Black Diamond StormLine Stretch

Price: $180
Weight: 9.5 oz. (women's)
Waterproofing: 2.5L BD.dry
What we like: Lightweight for a fully featured rain jacket; stretch adds mobility and comfort.
What we don't: Breathability falls short compared to pricier 3-layer hardshells.
See the Women's Black Diamond StormLine  See the Men's Black Diamond StormLine


Black Diamond has assembled a solid lineup of quality rain jackets and hardshells over the last several years, and the StormLine is yet another standout. By adding stretch into the jacket’s face fabric, BD created an impressively lightweight, weatherproof, durable, and mobile rain shell that pairs well with activities like hiking, biking, and running. After putting the women's StormLine through extensive use in the wet and unrelenting Pacific Northwest, we came away with high praise. Below we outline the StormLine Stretch's performance. To see how it stacks up to the competition, see our articles on the best rain jackets and best women's rain jackets.

Table of Contents


Weather Protection

Featuring Black Diamond’s in-house BD.dry waterproof membrane and backed by a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, the StormLine Stretch Rain Shell is a formidable barrier against rain and wind. Although the jacket has a 2.5-layer construction (as opposed to the 3-layer build typical of pricier hardshells), it’s still impressively weather-worthy. I’ve taken the StormLine as my sole outer layer on numerous backcountry hiking and biking trips in the Pacific Northwest—all of which have included at least one downpour—and it has held up remarkably well while keeping my baselayers dry. Additionally, I’ve experienced no leakage through the zippers. Black Diamond was very thoughtful here: the pit zips are DWR-coated, the front zipper boasts YKK waterproofing, and the hand pocket zippers are covered by generous flaps that prevent water from creeping inside (although these aren’t waterproof).

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (waterproofing)
The StormLine's 2.5-layer BD.dry membrane has proven very trustworthy throughout testing | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Another factor that can heavily impact weather protection is fit. With the StormLine, I found the sleeves to be a good length for protecting my arms and wrists, and by toggling the generous Velcro cuff, I was able to protect my baselayers from getting wet. The jacket also has an elastic drawcord at the hem, which can be pulled tight to seal out moisture. Earlier this year, my midlayer grew soaked when rain entered at the wrists and hem of one of my other jackets. This admittedly was my fault and could have been prevented, but it nevertheless made me partial to jackets with generous, adjustable sleeves and hems—and the StormLine fits that bill nicely.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (hiking 3)
The jacket's generous, adjustable sleeves and hem help maximize wet-weather protection | Credit: Brian McCurdy

The Black Diamond StormLine Stretch also provides a capable barrier against wind. I wore the jacket while riding my bike over several passes in British Columbia’s Chilcotin mountains—one of which was aptly named “Windy Pass”—and was pleasantly surprised by how skillfully it fended off gusts. In fact, I found it to be a great riding companion for descents where windchill is a constant concern. By the end of the trip, the StormLine had proven itself as a competent and weather-worthy multi-sport jacket.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (biking 2)
The StormLine is a great match in blustery weather, too | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Comfort and Stretch

The StormLine’s calling card is its stretchy face fabric, which gives the jacket added elasticity and comfort. The bump in freedom of movement is especially great for mobility-dependent activities like hiking, climbing, biking, and running. Black Diamond certainly isn’t the only brand that offers a stretchy rain shell—Outdoor Research recently released the Stratoburst Stretch in addition to their Aspire Super Stretch, and REI’s Flash Stretch is another relatively affordable (albeit less performance-ready) design. Still, the StormLine remains our favorite in this category for its great overall execution at a competitive weight and price.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (with hood)
The StormLine's stretchy face fabric offers a sizable boost in comfort and mobility | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Weight and Packability

At a listed weight of 9.5 ounces for the women’s model, the StormLine Stretch is one of the lightest fully featured rain jackets on the market. For reference, it’s considerably lighter than REI’s similarly intentioned Flash Stretch (14.5 oz.) and Outdoor Research’s 2-layer Aspire Gore-Tex Super Stretch (15.7 oz.). It also undercuts leading, non-stretchy designs like the Marmot Minimalist (13 oz.) and Patagonia Torrentshell 3L (12.4 oz.), although both of those jackets are more everyday-focused and less performance-ready than the StormLine. All things considered, I think Black Diamond did a really nice job balancing weight and features. And when it comes time to stuff it down, the jacket easily stows into its right hand pocket (I also was able to fit it in a bike jersey pocket or small hydration pack), which includes a carabiner-ready loop for clipping to a climbing harness or backpack.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (running)
Running in the impressively light and packable StormLine Stretch  | Credit: Brian McCurdy


