Best Active Insulation Jackets of 2017 and Best Hybrid Jackets of 2017, along with other storm shell tests, soft shell tests, and other related hiking and camping gear reviews.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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