Stay warm and move quickly in the alpine.
BLACKYAK is renowned for their commitment to innovation in mountaineering and ski touring communities. Continuing this legacy, the BLACKYAK Pali Signature Jacket sports an innovative design that bridges the gap between insulated warmth and free-flexing mobility. It's filled with Polartec Alpha insulation, which provides lofty warmth without becoming compromised once exposed to the wet and damp.
This innovative jacket is comprised of a lightweight nylon stretch that's extremely lightweight, abrasion-resistant, and flexible. 4-way Stretch Cordura is placed along the hips, arms, and back panel for uncompromising range of movement and greater durability where it's needed most. For extra ventilation, laser-cut perforations along the back panel prevent overheating. Both of these fabrics are supplemented with a Stretch Cordura double weave along the shoulders, which provides a durable, load-softening pad when you're carrying a heavy pack up the mountain.
- Low-bulk warmth and fluid mobility for alpine pursuits
- Polartec Alpha insulation traps warmth, even in the wet
- Lightweight nylon stretch for flexibility and durability
- 4-way stretch Cordura along hips, arms, and back panel
- Shoulders reinforced with Stretch Cordura double weave
- Laser-cut perforations along back panel for ventilation
- Elasticized waist with silicone grip, elasticized cuffs
- Stretch-mesh pockets at chest, interior stuff sack pocket
- Q & A
Poor fit and overdone features
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: Runs small
- Size Bought: L and XL
I am 6'1 185 pounds and I recently tried this jacket in a large and then exchanged it for an XL. Neither worked. I typically wear a large and, for reference, a large in Arcteryx fits me perfectly. The large in the signature was much too tight in the chest and arms---couldn't raise my arms without fighting the jacket---but the fit in the waist was nice. The XL fits in the chest yet somehow when I raise my arms above my head then bring my elbows together in front of my face the jacket is fighting me the entire way. Not a good sign for a climbing jacket. Articulated sleeves are needed. Also, the XL is much too baggy in the waist (for me at least).
Second problem: it's heavy. The jacket weighs in over a pound, a noticeable difference from my Patagonia nano-air. The shoulders seem to be padded. Something weird is going on with them and it adds weight. There are many other options in the same class (Arcteryx Proton Lt, Patagonia Nano-Air, etc etc) that weigh much less for the same performance.
Third Problem: the elasticated waistband. Black Yak attempted to sidestep a drawstring by using an elastic waistband. Nice idea. However, it just gets in the way. If I raise my arms up, the band causes the bottom to gather and bunch over my belt. I'm constantly fixing it. This alone means the jacket fails to be a "put it on and forget its there" type jacket.
I give this jacket 2 stars. It is clear that Black Yak put a lot of innovation into the jacket. The jacket is different and the large front pockets are awesome. However, the jacket needed more refinement before hitting the market. As is, this is an expensive jacket that, to me, is essentially a beta version with lots of bugs. Before slapping every feature they can think of into the jacket, Black Yak needs to get the basic things right. Although, this jacket did win an ISPO gold award. I don't know how (did they even use it on a mountain?). Maybe your experience will be different. This is my two cents.
Yup you guessed it... another ISPO Gold
There's never been an insulated jacket this detailed and versatile. Blending everything from Polartec Alpha to CORDURA panels puts this jacket into it's own category. Nothing on the market compares to this workmanship.