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Hands-on Gear Review
Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody Review
Cons: Not very warm, long narrow cut causes hem to bunch up around the waist
Bottom line: This fleece is a good choice for slimmer folks who want a lightweight fleece for climbing, hiking, and ski touring.
The Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody is a sleek, stripped down technical piece optimized for climbing. Featuring a long and narrow cut, this was our lead tester's go to jacket for winter cragging and bouldering when the rock is sticky but it's too cold out for a t-shirt alone. Thinner and lighter than the beloved Patagonia R1 Hoody, this breathable piece is a great alternative for those looking for an alternative fit or don't like the R1's full face coverage. If you're looking to go a bit warmer, check out the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody, which is also designed with climbing in mind, but is more weather resistant and makes for a better outer layer.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The slim fitting $159 Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody is a lightweight, breathable fleece built with climbers in mind. It has one chest pocket, a snug fitting hood, and a long hem that fits very well under a harness or backpack waistbelt. Great for layering, this fleece is available in Black, Cargo, Denim, and Nickel.
The chart below indicates the Overall Performance score for the Coefficient Hoody, allowing you to compare it to the rest of the contenders in our fleet.
Constructed with Polartec Power Dry gridded fleece, this jacket favors breathability over warmth. The "bumps" in the internal grid pattern are much smaller and have a lower profile the grid pattern on the R1. This results in less room for small pockets of trapped air that keep you warmer. The North Face FuseForm Progressor Hoody is slightly warmer, less breathable, and also designed with climbers in mind. For a touch more warmth at half the price of the Coefficient Hoody, check out the Best Buy Award Winning Marmot Reactor.
The long and narrow cut of this jacket is utilitarian, great for layering and staying tucked under a harness or down a ski bib, but not the most comfortable for lounging around in. The jacket is so long that when our testers sit down, the bottom the jacket would roll up and bunch around the waist. The Internal grid pattern is soft on the skin. Combined with a lack of bulky, zippered hand warmer pockets, this is a nice layer for sleeping in. The hood fits well under a helmet and zips up to fit loosely and comfortably under the chin. If you're looking for a similar layer to live in 24/7, our testers agree that the R1 is a more comfortable choice. While the Coefficient scored a 7 out of 10 in this metric, it was bested by the Patagonia R3, Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody, Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Grid II Hooded, and the Patagonia Better Sweater.
The BD Coefficient Hoody is the most breathable jacket in this year's lineup, scoring a 10 out of 10! In a side by side comparison with its close competitor, the Patagonia R1 Hoody, the Coefficient left us less sweaty after a thigh burning hike out of the Owens River Gorge. Again, this is achieved by sacrificing thick insulating loft for breathability. Additionally, a full zipper allows for more venting than the R1's half zip. Ultimately, the R1 still took home our top pick for breathability because it's breathable and warm. If you're looking for a much warmer jacket that's still incredibly breathable, check out our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Patagonia R3 Hoody.
This slender jacket is an awesome layering piece, scoring another 10. Since there are no handwarmer pockets, there isn't any extra bulk to get caught or restrict movement when the jacket is under a puffy and a hard shell layer or tucked into ski pants. The thin cut is form-fitting, so no fabric bunches up around the torso, though, as previously mentioned, the waist may roll up if it's not tucked in or under a harness. Additionally, thumbs loops make it easy to slide into other layers without bunching up the sleeves. The Patagonia R1 was the only other contender to score a 10 out of 10 for its layering abilities.
While excelling at breathability, the Coefficient Hoody is lacking in weather resistance. While this is a concern for those who are looking for one fleece for all conditions, our testers don't expect much weather resistance from their fleeces, opting for a wind jacket or a hardshell when mother nature decides to crank up the AC, blasting rain or snow. The wind cuts through the Coefficient with little resistance. Still, in our rain testing, this jacket was able to repel off small droplets of moisture better than The North Face FuseForm Progressor Hoody and a touch better than the R1. All of these jackets soaked up heavier precip like a sponge. If weather resistance is something you're looking for in a fleece, check out The North Face Denali 2, the only jacket in this category that offered some resistance against a downpour.
A sleek and techy design make this jacket great for the mountains, but the snug fit and long cut are not the best for a night on the town. The North Face FuseForm Progressor Hoodie strikes a much better balance between function and style, offering a wider, shorter cut than the Coefficient. Check out the Patagonia Better Sweater or the Arc'teryx Covert Hoody if style is a main concern.
The Coefficient Hoody is a solid choice for a mid layer or even a heavy base layer. The long cut and thumb loops for easy layering optimize this jacket for alpine climbing and ski touring. It is too thin to use as a standalone piece against cold breezes and light rain. Looking for more warmth? Check out The Patagonia R1 Hoody, an excellent, roomier layering piece.
$159 puts this jacket at the same price as the venerable Patagonia R1 Hoody, and $30 cheaper than the feature-laden Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody. If you're like us, you'll spend hundreds of hours hiking and sleeping in this versatile, breathable layer.
Climbers and hikers will find they have it made in the shade with this jacket. It's a great layering piece and it takes the edge off those chilly alpine starts. If you're not into the fit of the R1 Hoody, or you feel like the R1 is too hot, the Coefficient could be just what you're looking for.
— Matt Bento
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