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Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket?
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John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/06/2008 23:29:49 MST Print View

I'd be interested to know if any of you who own an eVent jacket feel it necessary to also carry a windshirt. Having owned and used an ID Thru-Hiker jacket for a year now, I can say that the jacket has worked for any condition that my windshirt was good for (a Rab Quantum WS). And by ditching the windshirt, I save 3 oz, which justifies the extra weight of the eVent jacket (versus a windshirt plus lighter but less breathable jacket).

One of the things I like most is that, once I've got my jacket on for cold or wind, I'm all ready to go in case it rains. I have been known to just keep the jacket on all day whether it rains or not. This is a real convenience during intermittent showers.

I find that the combination of windshirt and eVent jacket is too warm in every condition I've tried it in, so I don't see an advantage with combining them. Plus, I use a Cocoon Pullover which, when added under the jacket, adds the equivalent of 2 windshirts. So if conditions are truly foul I've got the extra protective windbreak layers built into the Cocoon.

Yet, every major publication on UL hiking technique suggests the four layer approach which includes windshirt and jacket (though most of these were written before the lightest eVent jackets hit the market. Anyone care to come up with a list of pros and cons? This of course assumes the decision has been made not to use a poncho tarp.

The only downsides I can think of is that I will wear out and/or clog with oils my eVent jacket sooner than if I used a windshirt, and that a windshirt drapes better, so is a bit more comfortable for casual use. And okay, I suppose I look a little weird wearing a rain jacket for bug protection.

Edited by jcarter1 on 02/06/2008 23:30:50 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/06/2008 23:40:20 MST Print View

I totally agree. No windshirt needed.

A windshirt is great with a lighter weight, less breathable raingear such as a poncho. But when carrying my eVent jacket, I never carry a windshirt- the jacket breaths better than my windshirts anyway!

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/06/2008 23:45:56 MST Print View


Perhaps it makes a difference depending on one's hiking style. Personally, I run or walk fast, and no wtb jacket event or other has been able to keep up with that.

I'm talking about temps in the mid-low 30s with light to heavy rain. Even my windshirt is a little stuffy at times in these conditions. So for me personally, I prefer a windshirt more than a wtb jacket in rain at the temps mentioned above. But also consider that I wear running shorts during these temps also. I don't have much experience hiking in anything colder than 20* (though lots of snowboarding in lower temps).

If it was not raining and over 40* no way could I wear a wtb jacket fast hiking at any time while moving.

Best, Jhaura

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Rain and Wind Jackets on 02/06/2008 23:58:20 MST Print View


I own a MontBell Peak Shell jacket -- which shares eVENT's air permeable characteristic (i.e. waterproof without needing a PU layer). On multi-day hikes, I carry this wp/b layer and have it do double duty as wind jacket.

I use my lighter weight wind jacket for three-season day hikes -- and let it do partial double duty as rain jacket when total rainproofness is not required.

I haven't felt the need to bring both layers.

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
RE Rain and Wind Jackets on 02/07/2008 04:58:31 MST Print View

Benjamin when you only take a windjacket on youre hikes, do you use a windjacket with a hood?

Edited by renjen on 02/07/2008 04:59:59 MST.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
windshirts help protect the hardshell on 02/07/2008 11:10:45 MST Print View

Although I think the traditional recommendation to primarily use a windhsirt when not being rained on is due to the lack of real breathability of most rain shells, I also think you hit on a valid point:

"The only downsides I can think of is that I will wear out and/or clog with oils my eVent jacket sooner than if I used a windshirt"

Assuming your rain shell is comfortable in most conditions, you are still subjecting a more expensive (compared to a windshirt) piece of clothing to wear and tear. Pack straps will wear down the DWR, you might snag or rip the fabric, and the very act of wearing the shell may eventually wear down the laminate or coating. Granted this is a very cautious approach, but since I consider my shells to be a last line of defense that must be totally reliable, they stay in the pack until really needed.
A windshirt can take abuse- a few rips will not affect performance and the DWR is not vital.

