Boy, was I stoked to see a women’s version of the DAS parka. The men’s version has been around a while, but the company was slow to release a women’s version – really, really slow. When my biologist friend tried to buy a DAS parka on pro deal a few years ago, Patagonia refused, because she’s a chick and her pro deal was only for her use only, so they assumed that her purchasing men’s gear meant she was buying for a friend. When you do that, they kick you out of the pro deal program, so they booted her. She did not take this lying down, and read Patagonia the riot act about it, after which they capitulated and let her buy the jacket because they simply didn’t offer one in a “women’s” version.
I’d like to think that this is why we finally have a women’s version of this awesome belay jacket.
From shamelessly searching the web, I deduced that DAS probably stands for Dead Air Space which makes sense considering the insulating properties of this jacket. It’s a synthetic-fill, no-frills piece meant to keep you warm. It comes with its own stuff sack so you can shove it in your backpack for when you really need it. It’s not a mega-lightweight piece like the Down Shirt or Sweater, but if you absolutely positively need to be sure you can stay warm, pack this thing. It will fit underneath most regular fit Patagonia shells so it integrates nicely into the system. It’s fitted but sized properly, meaning that the length is long enough and so are the arms, something the Down Sweater could take into advisement. One of the reviews on Patagonia’s own site is from a woman who “didn’t want to buy a big boxy man coat” and I wish I knew that woman so she could write for this site. I, too, really hate big oversized stuff designed for oversized men, so a women’s version of the DAS fills a gap in Patagonia’s lineup.
Unfortunately of course they came out with another even better piece for men…and no women’s version of that. Siggggghhhh. Still, the DAS is a great piece to fill out your collection of gear for bad, bad weather.
Which brings me to the DAS pants. These were listed in the women’s section but once I got ahold of them I found that they are sadly the dreaded “unisex” (unisex = made for one sex = made for men. Really, no one would make a women’s jacket then slap “unisex” on the label, but that’s what we women have to put up with all the time. Annoying. Seriously annoying). These particular pants, though they are indeed nice and warm, just fit “meh” because they are not made for women. They’re high waisted, tight in the butt, and just feel wrong on my body. I tried the S first – they fit, but I wanted more room for layering underneath so I tried the M, which was a tad bigger but just not “enough” bigger. The bust-a-sag factor would be way too high to try the L. So, another cycle of yearning begins for a great product that just needs to be made for women to be a huge success. The pants are really nice, very warm, have awesome full zippers for ease of over-ski-boots-putting-on, and really are just the ticket if only they’d fit better. I don’t know why insulation isn’t dumped on the market in a women’s version first; we are smaller and get colder faster so need more insulation. And it’s a bummer, because when Patagonia makes a product for women, it does a great job at it.
I really dislike having to pan anything Patagonia does. They make great products and they have a lovably grouchy founder who happens to have just written an article saying pretty much what my last article just said. High five Yvon! If you need to buy something I think buying from Patagonia is about as good as it’s going to get. Still, over seven years after starting my web-based advocacy for women’s right to gear, it’s a bummer we still have to wait and wait for our “version” of things.