If there is one thing that freeriders love more than powder, then it is without a doubt all the gear we need when we venture out in the backcountry. Most of us prefer to buy a new pair of something every year. New jacket, new pants, new gloves. We derive our identity from it. Sometimes buying new gear is worthwhile. Dr. Gear had been reviewing Black Diamond gear and explains why this is his favorite set to wear this winter!
Actually, many features of this jacket are already included in the name. As a freerider you just want a shell and no lined jacket. We are all used to wearing layers and when you are touring and skinning up the mountain it's easy to put the Recon Stretch Ski Shell in your pack. The stretch element of the jacket is also very pleasant. If there is one thing you want to have with a jacket, it is simply that it fits good and it doesn't limit your movement.
The jacket is equipped with BD.dry, the own membrane of Black Diamond. The big question is of course: how good is that membrane? Simple, at least as good as the more familiar membrane that you see with many brands. The fabric stops wind and water and when it rains you can nicely spot the rain drops on the fabric. And that's exactly what you want!
The jacket is equipped with plenty of pockets, such as two mesh pockets for your skins or for an extra mid-layer. You can remove the powder skirt and the pit zips are helpful when it's pretty warm when you are skinning up. It's a jacket for the serious freerider, but because of his price it's also a very good buy for less demanding skiers.
The Black Diamond Recon Stretch Ski Shell costs € 350,00 and you'll find more information here.
You will not be surprised that the Black Diamond Recon Stretch Ski Pants are the matching pants with the Black Diamond Recon Stretch Ski Shell. Again the same stretch, the same BD.dry technology to keep out wind and water and to improve breathability.
What is striking is that (apart from the RECCO reflector), there is also a separate compartment for your avalanche beacon above your right thigh. The material is reinforced at the ankles, so it less likely to get a 'ski cut' and of course you can also open the zippers on the side when you are hiking.
The Black Diamond Recon Stretch Ski Pants costs € 300,00 and you'll find more information here.
Morris already wrote about the Black Diamond Guide Gloves last season, but the Renegade Pro Gloves are perhaps a better choice for a freerider. The main reason is that the Renegade Pro Gloves are just a bit smaller.
The gloves do have the real GORE-TEX® membrane here. You will not be surprised that the gloves perform perfectly when the conditions are more humid or when it snows heavily. Wet hands are really annoying when skiing, but that will not happen to you with these gloves. The palm and the fingers are made of goat leather.
The fixed fleece lining keeps your fingers warm. The Renegade Pro Gloves are not gloves that support you well at any temperature. When it gets colder than about -12 degrees then it is wiser to switch to another glove. For example, the Black Diamond Guide Gloves.
The Black Diamond Renegade Pro Gloves cost € 90,00. You'll find more information here.