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Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Stance Belay Parka has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Black Diamond Belay Parka.

photo: Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka synthetic insulated jacket

Thin synthetic parka that can be used as a middle layer or outer layer.


  • Great weight-to-warmth ratio
  • Good hood and high collar
  • Chest pocket
  • Zippered pockets
  • Long length
  • 2-way zipper


  • You can easily overheat
  • No stuff sack
  • Runs long

I bought this to use as a middle layer under my guide jacket on those extremely cold mornings. I am 5'9" 180 lbs; a Medium with a good sweater underneath fits well.

During this recent polar vortex that we are having I decided to test it alone, against my other winter coats at -15°F / -25°C and on a two-mile hike.

Jacket #1 is an original 1996 TNF Nuptse down fill $$$

Jacket # 2 BD Stance Belay Parka $$

Jacket # 3 Helly Hansen Enigma Parka $$$$


The BD Stance Belay Parka performed very well against the other two of these considering it was the least expensive.

The hood is insulated and large enough to block all wind, while the TNF hood is small and not insulated.

It stuffs down to a decent size, though it does not come with a stuff sack, but not as small as TNF.


The HH is a much heavier jacket and has a few more pockets than the BD, which has two side zippered, one zippered chest, and two non-zippered inner pockets.

Both have a high collar that will cover your chin. Neither can handle a helmet very well. The BD has no powder skirt but does have a drawstring. 

Thermolite insulation on this is as good as any I have seen on even the most expensive mid layers—good if not better than the down patches on the HH. 


I find the outer material on this jacket to be quite thin and would not trust it for alpine skiing or crashing in the woods, unless you have a hard shell covering it, which can pose a fashion problem for this is a very long jacket that covers my torso. I think that also helps keep everything so warm. Yet the arm length is perfect. 

But with the proper shell and layering it has worked well on those -40° days and definitely recommend it as a cold weather insulator, especially for the price.


Outdoor professional spending many hours in a sub- arctic climate.
Have owned this piece for a couple of years.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $125 Can

Really excellent belaying parka. Warm, comfortable, packs down small, and doesn't weigh much at all. Great for very cold belaying at the crag and wet alpine climbs.


  • Warm
  • Synthetic
  • Amazing hood


  • Does not come with stuff sack or pocket zip
  • Too many zippered pockets
  • Outer material could be better

I recently picked up an OR Chaos for belaying in in Canadian Rockies winter conditions. I was really impressed that such a thin jacket could be as warm as this one was. However it still was not suitable for -25°, so I decided to look elsewhere.

After much hemming and hawing between the DAS Parka from Patagonia and the Dually from Arc'teryx I opted for the Stance. 

It has proven to be a excellent jacket. I have used it touring and climbing. And it has been perfect. It is very warm. I would rate it just barely below the Dually Parka and comparable to the Marmot Guides Down Jacket or a TNF Nuptse. Considering it's synthetic is pretty huge. 

As for fit, it's a bit odd, but for me works well. I am 5'10" with a very slim build, long torso, and medium arms. For me it's perfect. It's a narrow fit at the waist, but quite wide up top to fit loads of layers underneath. The narrow waist is excellent for trapping in heat, and the two-way zipper means if you need to open the waist up you can.

The hood is massive and very thickly insulated. It's super comfy and really feels warm. When zipped up it covers the tip of my nose. The sleeves are different then most parkas as they are very tight fitted stretch fabric (similar to an Atom LT), which I really like as when you're switching gloves frequently they don't bunch up against velcro straps or extra material. 

My "-30, pssssh, not with this thing on" face. 

As for pockets there are two zipped handwarming pockets, two external chest pockets and two internal glove pockets. I prefer the Chaos for its non-zippered handwarming pockets, and one internal, one external chest pocket, but I appreciate two glove pockets on each side of the jacket. Helps bulk the jacket up and keep it warm.

So far the parka seems to shed moisture fine, though I haven't truly tested it yet. It's very warm, but I have felt slight winds push it around. Pertex Endurance with its wind-resistant finish would have been a better choice if you ask me, but the jacket still holds up well in -25°. 

Overall the minor flaws are not deal-breakers, and really quite forgettable. I am warm, comfortable, and have good range of motion. 

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $160

This belay parka is very warm, fit is a little snug. Quality of the stitching is good and the feel is quite good. The hood is large and very well insulated. It is as described a good belay parka.


  • Warm
  • Lots of pockets


  • Compressibility

I am 6'2" 180 lbs and I ordered the XL. This size works very well over my soft shell jacket. A large would have been snug in the shoulders. Zipper is thick and does not snag while zipping even with heavy gloves on.

It is a little on the heavy side, but that is the trade off for synthetic parkas. Very warm jacket.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

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