Patagonia DAS Light Hoody Review
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Patagonia DAS Light Hoody
|Price||$191.95 at Backcountry|
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|$149.99 at Backcountry|
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|$259.00 at Evo|
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$190.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Lightweight, weather-resistant, warm, durable||Warm, highly featured, comfortable||Comfortable, breathable, warm, great mobility||Lightweight, compressible, warm, weather resistant, affordable||Warm, affordable, water-resistant|
|Cons||Expensive, no hem drawcords, hard to stow, no internal pockets, not breathable||Bulky, poor breathability, technical style||Pricey, little adjustability, poor packability||Poor breathability, unathletic fit||Bulky, heavy, poor breathability|
|Bottom Line||This versatile and lightweight insulated jacket offers impressive weather resistance and warmth||Warm and designed for adventure, this jacket provides a durable nylon ripstop shell fabric that resists abrasion and sheds water easily||This active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility with great breathability while offering some warmth||This impressively wind-resistant layer fights the elements, provides functional warmth, and easily fits into its own pocket||An affordable winter jacket, this heavy piece traps heat well and provides plenty of insulated warmth|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia DAS Light...||Mountain Hardwear C...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Weight and Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Patagonia DAS Light...||Mountain Hardwear C...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Measured Weight||12.31 oz||16.47 oz||13.05 oz||12.56 oz||38.59 oz|
|Insulation||100% recycled polyester PlumaFill||85% recycled polyester||Coreloft Compact synthetic fibers||PrimaLoft Silver||Thermarator with Omni-Heat Reflective Liner|
|Outer Fabric||Pertex Quantum Pro||15D coated nylon ripstop||20D Tyono shell, stretch fleece panels (94% polyester, 6% elastane)||Pertex Quantum||Polyester Storm-Lite DP II|
|Stuffs Into Itself||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Number of Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 internal zip, 1 internal drop-in||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zip||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia DAS Light Hoody stands above the rest as an embodiment of what synthetic jackets should be. Light, water resistant, warm, and packable, we love this jacket as a piece to bring into the backcountry when the weather looks less than ideal. The jacket features an external chest pocket and two handwarmer pockets, and it stuffs into its own pocket. There is a back hood pull-cord adjustment and stretch adjustability at the front of the hood. The nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum Pro material features a DWR finish that kept our lead tester dry during a wet rappel in a Rocky Mountain National Park thunderstorm. That, along with the 65-gram PlumaFill 100% polyester, kept us warm even while wet. While other jackets in this review have more filling and some are warmer, this jacket's helmet-compatible hood, practical adjustability, and great features make it a near-perfect synthetic option.
65g of recycled PlumaFill insulation fills the DAS Light Hoody, making it a decently warm layer. Many jackets only use 60g of insulation, so this jacket is a tad bit thicker and heavier, but it still lacks the level of warmth of the thicker and heavier models in this review. Still, its lightweight, high-quality insulation packs a punch for warmth.
The recycled nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum Pro face fabric provides significant wind resistance compared to some of the more breathable and permeable synthetic layers. The ability to cut wind out helped significantly with the jacket's weight-to-warmth ratio. This jacket's sleek design, the low-profile, lightly elasticized cuffs and hem, as well as the adjustable hood further help seal in warmth.
Weight and Compressibility
Our size medium test jacket weighed in on our independent scale at 12.31 ounces, making it one of the lightest jackets in this review. It also won praise for its ability to be brought anywhere without feeling like dead weight. It ended up being our go-to piece for heading into the mountains.
When it comes to compressibility, despite its lightness, this jacket needed help. Though it stuffs into its left front pocket for greater portability, the actual stuffing process became a huge bear. We wrestled to fit this jacket into its stow pocket. It would fit most of the way in, but stuffing the last bits and then zipping the closure felt nearly impossible. Further, stuffing a synthetic jacket repeatedly will break down the interior fibers making it lose warmth and become less functional. This feature turns out to be a bit of a wash, but it can still be stuffed into the empty space in your pack quite nicely.
Designed as an outer layer, this jacket fits a bit large and loose, which makes it seem large, spacious, and baggy, especially if there's only a light layer underneath. It also fits over other jackets well, making it perfect as a last line of defense against the elements.
While moving, this jacket performed well. Our testers skied, hiked, climbed, and walked around Colorado mountain towns in it. It offers great range of motion for overhead arm motions thanks to ample room in the shoulders and back. The long hem prevented the jacket from riding up, and the fabric itself felt smooth against the skin. A few testers noted that the fabric could be rather loud and crinkly. If you're engaging in a sport that requires a helmet, the hood will fit over one, though the collar and neck tend to be tighter with a helmet. The back of the hood has a single adjustment point that cinches the helmet down well.
The DAS Light Hoody performed very well with weather resistance, making it one of the best insulating layers for winter climbing and skiing. Patagonia sewed the Pertex Quantum Pro nylon ripstop face fabric in large sheets with a minimum amount of exposed stitching. This keeps the jacket sleek and helps cut the wind from getting through the seams, making the piece seem like a heavily insulated wind shell. It lacks hem drawcords to seal out wind, which came as a minor annoyance but also kept the jacket a bit lighter.
The Pertex Quantum Pro face fabric has a polyurethane dry coating and a DWR coating finish. When we sprayed the shell with a garden hose for over a minute, the water beaded up on the shell and slid right off. This proved crucial when one tester got caught in a late summer hail storm at 12,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park. While rappelling through a waterfall, our tester stayed dry and warm.
With excellent wind resistance comes a lack of breathability when we're working hard. With vigorous uphill hiking in the sun, we tested how each jacket handled airflow and moisture management. The DAS Light breathed poorly, which isn't surprising. Our testers sweated as they marched up the steep trails around Colorado. The dual zipper helped a bit with breathability, allowing us to unzip the top or the bottom for additional airflow, but ultimately we had to take the jacket off.
Patagonia made this jacket more as an exterior layer for fighting the elements than as a breathable mid-layer, so bearing this in mind, it's understandable that it didn't breathe as well. Instead, it's a better piece to ward off the cold and weather once we finished running uphill or hiking hard. The jacket's lightweight nature makes it easy to throw in a pack to carry and do just that.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Das Light Hoody?
The Patagonia DAS Light Hoody works well for almost all mountain adventuring, for alpine climbing, ski touring, cragging, backpacking, or camping. It also holds its own as an around-town piece that will keep you toasty while running errands. Impressively warm for its weight, it feels comfortable and offers significant protection from the elements. Though it comes with a high cost, the high quality and incredible versatility of this piece make it worth the extra expense, and it's one of our favorite insulated jackets from testing.
What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?
The Patagonia Das Light Hoody performed exceptionally well in most of our metrics. If you want a warmer version of this jacket, try the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody or if you want something a bit more breathable, then check out the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody. These pieces match the Das Light's technical approach to insulated jackets.
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