Staff Picks: Our Favorite Black Diamond Gear
From a climbing pad to backcountry touring skis, a handful of Black Diamond hits
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Through the end of the month, buy at least $175 worth of Black Diamond gear and use the promo code GetLit at checkout and you’ll get a free Spot or Storm headlamp. If you’re looking for something to spend your money on, here are a few of our favorite Black Diamond products.
Fineline Stretch Rain Shell ($129)
Being a New Mexico–based climber, I don’t often have to bust out a rain jacket in the desert. But just in case an unexpected monsoon rolls through while I’m out at the crag, I always bring along the Fineline Stretch. It packs into its own chest pocket and weighs next to nothing, but the proprietary BD.dry membrane once saved my bacon during a sustained downpour in the Rio Grande Gorge. And as the “Stretch” in the name implies, the jacket moves with me even if I’m reaching for high holds. —Will Egenstiener, senior editor
Route 105 Skis ($650)
If I could describe these skis in one word, it would be solid. Sure, they’re not as light as the Helios or as chargey as the Boundary Pros, but I find that I pull them off the rack most mornings for pre-work laps because I know what I’m going to get. They’ll rip over just about any terrain, but they’re forgiving enough that I feel comfortable on them even if I haven’t had my coffee. —Ben Fox, affiliate reviews manager
Mondo Crash Pad ($400)
There have been many boulders I’d have been too scared to top out had I not had this massive pad underneath me. (A good spotter also helped.) The Mondo’s thick dual-layer foam core absorbs better than most other pads, and its enormous footprint covers plenty of ground space, which means less shuffling of pads as the climber moves up the rock. —Ariella Gintzler, assistant editor
Refillable Chalk Shot ($5)
I like to have a chalk shot alongside loose chalk in my bag so I can take my pick. This refillable option is perfect for quick chalk-ups and it doesn’t make a huge mess as loose chalk does. Plus, when it’s running low, I can refill it with my favorite type of chalk. — Emily Reed, assistant reviews editor
Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles ($140)
Call me picky, but I’m not a fan of bone-rattling vibrations running up my arm if I accidentally plant my trekking pole too hard. Ergo, I dig the built-in shocks on BD’s Trail Pro poles. They’re situated below the grips and absorb some of that impact force, making for a more forgiving strike. And when I don’t need them, the FlickLocks let me collapse the poles down for easy carrying strapped to a pack. —W.E.
Mondo Chalk Pot ($30)
I’m a boulderer who mostly avoids ropes at all costs, and it took me way too long to convert from a standard-size chalk bag to one that’s actually made for bouldering. The Mondo chalk pot is cavernous, it has plenty of zippered pockets for skin-care essentials, and it stands up on its own when not in use. Plus, the magnetic top closure doesn’t get clogged up with chalk like some Velcro options on the market. —E.R.
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp ($50)
My trusty Storm headlamp has become a vital part of my loadout. The Brightness Memory feature, which allows you to toggle easily between a trail-finding beam and a tent nightlight, comes in handy at camp. Mine has taken a beating over the years, but it still shines brightly as ever. —Jeremy Rellosa, editorial assistant
Cirque 35 Pack ($200)
Most backpacks these days come with far too many dedicated pockets. Designers try to anticipate where I want to store my stuff instead of letting me make those decisions. That’s why I love the Cirque—it’s really just a bag with shoulder straps and a waist belt. The 35-liter capacity, which is a little more than my other ski packs offer, accepts a lot of stuff, so I mainly use it on full-day missions. —B.F.