Brand: Black Diamond
Model: Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell
Our take When you want enough protection to shield you from the dreaded wintry mix, but don’t want to sacrifice breathability, go for a hybrid shell. This one strategically employs proprietary, three-layer waterproof/windproof material on the chest, shoulders, and hood (unlike the original Dawn Patrol, which is a full softshell), while an airy double-weave softshell fabric with DWR anchors high-sweat zones. The combo kept us warm, but not steamy, on the skin track up to about 30°F.
The details The Dawn Patrol comes loaded with smart features. It has arm gussets for unrestricted movement, an easy-adjusting hood that fits over a helmet, and three pockets (two 10-inch-long chest pockets that fit skins, plus one interior). We especially liked the double main zipper: One zip fully closes the shell, and the other exposes a mesh strip down the front for added venting. Ding: A wrist gaiter with thumbholes uncomfortably squeezed average-sized hands.
$349; 1 lb. 1 oz.; m’s S-XL, w’s XS-XL