The Arc'Teryx Squamish WindShell has more features than many other light windshells. The helmet-compatible hood has a brim stiffener.
The Arc'Teryx Squamish WindShell is a light, full-featured windshell designed to take a beating in alpine environments. Its alpine intent is revealed by the helmet-compatible hood, the durable, mini-ripstop fabric and the secure cuff closures.
I have had my Squamish out in all sorts of environments this winter: snow-filled endurance hikes, freezing rain, and howling cold desert gales. My two favorite features in this windshell are the deep front zipper and the soft, comfortable fabric. As you would expect, the zipper, which measures a whopping seventeen and a half inches long, provides an effective source of ventilation during aerobic climbs and warmer days. With any sort of wind blowing, I found the fully open zipper to be all the ventilation I needed to keep me cool and dry. I wore the Squamish on several cold, windy days and did my best to overheat on long, uphill climbs. Only when the temperatures were above 50 degrees did I find myself getting a bit warm. Arc'Teryx uses their Gossamera fabric in the Squamish. This is a nylon, mini-ripstop fabric (1.5 oz/sq yd) with a slight mechanical stretch and a DWR treatment. I was pleased with the breathability of the fabric, which seemed on par with similar windshells. What I like best about the fabric is the soft drape and comfortable feel against my skin. The fabric is less smooth than the fabric in many lighter windshells, and doesn't make me feel like I am wearing a plastic bag.
On one long hike, I was subjected to three hours of wind, sleet, snow, and freezing rain in my Squamish. I wore the windshell all day, never donning a rain jacket. The Squamish held the water at bay for over an hour before finally beginning to soak through at the shoulders. I got a little wet, but I stayed warm all day in horrible conditions.
Arc'Teryx claims that this shell has full seat coverage, but I found the torso length to be typical of other windshells. The Squamish has a slight drop-tail which improves coverage, but I am tall and rarely find garments which provide good seat coverage for me. The coverage of the Squamish was similar to that in my Patagonia Houdini windshell.
The only drawback of this windshell is the weight. The features push the shell to five ounces, a bit heavier than some other hooded windshells. However, this windshell is a superb choice for those who are willing to trade an ounce or so for the overall set of features and quality of construction.
The 17 inch deep front zipper provides excellent ventilation control.
Half way through a perfect day for gear testing in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona. The Squamish Windshell was a good choice for a long hike in freezing rain.
The cuff closures are a combination of elastic and Velcro and can be tightly sealed or left loose.
A small chest pocket is roomy enough for a snack, keys or other small items.
The Squamish Windshell packs easily into the chest pocket, and has a small elastic loop suitable for hanging on a carabiner.
Features and Specifications
- Nylon mini-ripstop fabric with mechanical stretch and DWR treatment, 1.5 oz/sq yd
- Helmet compatible hood with brim stiffener
- Chest pocket with vertical zipper
- 5.0 ounces (141 g) as measured, Men's medium, Manufacturer's spec weight 5.3 ounces (149 g)
- Laminated die cut velcro cuffs
- Drawstring hem with single point adjustment
- Full seat coverage
- 3/4 length front zipper
- Available in both Men's and Women's styles
- MSRP: $139 USD