Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Shell (2015)

Features

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Shell is made for durability with Schoeller stretch woven nylon, which lacks a membrane so it is very breathable but resists wind. Nanosphere technology enhances its ability to shed water. The design has a hood with a stiffened peak, a chest pocket and two hip pockets that are a bit low for easy access while wearing a rucksack. The weight of 614g is tolerable but not ideal. 4/5

Fit

The men’s sizes are XS-XL and the women’s sizes are XS-XL with the fit being averagely close while allowing a thin fleece to be worn underneath. The fit of the sleeves is exceptionally good, with the hem and cuffs not budging when raising arms. The cuffs have Velcro tab adjustment too. The hood fits and moves with the head exceptionally well. 5/5

Comfort

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Shell is not the warmest option as it doesn’t have that pile finish of some, but it is very comfortable in a wider range of temperatures and can be worn effectively over insulating layers or under waterproofs as it is very breathable. It is a soft fabric too, so it doesn’t restrict movement or feel bulky. The fabric is stretchier than most so it’s ideal for climbing and comfort. 5/5

In use

The drawback is the hip pockets, which are too low to allow easy access when wearing any sort of hipbelt or climbing harness. The chest pocket is good and larger than most, so it just about takes an OS map. The hood peak isn’t wired and is quite large, but it is stiffened and didn’t distort as badly as some; however a wired peak would ensure better vision. 4/5

Value

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Shell’s price seems high as feature-wise it is similar to others or in some cases it has fewer features, so the price is hard to accept. 2/5

Verdict

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Shell offers good year-round performance and some excellent features, but other models offer similar benefits at lower prices. 4.0/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine September 2015

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