Black Diamond First Light Hoody vs Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Soft Shell


Original Post
Benjixxx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

I'm looking at upgrading my clothing for multi pitch climbing in the winter here in Australia which would typically range between say 25 deg F and 50 deg F.

I was looking at going say a Patagonia R1 or light base layer with the Dawn Patrol hoody but the First light has caught my eye.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these and found them to be good for multi pitch climbing?

Thanks

Ben

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 438

I would look at the alpine start over the dawn patrol simply because it's less than half the weight so you can stash it on your harness when/if things warm up in the sun. The Dawn Patrol is pretty heavy soft shell.

In the past I used a BD coefficient paired with the alpine start for those conditions. If climbing got physical it was too warm over the low 40s. Could go with no windshirt climbing, but if it's breezy that's damn cold. 

Now I use a pataguchi nano air light hybrid that I originally got for ski touring, it's the goldilocks layer for me. Just the right amount of insulation and some wind blocking. Really comfy over a wide range of exertion/temps. I haven't used the first light, but primaloft in that weight is normally too warm for me in moderate temps. 

Benjixxx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks for your feedback Nick.  Have you found the nano air light hybrid outer fabric to be fragile?  I have always thought the nano air fabric would get destroyed by rock climbing.

Also could you please tell me what base layer you are wearing under your nano air light hybrid?

Thanks 

Ben

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 930

man, i just wish they would bring back the bdv alpine hoody.  best thing ever!

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 438

Slim, BD *did* make the BDV again. From 14 until last year. Sadly it's already gone again. You might be impressed with what that super thin alpine start holds up to. Mine is going on it's 3rd year with LOTS of grovelling through wide bits, ski tours, hikes, bush whacking. Still doesn't have a hole. I'm amazed, it's been every bit as durable as heavy soft shells. Dries faster too.

Brian, the face fabric on the front body/top of the arms of the nano hybrid seems to be quite durable so far. It's been in some fist jams and hand cracks and shows no wear. The "waffle grid" fabric under the arms and back on it isn't as strong. I wouldn't wear it bare in a chimney. For reference I have this one:

http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-nano-air-light-hybrid-jacket/84345.html

If you got the nano hoody you would have the same fabric all over:
http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-nano-air-light-hoody/84280.html

I usually wear a rab merino 120 t shirt or a thinner Helly Hansen synthetic long sleeve under it.

Benjixxx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks for your help Nick!

Eplumer400 · · Cleveland, OH · Joined May 2016 · Points: 80

To go off of what Nick said, the Alpine Start is great. Weighs nearly nothing, stows into itself, and sheds water pretty well for something that's almost see through. I have the BD coefficient 1/4 zip as well and wear that underneath and it's perfect for hiking in cold weather or belaying in the fall (20-45ºish).

Another jacket I use a lot is an Eddie Bauer Sandstone jacket. Weighs a bit more than the Alpine Start, but it's a little warmer than it and so you could wear it with just a base layer underneath and probably be comfortable in the temp range you're looking at. 

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 228
Nick Drake wrote:

If you got the nano hoody you would have the same fabric all over:
http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-nano-air-light-hoody/84280.html

The Nano Air Light Hoody actually has an even more durable 1.6oz 30d outer fabric all over, rather than the 1.3oz 20d of the Nano Air Light Hybrid and the original Nano Air. I own all three plus the newest version of the now competing Montbell UL Thermawrap (hoodless version). I don't use the original Nano Air anymore. Of the 3 newer jackets, I wear the Montbell the most, even though it's ostensibly less durable with a 15d/12d shell. It's insulated all over with air permeable insulation like the Light Hoody, but has a full zip and pockets like the Hybrid. My medium Nano Hybrid weighs 288g/10.1oz, and my Thermawrap weighs 245g/8.6oz. The thermawrap costs $139, though I got mine off the Japan site shipped for right at $100. I've probably put at least 30 days of climbing on the Thermawrap since December, and I've worn it casually a few days a week otherwise, and the only wear it really shows is some pilling at the shoulders and a 1/4" tear at one elbow

Hoodless:

https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301300&gen_cd=1

Hooded:

https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301299&gen_cd=1

nmiller · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 80
Brian Abram wrote:

I've probably put at least 30 days of climbing on the Thermawrap since December, and I've worn it casually a few days a week otherwise, and the only wear it really shows is some pilling at the shoulders and a 1/4" tear at one elbow

How's the sizing on the new thermawrap?  Haven't owned Montbell for several years, I recall it being smaller than typical American sizing.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 228
nmiller wrote:

How's the sizing on the new thermawrap?  Haven't owned Montbell for several years, I recall it being smaller than typical American sizing.

