Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody | Review

The Black Diamond Vision Hybrid features a lightweight construction – and some space-grade tech – to create a technical midlayer for active pursuits

Why We Chose The Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody: Versatile, lightweight, great warmth to weight ratio

Designed to be thrown on – and kept on – during a day of high intensity, the Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody is made to breathe and move around you, all while keeping you warm when you slow down. How does it do this? Well, one piece of the puzzle includes a NASA-developed technology, so let’s dive straight into the fabric chat.


Starting with Aerogel, this is the technology that NASA developed to put into their space suits thanks to its incredible insulating properties. It’s a silicone-based solid with a porous, sponge-like structure (so much so that 99.8% of its volume is empty space). To put things into perspective, aerogel is said to be 1,000 times less dense than glass, making it the world’s lightest solid.

Photos: Mike Drummond

But where does all of this fit into a technical midlayer? Well, Black Diamond has brought it in, in combination with Primaloft’s pinnacle insulation, PrimaLoft Gold, in order to provide the best warmth to weight ratio possible. Aerogel is pretty costly stuff, so the 90 grams of PrimaLoft Gold far outweigh the space-worthy material, but it’s still an interesting concept to bring to a technical synthetic insulated midlayer.

Protecting this unique insulating material is Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) that brings reinforced durability in high abrasion areas (the red panels of the jacket). LCPs can essentially create synthetic fibres that are extremely high in strength and, most importantly, resistant to wear. The most famous use of LCPs in fabrics has to be Kevlar – the stuff they build bulletproof vests from.

Aside from the toughened panels, the Vision Hybris also features a 20 denier nylon to make up the rest of the jacket. Water resistance has also been achieved thanks to a DWR finish that, as we’ve come to expect from Black Diamond, is free from any of those nasty PFCs.


Looking at the features, you’ve got two harness-compatible zipper hand pockets, internal drop pockets, right hand stow pockets, zippered chest pockets, a neat single pull helmet compatible hood, and elastic cuffs. Heat can also be trapped within the jacket through a handy integrated ‘hem gasket’. This is essentially an extra bit of fabric that drops below the hem and features its own elasticated hem as a way to prevent drafts of air travelling up through the jacket.

Tester’s Verdict

Ash Routen, Arctic explorer and outdoor writer

“Black Diamond pitch this jacket as an active insulation layer that ‘breathes and moves with you while keeping you warm.’ I don’t tend to use insulation layers when moving, except when in more northerly latitudes during the winter months. But for those that don’t run as hot as I do, the Vision Hybrid Hoody will work well.

“I’m continually surprised as to increases in the warmth to weight ratio of such garments, and Black Diamond seem to have done a good job here. The Vision Hybrid Hoody feels paper light in hand and when worn, and for me provides enough warmth to use it as an overlayer when stopping in the mountains, or for lazing around camp on a clear spring evening. 

“I think the Vision Hybrid is well suited for the damp British hills.”

“Of course with any lightweight garment I’m worried that the durability has been compromised. In this case the ‘Japanese liquid crystal polymer ripstop construction’ feels a bit like Cordura ripstop, so should last well, although I haven’t dragged myself through a thorny hedge in it yet.

“I think the Vision Hybrid is well suited for the damp British hills between spring and late summer. It has a windproof and water-resistant outer fabric, and Primaloft insulation that continues to work when wet.

“I’m not always a fan of the stretchy softshell panels on the underams or back panels, but I can see how the sections on this jacket free up movement when climbing or scrambling. Unlike many insulated jackets it’s not short around the bum, which is good for sitting at a belay or in camp. And I also like the inner stow pocket.””

Ash trying out the jacket at our Test Team weekend in the Lake District. Photo: Neil Irwin

Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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