Reviews You Can Rely On

Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Review

A solid all-around option for the price, with great mobility and respectable storm protection
black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review
Credit: Black Diamond
Price:  $170 List
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 20, 2022
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 16
  • Water Resistance - 30% 8.0
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 8.0
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Stormline Stretch is a reasonably versatile, weight-focused jacket whose athletic cut and above-average activity make it well-suited for those who want a rain jacket that will let them keep doing whatever activity they are doing regardless of the weather. We found the Stormline to be a tremendous value, outperforming most other jackets in its price range. With that said, except for an impressively long-lasting DWR and above-average mobility, the Stormline is consistently good but is rarely exceptional. However, to buy a "better" jacket, you need to spend a fair amount more, and the well-designed Stormline will work well for a wide range of outdoor users and activities.
REASONS TO BUY
Stretchy material
Great freedom of movement
Pleasant cut
Solid storm protection
Lightweight
Compresses into its pocket
Good value
REASONS TO AVOID
So-so breathability
Hood doesn't fit very well over a helmet

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards   Best Buy Award   
Price Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$225 List
$225.00 at REI
$169 List
$169.00 at REI
$150 List
$89.93 at REI
$100 List
$52.73 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
75
78
73
72
65
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Stretchy material, great freedom of movement, pleasant cut, solid storm protection, lightweight, compresses into its pocket, good valueStormworthy, versatile, durable, comfortable, high level of ventilationIncredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volumeVersatile, durable, long lasting DWR, good stormworthiness, minimal clammy feelBetter breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable
Cons So-so breathability, hood doesn't fit very well over a helmetOn the heavier sideWets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interiorHeavy, average packed size, mobility, and freedom of movementNo chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane
Bottom Line A solid all-around option for the price, with great mobility and respectable storm protectionA fantastic all-around shell with great ventilation features in a fairly light, durable, and stormworthy packageOne of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional featuresA durable jacket with function focused design that will keep most satisfied, without putting a hole in your walletA great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tag
Rating Categories Black Diamond Storm... Outdoor Research Fo... REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Patagonia Torrentsh... Marmot PreCip Eco
Water Resistance (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Breathability & Venting (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Comfort & Mobility (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
7.0
4.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Black Diamond Storm... Outdoor Research Fo... REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Patagonia Torrentsh... Marmot PreCip Eco
Measured Weight (Medium) 11.5 oz 16 oz 12.5 oz 14 oz 13.5 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material 2.5 layer propriatary BD.dry 2.5 layer Gore-tex with PacLite Technology 2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite 3-layer H2No Performance Standard shell NanoPro
Pockets 2 lower hand pockets 1 chest pocket, 2 hand pockets 2 hand 2 zippered hand pockets 2 zip hand pockets
Hipbelt Friendly Hand Pockets No Almost No No No
Pit Zips Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood No Yes No No Yes
Stows Into Pocket Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black Diamond Stormline is a well-designed jacket that outperforms nearly all other jackets in its price range. Its stretchy material and well-designed fit facilitate some of the better mobility of any model we tested. Its DWR and ability to "bead" up water were excellent. It was also one of our review's lighter and more compact models. With that said, the Stormline consistently scored above average in a wide range of categories and tests. It wasn't exceptional. However, for those looking for a solid, slightly more weight-focused jacket that packs in a ton of performance for the price, the Stormline Stretch is a good one.

Performance Comparison



black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the stormline stretch offers top-tier mobility and provides a ton of...
The Stormline stretch offers top-tier mobility and provides a ton of value as it outperforms most similarly-priced models in almost every category.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Weather Resistance


The Stormline Stretch uses Black Diamond's proprietary BD.dry membrane in a 2.5-layer construction for its weather protection. One of the things that stood out to our review team was it's incredibly effective DWR (ability to bead and resist absorbing water) which was even comparable with some of the highest-scoring models in our review, some of which were double the cost of the Stormline.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - this model's dwr was incredibly effective at beading up water and...
This model's DWR was incredibly effective at beading up water and was long-lasting, too.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

While the Stormline did well in both our real-world testing and our garden hose and shower tests, it wasn't quite at the level of the highest-scoring jackets in our review. It "leaked" through its zippers slightly more than other models and would eventually wet out slightly earlier than the premium models.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - our review team really liked the hood design on the stormline. it...
Our review team really liked the hood design on the Stormline. It moved nicely with us from side to side, maintaining good peripheral vision, and it also adjusted to accommodate a wide range of headwear from beanies to baseball caps. However, it did not fit over a helmet very comfortably.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Breathability and Venting


