Colorado isn't the wettest place on Earth so I generally tend to shy away from waterproof clothing; I always seem to feel clammy when I'm really pushing it, no matter how breathable the manufacturer claims the fabric to be. But I recently wore my Davai Jacket on a Fall ascent of "Fields Chimney" on the Lower East Face of Longs Peak in N. Colorado. "Fields" is a technical ice-and-mixed climbing route (WI5 M6) that demands full attention when in thin shape (like this year). Messing around with clothing isn't an option. While it wasn't raining, there was a constant flow of spindrift (sluffing snow) pouring down the chimney, covering everything in a fine, powdery film of fractured ice grains hammered by the roaring winds above us. My gloves got soaked (thankfully I had a back-up pair) and even my ice tools started to develop a thin veneer of ice on them. I won't go so far as to say that I was 100% comfortable in those conditions, 'cause it was miserable outside, but inside the Davai my body was warm, dry and able to perform despite the inclement weather. I don't normally climb in Gore-Tex because I overheat, sweat and the get soaked from the inside out but even when I was red-lining in the iceless, chossy, no-pro crux of the route, I was perfectly comfortable with my clothing. How do I know? Because I didn't notice anything other than the movement and the climb. In my book, that's the true sign of clothing/gear working like it's supposed to: you don't notice it. It doesn't get in the way, it doesn't fit poorly, it performs...you just get to focus on why you're there: to climb! The features I specifically like in this jacket are designed for climbing, designed to be worn with a harness. The two chest pockets are high and deep so you can easily utilize them even with the harness on. Also, the main torso zipper doesn't bulge out hugely like other jackets' zippers can, making it easy to see your belay loop, tie-in points and footwork. The hood also has an internal "gusset" that really locks onto your helmet, keeping that nasty spindrift from flowing through the hood and down your neck. Finally, "Fields Chimney" is a fairly grovelly climb, requiring wriggling up course granite and full chimneying techniques required to get that pick placement just a few millimeters higher. I was needlessly worried about the Davai tearing or abrading because I was giving 'er to keep from falling out but, after numerous pitches of thrutching, I could barely even find scratches on the shell. Nice work Gore-Tex and Millet!
Davai Jacket- Eiger BASE jump approved!
While I can't say that I've personally BASE jumped off the Eiger in the Davai jacket, a Chamonix-based reviewer did, and that's saying something... I can attest to the fact that this jacket is super light, GORE Pro shell so it's extremely waterproof/breatheable, the latter being enhanced by 13mm taping (opposed to the standard 20mm tape), which adds 10% more breatheability. Articulated, paneled construction gives the jacket an incredible fit for all your alpine pursuits.