Ideal for a variety of outdoor activities, the Peak Performance Black Light Pro Jacket is a lightweight, breathable shell that is both windproof and waterproof. It is designed with a lightweight GORE-TEX fabric that adds to its technical performance and makes it ideal for a range of activities from skiing touring to mountaineering.
For myself, I use this jacket mainly for ski touring/snowshoeing although I did get to use it for a hike up Mount Lafayette in Vermont. We didn’t pick the best day for the hike as we experienced heavy rains, snow and hail along the way but this undesirable weather allowed me to really test how weatherproof the Black Light Core Jacket is.
The jacket itself feels very light and thin which is perfect for aerobic activities like hiking and touring. No matter how hard it was raining, the jacket remained lightweight and I stayed completely dry inside thanks to the AquaGuard Zippers.
For those ladies that like a little bit of colour, the black model which I am wearing has very discrete purple accents on the zippers so you get very subtle hints of colour. I have a Purple POC Receptor helmet, so of course, I was digging the purple accents that paired well with my helmet.
The jacket is equipped with armpit zips on each side and can be easily unzipped for extra ventilation whether you’re hiking, touring or snowshoeing. There are long toggles that make it easy to operate the zippers with gloves or mitts although I did experience the zipper getting stuck occasionally. The armpit vents are fully open without mesh allowing hot air to escape more easily and quickly so you get efficient ventilation when you need it.
There are two large hand pockets on either side of the jacket that are the perfect size to stash a Buff or put your mitts when your hands heat up. If you’re touring and wearing a backpack, the hand pockets are a little difficult to access because of the hip strap on a backpack. Although the pockets are still accessible, if you need to get in and out of the pockets quickly, you may find the placement not very efficient.
For myself, this hasn’t posed as a huge problem but if you’re someone with high technical standards and like easy, convenient access too all pockets with a pack on, you may find this less appealing.
While skiing at Le Massif de Charlevoix I discovered an internal pocket in the pocket on the right side. for me, this was a wonderful discovery as I am always nervous that I’ll accidentally drop my credit card or drivers license when fishing through my pocket for things. This internal pocket is an ideal spot to keep your cards, a car key and even some chapstick.
Inside the jacket there is a large mesh pocket where you can store a pair of goggles or even keep your phone. I personally haven’t used this pocket as I usually keep my phone in the hip belt pocket on my backpack. If you have a problem with your phone shutting off when it gets too cold, this internal chest pocket would be an ideal spot to keep it warm and functional.
For stormy days on the mountain or in the trails, the fixed helmet compatible storm hood is perfect. With the jacket fully zipped and the hood on, you feel like you’re in your own little storm bunker. The hood is spacious and accommodates a toque no problem although with my ski helmet, it is a little tight. It is possible with a different sized helmet, the hood may be more compatible.
To tighten the hood, there are easy-to-use toggles on both sides as well as a toggle in the back to really batten down the hatches when you’re experiencing strong winds.
Other small features that are important to note are velcro on the sleeves to adjust the sleeve width. I find the sleeves are just wide enough to fit over the tops of my mitts and I have now mastered the technique to pull them over with mitts on. It would be ideal if the sleeves were slightly wider to accommodate larger ski gloves or mitts but for now, it doesn’t pose a big problem for me.
The fit of the jacket itself is a regular fit with articulated sleeves and is the perfect style for activities where excess bulk is undesirable. I wear a size small and it couldn’t be a more perfect size. The waist isn’t too wide or tight although if you are a women with smaller hips, you can use the drawstring at the hem to get a tighter fit and avoid having cold air entering through the bottom.
The jacket is equipped with a RECCO® reflector so if you’re exploring in high risk terrain, you can be found by rescuers using the RECCO® system. This is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who venture into the backcountry and out of bounds areas often.
Last but not least, the jacket has a two-way zipper. This is ideal if you’re sitting on a chairlift or in a car for extended period of time because you can unzip the bottom slightly so the hem is slightly wider and less tight.
Overall, this jacket has performed exceptionally so far and I am very happy with the fit, the look and its features. I have avoided buying a season’s pass for a ski hill this season and have been snowshoeing up with my skis (I am a pair of bindings away from a full touring set-up) to earn my turns so having a lightweight, breathable shell like the Black Light Core Jacket is essential.
I wear the Black Light Core Jacket with the Black Light Core Pants on the top and the Black Light Mid-Zipper Jacket and Black Light Mid-Layer Pants underneath. On colder days, I will add an additional layer although, generally once I start hiking, I remove the additional layer.
*Product photos by Desirée Wallace & hiking photos by Marie-Noël Boislcair