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Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell Jacket review


A super lightweight windshell jacket, that can accompany you on those days where the weather is unsettled. Or to be used as an emergency layer on your mountaineering, climbing or alpine adventures.

People On Mountain



Features and benefits

  • Featuring GTT Breathable Water Protection Technology- A revolutionary water-free and PFC-free DWR that’s superior in performance and substantially more durable than other DWR solutions.
  • Air permeable fabric provides breathability for high output activities
  • Climbing-helmet compatible hood
  • Self-stowing in chest pocket with carabiner clip loop
  • Adjustable hem
  • Elastic cuff
  • Weight: 98g
  • Fit: Slim
  • Size: S-XL


What initially stands out about the Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket, is that it is super lightweight.  Weighing in at less than 100 grammes, which is almost the same weight as a locking carabiner. Barely noticeable.  Even when wearing the Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket, it feels so light, it almost doesn’t feel you are wearing an extra layer.


The benefit of the Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket, like it says in the name, it is a windproof jacket.  Having taking it out in lots of windy conditions, unsettled mountain days in North Wales, sport climbing in Portland or trad climbing at Bosigran, the Peaks and North Wales, the jacket has performed really well.  Keeping out the wind, drizzly rain, and keeping me warm.


The technology

The Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket, uses a new water-repellent technology produced by the Green Theme International. The water repellency is hyper fused to the garment’s fibres, eliminating the need to re-waterproof in future.  That is fantastic, meaning no more washing with Nickwax, reducing the impact on the environment.  The DWR coating on the Distance jacket is permanent, and outperforms any of its competitors which use C-6, C-8, or C-0 DWR.


I had to put the waterproofing technology to the test. Just to clarify, it is not waterproof, but water resistant, also the seams are not taped.  Meaning it will keep out light showers, but not heavy or persistent rain.  I wore the jacket in light drizzle/rain, and it kept me dry.  If it is continuous drizzle bordering onto rain, like you get in North Wales a lot, there is a limit to how long you will stay dry for. The jacket does not get wet through.


What is also a major step in the right direction, is that the manufacturing process of the jacket’s material eliminates the use of water and harmful chemical discharges.  The textile industry has been a major contributor to water pollution in the world.  It is nice to see a company that manufactures clothes takes this issue so seriously.


The breathable material used for the Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket, allows for the evaporation of sweat, on those intense days out in the mountains.  The jacket is advertised for use in climbing, mountaineering, alpinism, etc.  I can also see it coming in its own for trail running or cycling. The jacket is specifically designed for light mountain activities, so stay away from granite chimneys, as it is a soft and thin material. It will put up with very light abrasion.


The Black Diamond Distance Wind shell jacket can be very easily stowed away in the left breast pocket.  With a loop, for easy attachment to your harness, with a carabiner.


If I had to point out some negatives, it is fairly pricey, at £115.  It is a lot of money, but you do get quality.  Never having to re-waterproof the jacket, and knowing that you have a smaller effect on the environment, makes it worthwhile.


  • Windproof
  • Water resistant
  • Very lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Can stow away in a pocket (includes loop for easy clipping)
  • Fairly robust for the type of fabric used
  • Environmentally friendly, due to manufacturing process
  • No need to re-waterproof



  • Pricey
  • Limited colour range


I am really struggling to come up with anything negative to say about this jacket.  I can’t fault it, not even the price.  As I think it is reasonably priced comparatively to other jackets on the market.



A super lightweight, water resistant wind shell, that comes into its own in the mountains.  A high performing jacket, with a low environmental impact.