The Black Diamond Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody is a pretty unique insulation layer in that it uses a combination of strategically placed down blend insulation and synthetic insulation to keep you warm. PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend reduces bulk and increases warmth, while PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation adds water resistance in more exposed areas. The Down Blend is made from 70% DWR-treated (Durable water repellent) goose down and 30% synthetic fibres which are used in the body of the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody. This insulation is highly packable, warm and the down stays dry thanks to its DWR treatment. In the more exposed areas, namely the hood, shoulders and arms, the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody uses the synthetic insulation. This synthetic insulation provides warmth when wet and also an elevated level of durability compared to the Down Blend insulation which is found elsewhere in the jacket.
Aside from cutting edge technical insulation, the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody has a three-way adjustable hood that’s designed to fit over a climbing helmet and could fit nicely under a ski helmet if required. There are two zippered pockets on the exterior of the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody to keep your hands warm and two internal drop pockets to keep your ski touring gloves warm on the ski down. There are also unique cuff designs that don’t use velcro but rather an elastic fabric around the cuffs that feels super comfy.
The Black Diamond website states that the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody “packs into its internal stretch mesh pocket and features a carabiner clip loop.” The sample that I received didn’t have an internal mesh pocket or a carabiner loop, perhaps I received an earlier or later version of the jacket? If this is a ‘must-have-feature’ be sure to check before you buy.
Thanks to its multiple types of insulation, light weight design, helmet compatible hood and packability the Black Diamond Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody is a really versatile puffy that offers an unbeatable warmth to weight ratio ideal for a multitude of activities in a variety of weather conditions.
- Adjustable, climbing-helmet-compatible hood
- Stretch gusseted cuffs
- Two zippered hand pockets
- Drawcord hem
- Bluesign approved fabric
- Inside flash of the two internal drop pockets
Shell: Pertex Quantum with DWR (20d, 49 g/m2, 100% nylon)
Body: PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend
Hood, Shoulders and Arms: PrimaLoft Gold Insulation (60 g/m2)
Lining: Pertex Quantum w/ DWR (20d, 49 g/m2, 100% nylon)
Hood up and serious.
The Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody is a warm and compact jacket. Each time you slip it on you’ll be comfortable and instantly warm thanks to the Pertex fabric and fleece collar which made it feel like you’re getting into a comfy sleeping bag.
While the overall fit was not spot on for this reviewer the compact design of the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody allowed it to easily fit under my shell on damp cold outings while also providing enough wind protection from the elements on its own. The three-way adjustable hood also came in super handy during cold morning starts while climbing in early April and May. Because of this dual nature the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody is an insulation piece that’s versatile to take along on rock climbing, hiking and ski touring trips.
A related insulation piece is the Black Diamond Access LT Hoody which we reviewed over here last season. The Access LT Hoody and Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody are similar in nature; however the Access LT Hoody uses Primaloft One insulation with a Pertex nylon shell and Schoeller stretch-woven side panels. Whereas the Hot Forge Hoody uses a PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend and PrimaLoft Gold Insulation strategically placed and sandwiched between a Pertex outer/inner fabric. While the Access LT Hoody does not have hand pockets the two jackets are similar in their compact design and warmth to weight ratio, but I would give the edge to the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody for warmth.
Overall, if you are looking for a light and compact jacket to keep you warm at any point in the season and want it to still insulate when wet, then the Black Diamond Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody may just be the jacket for you!
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Colours: Azurite, Deep Torch, Ochre, Black
Weight: 410g / 14.5oz
- This is a very warm jacket given its light weight and compact design.
- The unique cuff design provides an elastic fit without the use of velcro and feels super comfy.
- Insulation is water resistant which is ideal for wearing over long durations or in case you perspire excessively.
- Three way adjustable climbing helmet compatible hood with fleece lined collar is very versatile
- The Black Diamond branding has been toned down relative to that on the Black Diamond Access LT Hoody.
- I am not a fan of the hem adjustments being in pockets as they get in the way when looking for items in the pockets.
- The medium size was tight under my arms and across the back even though other Black Diamond Mediums fit perfect so double check your sizing.
- A secondary exterior coloured fabric would improve visual appeal.
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.