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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Windshirts on 03/29/2006 20:18:24 MST Print View

To carry over from another thread, I got a Montane Lite-Speed windshirt on Ebay and it arrived today.

It is what I expected: fairy-light cloth, spare on details that would add weight, a Spartan way to keep the wind from sucking the heat away from my body and still vent the buckets of perspiration that come from my lumbering mass when I try to make it go up steep hills.

This one hits the scale at 5.8oz in the XXL size. I'm glad I ordered the XXL and I normally have no problem with US sized XL clothing. It's roomy enough for a microfleece shirt and/or a vest. I expect it to work very well with a light polyester base layer.

The little stuff sack that comes with it is cute, but asking for trouble trying to stuff the jacket in there and worse yet trying to pull it back out. It will be great for tossing a bear bag line over a tree branch.

Montane should have put a double zipper on the chest pocket so it self-stows. I'll use it that way anyway. This thing will fit in a vest hand-warmer pocket or a cargo pocket in pants or shorts. Cool :)

I like the ventilation panels running up the inside of the sleeves, under the armpits and on down the sides. This won't be such a greenhouse. I have a Sierra Designs windbreaker that is a well made garment, but it gets a little steamy with no vents.

And now I'd like to go off a little about windshirts....

Didn't we used ta call 'em windbreakers? What's the big deal? They are a light windproof outer shell to keep the wind from convecting the heat away from your body. They've been building them in one form or another since the 1960's that I know of. The fabrics have certainly gotten lighter, but the general build and function is sure close to the same.

Rant II: I can see a lot of function in a good ol' nylon shirt-- you know one with a couple pockets and buttons down the front and sleeves you can roller blind up and down, and a collar you can flip up to keep the sun from turning your neck into a southern United States stereotype. And you can wear stuff underneath an oversized shirt just like a "windshirt." Some of this fanciness is a lotta hooh-ha. I'm glad I only paid $35 for this rather than something closer to the $95 MSRP on this one.

My $0.02

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/29/2006 22:06:41 MST Print View

anybody know anything about this windshirt? sounds like a good deal, but haven't found any reviews:

4oz full zip w/ hood & 2 pockets $36.51

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/29/2006 22:45:30 MST Print View

No direct experience, but my one concern is that the jacket is waterproof but not breathable at all.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/29/2006 22:50:11 MST Print View

Dale- We call them windshirts because its a lighter word, few letters :]

Cary- I haven't seen that jacket before. I wonder what the fabric is. They claim waterproofness, but I couldn't find any specifics on their website.


cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
yeah - breatheability is my chief concern on 03/29/2006 22:55:01 MST Print View

I pretty much figure no way it's waterproof - not sure why they are claiming that it is

the mftr. website wasn't very helpful, though looks like an interesting company with an ethical center

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/30/2006 03:53:51 MST Print View

I think "windshirt" is the British word and "windbreaker" the American. Not sure if "wind breaker" would make it past British lips without someone guffawing. The British are quirky that way! (^J^)/"

Lots of words are different:

anorak: smock
knickers: breeches
parka: cagoule (not the French, knee-length version of the garment)
tarp: basha
rain gear: waterproofs
sweater: jumper
sneakers: tennies

(Any of you British readers out there, please correct me if I am wrong...)

I like the word "windshirt" because it closer describes how the garment works. It allows you to get past the assumption of what a "jacket" is supposed to be.

Andy Ledbetter
(dronfield) - F
Re: Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/30/2006 04:53:22 MST Print View

(Any of you British readers out there, please correct me if I am wrong...)

OK heres my take on it from a UK view.

anorak: now longer in common use as a description of a garment.
Popular current usage of the word is to describe a person. Anorak has a very similar meaning to the US word geek.

Knickers: Female underwear.

parka: Not really used is current english.

tarp: tarp. Basha might be the word for tarp in New Zealand or Australia. Not sure.

sneakers: trainers (training shoes)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/30/2006 07:11:22 MST Print View

Miguel wrote: "I like the word "windshirt" because it closer describes how the garment works. It allows you to get past the assumption of what a "jacket" is supposed to be."

Yes, the name does help with percieving the use. I never thought about the humor in windbreaker, but I can see that. The way US and British use "enjoy" has caused a little on-line snickering too. Children divided by a common languge indeed :)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: windshirt - good value for 4oz??? on 03/30/2006 07:39:29 MST Print View

Cary said: "4oz full zip w/ hood & 2 pockets $36.51"

They mention the Timba jacket (pull-over version) too and that description reads "windproof, water-resistant pullover," and the specifications list the fabric as waterproof ripstop nylon. I would assume the jackets are PU coated nylon without sealed seams and the armpit vents are the ventilation, making it a typical light, cheap, sweatbox that still leaks at the worst time. It they do have sealed seams, then they are at least raingear.

I think it's been well covered that there is no raingear that is both waterproof and breathable under heavy activity. Ventilation is the only thing that is going to get the steam out of the envelope.

I traded in a well made EMS windshirt for the same reason -- they had decent construction and lightness, but decided to use a lightly PU coating and killed the breathabilty. How any of the manufacturers expect even a light PU coating to be breathable in the way that Pertex type fabrics are is beyond me. You either put up with less wind resistance or go to a finer weave and more cost. No rocket science in that.

Backcountry does a pretty good job and I would expect them to answer any inquiries promptly.