2.5-layer rain shells typically don’t breathe as well as 3-layer hardshell jackets, and we found this to hold true with the StormLine Stretch. While mountain biking and running with the jacket fully zipped, I struggled to effectively cool off. However, I should note that it was an unseasonably warm and humid summer in the Pacific Northwest. Further, it’s somewhat unrealistic to expect both excellent waterproofing and standout breathability—one often is sacrificed—and especially at this price point. On the bright side, the StormLine features generous pit zips, which work well for dumping heat quickly. If I’m quick to open them when exerting energy, the clamminess quickly dissipates and I can regulate temperature much more easily. Finally, the lining inside the jacket is textured and doesn’t feel plasticky (a common complaint we have with rain jackets), but it still is a bit sticky on wet skin. This is especially noticeable when I try to slide damp, bare hands into my pockets.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (hand pocket)
The jacket's interior can grow a little clammy and sticky in warm weather  | Credit: Brian McCurdy



The StormLine Stretch features an adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that just works. It easily fits over all of my climbing and mountain bike helmets, and the stretchy fabric adds comfort and a bit of “give” around the neck. Additionally, the brim is nicely sized and has managed to keep all rain out of my eyes (unless, of course, it’s falling at an angle or I’m running/biking into it). Finally, an elastic pull cord at the back of the head allows you to cinch down the hood and secure it in place whether you’re wearing a hat, helmet, or nothing at all underneath.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (hood adjustment)
A single drawcord at the back of the hood makes it easy to dial in fit  | Credit: Brian McCurdy


Black Diamond included the standard two zippered hand pockets on the StormLine Stretch but chose to forego a chest pocket. We can understand this decision—the jacket is competitively light as a result (zippers add a good amount of weight), and there’s still enough space for valuables. As I touched on above, both hand pockets feature a generous flap that protects against moisture, and I’m a big fan of being able to stuff the jacket into its own right hand pocket.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (overlook)
The StormLine's storage layout comprises two zippered hand pockets but no chest pocket | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Build Quality and Durability

Because of its added elasticity, the Black Diamond StormLine feels significantly more tear-resistant than non-stretchy rain jackets. Unfortunately, BD doesn't list the denier (fabric thickness) of the StormLine, but I've had only positive experiences. More specifically, I’ve worn the shell under numerous backpacking packs and have had no delamination or rubbing-related issues. I do tend to stuff the jacket into its pocket before cramming it into my pack or bike bag to help preserve the outer laminate, but it has nevertheless shown zero signs of wear to date. All seams are intact, the zippers are holding up well, and the jacket looks relatively new after extensive testing. All in all, I’m confident that the StormLine will continue to hardily withstand frequent outdoor use.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (hem adjustment)
The pliable StormLine feels notably more tear-resistant than non-stretchy designs | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Fit and Sizing

I wear a small in most jackets to allow for layering, but an extra small in the StormLine Stretch fit me perfectly. The jacket is by no means bulky, but it is roomy enough to accommodate layers underneath while still being slightly streamlined (BD describes the fit as “regular”). While camping, I often wear several merino baselayers and my Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer down hoody underneath, and even this thick pairing has never felt uncomfortable or restrictive. Further, the longer sleeves are great for biking—when the Velcro is cinched around the cuffs, my baselayers don’t peek out—and the gusseted underarms allow ample mobility. It’s worth noting that my husband tried on the men’s version and found the fit to be notably large and boxy, so I recommend trying on the jacket before buying, if possible. 

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (zipping up)
By sizing down, we were able to achieve a flattering but still layering-friendly fit  | Credit: Brian McCurdy


Like many outdoor brands, Black Diamond has started upping their sustainability focus in recent years. In this case, the StormLine Stretch uses bluesign-approved materials that meet strict ecological and chemical safety standards to reduce impact on workers, consumers, and the environment. The jacket also boasts BD’s “Eco” label, which indicates that it’s made with one or more of Black Diamond’s sustainability attributes. It’s not entirely clear if this is exclusively referring to the bluesign-approved materials or if BD included other measures, but we’d love to see more transparency about production practices—along with upgrades like recycled fabrics and a PFC-free DWR coating—in a future update.

Other Versions of the Black Diamond StormLine Stretch

For this review, I tested the women’s StormLine Stretch Rain Shell, and Black Diamond makes the same jacket in a men’s version. Compared to the women’s, the men’s StormLine Stretch also retails for $180 and features an identical build with two hand pockets (and no chest pocket), pit zips, an adjustable and helmet-compatible hood, and Black Diamond’s proprietary BD.dry waterproofing. Where the two differ is in weight—the men’s jacket checks in at 11.3 ounces versus the women’s 9.5-ounce weight—and color options. If you live in a notoriously wet climate, Black Diamond also sells StormLine Stretch Rain Pants ($140) and Full Zip Rain Pants ($155) in both women’s and men's versions, which boast the same waterproofing and stretchy fabric. Rounding out the lineup is the StormLine Stretch Anorak ($165), which is largely similar to the design tested here but with a half-length zipper and kangaroo pouch that doubles as the stuff pocket.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (camp)
The StormLine collection also includes a men's version, matching pants, and zip-neck Anorak  | Credit: Brian McCurdy

What We Like

  • At 9.5 ounces, the StormLine is one of the lightest fully featured rain jackets on the market. 
  • Stretchy shell fabric increases mobility and boosts comfort.
  • At $180, the jacket is very reasonably priced for what you get.
  • Fabric isn’t crinkly and loud like traditional Gore-Tex.
  • Nice array of attractive colorways, including six options for women and seven for men at the time of publishing.

