Don't waste any daylight.
It's a bluebird day and you're getting ready for a short ski mountaineering session, which means the Black Diamond Men's Dawn Patrol Softshell Jacket is the first thing you grab. Designed for technical layering, this jacket is made from four-way stretch fabric that repels wind and water and lets you move freely. The fabric is also incredibly durable and breathable to keep you comfortable.
The Dawn Patrol is equipped with an adjustable helmet-compatible hood to help block wind. A high collar and hook-and-loop cuffs seal out drafts while you're traversing ridges or skinning through trees, and the two hand pockets are harness-compatible, so you can always access your essentials.
- A technical softshell for long days in the backcountry
- Four-way stretch fabric is water-resistant and moves with you
- Adjustable hood fits over most ski and climbing helmets
- Designed for technical layering with harness-compatible pockets
- Primary fabric is bluesign approved
- Item #BLD00JO
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Size Bought: Large
Design and materials are amazing as with most black diamond products. I'm 6'3" and weigh about 185. I almost always wear a size large and that's what I ordered in the dawn patrol. The hem length is quite short for me, leaving me exposed for snow to to dump down my pants. I could however pack a massive double cheeseburger American beer belly or extreme crossfit chest and arms in this thing. Strange cuz the build of most climbers and skiers doesn't fit that description and a lot of brands have moved away from the fat fit. What I would do for a dawn patrol that fit.
Great jacket, lighter than expected
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
I bought this jacket to replace a North Face Apex jacket and overall have been quite pleased. The fit is great and I like all the details like Velcro cuffs, high pockets, stretch material, hood size, etc. I bought it in black so it could pull double duty as an adventure jacket and a daily driver. My only watch out would be that it was thinner than expected based on my previous experience and comparison to the Apex softshell.
Interesting Cut and Sizing
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
There’s a lot to like about this jacket – the mid-weight fabric, placement of the pockets, hood adjustments - it even looks good! Unfortunately the cut is a bit strange.
I’m 6’2” 175 lbs and usually take a large in Black Diamond jackets. The large in this jacket was just too big in the body (I don’t care for my technical jackets to be way loose due to thermal inefficiency). The medium fit my body very well, the sleeve length was great (I have 34” arms and this jacket would have worked fine for reaching overhead), and the shoulder fit was just about right. The fatal flaw (for me) – where the arms attach to the shoulders is just too tight, causing the jacket to bind up into my arm pits.
If it fits you, I think you’ll like it. I don’t like to leave less than positive reviews for fit reasons, but the cut of this jacket is just plain weird (for me).
Stupid sizing - but a good jacket
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: Runs small
This jacket has everything I wanted. It's a great hoodless technical softshell. It's well made, heavier than a wind jacket, but softer, more mobile and more comfortable than a hard shell. So why only two stars? Black Diamond has decided to size their jackets for small-framed people and as such they've cut me out of their market. I'm 6' tall 190 lbs with a 34" waist and wear a 44 or 46 in a suit jacket. I'm not out of shape. This Jacket in XL does not fit my arms or shoulders in any way that would allow good movement and certainly wouldn't allow for any kind of layering. They don't make the jacket to fit me. I really loved this jacket and am confounded by BD's market strategy. I guess BD has no interest in me as a customer. Frustrating.
If anyone can recommend an alternative hoodless softshell that has everything this jacket has but actually fits someone not built like an elf, let me know.
So I'm revising my above review. As I said I really liked this jacket and wanted it. After looking at other hoodless softshells (Arc's Gamma MX (thanks Johnathan) the Marmot Gravity and others, I just kept wishing this jacket worked for me. So I went to the Backcountry warehouse with the wife and some laying clothes to see how it fit and get her opinion. While the jacket fits snug in the shoulders and arms, with normal clothing, the wife thought it looked fine. I also tried it with a light fleece and it was okay too. It was very tight with a thicker fleece and with a down sweater on it was pretty crazy tight. The wife convinced me that most the time it would work and that she thought it looked good. So I bought it.
I wore it skiing on a nice spring ski day and it was great. It was a windy day and blocked wind well. It was also warm but not too warm for a spring slushy ski day, it also kept me dry considering how wet the snow was. If you open the chest pockets they work as vents pretty well (no pit vents).
So I'm upgrading to four stars and accepting that it can't do it all. But buyers should be aware that it's got a trim fit and fits kind of small for size. As such it's not well suited for extreme cold because there's just not room for much layering.