Our take Patagonia’s DAS Parka has been a staple of bad-weather belays for nearly two decades, but it’s too warm for all but the chilliest locales. This season, it gets a more packable and versatile sibling: The DAS Light proved be the ultimate snack break puffy, cold morning starter jacket, and couloir-dropping protection for a winter in perpetually wet Alaska. Superlight synthetic PlumaFill insulation (the same stuff found in the brand’s Micro Puff jacket), paired with a DWR-finished and PU-lined (for a little extra water resistance) nylon face fabric kept our tester warm while he skied on Turnagain Pass: “I used this on a snowy, blustery day when I should have had a hardshell with me,” he says. “I bootpacked a couloir and then skied the line with this as my outer layer, and it kept me dry and warm.” (Over a fleece and a baselayer, the DAS Light insulated us well into the single digits.) Plus, unlike its bulkier big sibling, this pared-down version packs to the size of a grapefruit in its own pocket.
The details This puffy’s 10-denier face fabric has no major damage after a season of chasing powder. Its hood is helmet-compatible, a two-way front zipper makes accessing a harness easy, and the jacket also has two zippered hand pockets and a chest pocket that can hold a smartphone and an energy bar.
$329; 11.3 oz.; m’s XS-XXL, w’s XXS-XL