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Windshirt Philosophy
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peter kvamme
(karacolor) - F

Locale: midwest
Windshirt Philosophy on 03/03/2008 10:33:53 MST Print View

Forgive this ignorant question, but is the point of a windshirt actually to block the wind?
I have made a homemade windshirt out of uncoated ripstop that will not block wind very well at all, and now I am second guessing the fabric choice. (although the driving reason for the fabric was I bought it at walmart for $1/yd) The few store bought windshirts I have seen seem to be coated somehow and would appear to shed wind much better than my homemade version, but I have never used one.

Any comments?

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Windshirt Philosophy on 03/03/2008 10:36:25 MST Print View

Yep, they block the wind while remaining very breathable. At least my Montane wind smock does. ;) I'd chalk your problem up to the fabric. Trying making the same shirt of of Pertex and see if your results improve.

PU coatings on 03/03/2008 11:30:33 MST Print View

Be careful if you do buy one. Many windshirts come with a very light polyurethane layer to make it rain proof. This PU layer is really the worst of both worlds: it stops the jacket from breathing well, and wears away fairly quickly. You end up with a jacket that lets water in at the elbows and shoulder, but can't breathe.

slavenya slavenya
(slavenya) - F

Locale: Israel
Recommendation on 03/04/2008 05:04:30 MST Print View

So, which models do you recommend?

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Windshirt Philosophy on 03/04/2008 06:32:16 MST Print View

I suspect that you are using the wrong fabric. I use a 1.1 oz rip-stop that is callendered. The callendering process involves passing the fabric between rollers, one of them hot. It puts a shiny surface on one side of the fabric and improves its windproof-ness without any noticeable effect on breathe-ability. You would be lucky to find this fabric at Walmart; check with Seattle Fabric. The PU coating mentioned by another poster may actually be a callendered surface.

steven rarey
(laptraffic) - F

Locale: Washington
Seattle Fabric on 03/04/2008 11:28:28 MST Print View

Funny thing about seattle fabric.

I was looking for a company that carried a selection of quick connect fasteners online and found seattle fabrics

So I drove over there since they are like 20 miles from my house.

It's the Mecca for dudes that sew camping equipment!!

Ive been there every weekend since.

Awesome store

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Windshirt Philosophy "you gotta show me" on 03/04/2008 15:26:47 MST Print View

I just had this discussion with two other BPL'ers this last weekend on a several windswept ridges. For some reason, I had the same internal struggle while addressing my gear needs and couldn't commit to a windshirt. But now that I have one, I can't leave home without it. Especially considering the weight: my Golite Ether is 4oz. Dylan sported a Montane LiteSpeed and loved it. Josh was one of the uncommitted but has seen the light (pun).

For example: I've worn two merino half-zip base layers and my Ether in a light snow with sub-freezing temps (active). When we went inactive, I threw my insulated sweater over it all, down past 20F temps.

It's not until you actually use a straight up, non-insulated windshirt that you appreciate the level of heat loss due to wind. AND, not until you sweat it out in a WP hardshell that you appreciate the breathability of a proper windshirt.

Personally, I don't use windpants. But it's a similar philosophy that I haven't yet accepted.


Edited by uberkatzen on 03/04/2008 15:27:22 MST.

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
wind shirts on 03/04/2008 16:38:26 MST Print View

You may still notice some wind passing through, even w/ the best wind shirts. I agree though the warmth to weight value is pretty darn phenomenal.

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
winshirt? windshirt! on 03/04/2008 18:05:41 MST Print View

I just bought the Helly Hansen windshirt from Dale, and snipped a bit of stuff off of it. I saved about .7 ounce. All of my windshirts have fairly good protection. For 4 ounces, and my Golite 2.7 ounce windshirt, Im not complaining.
I dont wear the Golite anymore 'cause its signed by some famous dude.

slavenya slavenya
(slavenya) - F

Locale: Israel
Buy windshirt on 03/05/2008 11:02:34 MST Print View

Hi Guys,

Could you please advise me where could I buy pertex hooded full zip windshirt? If there is one of course.

If there is not what models should I look for. I know that I could find this info if I were read more than dozen threads at this site but I think this could be useful to collect such info in one post so everyone could easily find it.


