(Last Updated On: December 28, 2015)
For this ski season, Black Diamond has released a new line of clothing geared for ski touring. In contrast to the tight “alpine fit” of many of their previous ski mountaineering clothing, the new line features a more “freeride fit”. The pants also come equipped with a PIEPS pocket.
Black Diamond Ski Clothing
The new freeride fit line up is definitely one to check out as they are built from high-quality fabric and creative design. Great for both in-bounds and out-of-bounds skiing, the new line-up includes the following:
- Mission Pro Shell and Pants – Full of features & protection, as well as durable, these layers use Gore-Tex Pro & are only available in men’s models.
- Zone Shell and Pants – Slightly thicker and more insulated than the Mission Pro, the Zone layers also use Gore-Tex and are available in both men’s and women’s.
- Mission Shell and Pants – A lightweight and very functional Gore-Tex shell. Also available in both men’s and women’s.
- Recon Shell and Pants – A durable softshell made of Windstopper fabric, featuring a good blend that keeps the wind out while allowing for good breathability. The shell is available in both men’s and women’s, but the pant is men’s only.
While Black Diamond’s new freeride fit clothing line up seems very good, there’s one thing that sets it apart from similar products – the PIEPS Pocket.
The PIEPS Pocket is a beacon harness system that is integrated within the framework of the pant. That means you can put your beacon in your pants pocket. Hello women! No more third boob!
Admittedly, we were both torn when hearing about this beacon pocket integration system. I mean, sure, you get rid of the third boob which is a major problem for women who since we have limited real estate on our torsos. And having a beacon in your pocket is certainly more comfortable than wearing it on your chest. No more straps interfering with your backpack and chafing your shoulders. No more beacon in the way when you lean over. But, is it safe?
Black Diamond claims it is. They say they’ve tested it, and there IS a harness basically built in to the framework of the pant pocket. You could argue that having more layers over your beacon would be safer. But, how many layers do you actually have over your beacon when skinning anyway. And, the argument could go the other way – when you need to use your beacon to search, it’s undoubtedly more accessible.
This video, featuring the Mission Pro pants, also talks about the PIEPS pocket:
On to you
Black Diamond’s new clothing line up looks both functional and fashionable, durable and protective, and just overall well-designed. The PIEPS Pocket is an interesting addition to the pant construction. What are your thoughts on the safety of this beacon pocket?