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Chris Townsend gives his verdict on Black Diamond’s Sharp End jacket – and explains why he chose it as a Recommended Buy


The Sharp End is one of only two Gore- Tex jackets in this review. A few years ago Gore-Tex would have been dominant. The version in this jacket is Gore-Tex Pro, which has excellent breathability.

The fabric is fairly flexible and comfortable to wear but does rustle a bit. Although reasonably light the Sharp End has chunkier zips than most jackets and overall feels quite tough. It has a good hood that moves with the head and a big stiffened peak for protection.

The pockets are roomy though the lower ones are cut off by a pack hipbelt. The chest ones will just take a Harvey British Mountain Map but not an OS map.

A pity they aren’t just a touch bigger. Ventilation is good with long easy-to-use underarm zips and wide cuffs. The Sharp End is tough enough and protective enough for winter use but light enough for summer use.

It is expensive but the design is good and you do get the reliability of Gore-Tex Pro. Sizing is slightly on the small side – the Large is the same fit as the Medium in some other garments.

Reviewed in May 2016.

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: hood

Cons: expensive

  • Price: £350
  • Weight: 478g (L)
  • Materials: Gore-Tex Pro
  • Hood: Stiffened, volume adjuster
  • Front closure: water resistant with inner flap
  • Length: 68cm
  • Underarm/size zips: water resistant
  • Pockets: two hand, two chest
  • Cuffs: velcro
  • Sizes: men XS-XL, women XS-XL
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