Joshua Knapp
(Joshjknapp) - F

Locale: Northern Mn, Superior Hiking Trail
Windshirts on 03/05/2008 11:51:02 MST Print View

Hi Slavenya,

I used to be a wind shirt skeptic until I found a Patagonia Houdini, 60% off at my local gear store. I tried it on, loved the fit, and wanted to find out what all the hype was about. All I have to say it GET ONE! It is such an useful piece of gear. I use mine all the time. It breaths relatively well and really keeps the wind off. Just a great piece of gear for hiking, running, or biking. Also because it is so compact and light, you can bring it with you anywhere. So far durability has not been a problem, even with some bushwhacking.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Windshirts on 03/05/2008 12:03:59 MST Print View


The Patagonia Houdini is indeed a great windshirt, probably breathes the best, but at the cost of some wind "proofness" (is that a word!?!?). The Golite Ether and Montane Litespeed are slightly less breathable but will tackle more wind-chill. Let a google search be your friend when trying to find these products.

Integral Designs makes a Pertex windshirt. Once again, less breathable, but more windproof. This does also confer a certain strength to the material for bushwhacking. I've had ID products and always appreciate their durability.

good luck!

Edited by uberkatzen on 03/05/2008 12:05:14 MST.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Windshirt on 03/05/2008 14:09:06 MST Print View

Hi Slavenya

The Montane Lite speed is exactly what you describe, pertex, with a hood and a full zip.

Suppliers in the USA may be a problem.

But if you contact Montane at they may be able to suggest a dealer.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Wind Shirts on 03/05/2008 14:34:41 MST Print View

WildThings makes two windshirts using "epic" fabric. A hooded full zip that weighs in at 10 oz and runs $130.00 and a half zip pullover at 6 oz for $105.00. I have the half zip that I've been very pleased with. These WildThings wind shirts are not the lightest and or the cheapest but they are well made and function/perform great. I also have the Patagonia Houdini that, in my opinion, is more breathable but less windproof. I prefer the WildThings for hiking and the Houdini for trail running. I hope this helps.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Windshirts... on 03/05/2008 15:39:23 MST Print View

I forgot to mention that WildThings also has a "superlight windshirt" that is made of silicone coated nylon fabric that weighs in at 2.4 oz, is a half zip pullover and comes in three colors. You can see this item and the epic windshirts on their site and look under performance gear.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Windshirt on 03/05/2008 17:40:15 MST Print View

Actually, the montane lite speed is pertex microlight and the Jetstream is pertex quantum. Quantum is lighter but less waterproof (if I recall correctly).

I'm not recommending this store, as I've never heard of them, but they have some details about montane products:

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Pertex Quantum and Microlight on 03/05/2008 18:57:27 MST Print View

I would have to suggest that more or less waterproof is moot in either fabric, it's mainly the DWR coating that sheds moisture and both will give up under any concentration of water. I think Pertex primarily addresses breathability, windproofness, and, subsequently, durability. In my experience microlight is less breathable but more durable and windproof; quantum is the reverse, but neither to a fault. I really want to stress that. Both are great, modern fabric technologies with subtle but notable differences that are mostly personal preferences derived only from experience.

Unfortunately, this doesn't help the initiate: as I can personally recall from my own debate with the dharma of windshirts. You'll still struggle between the forces of breathability and windproofness. But, as I eventually experience with any gear concepts, just go for it. Get a deal, or grab what's in front of you, and find out for yerself. You really won't go wrong with any of the high quality gear we've recommended, you can only learn more.

-Michael "sawchuck"

Edited by uberkatzen on 03/05/2008 18:58:58 MST.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Windshirt... on 03/06/2008 11:22:07 MST Print View

I put my Houdini on and drove around my neighborhood with my arm out the window. (Temp was about 30F). Going 35-40 mph, my bare hand and forearm had a numbness sensation after about 30 seconds. It hurt. Then I pulled my hand all the way in the Houdini and stuck it out again. I thought I was feeling a small amount of wind coming through, or maybe it was just the coldness of the fabric against my skin, but I could have held my arm out there all night and been fine.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 03/06/2008 12:42:49 MST Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/19/2014 22:44:12 MST.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
houdini wetting out? on 03/06/2008 13:40:33 MST Print View

My houdini has been washed once, and now it wets out really easily. I emailed patagonia, but didn't get a response. How is yours holding up? I bought some wash in nikwax dwr, but haven't tried it yet.