Rating: 4 / 5
Another preliminary review focusing on fit, features and construction.
Although many of you might be more attracted with the (on paper) 1 oz. savings of weight of the Cocoon Hooded Pullover, the Pro Parka has a lot going for it.
Let me first dispel one misconception of this garment---this is not a "parka" in the traditional sense of the word. Most parkas are cut discernably longer than a jacket---often over the hip and butt. The Pro Parka is not. For a given size compared to the pullover , this is about an inch longer. However, like most parkas, this does have a full zip, a real boon to ventilation.
Designed as a "belay jacket", this has a helmet compatible hood if you size it normally and has a fuller cut and longer arms compared to the pullover to accomadate both thicker layers and free movement. One can also elect to size it smaller---I'm normally a "L" but got this in the "M" as I'm not using this as a belay jacket but instead, as a part of my sleeping system and as a "warmup" jacket. If one looks at the sizing charts of both the Pullover and the Parka, a M Parka has the same sizing as a L Pullover, etc. Even at my 6' plus height and long arms, this works for me without hindering movement and I'll be able to use light and mediumweight baselayers underneath.
In keeping with the Alpine/Backcountry Skiing emphasis on the design of this "Parka", it has a different outer fabric than the pullover---another Pertex fabric, "Endurance" which is what I would call a "semi" Waterproof/Breathable fabric. It does have a thin membrane applied to the face fabric (giving it a slightly stiffer hand than the Quantum lining, but still quite soft and only nominally heavier) which makes it highly water resistant. Pertex does not claim it to be totally waterproof---on the Pertex website, the description of the fabric and it's membrane almost makes it sound like a form of "Epic' although unlike Epic, this does have a DWR treatment. Endurance is also supposed to be highly breathable, even at low temps. We shall see. I am hoping it will be breathable enough to use as a sleeping garment in conjunction with my quilt, a general use insulation jacket on backpacking trips as well as being my prime insulation on backcountry skiing trips.
Besides the full zip (a light but stout toothed zipper), there are 2 chest pockets (harness and waistbelt compatible) handy for storage of items you want at hand like camera, gloves, lip balm, compass, gps, etc. This is an improvement on the mini pocket of the pullover, in my book.
As I once wrote in a review of the original Pullover, I wish these garments had a true droptail (a feature claimed by BMW but very subtle in reality) to protect my heine from the elements. However, used in conjunction with the Cocoon Pants, there is plenty of overlap and certainly wouldn't be an issue as sleepwear. Other additions I'd like to see would be a small interior stash pocket, a more articulated neck (to allow the hood to move with your head movement) and an offset zip at the top so it doesn't hit you in the front of the chin. the stiffened zipper guard is effective in preventing your goatee from being sucked into the zip. I will probably remove the metal zipper pulls and replace w/ corded loops for easier use w/ gloved hands.
Quality, is very nice. materials first rate, detailing good and simple--- elasticized hem, shockcord hood adjustment. The hood will be very warm and a much desired addition to my sleeping system.
The weight, against all previous BMW precedent runs heavier than the specs (add "shocked" emoticon here). I have weighed both a L ( 12.85 oz.) and a M (11.78 oz.). This is against the 11 oz. for a size L stated by BMW. I wonder what actual weights for the Hooded Pullovers are coming in at?
I'll give this a provisional 4.5 out of 5.
Update--- I sprayed water at the exterior fabric for 15 min. without any penetration. Wow! Water would get in at the pockets but this is one very water resistant puppy.