Black Diamond Access Down Hoody
Hands down (no pun intended) my very favorite piece this winter is the Black Diamond Access Down Hoody.
Purchased last month mostly because I was attracted to a particular color (Vermillion), I have not worn any of my other down jackets since.
The 700-fill Black Diamond Access Down Hoody underwent a redesign in 2019, and the result is a fantastic down jacket that I wear everywhere- both for casual and outdoor recreation.
Its clever construction provides a close fitting, flattering figure that most technical down jackets just quite can’t manage to achieve. It also provides the illusion of an elongated torso and appears slimming, even if I’m wearing both a midlayer and a baselayer.
What I love most about the Black Diamond Access Down Hoody is its front pockets.
Most down jackets have front pockets that you can put your hands in, or stash your wallet and other small items with not much room for anything else. Not so with the Access.
Not only do they include a super soft lining to keep hands warm, but they are deep. I would almost venture to say they are spacious. There is plenty of room to move my hands around. The pockets can accommodate my cell phone and keys with ease, and no worries if they will fall out if the pockets are left unzipped.
Are you familiar with the feeling of delight in discovering awesome pockets? Especially thoughtfully designed pockets lined with soft fabric where your hands just want to stay cozy and warm and left inside?
The front chest pocket is a great addition (where I like to stash chapstick, face mask, etc.). What is missing is the dead useful inner chest pocket so often found in any outdoor jacket. It is unclear why it wasn’t included, but hopefully will be added in the future.
Weighing in at a mere 344 grams, the Access provides a surprising amount of warmth.
Strangely, the 700-fill RDS down hoody feels warmer than my 800-fill Patagonia down hoody. I recently wore it on a 1 degree morning in the mountains and felt super toasty.
Other features include elastic cuffs to protect wrists from the elements and a hood.
Once on my head, the hood was much larger than it appeared, but note that its function is to also accommodate a helmet for certain outdoor recreational activities. It does include a pull string in the back to adjust the hood for a better fit, when worn up.
Technical specs: Lightweight nylons shell with 30D Ripstop with DWR finish, 700 fill-power RDS certified goose down with DWR treatment, 20D nylon plain woven with DWR lining.
It packs down small, so if I’m not wearing it, I take it with me everywhere I go to have that extra warmth if I need it. So far, I’ve only tested it in winter conditions. I can’t wait to take it camping or hiking 14ers next summer.
While I have received several compliments on the Access, many were surprised that Black Diamond makes a down jacket. A jacket whose function is equal to its appearance, I suspect the Access won’t remain unknown much longer.
With an MSRP of $259, this season’s Black Diamond Access Down Hoody is available in six different colors (Bordeaux, Black, Limestone, Aqua Verde, Sea Pine, and Vermillion).
Dr. Of Stoke
Freelance writer, bicyclist, outdoor recreation enthusiast, social justice advocate, and mom to her furbaby, Utah the Adventure Dog.
A Colorado native, Kate considers the outdoors her mother ship. She brings her passion for bicycling, the environment, and issues of diversity to her writing. Her primary outdoor recreation activities are mountain biking, fat biking, snowshoeing, camping, peak bagging Colorado’s 14ers, road cycling, and Nordic skiing. After suffering two major knee injuries within four years, Kate hopes to return to alpine skiing next season.
Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado State University and later an MSEd and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. In addition to her education, Kate’s background serving on the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and experience working for non-profits and bicycle sales well position her to bring depth and understanding to the complex changes currently taking place in the outdoor recreation industry.
We also heard she has a (slight) obsession for blue heelers.