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Armand C

Salt Lake City, UT

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on August 18, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

On paper the BD Sharp End has all the modern features you’d expect from a modern technical shell. Gore-Tex Pro, burly face material, pit zips, Cohaesive cord adjustments, and build quality is first rate. The fit and sizing are all wrong though. Firstly the collar is super narrow and very uncomfortable when zipped up. Add any layers and it’s even worse. The hood is quite small as well. Once I got this jacket home, and tried it with my other gear, I immediately knew it was going to get returned. If you need/want a technical shell from BD, get the Helio instead. The fit on the Helio is dialed in way better.

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on July 20, 2017

The Do It All Softshell.
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Whatever your forte, the OR Ferrosi can handle it.

Very wind and weather resistant. Mild snow and spindrift is of no concern during touring or mountaineering. It's abrasion resistant so you can climb in it, no worries.

The Ferrosi breaths like a champ, making it equally happy during high exertion winter activities with a light fleece, and as fall/spring standalone active piece.

Packs down small into it's own pocket with a harness clip, and weighs basically nothing. Very stretchy, low profile, good fit and cut so you can layer a fleece under, or easily throw a puffy over if you need to warm up.

DWR can take a beating without wetting out in Utah snow, but PNW heavy rain will devour you in under 10 minutes.

Biggest flaws are the hood, which needs more volume for a helmet, and hand pockets are low for access while wearing a pack. Otherwise, this really is a do it all utility softshell with enough general purpose for nearly any occasion you can think of.

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on April 9, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

The new Dawn Patrol lives up to BD's high standards and performance, but there is a catch or two. No more Schoeller and Nanosphere. No more metal sculpted zipper pulls. The fabric is now a four-way stretch woven type with DWR. The hood is now ski helmet compatible which is a huge plus. The hand pockets are harness/backpack compatible. It's also a touch lighter than the old streamlined Dawn Patrol LT. It's also cheaper in price.

Wind and snow resistance feels about the same to me.

All around, everything is an upgrade right? Yes, but the sizing is WAY different than any prior generation of BD products. If you wore a large with prior generations, you'll probably want a medium now. I tried the large first, and it's huge! The medium was just right.

The cut is a more regular than athletic/slim as well. Around the neck, shoulders, and arms it's roomier, and layering feels a bit easier as well. The neckline doesn't compress the trachea when fully zipped up. Mobility of the head is much better. Personally I sold my old Dawn Patrol LT immediately and picked up the new Dawn Patrol and I'm more satisfied with it. Especially the neck fit and hood size.

Provided you're not absolutely married to the old sizing and don't mind sizing down this time around with a little more internal volume, you'll probably consider the new Dawn Patrol overall better than prior models.

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on December 20, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large and Medium

Great hood. Wonderfully stretchy. Bomb proof weather protection from snow, medium rain and wind. Great construction and build quality. Very comfortable against the skin and breathable. If you can dial in the size and fit for your body type you'll love it, however the Kniferidge has a really strange fit and cut, even by Patagonia standards, for me. The large is a freaking circus tent with way too much torso volume, while the medium allows only enough room for something like an R3. I prefer being able to wear a light fleece with enough room for a light synthetic like a Montane Fireball or OR Cathode for when temperatures dip. The cut should be alpine-ish and athletic with enough stretch not to be restrictive in the shoulders and arms while accommodating a couple of layers. I actually have better luck with the Patagonia Adze Hybrid in a large as a ski softshell.

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on July 2, 2016

Absolutely Amazing!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Black Diamond Alpine Start is one of my favorite soft shells. It weighs almost nothing, and stuffs into the corner of your pack with no weight penalty.

Breathability is stellar and wind resistance is good. During high elevation hikes in heavy gusts you feel protected from the elements. The Schoeller fabric is stretchy and comfortable against the skin. The arms are nice and long, and articulation allows full range of motion without the hem riding up or wrists becoming exposed.

The Alpine Start is also weather resistant. Only after 2 hours of being pounded by blizzard snow at 9500ft, and 30 minutes of spring rain at around 6000ft did it finally wet out. Abrasion and snag resistance thus far has been no concern.

I use it as an outer-layer piece in fall, winter and spring.

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Armand C

Armand Cwrote a review of on April 1, 2016

Outstanding Grid Fleece Jacket!
5 5

I picked up both the Desna Jacket and Hoody and have been impressed with both. It regulates body temperature very well during high energy hikes and climbs, and is also wonderfully breathable and quick drying so you stay comfortable and warm on cool days. As a mid-layer under a softshell I've hiked comfortable down to 40 degrees or so. As an outer layer I was good in low 50's . It's a grid pattern so wind resistance is non-existent but that's not what grid fleece are for. It's also light, stows in the pack easily and the build quality is first rate. I'm 5'11, 195lbs, muscular build and wear a medium.

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