Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

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Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Review: Best Stretch Rain Jacket

Best Stretch Rain Jacket

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Price: $150

Waterproofing: BD.dry 2.5-layer

Weight: 9.9oz/282g

What We Like: Mobility and Value

What We Don’t: Not As Breathable As A 3L Jacket

Black Diamond has impressed with their StormLine Stretch jacket. This lightweight highly versatile shell moves well, breathes well, and keeps the weather at bay while performing on the trails or in the mountains. The added mobility helps while riding bikes or scrambling around on rocks and ice. With a large hood and YKK zippers to keep water from sneaking in on the collar or the front, the StormLine is a great shell for moderate weather and conditions. For the price and performance, the StormLine is our Best Stretch Rain Jacket.

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Black Diamond, better known for its hard goods than its soft goods and performance attire, has been stepping it up lately by delivering some really impressive technology. The StormLine Stretch jacket is another step in the right direction by Black Diamond (BD). By adding stretch to the jacket’s face fabric, Black Diamond has created an amazingly versatile garment that is as ready for any adventure as you are. That’s why the StormLine Stretch has earned the title of Best Stretch Rain Jacket of 2021.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

Weather-Proofing

BD’s proprietary BD.dry membrane paired with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish makes for an impressive barrier against the elements. Though only a 2.5-layer design, the StormLine Stretch is breathable, wind-resistant, and can handle a downpour just as well as some 3L jackets. The front zipper uses YKK waterproofing and the hand pockets have flaps to keep sneaky rain from getting in—though, officially, the handwarmer pockets are technically not waterproof.

The stretch face fabric is what will set the StormLine Stretch jacket apart from other rain shells in the same price bracket. The Patagonia Torrent 3L is stretchy and has 3 layers, but it is heavier and more expensive. The BD StormLine Stretch stands apart with its reasonable cost and phenomenal execution.

The fit of the StormLine is athletic, so check the sizing on the website or try one on before purchasing it. We often recommend going up a size to allow for layering, but with the BD StormLine Stretch, that may not be necessary.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

Weight and Durability

Lighter than the REI XeroDry GTX (12.5oz) at a featherweight 9.9oz (282g), the StormLine even boasts pit zips, which are usually scrapped to save ounces. For having two pockets and pit zips, it is very challenging to get this amount of functionality at such a reasonable price and weight.

Built by a company that is no stranger to the rigors of outdoor play, the StormLine Stretch is durable and will stand up to most challenges. We don’t recommend running through a rose bush with it on, but there should be no problems wearing a backpack and dealing with “normal” outdoor pursuits. The zippers are YKK, a brand known to last for quite some time, and all of the seams are taped and set to last.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

Features

The BD StormLine Stretch jacket only has two handwarmer pockets, but as mentioned earlier, they are protected by a flap to keep water out, and the jacket can be stuffed into the right-hand pocket. The hood is large and will easily fit over a biking or climbing helmet. Additionally, the stretch in the fabric adds movement around the neck when wearing a helmet. It’s also worth mentioning that the pit zips are nicely sized and have large toggles that can be manipulated while wearing gloves.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker
You won’t find too many other features, the reason for that decision is just to save on weight. You can cinch the bottom of the coat, and the wrists have large Velcro adjustment straps to keep rain from getting to your mid layers.
Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

In the coming years, we’ll be seeing more jackets that can move with you while keeping the weather at bay, but for now, Black Diamond seems to have a head start in the mobile weatherproof jacket market, especially at its price. For the value that this $150 jacket will bring you, we recommend it over the REI XeroDry GTX—even with its Gore-Tex laminate.


The albeit hard-to-find downside of the StormLine Stretch is that its breathability is not on par with a 3-layer jacket, but those will be more expensive and are traditionally thicker and heavier. We recommend this jacket to a person who enjoys mixing up their outdoor activities and is looking for a lightweight, stretchy rain jacket. It won’t be as durable for rock climbing or ice climbing, but for activities such as trail running or biking, its mobility and pit zips will keep your temperature regulated while you perform on the trail. The Black Diamond StormLine Stretch was an easy selection as the Best Stretch Rain Jacket of 2021.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!