Colorado’s Front Range has 300 days a year of sun, though 150 seem to have howling Chinook winds—a bomber shell is key, especially on longer routes. I’ve been impressed with the ultralight (12oz) North Dome, a streamlined, imminently packable shell made of 40D x 20D 115 g/m² WindWall (88 percent nylon, 12 percent elastane) fabric and DWR treated. The jacket has climber-specific features like a slender, harness-friendly fit, four-way stretch, gusseted underarms, cinchable hem and elastic wrist cuffs, and a helmet-compatible hood, with a chest zip pocket and two hand zip pockets (with nonzipping interior pouches mirroring them). There’s not much insulation, but worn as a wind-blocker over a midlayer or even a puffy, the North Dome has been a stalwart companion, from wind-whipped Cayman Brac to the Flatirons on yet another blustery day.
See more of our top climbing gear picks in the Gear Guide 2019: Editors' Choice Awards, and for an interview with Black Diamond's climbing category director Kolin Powick.