Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell

Most protective

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 Backpacker

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