So, I wear windshells or softshells primarly to protect my hardshells from abuse so that I have total confidence in them when they are needed. If you are not so paranoid, I see no reason to take a windshell other than those you stated.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rain and Wind Jackets on 02/07/2008 11:19:45 MST Print View


Yes, I prefer a hooded wind jacket -- better wind and rain protection.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/07/2008 12:28:04 MST Print View

As breathable as eVent is, it is no where near breathable enough for intense uphill walking (mind you your gonna get sweaty no matter what in these circumstances). For me, the cost of the Thru-Hiker is high enough to make me want to carry the extra 3 ounces just so I don't wear out the jacket uneccesarily. But if money is not a problem and it works for you, then why not?

I also treat my windshirt with permethrin to help keep bugs at bay. I wouldn't dare do this to my Thru-Hiker!


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/07/2008 14:34:01 MST Print View

The way I see it is that each jacket serves a different purpose.

Wind shirt for wind, bug, sun and breathability

Rain jacket just for rain.

I do have the ID event rain jacket and almost never use it. It's not nearly as breathable as a good wind shirt.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Windshirt still needed with eVent jacket? on 02/07/2008 15:01:47 MST Print View

I've only used a wind shirt for about a year (Houdini), after learning about them here on BPL. I've often looked at it and wondered if I really needed to bring both it and my eVENT rain jacket.

After experimenting, I've found, like the previous several posters, the two jackets meet different needs. The eVENT, even though it breathes better than any other rain jackets I've tried, is too warm to be a wind jacket when going uphill.

And the wind jacket just doesn't cut it for anything more than a light sprinkle of rain or snow, but it is wonderful combined with my merino base layer for windy or cool/cold days. I can handle temperatures down to the upper 20's with that light combination while I'm moving.

So I carry both.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
windshirt in winter on 02/07/2008 15:11:23 MST Print View

I tested a new layer combination for Winter conditions this last trip to Yosemite (see the Dewey Point trip report). I wore a Smartwool baselayer and my Smartwool Shadow Hoody with a Golite Ether. PERFECTION! This worked wonderfully down to 32degrees, active, with light snow and wind. And I didn't have to struggle into an insulation layer for quite some time when going inactive. I'm very impressed with how far a windshirt and two baselayers could be pushed. And the versatility of Shadow hoody has made it my goto item for 4 seasons. Now the Ether hoody joins it.

Check out the pictures from the trip report:

You can easily pick me out from the crowd. I did bring a GoreTex Arc'Tyrexx hard shell, anticipating a failure of the Ether in the worst conditions, but I only used it in the storm come morning and ripped it off with relief as soon as I could.

I couldn't recommend my layer combo enough. I'm going to file a Gear List for review ASAP.


btw.. knowing that the Shadow Hoody is discontinued (rest in peace) I'm have good expectations for the Icebreaker Nomad Hoody at less than 3oz of extra weight. I'm going to pick one up for testing and comparison.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Icebreaker Nomad on 02/07/2008 15:37:36 MST Print View

I'm coming to enjoy the warmth and versatility of my Nomad daily. I suspect you'll really like it.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Windshirt eVent combo on 02/08/2008 00:27:38 MST Print View

Interesting to read the various experiences; definitely looks like a HYOH thing. I suppose it's helpful that, living where Doug Johnson and I live (Northwest), if it's raining it's usually cold and raining, and when it's sunny it's dry and sunny. This probably makes it more doable. I also do tend to slow down when it's raining, but that's usually because around here it gets quite slick and muddy!

I'll admit though that the one time I really felt stuffy and uncomfortable in my eVent jacket was an early June hike in the Columbia River Gorge. I did a 3000' vertical ascent in 65 degree humid weather that turned rainy (and warm). That was pretty miserable. Still, I doubt my windshirt would have felt much better. I guess I could have just gone shirtless by that point.

There is one other benefit to hiking in cool, humid conditions with the eVent jacket on. I've done a few hikes in 35-45 degree, foggy, calm conditions, and with just my baselayer I felt quite clammy. However, with my eVent jacket on, I felt noticeably drier. This was odd to me at first, but I think it has to do with stopping the constant barrage of water moisture from the air soaking me, and allowing the breathability of the jacket to expel the interior moisture. In either case, that's when I started seriously thinking about ditching the windshirt altogether. Ultimately wind shirts are so light and compact that it shouldn't 'really' matter if I bring both. But on paper, it sure looks more appealing to mentally subtract the 3oz from my rain jacket.

