Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Softshell

This tough, breathable softshell will carry you from summer alpine hikes to winter ski tours.
Dawn Patrol LT Shell
Price $279.00

Specs

Weight 1 lbs, 3 oz

 

Weather protection

We hunkered down in the Dawn Patrol against cutting winds and mist from 0°F to the 50s. Throughout, a Schoeller Nanosphere finish gave the fabric above-average water repellency for a softshell. The treatment creates a rough surface (on a microscopic level) that prevents raindrops from sticking. It repelled wind-driven graupel in Banff National Park and sleet in New Zealand. But it’s not waterproof: Hard rain penetrated after 20 minutes.

Fit

Though it’s trim, the Dawn Patrol fits several layers underneath, and the stretchy, nylon/elastane fabric delivered unrestricted motion. A long hem blocked wind and snow from sneaking down testers’ pants. Nitpick: Testers wished for a softer liner fabric.

Features

Six pockets let testers tote everything from climbing skins to an iPhone 6. Note: The cuffs are adjustable but narrow, so they have to go under, not over, thicker winter gloves.

Breathability

It’s what we expect from a good softshell: excellent. We didn’t feel clammy even on steep climbs to mountain passes in Banff National Park.

Packability

It’s on the heavy side, but shrinks to cantaloupe size in a pack.