/ DAS Parka as Belay Jacket
Does anyone favour a DAS Parka, or has anyone used one and found it a bit overkill? I realize it's a relative thing, but personally I run quite hot and am concerned I might bake in it.
Currently I climb in an icebreaker thermal and Arcteryx Atom LT hoody, and put a down pullover on for belays, but it's not really ideal. It doesn't have a hood and I tend to only use it in friendly conditions.
I bought mine in 2001 but it's still the best belay jacket I've tried mainly due to its simplicity and having everything you need but nothing really that you don't. Of course I don't know how the current ones compare to the 2001 vintage though.
Only belay jacket warmer than the DAS I've tried extensively is the ME Citadel http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4444 but it's maybe just a touch to 'busy' for its belay-jacketness. Currently testing the Jöttnar Fjörm which might be even better than the DAS but the bloody weather won't get cold enough to give it a real testing!
It will depend on how you gear up as an overall system. And how cold the conditions are. And how quick you climb. And how quick your partner climbs.
re: warmth, personally prefer the psychological and physical benefit of a heavier belay jacket. I tend to run warm whilst moving and don't wear many layers when actually climbing but I get really cold, really quickly when standing still. So something with a Das Parka level of insulation is ideal for me.
I splashed and got one of the newer black diamond belay jackets and really like it, its worth considering if you're looking at das parka's already.
The DAS is IMHO one of very few true belay jackets. For me that means that belay jackets must be able to improve your comfort and warmth for protracted periods of shit weather. I would also put ME Citadel in this category.
I would not class things like Montane Flux or Prism as belay jackets, they are glorified fleeces, not belay jackets.
You pay a price in weight and bulk with a DAS, but it won't leave you cooling down after an hour. Stuff like the Flux is a short fix - the heat will soon get out. I run warm, but in really crap weather, you want a big gun not a spud gun.
Outside are selling DASs for £150 at the moment.
You know it makes sense.
Can't fault the DAS, does exactly what you need it to do and fits over the top of everything. I even met a few wearing them on Denali.
Unfortunately Outside only have the XL in stock ... bit on the large side for me. Anyone in a position to compare it with the PHD Kappa jacket? It's available at a similar price point.
There's the Montane Ice Guide jacket too - £170 or so.
Ice Guide is a nice bit of kit and worth a look at. It's a little bit more fitted than some of the alternatives, with a waist adjustment cord which I like, as it allows you to seal up your core, and tends to be a bit less in the way of your harness.
That said, I rarely take it out of the bag except in the grimmest of weather - most of the time I use a base layer and Atom Lt combo, with a shell jacket if it gets breezy/snowy, and carry a Montane Prism to throw on at stances. If I had to choose one, I'd probably go with the heavier jacket though, just for the added safety margin if something goes tits up and you find yourself static for a long time.
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