If you’ve never considered Adidas as a viable brand for outdoor apparel, you wouldn’t be alone: I get a lot of strange looks when I say two of my favourite down jackets are from Adidas Outdoor. Honestly, I was quite surprised by them as well, and continue to marvel at the quality of products and well thought out designs that such a relatively unknown brand puts out.

The Terrex Dawn Wall Hoodie is a quasi-commemorative jacket created to celebrate Kevin Jorgeson’s (with Tommy Caldwell) historic free ascent of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite. Apparently, it was the jacket Kevin used the most during their ascent. As such, it has a topo of the Dawn Wall printed on the inside just in case, you know, you ever find yourself on said climb and forget where to go next.

The topo aside, the DWH is a superb mid-weight down jacket that thanks to two key features became my go-to piece for most of last winter, and continues to see use on cold summer nights.

First, fit is spot-on: it’s as if someone who has my exact measurements is the Adidas model for Men’s Medium sizes. The sleeves are the exact length I’d want them to be, the rear hem is long enough to cover my butt, the shoulders are roomy but the torso is trim, the front zipper ends at the right spot and even the hood is excellent, either with or without a helmet.

The trim waist is a bit tight for winter belay use — I definitely can’t zip it up if my harness is full of ice gear — but it is roomy enough to go over a light rock rack, and the zipper has held up without a single failure no matter how much I pull on it.

The second reason I fell in love with this jacket are the light fleece patches on the underarms. I am pretty much always hot so having this extra breathability in such a sweat-prone area is wonderful, and I almost can’t believe I haven’t seen this on other jackets before. These patches are the main reason I wear the DWH so often and in almost every condition, and in temperatures probably much too warm for a down jacket: my armpits can breathe, so I don’t overheat (too much). Love this.

Warmth-wise, the DWH uses 700-fill-power goose down so it is not the lightest nor the warmest jacket for its weight, coming in at 406 grams for my Men’s Medium. I’ll wear it comfortably down to -10C or so, but I’m also just as happy throwing it on at +10C on a ‘chilly’ summer night. The outer blocks wind well, and the DWR finish will stand up to a light drizzle or some wet snow.

Feature-wise, there’s a generous chest pocket and two hand pockets, one of which functions as the stuff sack. My one gripe with this design, however, is that the ‘stuff sack’ portion of the pocket was actually free-floating inside the hand pocket (I hope that makes sense?). It kept getting stuck in the zipper so I cut it out, and had a seamstress reinforce the zipper area for smoother action. I very rarely use stuff sacks for my jackets, and even less often do I stuff them inside their own pockets, so I don’t miss this much, and now I have a large pocket on which the zipper doesn’t snag.

One of the other great things about the Dawn Wall Hoodie is the price: it’s just $275 full retail, but Adidas Outdoor seems to have it on perpetual sale for $137.50. You just can’t beat that value in a midweight down piece: http://www.adidasoutdoor.com/terrex-dawn-wall-hoodie/BIY83.html?dwvar_BIY83_color=Vivid_Yellow#start=0

Definitely recommended, especially for every-day use, somewhat less-so if you’re looking for a big, burly belay jacket.

Photos by veronica_hw

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