Hands-on Gear Review

Compare insulated jacket ratings side-by-side >

Patagonia DAS Parka Review

   
Top Pick Award

Insulated Jackets - Men's

  • Currently 4.4/5
Overall avg rating 4.4 of 5 based on 9 reviews. Most recent review: February 12, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $176 - $299 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  One of the warmest insulated jackets.
Cons:  Hood not very protective, bulky.
Best Uses:  Alpine climbing, ice climbing, ski touring.
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.5 of 5) based on 8 reviews
Recommendations:  88% of reviewers (7/8) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
Review by: Chris Simrell ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 13, 2013  
Overview
The DAS is a classic cold weather jacket - and it will certainly keep you warm. Most people will be better served by a lighter insulated jacket that can be better layered with other pieces. However if you are looking for the warmest synthetic jacket, this is probably you best bet. The DAS parka or "Dead Air Space" Parka has been a cornerstone of climbing parkas for over 20 years with no extra frills and a boxy cut designed to fit over your other layers.

If you prefer something less expensive, the Montbell UL Thermawrap Jacket - Men's and the REI Revelcloud Jacket - Men's are both excellent jackets. They are much thinner, and much less warm, but also layer better and are more versatile. Our favorite lightweight synthetic jacket is the Rab Xenon X.

Check out our complete Men's Insulated Jacket Review to see how this jacket compared to others.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Warmth
The DAS is the go-to standard in the world of super warm synthetic jackets and has a good reputation. The newest generation features a combo of PrimaLoft insulations - 120g/m2 PrimaLoft Synergy with an additional 60g/m2 of PrimaLoft ONE in the torso. The DAS is primarily intended as a cold (or damp) weather belay parka and that is indeed its best place. The warmth of the DAS will be too much for most applications unless you're simply standing around all day in cold weather. In that case you might be better served by one of the hydrophobic down jackets with highly water resistant fabrics that are coming on to the market now like the Patagonia Encapsil or Mountain Hardwear Nilas which will offer more warmth for their weight. Generally speaking we feel that heavy-weight synthetically insulated jackets shine best in extended expeditions to places like Alaska or Patagonia where dampness over time through use, and inclement mountain weather conditions are a big concern. For climbing in more moderate temps, like summer alpine rock in the Sierra of the Cascades, the DAS will be overkill.
Click to enlarge
Patagonia DAS parka, Yellowstone NP.
Credit: Molly Ravits


The hood of the new DAS is adjustable only in the back with a single drawcord. Some of our testers disliked this, and felt that on a jacket already weighing about 24oz, a secondary drawcord would be welcome, and perhaps necessary for fully storm-proofing the hood. The hood fits best over a climbing helmet, bringing the front of the jacket up over your chin and mouth for weather protection. Without a helmet on the hood is rather awkward. The hand warming pockets are insulated on both sides giving you a warm place to rewarm hands at the belay. The cut of the DAS is bigger and longer than on lighter weight jackets, coming down over the butt to provide more warmth and to accommodate the other layers you'll be wearing underneath.

Weight / Compressability
at 23.6oz the DAS is among the heaviest jackets in this review, but it is actually relatively light considering how warm it is. Patagonia keeps the weight down by designing the DAS in a no-frills style and by using relatively light, but weather resistant fabrics. If you're mainly using your insulated jacket in the more benign weather of spring, summer, and fall, you'll happier with the versatility and lighter weight of a less warm jacket like the Rab Xenon X, Haglofs Barrier Pro Hood, or the slightly warmer Arc'teryx Atom SV. If you're looking for a very warm jacket however, the DAS can provide you loads of warmth in a reasonably light package.

