New for 2014 is the the Black Diamond Access LT Hoody which is a chameleon of jackets as it has a myriad of uses. Designed as a light duty belay jacket for spring or fall days at the crag, the Access LT has become a staple outer-layer for my ski touring adventures as well as a warm mid-layer for those days where I just feel like burning laps up at the ski hill.
With a thin layer of Primaloft ONE insulation the Access LT Hoody is not a super warm jacket but rather one that’s more effective in the shoulder season when participating in high aerobic activities or as a supplemental mid-layer during winter. This light weight synthetic insulation packs down to almost nothing so it’s a no brainer to take the Access LT Hoody on most adventures. The single chest pocket on the Access LT Hoody doubles as a storage compartment for the jacket complete with clip loop so that you can fasten it to your pack or harness securely.
The 20 denier Pertex nylon shell repels wind and light precipitation and its ripstop construction won’t eliminate tears but it does minimize their damage. Schoeller stretch-woven side panels are found under the arms to provide better range of motion for ski touring and climbing while venting excess heat when things warm up. There’s a NanoSphere technology built into these side panels which is water repellent as well as naturally self-cleaning. Watch the following video to see this innovative technology in action:
- Adjustable, helmet-compatible hood
- Highly packable design stows in zippered chest pocket with a carabiner clip loop
- Climbing-specific gusseted underarm panels
- Drawcord hem
- Shell: 20d Pertex® nylon ripstop (40 g/m2), Schoeller® stretch-woven side panels with NanoSphere® Technology (200 g.m2, 93% nylon, 7% elastane)
- Insulation: PrimaLoft® ONE (40 g/m2)
The Black Diamond Access LT Hoody has been the perfect outer-layer this fall for hiking and climbing trips in the Selkirk Mountains around Nelson. As the fall turned to winter the Access became a warm mid-layer under my ski touring shell and a secondary mid layer while early season skiing at the resort. With a fit that’s bang on for my 6’1” 175lb frame its hard not to love the Access LT Hoody. It repels more wind than your average softshell and an average amount of precipitation so it works well in most conditions. I did find it a little warm on the skin track mid day but on those colder mornings it was just right!
The only flaw that I could find with the Black Diamond Access LT Hoody was the lack of hand warmer pockets. While the BD designers likely omitted pockets to limit weight and increase compactability I feel that it was not a worth while trade-off. With a single chest pocket the storage capacity for keys, wallet, phone or other small items was severely limited; in reality who likes to store things in a chest pocket anyways? In this case however the chest pocket actually stores the Access LT Hoody to help keep it compact and safe while not in use. If Black Diamond is able to incorporate two hand warmer pockets on the next iteration then the rating below would increase. Overall a great piece ideal for multiple seasons and activities with only one flaw which hopefully can be improved upon by Black Diamond the next time around.
Price: $189 US
Weight: 360g / 12.7oz
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Colours: Mosaic, Classic Green, Granite, Onyx
- Fit is spot on.
- Compresses down to almost nothing.
- Warm and windproof given its diminutive size.
- Versatile across seasons and sports
- No hand warmer pockets (this is a biggie for this reviewer).
- Internal mesh stash pocket would be a nice addition.
Quality / Price 2/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.