Overall: Five Stars for a versatile alternative to a full one-piece lycra suit for racing or to a soft shell for touring. Pocket assortment is basic, but bonus points for the hood and full-zip open ventilation (plus perhaps the thumb holes).
Background on product familiarity: I own the 2014-15 version but haven’t used it yet. By comparison, I’ve used the La Sportiva Syborg race top, as well as recent race suit models from Crazy Idea, Dynafit (whose Radical suit is very different from the PDG top), Soul Limit (Team Hagan version), and Texnar (hand-me-down USSMA suit).
First, the first impressions out of the box: The fit matches up well with the sizing chart, although note that continental differentiation, e.g., I’m a Medium among Europeans but a Small among my fellow Americans. The thumb holes are new for me, and I’m not sure whether I like them in general, but they do help avoid any exposed wrist skin in cold temps. Also for cold temps, the hood helps seal you up against heat loss from the neck and head. For warm temps, lots of mesh on the back and a full-zip opening in front.
The full-zip opening in front though means no accordion-style inner pockets for climbing skins, and also less material to block the wind. But the two large outer pockets are still fine for skins, with a simple yet effective elastic closure. Also on the outside is a small zippered pocket. On the inside is a typical flap-closure pocket for ISMF 5.1.16 beacon compliance (or valuables of a financial nature).
Second impressions, in use: My favorite setup would be a conceptual combination of features from Crazy Idea, Dynafit, La Sportiva, Soul Limit, and Texner. Absent that, the PDG features should work reasonably well for me, while wearing a separate jacket/top and pants/tights allows for more versatility in the field and a somewhat closer resemblance to a respectable member of society once off snow.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: Seems nicely made overall, with the usual caveat though about lycra’s long-term durability.
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