Brand: Black Diamond Gear Reviews
Model: Vision Parka
Our take Only fools—or those with an unlimited gear budget—would ski trees in a puffy, right? True, unless you’re wearing the Vision. Thanks to a 20-denier, nylon-blend face fabric reinforced with a woven-in liquid crystal polymer (a type of plastic far stronger than ripstop nylon), one Vermont skier slayed the glades for an entire season in this jacket and it suffered zero rips or snags. “I actually slammed into a hidden log on Dewey Mountain and pierced my brand-new ski pants,” he says. “But the Vision emerged unscathed.”
The details During a -10°F day ice climbing at Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch, our cold-blooded tester belayed comfortably with a couple fleece layers underneath. Durability like this is not usually very compressible, but since the LCPs don’t add much bulk the Vision packs down to roughly the size of a four-pack of tallboys. The fully insulated hood works well over a climbing helmet.
Trail cred “The zippers on this jacket are beefy and smooth,” one tester says. “Though the front placket isn’t stiffened with a fabric reinforcement, the large-toothed zipper keeps it from catching—a problem on many parkas I’ve worn.”
1 lb. 5 oz.; m’s S-XL, w’s XS-XL