I am coming around to the merits of hiking in the rain with shorts. It really helps to keep the stuffy feeling that can accompany rain jacket/pants combo. Problem is there are no long hemmed eVent jackets on the market, so I have to bring separate 'rain shorts' (aka a swimsuit) to keep my regular shorts dry, adding a hassle factor of changing clothes. Perhaps what we need on the market is convertible rain pants; you can wear them in shorts mode when it's warmer, and then zip on the legs when you stop or when it cools down.

Last comment: I've also considered hiking with a Gatewood Cape and umbrella combo. The weight of the Umbrella is offset by the shelter weight savings and lack of rain jacket. In warm, calm rain I can use the umbrella to allow me to remove the hood and zip open the front a bit. I figure if it becomes too windy to use an umbrella, then I shouldn't have to worry about overheating with the hood up and waistbelt attached--the wind will take care of that. I definitely trust the Gatewood as a poncho in cold, windy conditions; it offers very good protection when using a waist belt. I guess I'm still building up my confidence in the Gatewood's high-wind performance as a shelter above treeline--where I like to camp. I know it's been done successfully, and it's wind protection is one of the features of the cape. But still...I just don't know. I just have have more confidence in my eVent jacket combined with a Golite Hex 3 (soon to be replaced by a Shangri-La 1) above treeline.

Edited by jcarter1 on 02/08/2008 00:49:33 MST.

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
rain shorts alternative on 02/08/2008 06:15:44 MST Print View

> I am coming around to the merits of hiking in the rain with shorts ... so I have to bring separate 'rain shorts' (aka a swimsuit) to keep my regular shorts dry, adding a hassle factor of changing clothes

I've been using a silnylon mini-skirt for exactly this same scenario for a few years now. It's non-breathable but the ventilation is excellent. It opens up with velcro and it's so light and compact I can carry it in a pocket. Putting it on and taking it off is a matter of seconds, no need to take pack off, I could do it while I keep hiking if I practise a bit :)

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: re: Windshirt eVent combo on 02/08/2008 08:36:03 MST Print View

"I suppose it's helpful that, living where Doug Johnson and I live (Northwest), if it's raining it's usually cold and raining, and when it's sunny it's dry and sunny."

Unfortunately, where I live sometimes when it's sunny, it's sunny AND raining... and good luck guessing whether it will be cold or warm...

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
No windshirt on 02/08/2008 09:46:32 MST Print View

I, like others on here, just go with a DriDucks rain jacket. It blocks rain and wind and I can say I have never been clammy in it. I like the versatility because where I live it can go up or down 30F in a day and it can still snow, then rain, then snow again. You can order the suit from them for $20 shipped or maybe less now. You can't go bushwacking in it but then again I wouldn't do that in a $260 eVent jacket either.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
DriDucks on 02/08/2008 10:48:16 MST Print View

I really like my DriDucks as well. As I mentioned earlier they can be more breathable than eVent at times due to their baggy, billowy nature. I still don't know why eVent jackets have to come in 'athletically trim' fits. That just reduces the air space inside, and consequently reduces one's ability to billow out the fabric to push out moisture.

But I hesitate using DriDucks as my sole shell material, and so I bring my windshirt on trips that I use DriDucks. This reduces the amount of time I have to wear the DriDucks. Completely blowing out the pant seats when kneeling after the first 5 minutes of use didn't give me much confidence in it's long-term durability under a backpack.

When I use my Gatewood Cape, I bring DriDucks instead of a windshirt. This works really well, because I can trust the Gatewood to provide the durability, but I can still move about in camp with a fully waterproof UL rain jacket. I know someone once posted that he wears his windshirt OVER his DriDucks to keep it protected.

James Loy
(jimbluz) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Windshirt/eVent Parka on 02/08/2008 18:02:58 MST Print View

I have a Rab windshirt in Pertex Quantum and find it way too hot to hike a short distance downhill in 40 degree temps (no wind). I used my Rab Drillium eVent parka while snowshoeing and breaking trail in heavy snow with snow falling and the temperature about 30 and was dry all day long, even with the hood over my head and while traveling 45 minutes in rain. I tend to perspire quite heavily. I've also used my eVent parka while shoveling heavy snow with dry results. In both cases, I wore nothing on my upper body other than a cotton hat and my Icebreaker Oasis skin200 L/S shirt. I do not carry a windshirt in the winter when I have my eVent parka. Like others, I think the choice may depend on one's individual metabolism, ambient air temperatures and humidity, and how much energy you are exerting, etc. Not a simple solution! Trial & error, I guess.