Constantly striving to find gear that meets the demands of the adventuring minimalist the Black Diamond Liquid Point GTX Shell makes the cut. Typical requirements for an outer shell are durable, windproof, waterproof, functional and comfortable. The Liquid Point Shell adds minimal, packable and lightweight to that list.
First Impressions on the Black Diamond Liquid Point GTX Shell
When first picking up the coat the very first thing you will notice is the texture and feel. Choosing to use Gore-tex Paclite material Black Diamond creates a very soft feeling coat. This is a big change of the rugged and more rigid feel of winter coats like my Patagonia Triolet. The fabric offers wind and rain protection and breathability.
Putting on the coat the fit is a nice athletic contoured fit without the bulk and extra room one finds with the winter hardshells. Articulated cuts and free easy movement was well thought out in the design. Being that the coat is designed as a wind and water shell it has two-way armpit zips to allow airflow and breathability during warm weather or more strenuous activities.
Extra details were kept to a minimum to achieve both light weight and reduce bulk for packability. The hood cinch has a smart design allowing the helmet compatible hood and face opening to be tightened by one pull cord. Only hand pockets were added to the coat for simplicity in function. As a result of using the Gore-tex paclite and the design details above the coat comes in at a very light 425 grams.
Black Diamond’s Technical Specifications
• Adjustable, climbing-helmet-compatible hood
• YKK Reverse coil PU coated center front zipper
• Two-way armpit zip vents
• Zip hand pockets
• Low-profile, custom-molded cuff tabs
• Drawcord hem
• Weight: 425 g
• Fit: Regular
• Material: GORE-TEX® PACLITE® 2L, 75D plain-weave face with DWR finish (125 gsm, 100% polyester)
• Country of Origin: China
Retails for $224 Canadian ~ Black Diamond Liquid Point GTX Shell
I was able to take the coat on a 3 day alpine backpacking trip. On this trip the weather was warm during the day but at night the temperatures dropped and the breeze picked up. These conditions were what this coat was designed for. Pulling out the coat from my backpack it added a nice windproof layer over my fleece. It’s lightweight also meant it didn’t add any unnecessary load to my overnight pack.
In addition I have done a few hikes in the coat already in mild to moderate rains. The rain was held at bay an I didn’t see any moisture penetration anywhere. As with any waterproof breathable fabric water will eventually compromise the shell and penetrate. The key is keeping your coat clean and treating the DWR properties of the shell over it’s lifetime.
My biggest complaint and honestly the only one is not having a chest pocket. I like having a chest pocket as a convenient place to keep sunglasses or most typically my smartphone which I use for navigation and photos.
The only thing I didn’t test yet is the durability of the fabric on rock. As the alpine snow melts and climbing routes open up I will be putting the coat to the test. I suspect it will handle normal abrasion on tough surfaces but only time will tell.
Overall I would say the coat is a recommended purchase to anyone looking for a great summer 3-season shell. The Black Diamond Liquid Point GTX Shell is light, windproof, waterproof and packable. Not forgetting to mention that Black Diamond offers a 100% lifetime guarantee on their products.
I review and support companies that support my efforts to continue to bring you photos, stories and adventures of the Mindful Explorer. Altitude Sports recognizes my efforts (thanks guys!) and will occasionally provide me equipment to power my trips and future outdoor pursuits. I however will not take inferior product that I do not believe in strongly or would not normally choose to use myself. My integrity is your guarantee.