Patagonia DAS Light Hoody Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, wind and water resistant, quite warm, durable face fabric
Cons: Expensive, no hem drawcords, hood is slightly tight with a helmet on
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Patagonia DAS Light Hoody
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$299.00 at Backcountry
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$299 List||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Lightweight, wind and water resistant, quite warm, durable face fabric||Light, easily stowable, very weather resistant||Lightweight, warm, great wind protection, sheds water well, affordable||Very warm, comfortable fit, seals out the weather||Very comfortable, great fit, breathable, impressively warm, great mobility|
|Cons||Expensive, no hem drawcords, hood is slightly tight with a helmet on||Doesn't breathe, expensive||Doesn’t breathe well, fit isn’t very athletic||Heavier than most, not very breathable, pricey||Pricey, not as warm as thicker layers, doesn’t stuff into itself|
|Bottom Line||A versatile and lightweight insulated jacket that offers superior weather resistance, and remains impressively warm||When it comes to features, this jacket has everything you need and nothing you don't||The best lightweight insulated outer layer is highly wind resistant and impressively warm||A very warm, weather resistant hoody that easily fits over other layers but isn’t too baggy||The ideal active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility and great breathability, yet still wards off the chill during cold weather|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Nuclei FL||Rab Xenon Hoodie||Arc'teryx Atom AR H...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...|
|Weight And Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Nuclei FL||Rab Xenon Hoodie||Arc'teryx Atom AR H...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...|
|Measured Weight (size)||11.0 oz (S)||10.5 oz (S)||11.0 oz (S)||15.2 oz (S)||12.2 oz (S)|
|Insulation||65 g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester||Coreloft (65g/m²)||60 g Stratus||120 g/m2 Coreloft body, 80 g/m2 underarms, 60 g/m2 hood - with Dope Permair 20 in armpits||60 g/m2 Coreloft Compact w/ Stretch Fleece panels on sides|
|Outer Fabric||10-D 100% nylon ripstop Pertex Endurance||Arato (10D nylon ripstop)||Atmos ripstop||Tyono 30 denier nylon||20D Nylon Tyono|
|Stuffs Into Itself?||Yes||Yes||Yes, clip loop||No||No|
|Number of Pockets||1 chest zippered, 2 handwarmer zippered||2 zippered hand, 2 internal||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia DAS Light Hoody is the little brother of the DAS Parka, which has been around for more than 25 years. That said, it doesn't feel heavy and bulky like the DAS Parka and doesn't really embody the word "parka" at all. Instead, it feels much more like some of Patagonia's thinner synthetic jackets, such as the Micro Puff, but is noticeably more wind resistant, warmer, and includes an upgraded and more durable Pertex Quantum face fabric. While this is the very first version of this jacket, it feels like a highly refined, nearly perfect offering that quite possibly leaves no room for improvement — an impressive feat!
Like other similar jackets that use a Pertex Quantum shell fabric, this one has no exterior stitching, which drastically improves its level of wind resistance. It comes with a helmet-compatible hood that fits well with both a helmet or without but also cuts out many of the drawcords one would typically expect on such a jacket, ostensibly in the name of saving weight. And this tactic sure has worked, as this jacket is one of the very lightest in this review while offering warmth levels that far surpass many of the other super lightweight options. While we initially tested this jacket on springtime ski missions, it soon morphed into a climbing shell, then into a backpacking jacket, and within a few months, we found ourselves wearing it nearly every day that the temperatures called for some insulation. It is incredibly versatile and one we expect that almost any outdoor enthusiast will love. It does not currently come in a hoodless jacket version and can only be purchased with a hood.
The DAS Light Hoody is filled with 65g recycled PlumaFill insulation, which is a tad bit thicker and heavier than the more common 60g insulation used in many of the comparable synthetic jackets. That said, this jacket is pretty darn light, and not super thin, so we aren't surprised that it doesn't offer the same level of warmth as some of the much thicker and heavier competitors also included in this review.