Weather Resistance
Patagonia uses a Pertex Endurance outer fabric on the new DAS. We've seen this fabric on several insulated jackets, both down and synthetic, and we find it to provide great weather resistance. The hood design, which we discussed above, is simple, but doesn't have cinch cords on the front, making it a bit more difficult to really cinch the hood fully around your face.
Click to enlarge
The DAS hood leaves much to be desired on the warmth front. As you can see here the hood doesn't even come up to the base of the chin, which makes it considerably less warm. There's only one drawcord; even ultralight jackets have three.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab


Features
The DAS is smartly featured for cold weather. There are two large hand pockets (insulated on both sides), and a smaller external chest pocket perfect for a camera. On the inside are two mesh drop-in pockets. These are great for keeping a water bottle warm, re-warming gloves, etc. and are a feature we appreciate. The waist has two cinch adjusts, which conveniently can be used single-handed. The hood only has one adjustment (in the back). One thing to note is that the DAS doesn't offer great face protection from the cold unless used over a helmet. In other words, if you're not climbing, you may feel like the jacket doesn't come up high enough over your face when it's cold out. The wrist cuffs are elastic, which we feel is simpler, and cleaner, than finicky Velcro wrist cuffs.

Durability
To keep the weight down, the new DAS does not have fabric reinforcements on high wear places, but in general the durability is adequate for its intended use. Because the DAS is so warm, you'll generally be using it when stationary, unlike a lighter weight insulated jacket that you may well physically climb or hike in. For what it's worth, one tester put a large hole in the back of our DAS after a day involving sliding around on snow covered sand dunes.
Click to enlarge
We ripped the DAS fabric while sledding on our backs down snow covered sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park, MI. Some Tenacious Tape served as an effective and quick patch.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab


Mobility
The DAS is ideal for standing around in the cold, or hunched at a cold weather belay. It is very warm and thus lacks the mobility you might feel with a lighter jacket. It's also meant to fit over other layers and so will feel a big large and baggy if worn alone.

Best Appliation
Click to enlarge
Chris Simrell stays extra extra warm while racking up with the Patagonia DAS layered over the Montane Ice Guide.
Credit: Molly Ravits
Cold weather alpine Climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, ski touring, anytime it's very cold and you don't want to be. Keep in mind that even in cold conditions, a more versatile set-up may be to bring several lighter insulating layers as opposed to the DAS so that you're free to layer according to temperature and activity changes. The DAS comes into its own as a belay jacket for truly cold weather mountaineering, or alpine climbing.

Value
The DAS is one of the most expensive insulated jackets. It will likely last you along time however, and has a great warranty. If you climb or recreate regularly in winter you'll appreciate having a DAS among your outerwear options. If on the other hand you mainly venture into the backcountry in the summer, or simply need a year-round jacket for all uses, the DAS is not the best choice, and you'll be happier and get more use out of a lightweight insulated jacket.

Other Versions
Patagonia DAS Parka - Women's, $300.

Chris Simrell

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 12, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.5)

88% of 8 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
9 Total Ratings
5 star: 56%  (5)
4 star: 33%  (3)
3 star: 11%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 8 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Oct 25, 2010 - 12:57pm
Gene · Climber
I have spent comfortable mild Sierra nights with fleece pants, a bivi bag and this jacket. It is warm and the large hood scrunched up makes an adequate pillow.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Oct 1, 2010 - 12:49am
tooth · Climber · B.C.
Almost works as well as the Arcteryx dually.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Feb 12, 2014 - 10:55pm
Salaam · Hiker · Richmond, VA
I'm a bit confused as to how anyone can say this parka isn't adequately warm, today was as bad as most Central VA winter days come (real-feel 14F with 20+ mph gusts) and I've been wearing this DAS intentionally with just a synthetic poly T from Walmart underneath and I've not been effected by the cold at all (mostly just standing around still outside at "work") even with the wind whipping. I can only imagine if I put an R3 or down sweater under it. This peice screams quality. I would actually like the fact that the hood leaves the face more, open, if I need face coverage that's what an R1 hoody is for. The hood is there to keep my head/neck warm, and it does that spot on. The PL Synergy has more of a fluffy, down-like feel, and makes for more cozy "Dead Air Space" . BOTTOM LINE: put this on when it's cold and you won't be.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Aug 6, 2013 - 09:21pm
shredder · Hiker · Florida
I am totally confused by the review as the video of the guy in the Patagonia DAS Parka is last years model and the picture in the ratings is this years model. I just bought both jackets (last years and this years) to make my own decision and it seems last years model is much more comfortable and warmer. Can anyone shed any light on this? Which one are they recommending?