I believe they fixed that several years ago. Fit is, if anything, slightly bigger in the Montbell compared to Patagonia. Here's the medium in both. I am 5'10.5" and 175:

The Patagonia Hybrid has waffle stretch material all across the back and down the full length of each arm, allowing it to have a more snug fit. The Montbell uses a stretchy fabric on the arms, down the sides, and across the back of the shoulder to still allow freedom of movement, but it's not as stretchy as the Patagonia

edit: shit, i just weighed myself and I'm up to 182. It's pretty irritating being an easy gainer when you're trying to be a waify climber/runner

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 930

Nick,

yeah i was super psyched when someone on MP pointed that out last summer or so, and i was able to pick one up.  there was also a guy on MP selling another one and i am kicking myself for not getting it.  (if anybody has a large blue or green one they could live without, let me know :) . 

i accidently ordered one of those alpine start shirts (thinking it was a bdv hoody).  when i opened it i was more disappointed than prom night.  i was like WTF is this thing?  i really couldn't see anywhere that i would really use it.  its not really waterproof and it seemed like it would get anihilated in about one OW pitch.  i ended up returning it.  it sounds like people like them though, so maybe there is more to it than i thought.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 438

Great info Brian, didn't realize the used a 30d on the nano light hoody. I was thinking I may pick one up for ice next season, but the montbell price point sure sounds great. Did you feel the breathability of the montbell equaled the nano light? How much warmer does it feel with a hardshell/belay parka over it? 

Slim you'd be amazed what that alpine start holds up to. For grovelling in the wide bits, just off the top of my head mine has been through lamplighter, split beaver, backbone ridge, group therapy in red rocks (yes I stayed IN the crack leading). Not counting all the times I've shoulder/back scummed my way up corners. If BD decides to stop making them I will probably buy a half dozen of them. 

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 228

I think they are very comparable in breathability. I can blow through the stretch fabric areas of the Montbell about as easily as I can through the Nano Air Light. The non-stretch fabric areas of the Montbell are still very permeable, but not quite as much as the stretch areas. I have never put a hard shell over the Montbell, but I have put a down jacket over it, and cutting off the air exchange in that way def makes the warmth higher than their sums. I've heard through the grapevine that the stretch Exceloft that Montbell uses for the piece has a higher insulating clo than the Toray 3defx+ that Patagonia uses and calls FullRange.

KUIU makes a 24" inseam 3/4 pant that uses 3defx+ also. I'm curious if it's better than the Nano Air Light Pant that gets very mixed reviews based on the saggy crotch/zipper and tight cuffs.

I bought a pair of the Montbell Thermawrap Pants that match the jacket:

https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301302&gen_cd=1

I've worn them as my sole lower layer (just briefs underneath) for a day of big WI3 and bushwhacking. Wound up reinforcing the instep with some Tenacious Tape. They also make a 3/4 version for sale from Japan that might be nice as a midlayer:

https://en.montbell.jp/products/goods/disp.php?product_id=1101544

My full pant version weighs 202g/7.1oz with 3 big strips of tape on each inner leg 

Benjixxx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Now i'm thinking:  light merino t shirt, Patagonia hybrid and BD alpine start.

Does the Patagonia hybrid get chilly without a windshirt over the top?  Seems like it was probably designed without insulation on its back for back packers..  As climbers with our back exposed to the elements whilst climbing seems like it would get pretty breezy?

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 228

I believe the hybrid was intended for running, but it's much more versatile than that. Regardless, if you're determined to put an additional windshell over it, I wouldn't bother with any of the Nano Air options, as they are already basically windshells with integrated insulation. I would just get a Thermal Pro fleece or wait until the Rab Alpha Flash comes out any time now:

https://gearjunkie.com/review-polartec-alpha-direct-jacket-rab

Patagonia's Airshed is a windshirt made from just their 20d Nano Air face fabric. Stretchy, super breathable, and apparently pretty water resistant, it gets universally great reviews

 

http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-airshed-running-pullover/24190.html

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 438

If it's windy the hybrid breaks more wind than a grid fleece, but far less than a windshirt. In mild breezes it's still warm enough for me while climbing. I've only dawned the alpine start over the top to protect the back in a chimney.

I find that a grid fleece and windshirt is too warm for 90% of my rock climbing and just the fleece is too cold. I think of the hybrid as a more versatile medium/heavy fleece

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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