What We Don’t

  • Like many 2.5-layer rain jackets, the StormLine doesn’t breathe well during high-output activities (although the pit zips are great for dumping heat).
  • Interior can feel a bit clammy and sticky, which is especially noticeable when stuffing wet hands into the pockets.
  • No chest pocket, which is understandable for minimizing weight but limits storage to just the hand pockets.
  • Men’s version runs slightly large and boxy, which isn’t ideal for backcountry use.
Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (cuff adjustment)
Despite its low weight, the StormLine comes well equipped for battening down the hatches | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Comparison Table

Jacket Price Weight Waterproofing Denier Pit Zips Packable
Black Diamond StormLine Stretch $180 9.5 oz. 2.5L BD.dry Unavail. Yes Yes
Black Diamond Highline Stretch $400 10.7 oz. 3L BD.dry 30D Yes No
OR Stratoburst Stretch $165 8.5 oz. 2.5L Ventia 50D Yes Yes
Marmot PreCip Eco $120 9 oz. 2.5L NanoPro Unavail. Yes Yes
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L $179 12.4 oz. 3L H2No 50D Yes Yes

The Competition

Stretch-infused rain jackets have grown increasingly common in recent years, providing a nice boost in comfort and mobility compared to traditional designs. For a step up in performance, Black Diamond’s own Highline Stretch Shell is another staff favorite. Comparing the two, the Highline uses a more premium 3-layer construction (also BD.dry) that offers better breathability and protection than the StormLine’s 2.5-layer build. That said, weight goes up slightly to 10.7 ounces, and the Highline doesn’t pack down into a pocket (or even a separate stuff sack) like the StormLine. For a significant $220 less, the StormLine checks all the boxes for most hikers and everyday wearers, although the hardshell-like Highline is more reliable in true alpine conditions (for more, see our in-depth Highline Stretch review).

Outdoor Research recently released an intriguing competitor to the StormLine in their Stratoburst Stretch Rain Jacket. In terms of advantages, the OR is slightly lighter at 8.5 ounces and $15 cheaper without sacrificing backcountry-ready features like pit zips and a water-resistant main zipper. However, the Stratoburst’s hood isn’t helmet-compatible, and we prefer Black Diamond’s slightly wider and more around town-friendly colorway selection (the two-tone versions of the Stratoburst are fairly techy in appearance). In the end, it’s a close call between the two, but we think the BD is the slightly better-balanced piece. If weight is less of a concern, it’s also worth checking out REI’s Flash Stretch Jacket ($169 and 14.5 oz.).

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (tent)
The light and packable StormLine is a great match for weight-conscious backpacking trips | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Transitioning to more traditional, non-stretchy rain shells, Marmot’s PreCip Eco is very popular among hikers, backpackers, and everyday users alike. Like the StormLine Stretch, the PreCip boasts a 2.5-layer construction and includes performance-ready features like pit zips, a stuff pocket, and adjustability at the hood, hem, and cuffs. It’s also competitively lightweight at just 9 ounces and comes in a wide selection of good-looking colorways. However, the Marmot’s fabric flap covering the main zipper adds a noticeable amount of bulk compared to the BD’s water-resistant design, and breathability suffers as a result of the cheaper build. Overall, the StormLine is the more refined performance piece, but the PreCip Eco is an excellent daily driver for a full $60 less.

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch (fog)
Enjoying coffee on a misty morning while wearing the StormLine Stretch  | Credit: Brian McCurdy

Last but certainly not least is a longstanding favorite: Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L Jacket. As its name suggests, the Torrentshell uses an upgraded 3-layer build that offers hardshell-like protection, along with plenty of features for battening down the hatches. You also get a thick shell that holds up well even around sharp gear, great everyday-friendly styling, and thoughtful touches like a microfleece lining at the back of the neck and an adjustable hood that stows away when not in use. The biggest drawbacks are comfort and weight: The Patagonia feels noticeably stiff and crinkly compared to the pliable StormLine, and it’s heavier by around 3 ounces. In the end, for mobility-dependent activities like climbing and biking, we prefer the StormLine Stretch. For hiking and daily wear, the Torrentshell is our top pick.

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