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 13, 2013 - 09:18am
stw63 · Climber · New England
As the review states, and the pictures above show, the hood is just terrible. Otherwise it's a pretty warm jacket. However, it was not as warm as I'd hoped. I tried another Patagonia jacket called the Apastron. It is notably warmer, but has an even worse hood. What's wrong with Patagonia and hoods? They leave the whole side of the face, chin, etc. fully exposed to the elements. Bizarre product design choices for cold weather jackets :-(

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 2, 2012 - 11:52am
Migas · River Rafter · Boden, Sweden
It feels like walking around wrapt into a downblanket. Very soft and very warm. The collar is very high. It breeths well.

I have all 3 of Patagonias stuffed jackets. The Nano Puff Hoody, the Puff Hoody and the DAS Parka. They all rock!

I use the Nano in the autumn, until the snow comes. Then I use the Puff Hoody pretty much all winter. Only when it is really cold I can wear the DAS Parka. It is so warm. It is my extreme winter jacket.

I should mention a funny thing with Patagonia stuffed jackets.
You have to wear something with long sleeves under them, then they are superwarm.

But with only a T-shirt under, they are cold. Even the thick DAS Parka.
So it is important to know, how you want to dress under it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 9, 2011 - 01:56am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Do you enjoy suffering? Do your friends, even the climbing ones, ask you why the hell you are going to (insert locale) to go climbing at this time of year? Do you enjoy falling ice, rock, and temperatures?

If your answer to these is a resounding 'yes' and you tend to be a bit of a masochist, no reason to be cold at belays no mo'!

The DAS is probably my favorite piece of gear from Tahoe to Lone Pine above 6,000 feet from November-March. Warmth and happiness in a jacket. It really is that simple. Sometimes.

If you are considering buying it, go ahead and do it. Not the most packable thing ever, but you are really paying for a portable campfire (note: no actual campfire included) level of warmth. Water resistant and since it is synthetic, no need to worry if it gets wet. Win-win.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jan 22, 2011 - 04:13pm
Frank Sanders · Climber · Devils Tower. Wyoming
Great coat. As a Wyoming resident, I Live in this coat more than 6 months a year. It climbs with me, chops wood with me and does chores with me.This is my 3rd year in the SAME COAT; No wear spots, No zipper problems, No shifting of fill or cold spots evolving. Those "inside waterbottle pockets" that Chris Mc. refers to, we call "shoplifter pockets" and are roomy enough to accommodate about anything; most especially hats, gloves, sandwiches and headlamps. The zippered, front breast pocket is VERY cool and useful for the "finer things" in a rough&tumble Life. The adjustments on the hood are perhaps the coolest. They make it totally functional with or without a hat, helmet, headlamp or howling wind. THIS IS TRULY ONE OF THE VERY BEST PIECES OF CLOTHING THAT I'VE EVER BOUGHT. (Its right up there with Grammici Shorts, Thurlo Sox, 5.10 Annisazis (pink) & Patagonia Synchilla !!)Looks like they are currently ON SALE at Patagonia, too !!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Patagonia DAS Parka?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Credit: Patagonia
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Oregon Mountain Community $176.24  -  41% off!
Patagonia $209.00  -  30% off!
MooseJaw $223.99  -  25% off!
Compare prices at 6 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Insulated Jacket Review

The Best Insulated Jacket Review

More than twenty insulated jacket tested side by side in all four seasons.
Video video review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews