One little flaw results in a flat tire. Bicycle inner tubes and backcountry midlayers both work like that — hidden, but crucial. Thus, acquiring a quiver of likable mid-layers for winter athletics can be more of a challenge than you expect. Some are flawed; too baggy, too short, weird colors, weird collars, funky zippers, on and on. So I’m always experimenting.
Enter the Black Diamond Coefficient Hoody. I’ve spent a few days outside in this hooded uni. In a word: delightful. Provided you have an athletic or semi-athletic (me) build, you’ll find this piece to fit fairly snug yet not attempt to be faux spandex. The sleeves are long enough for thumb hole installation (at WildSnow.com, everything shall be modified!). Torso length might be considered slightly long, but that’s better than too short and is a hard dimension to get perfect. Coefficient textile is that waffle faced Polartec Powerdry fleece that in my experience works super well — almost too breathable sometimes (feel that breeze!), but in a midlayer you need air movement, not stagnation.
I like the Coefficient’s minimal pocketizing as well — it delivers nothing but a chest pocket that’s perfectly sized for a pack of cigarettes or a smaller phone. Inside, you’ll find a nice fleece collar that creates a warming effect by body mapping more insulation around your neck when you’re zipped up or have the hood up. That’s about it, clean and simple results in few words. WildSnow three thumbs up for the Coefficient; if it had thumb holes I’d add a fourth.
Shop for Coefficient Hoody, recommended!
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.