Testing The Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody For Review

Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody

A Polartec PowerGrid hoody with an insulated chest panel

Polartec Powergrid is a choice fabric thanks to its stretch and breathability. But it’s also thin and not particularly warm. Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody (shop now) sets out to solve this issue by adding a chest panel of 40gsm PrimaLoft Silver insulation. The hybrid chassis delivers warmth where it’s needed most – the core, while the Powergrid fleece breathes and stretches throughout the arms, shoulders, back, and hood. As such, this lightweight mid-layer punches above its weight class in terms of warmth, especially when hiking cold wind, and is overall comfortable and pleasant to wear in the backcountry.

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  • Price: $180
  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Fabric: Polartec Powergrid 119 gsm, Primaloft Silver, 40gsm
  • Pros: Lightweight. Breathable. Stretchy. Insulates core. Good warmth-to-weight.
  • Cons: Expensive. Unusual aesthetic. Uneven distribution of warmth.

Compare to more great options in our guide to lightweight fleece jackets for hiking.

black diamond coefficient lt hybrid hoody

Construction & Features

The Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody is constructed with two materials. Polartec powergrid runs through the arms, back, shoulders, neck, hood, and hem. This material is astoundingly stretchy and comfortable thanks to its 10% elastane build. Whether you’re hiking, climbing, or skiing, this mid-layer will never impede your movement. Powergrid is also about as light, breathable as it gets, but conversely, it’s also one of the least warm and least insulative fleeces.

Which of course is why they’ve added the PrimaLoft Silver Breathable Insulation chest panel. Keeping your core warm is priority number one in cold conditions, so it’s a sensible placement. The torso is also relatively static, so the synthetic puffy material placed overtop is hardly a hinderance. And it works in conjunction with a backpack, which does double duty as a backside insulator.  The end result is that wearing this fleece feels kind of like wearing a fleece plus a lightweight puffy vest.

close up on thumb loop

Few features adorn the Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody. However, the chassis includes a full-length YKK zipper, thumb loops, a chest pocket (large enough to store a full-size phone), and a balaclava style hood.

back side view

When To Use the Black Diamond Coefficient Hybrid LT Hoody

In general, this is the type of fleece that is designed to be worn with a backpack, on the move, in cool conditions, and especially when cold wind hits your chest. Perhaps ski touring or XC would be its most ideal use case, followed by mountaineering, and also bikepacking. Within our primary spheres of coverage – hiking and backpacking, the BDCLTHH is great for shoulder season or trips that involve peak bagging, or chilly forecasts.

Conversely, we would not recommend this one as a camp fleece, simply because you’d prefer less breathability and more warmth all-around. The stretch isn’t particularly important at camp either. And a more even warmth distribution would be preferable, especially because camp assumes you don’t have a pack on.

front zipper open showing pocket and fleece texture

What Could Be Better

That’s an interesting question for a specialized garment like this. Hypothetically, a more even warmth distribution would be preferable. In temperate conditions, your core might overheat, and in truly cold conditions, your arms could get cold. But the whole point is that even warmth distribution compromises stretch and breathability where those traits are needed most.

We also note that the zipper and primaloft silver panel are stiffer and more structured than the rest of the fleece, and this causes the front of the garment to get all wavy when you sit down. For that reason, and because they are lighter weight and don’t have a cold spot running down the front, we prefer pullover hoodies over full zip hoodies.

For $180, you can almost buy a full puffy jacket, so we acknowledge that this fleece ain’t cheap. In fact, it’s probably the most expensive mid-layer we’ve reviewed. And while it is a top performer in an interesting niche, it’s not a gold medal all-around award winner. So that’s quite the asking price.

Lastly, as fleece garments go, this one is a bit odd looking. While this doesn’t impact performance, we think that it might have been preferable to use a less contrasting color block on the front panel. This isn’t the type of fleece you would want to wear out for a night on the town.

close up on polartec powergrid fleece

Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody Review Verdict

The Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody is a uniquely-effective mid layer, made with premium name-brand materials, and purpose built for movement in cool-to-cold weather. Even though most of its insulative properties are concentrated at the core, that is the most important area to cover. And working in conjunction with a backpack, this fleece offers a formidable warmth-to-weight ratio. Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody is made with premium materials and its backcountry performance is highly effective. If money is no issue and you also participate in winter sports, this is a great fleece to add to your quiver.

black diamond coefficient lt hybrid hoody on a rock