The highly wind-resistant outer face fabric certainly gives this jacket a leg up over the increasingly common active insulated layers, which are generally far more breathable, but also allow in a lot more wind, making them feel less warm overall. In fact, for how thin and light the DAS Light Hoody is, we are very impressed with how warm it is and comparing different jackets side by side in the middle of cold winds and frigid evenings convinced us that this is one of the warmest lightweight jackets you can buy.
Weight and Compressibility
Our size small test jacket weighed in on our independent scale at 11 ounces, which means that it is indeed one of the lightest jackets in this review, and considering its other positive attributes, immediately wins praise from us for the ability to take it anywhere without feeling like you are lugging around a lot of extra dead weight.
When it comes to compressibility, however, we found some problems. Much like other Patagonia jackets we have tested in the past, this one comes with a pocket that the jacket can be stuffed into for easier portability, but we also found that the pocket is a bit too small, and it takes so much effort to stuff it that we usually didn't want to bother. Stuffing a synthetic jacket repeatedly will work to break down the interior fibers quicker, costing you loft and warmth, and stuffing it into the tiniest little ball one can is not only a pain but seems undesirable for the long-term life of the jacket. We most frequently opted to stuff this one into our packs loose.
This jacket is designed to be used as an outer layer, thrown on over the top of whatever else you may be wearing when extra warmth is needed. With that function in mind, it fits rather large and loose, which certainly doesn't affect how comfortable it is but does make it seem a bit too large, spacious, and baggy, especially when worn only over a simple t-shirt or similarly thin clothing.
That said, we found no constrictions in the fit when we moved our arms about to the sides or overhead, and love the amount of space in the shoulders and back. The hem is long and low, so doesn't ride up easily, and the fabrics themselves are slippery and smooth against the skin, although they can be fairly loud and crinkly as well. The hood is designed to be helmet-compatible, and this feature works just fine, although the fit of the collar and neck can be a bit tight when wearing the hood with a helmet on, in contrast to the perfectly comfortable fit without the helmet.
Among all of the synthetic jackets tested for this review, the DAS Light Hoody is surely one of the most weather-resistant, which is one of the primary reasons it's such a good outer insulating layer for winter climbing and skiing. The face fabric is Pertex Quantum Pro, sewn in large sheets with a minimum of exposed stitching, and this helps cut the wind. In many ways, it can be thought of as a heavily insulated wind shell. Our only minor complaint in this department is that there are no hem drawcords to help seal out all the wind, but if you are wearing a pack with a waist belt or a climbing harness, these accessories can also serve to seal off the lower hem, and cutting this feature makes the jacket both simpler and lighter.
The Pertex Quantum Pro face fabric has a polyurethane (PU) dry coating and a DWR coating finish. The combination yields very impressive results in our side-by-side water resistance testing, where we sprayed the shell with a garden hose for over a minute, exposing it to far more water at higher pressures than it would experience in a rainstorm. The jacket easily passed the test, inducing the water to bead up and fall off as well as any other we tested.
With the great wind resistance comes an expected lesser ability to breathe when working hard. By running up hills in the hot sun while wearing these jackets, we tested which ones allowed for better air flow and moisture management, and this was not one of the better choices.
As an exterior warmth layer, we don't think that this jacket would be expected to be highly breathable, and we wouldn't choose to wear it if we were working up a sweat. Instead, we would throw it on over the top once we stopped to help ward off a chill or wear it in cold or chilly weather when we weren't working hard and getting hot.
Compared to the rest of the competition, this is one of the most expensive choices you could make for a synthetic insulated jacket, especially a lighter weight one. While the price tag may scare away the budget-conscious, the fact is you are also getting Patagonia's lifetime guarantee, adding considerable value. Since we think it is easily among the best overall jackets for nearly any purpose, we think it is worth paying a bit extra for.
The Patagonia DAS Light Hoody is an excellent synthetic jacket that is suitable for alpine climbing, ski touring, cragging, backpacking, camping, or pretty much anytime you are cold and want to feel warmer. It is impressively warm considering its light weight and is also comfortable and highly weather resistant. While it does cost more than most others, the high quality and incredible versatility of this piece make it worth the expense.
— Andy Wellman
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