Black Diamond’s new Deploy Wind Shell takes lightweight technical outdoor clothing to a new extreme. The Deploy is really light — 48 grams to be specific (that’s roughly 1.7 ounces; approximately the same weight as a golf ball). Despite the jacket being so thin as to be somewhat transparent, it’s completely windproof.
Black Diamond achieved that featherweight spec by working closely with material manufacturers. The fabric is five-denier nylon — for contrast, our favorite rugged backpacks usually measure around 500-denier — made by Toray Japan that’s exclusive to Black Diamond. The zipper is also notable: it’s YKK’s Super Lightweight Zipper, which is reportedly 40 percent lighter than any other available. All that lightness allows the Deploy to pack down into a stow pocket invisibly integrated into its collar, which makes it small enough to go unnoticed in other pockets.
Black Diamond created the Deploy for fast and light mountain missions where every fraction of an ounce counts. It’s a protective backup-style layer meant for obsessives who’d rather not bring a layer at all but know that the wind can sap energy, and body heat, as fast as rain.
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