BLACK DIAMOND DAWN PATROL HYBRID SHELL
SPEC – 20k waterproof, 20k built with BD.dry and GTT Empel technologies. Adjustable, helmet compatible hood. Harness compatible chest pockets for skins. Internal media pocket. Pit zips for ventilation.
The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell is a traditional looking softshell designed to deliver sustainable storm protection on burly weather days in the backcountry.
Breathable, waterproof and windproof, the combination of 4-way stretch softshell and 2-way stretch BD.dry fabric are designed to keep you cool, dry and protected so you’ll feel confident hiking for freshies even when it’s chucking it down and blowing a hoolie.
Technical, reliable and – crucially for this test – sustainable, the Dawn Patrol Hybrid features GTT’s Empel Breathable Water Protection Technology – a super durable, ground breaking PFC-free and water-free DWR that significantly outperformed competitor DWR treatments in the Bundesmann test (a proper drenching industry-standard test designed to determine fabric resistance to water repellency).
Fancy features include a double front zip so you can opt for full blown storm protection or mesh-panel mode for increased ventilation if you’re in danger of overheating.
Additional ventilation comes courtesy of easy-to-access pit zips and other backcountry features of note include the skin sized chest pockets, helmet compatible hood and the stretchy wrist gaiters that help keep you warm around the extremities.
TESTED BY SOPHIE
HELLY HANSEN ELEVATION INFINITY SHELL
Spec: LIFA Infinity Pro™ three-layer fabric combining the new LIFA Infinity™ membrane, with a lightweight 100% LIFA® fibre outer. Mahoosive hood with hi-vis trim; internal cargo nets for skins; Weight: 770g
Wowsers – I feel I should be strapped to the wheel of a big yacht in the Southern Ocean wearing Helly Hansen’s Elevation Infinity Shell. Everything about the design screams function – and there is simply no way the snow is getting in!
The LIFA Infinity Pro™ fabric is made without any added chemicals, and sets high standards for responsible waterproof-breathable fabrics.
The new highly breathable LIFA Infinity™ membrane, made in a solvent-free process, combines with a lightweight outer fabric made with 100% LIFA® fibre to keep the wearer dry and comfortable.
Finally, the durable water repellent (DWR) coating is chemical free with 16% lower environmental impact than standard Polyester, and an 18% saving in CO2eq.
Good for you, good for the planet.
Not only does the fabric feel convincing, but the design of the jacket really performs. The huge hood fits over a helmet and (just when I thought the only slight chink might be keeping the weather out without a lid on) I discovered the wacky piece-de-resistance in the bizarre integrated buff to seal the neck.
The ample pockets are harness compatible, and there is a padded “life pocket” to keep your phone warm (uh?).
The internal cargo net is ideal for stashing your skins.
The cuff closures are absolutely bombproof and, combined with the snow skirt and wrist gaiters, you can be sure to stay dry.
Bizarrely, the jacket I tested comes in “blizzard grey” (albeit with a hi-vis hood) so it is ideal for ducking under the ropes when you don’t want to be spotted or followed!
TESTED BY MARTIN
JACK WOLFSKIN SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN JACKET
Spec: 100% PFC-free TEXAPORE ECOSPHERE FUTURE DYE STRETCH 3L + TEXAPORE O2+ 3D VACUUM LAMINATION 3L fabrics. Pit zips, harness compatible chest pockets RECCO® rescue system; Weight: 820 g
Despite it’s burly feel, Jack Wolfskin’s Solitude Mountain is a really soft and stretchy jacket. Like a bear hug in a blizzard.
The Texapore fabrics are waterproof to a high (20m of pressure) level; and favourably breathable (15kg/m/24h) using sustainable materials.
The eco-friendly “Future Dye” process uses significantly less energy and chemicals, and also generates low amounts of waste water.
But you soon move on to the impressive tech-spec of the design.
It has a sporty cut with abrasion resistant TEXAPORE O2+ 3D material on the shoulders and elbows.
The attention to detail is amazing, with the (huge and helmet friendly) hood closures, contained within the enormous skin-guzzling, harness compatible, chest pockets.
The jacket sports really long pit zips to give you masses of ventilation, all with waterproof zips.
Finally, the snow skirt and stretchy wrist gaiters keep the last of the weather where it belongs.
Felix Neureuther, I salute you and your “signature style”!
TESTED BY MARTIN
PICTURE DEMAIN JACKET
Spec: BioGreen renewably sourced polyester, with Xpore nano-pore membrane. Snow skirt andPit zips with two chest, two waist and internal pockets. One (small) internal cargo net and cuff closures.Weight 780g
Forgive me heavenly Ullr, for I have sinned.
I have to confess I assumed Picture was for trendy hippies and kids half my age. But checking out their credentials I discovered a company with soul – that is right up my skin track.
There is way more to this cool looking coat than you would imagine, as it is built from 100% organic, bio-sourced or recycled materials.
To begin with, Picture’s new eco-friendly BioGreen fabric is made from recycled sugarcane waste. Really!
The ProKnit series combine this with XPORE technology, that uses a stretching (hence, chemical free) process to create nano-pores in the membrane. The result is quite a “noisy” crinkly fabric, but super comfortable and wow – does it perform!
The Demain jacket is pretty much as waterproof, durable, and breathable as the best in class.
The Demain jacket sits in Picture’s “expedition line” but they clearly go on far more luxurious expeditions than I.
A jacket this stylish would be as happy down the bar as up in the high mountains but, whilst the design is sleek and simple, it still sports all the technical features you’d ever need.
Bellowed chest pockets are capacious, as are the hip-height waist pockets, although not exactly harness compatible.
The hood is helmet friendly, but the best in test over just a beanie.
A great all-rounder to keep you warm and dry, whilst keeping the planet a touch cooler.
TESTED BY MARTIN