Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell ReviewDecember 5, 2013
- Great breathability
- Stretchy for active pursuits
- Brimmed, helmet compatible hood
- Small pockets
- Not as weatherproof as hardshells
The Dawn Patrol Hybrid is designed for backcountry use, but would do fine on-piste on all but the stormiest days. The softshell fabric is very breathable and stretchy, and is augmented on the spots most vulnerable to moisture with a hard, waterproof shell.
The soft shell portions—sides, underamrs, and back—are made of Schoeller softshell fabric, very stretchy, lightweight, breathable and water repellent. The shoulders, hood, front of the torso, and top of the arms are a waterproof breathable hardshell to keep precip at bay. I loved backcountry skiing in this jacket—the stretchy softshell is freeing and breathable on the uphills while the hardshell blocks wind and falling snow on the way up and down.
The Dawn Patrol Hybrid has a snug climber’s fit—long arms, narrow torso, but the stretchy fabric is forgiving for thicker users. The hem is long enough to keep blowing snow out.
I liked the handpockets that separate from the internal shell, effectively making a pair of hanging pockets for goggles or a pair of climbing skins. The pockets should be a little bigger. The hood is giant, but cinches down in three spots for un-helmeted use, and the brim is stiff and broad for great weatherproofing.