Back in January, the lovely people at Intrepid Magazine selected me to be one of their gear testers and sent me a Black Diamond First Light Hoody. The idea was that I’d take it with me to Norway and put it through its paces in the airport, the city and the snow. You can read my detailed review in issue 8, but the short version is, I loved it!
I was dubious about how well it would cope in my full range of travel between Standsted and the wilds of Telemark, but in actual fact I wore it for virtually the whole trip, and have been wearing it a lot since coming home too.
This is a very light weight jacket which packs a surprising punch in heat terms. In -20°C I was wearing it as a mid-layer, and to bed or in closer to -10°C it worked great as an outer layer over my merinos. I really appreciated how light, soft and thin it was for that. I happily wore it over a base layer to wander around town in Oslo, and last week I threw it on over a vest before I ran my night time trail race. It’s cosy and comfy, and doesn’t feel like you have a big coat on at all.
Size wise, it’s long enough to cover your kidneys, and the sleeves are long enough I can tuck my hands up in them if they get cold, and do things like put up a tent without them riding half way up my arms.
There are 3 roomy pockets – 2 which are good for hand warming, snacks, a phone and your sunglasses all at once, and an inside one which also fits a phone, keys etc. It’s also pretty water resistant and I think would dry very quickly, based on how light it is.
I wasn’t expecting to like this jacket nearly as much as I do – it doesn’t look particularly technical, and it isn’t packed with lots of fancy features, but for the last 6 weeks or so it’s been my go-to for every outdoors activity. And best of all, it’s light enough to throw in my bag “just in case” during all this warm weather we’ve been having!
We’re crossing Greenland in August 2021 to celebrate the legacy of Fridtjof Nansen as an explorer, scientist and humanitarian. We are working with the UNHCR to support their fantastic relief efforts for people who’ve been forced to flee their homes or have become stateless – causes Nansen started to fight 100 years ago.
If you liked this blog post, please consider donating towards our expedition or the UNHCR. We can’t do this without your help! Any contribution is appreciated!
Mountain leader in training, Skipper, sometimes Viking and total coffee addict. Runner, hiker, Girlguiding leader, animal lover. British/Irish, aspirant Norwegian.