The Stormline offered slightly above-average breathability when compared directly to similarly priced models. We could hike relatively aggressively with this jacket (in cool-ish 40-50F under overcast skies) without overheating. Several of our testers appreciated its pits zips which facilitated the ability to dump a bunch of heat and moisture quickly and helped let in some cool air.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - a look at the interior of the stormline. this model's breathability...
A look at the interior of the Stormline. This model's breathability was slightly above average among those in its price range, but a cut below the top performers.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

While the Stormline wasn't quite as breathable as the most breathable jackets in our review, it didn't perform terribly and proved itself to be one of the more breathable models in its price range.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - though this jacket's material wasn't super breathable, the addition...
Though this jacket's material wasn't super breathable, the addition of pit zips gives you the option to quickly dump any heat and moisture generated when you're working hard.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Comfort and Mobility


The Stormline offers some of the better comfort and freedom of movement in our test fleet and is perfect for folks who need to maintain a high level of mobility for their activity. The Stormline Stretch has its name for a reason: it uses stretchy polyester material that rarely felt restrictive even while rock climbing.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the jacket is constructed with a stretchy material that facilitates...
The jacket is constructed with a stretchy material that facilitates some of the better mobility and range of motion among any model in our review.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Stormline's cut is also quite ergonomic, easily facilitating reaching in all directions without pulling the sleeves back, the hem up, or other weird bunching or tightening.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the stormline's hem moved the least when we raised our arms above...
The Stormline's hem moved the least when we raised our arms above our heads, and it barely pulled back from our wrists when we reached forward. It's one of the better options for folks seeking a rain jacket that won't inhibit their movement.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

During our range of motion tests, the Stormline proved to be among the best, and we could reach forward with only minimal exposure to our wrists and up with only barely moving the hem. Overall this is one of the better pieces of rain protection for any activity that requires a high level of mobility.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - we appreciated that the stormline was one of the least clammy...
We appreciated that the Stormline was one of the least clammy feeling models in its price range.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The internal material of the Stormline was one of the least clammy feelings among proprietary models, and its cut struck a nice balance between being fit and athletic without being "tight" or restrictive.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - we didn't love the low handwarmer pockets, which were not only...
We didn't love the low handwarmer pockets, which were not only inaccessible with a pack or a harness on, but they tended to pinch our hips under heavy loads.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Weight and Packability


At just over 11 ounces, the Stormline is one of the lighter and more packable models. While you can still certainly buy lighter and more compact models, the Stormline is firmly in the "lightweight rain protection" category.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the stormline packed into its zippered pocket next to a one-liter...
The Stormline packed into its zippered pocket next to a one-liter Nalgene for scale.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Stormline stuffs into a reversible zipper pocket, packing down small to disappear into the bottom of your pack until the next passing squall. Climbers considering this jacket will appreciate the clip-in point on the stuff sack so it can be clipped onto a harness.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - we found this model reasonably durable and tough enough for...
We found this model reasonably durable and tough enough for backpacking and hiking, but it isn't necessarily one we'd want to go bushwhacking through the brush in. From a weather resistance longevity standpoint, we found its DWR to be longer lasting than most.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Durability


The Stormline uses a nylon material, typically less durable than polyester at a given thickness. We found this model average in durability for its tear and abrasion resistance as well as the longevity of its DWR among similar weight and thickness jackets.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the stormline is a great value and perfect for anyone seeking a...
The Stormline is a great value and perfect for anyone seeking a light and compact model with good mobility. While you can get a higher-performing model by spending more money, it outperforms the majority of its closest competition.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Should You Buy the Black Diamond Stormline Stretch?


The Black Diamond Stormline is a reasonably versatile, mobility-focused model for the dedicated outdoor enthusiast. Lighter and more compact than most other models, it is perfect for climbers, backpackers, or anyone who prioritizes low weight and a minimal packed volume but also needs a jacket that will allow them to keep doing what they are doing. While this model offered respectable storm protection, it's not ideal for more extended periods in inclement weather.

What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?


While the Black Diamond Stormline Stretch offered plenty of advantages and is a solid option for folks looking for a jacket that will move with them, a few other models stood out for specific applications or performance. If you plan to log more extended periods in inclement weather, the Arc'teryx Beta Jacket offers superior rain protection and more breathability while offering an equal level of mobility, albeit at a little more than double the price. We loved the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, which didn't offer quite as athletic a cut (but close). It offers an even stretchier material for folks who demand the highest level of mobility. The Outdoor Research Helium is the pick for those that put a premium on packed volume and low weight. While the Helium doesn't offer near the storm protection, mobility, or breathability level of the Stormline, it is half the weight and less than half the packed size.

black diamond stormline stretch rain jacket review - the stormline is a great all-around jacket that brings a pretty...
The Stormline is a great all-around jacket that brings a pretty solid level of performance for the price.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More