Charles Strusz
(infochuck) - F
Montane PEAQ fabric vents? on 03/30/2006 08:37:11 MST Print View

For you Montane windshirt users, can you describe the fabric used for the venting panels? Is it a mesh? A jersey? Nylon? Something else? Stretchy? Thanks in advance - sorry for all the questions, but I've always been curious about that aspect of these things, and Montane simply calls it 'PEAQ' fabric or some other tradename that obfuscates the true nature of the fabric.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
PEAQ on 03/30/2006 09:11:48 MST Print View

It's a solid fabric, not a mesh and it stretches a bit.

Basha: Originally a temporary shelter in the jungle, now generally a term for any temporary shelter in the field.
Bivvy: Shortened from bivouac. Usually refers to a temporary field shelter, using a poncho as a tarp.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Another windshirt option on 03/30/2006 09:55:00 MST Print View

I haven't used this model from GoLite but I saw the GoLite Ventus Ultralight Windproof Shell Jacket for $39.95 on It's described as using "GoLite's Wisp™ acrylic-coated ripstop nylon" The current GoLite Wisp is listed as "WispHP™ 22 denier breathable, quick-dry, wind-resistant polyester taffeta with DWR" at 2.5 oz.

Seems like a good price for a 3 oz. windshirt.


Edited by flyfast on 03/30/2006 09:56:16 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Montane PEAQ fabric vents? on 03/30/2006 09:58:15 MST Print View

It is a more open weave ripstop panel-- the contrasting color panels on the Lite-Speed model. Much, much more breathable than the base fabric of the garment, but of course would be no where near as effective for stopping a good breeze. It's a great idea--- much tougher than a stretch panel and not prone to pilling or snagging like the light stretch stuff tends to do. They use the same stuff to line the hood so you don't have the cold fabric against your head and kneck. The chest pocket and the hood lining are about the only places they added weight-- the rest is just an atribute of the fabric weight. The zippers and eleastic at the hem and cuffs are about as light as I would want and still have any durability. To get lighter, the fabric has to go to something thinner, less durable, less DWR, and I assume less wind-resistant too. All is compromise :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/30/2006 21:36:31 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Another windshirt option on 03/30/2006 19:22:56 MST Print View


I have a GoLite Ventus, which uses the older "Wisp" fabric. When it's a bit cold, I wear this jacket at trail head and at trail end. I am always amazed at how much difference this featherly light jacket can make when the winds are howling!

However, the material is barely breathable, so once I get going (esp. with a backpack), I take the jacket off.

Charles Strusz
(infochuck) - F
PEAQ - thanks! on 03/31/2006 11:08:57 MST Print View

Thanks for the info, folks. I've got some Quantum I've been meaning to make into a windshirt, and was curious what exactly those side panels were made of.

Samuel Winebaum
(samwine) - F

Locale: NH
Pearl Izumi Nada Pullover on 03/31/2006 11:25:17 MST Print View

I have been using the Pearl Izumi Nada Pullover this past winter. Incredibly light, I believe around 3 oz and I also find that even over a short sleeve shirt it does not seem to "stick" as much as other windshirts when one is sweating. Very breathable and totally wind resistant.

Edited by samwine on 03/31/2006 11:25:54 MST.

Keith Brandon
(thebrandons) - F
Sherpa Adventure Gear on 06/09/2006 10:57:42 MDT Print View

Here's some info on their products (though all it has if 2005 product).


It seems as if the whole line of products are designed by a Sherpa (one with a pretty impressive mountaineering resume) and the profits go to sherpa education (if true, that's a good thing). Hope this helps some.

Tariqa Mead
(fenester) - F
breaker vs. shirt on 06/09/2006 11:25:40 MDT Print View

To add my 2¢:
When I was a kid in the early 70's a windbreaker was a light nylon jacket with a zip front and often had an attached hood that zipped into the collar and a drawstring around the bottom hem.
In the same period I started skiing and had a windshirt (as did many people skiing then, before breathable waterproof garments) that was essentially a standard button-up long sleeve shirt made from lightweight nylon, shirt-tails, big floppy collar and all.
Having guessed, I did a quick web search. Wikipedia defines a windbreaker much as I did, but said that it is a "genericized trademark" (like band-aid). I checked the USPTO site, and the earliest trademark for "windbreaker" was issued in Nov. 1923 to Guiterman Bros. of St. Paul Minnesota for leather jackets and vests.

Edited by fenester on 06/09/2006 11:26:27 MDT.

George Gother
(ggother) - F
Re: Windshirts on 06/16/2006 10:50:46 MDT Print View

Have you had a chance to use the Lite-Speed windshirt yet? I just picked one up on E-Bay for $35.00 also. I'm doing a 5 day hike this july on the AT in New Jersey and with the thunderstorms and sudden drop in temps we get around then, I'm hoping to give this windshirt a good workout.

Curt Peterson
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Featherlite vs LiteSpeed on 06/16/2006 11:37:35 MDT Print View

I'm looking into the LiteSpeed myself. I'm curious how it compares to the Featherlite Smock.

I have the Featherlite and it's a bit snug across the back of the shoulders and in the upper arms. Is the LiteSpeed a looser fit? Is it any longer in the front? I'm guessing about 3 ounces more than the Smock, too. Sound about right?

I figure there are folks here who have both - thanks for any comparisons.