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Best Wind Shirt?
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Steve Small
(lustreking) - F
Re: Thru-hiker on 01/19/2010 10:22:49 MST Print View


I haven't seen this anywhere, so probably not, but does Thru-hiker sell the pattern without the fabric at all?

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Thru-hiker Liberty Ridge on 01/19/2010 10:34:28 MST Print View

I don't think so, at least it's not on their website. You could always ask AYCE; it's a small business and I don't think it would put him out any. BTW, make sure to tell him if you want to have a hood, he might print the pattern out for you (otherwise you'll have to transfer it from a grid).

John George
(Tom_J) - F
A few questions about wind shirts on 06/25/2010 04:15:40 MDT Print View

I am interested in getting such a light shirt / jacket, but I have a few questions about them.

First, in your experience are these ultra-light shirts / jackets (like the Featherlite) strong enough for you to wear a 3 kg / 7 pounds (max) backpack directly over them ? Or would they start to rip apart eventually ?

Also, I would appreciate it if anyone could share his opinions about several ultra-light jackets from Vaude - the "Spin Off Smock" or "Unique" - compared to other models already discussed here, like the Montane "Featherlite" or the Integral Designs "Pertex Wind".

Thanks for your opinions.

Edited by Tom_J on 06/25/2010 05:06:15 MDT.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Montbell Wind Jacket on 06/25/2010 08:33:38 MDT Print View

I just picked up one of these on E-bay for $33 shipped. My hiker partner has one an loves it. At 2.5oz for the jacket (no hood), and a little over 3oz for the hooded Wind Parka, they certainly fit the light criteria.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: A few questions about wind shirts on 06/25/2010 09:15:51 MDT Print View

John wrote: "I am interested in getting such a light shirt / jacket, but I have a few questions about them.

First, in your experience are these ultra-light shirts / jackets (like the Featherlite) strong enough for you to wear a 3 kg / 7 pounds (max) backpack directly over them ? Or would they start to rip apart eventually ?"

They aren't that fragile. Snagging and ripping on brush is an issue with any light fabric, but pack abrasion isn't an issue I have run into. I *hope* I can get in enough hiking time to wear out my windshirt. I have seen some packs with heavy cordura covers on back pads and hip belts that might abrade UL clothing, but none were close to UL gear. Reasonable care and washing in soaps that will preserve the DWR waterproofing should give you years of good service.

I do prefer full zip models. Breathability of the fabric is a big factor. Pertex works great. Watch the sizing on Montane and MontBell goodies (as opposed to US sizing).

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Montbell Wind Jacket on 06/25/2010 10:16:59 MDT Print View

Certainly light. It is one of my main windshirts. But if you are exterting yourself, it does not breath well. I sometimes use a Marmot Essence as a combination wind/rain shell. Breathes much better than the Montbell, is heavier, but still you will sweat if exertion level is high. This is pretty much true for any windshirt.

Stephan Doyle
Montane on 06/25/2010 19:16:37 MDT Print View

I have a Montane Featherlight Smock. Lightweight, breathable, hoodless, a half-zip, and has a good fit to it. Perfect list of features and it's fantastic for me.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: Montane on 06/25/2010 19:40:33 MDT Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/29/2015 14:47:18 MDT.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Best Wind Shirt? on 06/25/2010 22:45:23 MDT Print View

Montane Lite-Speed

I have two Patagonia Houdinis (don't ask) but it's always the Lite-Speed I reach for - I ride to work everyday and I wear it every day, including in the winter.

The reasons it's better than the Houdini are:

- good cut with dropped tail: the cut is just right for someone of my build cf the Rab windproofs which are strictly for ectomorphs and it's usefully long

- no flapping hood or cords that hit you in the face

- collar that can be zipped up around the neck

- extremely useful front zipped pocket (my Houdini is the older model with the internal pocket).

Drawbacks: it's not at all water resistant but at least it also dries out quickly - so scattered light showers are fine if there's also some wind and sun - think England in summer - but I got completely drenched on a ride a couple of weekends ago and in those circumstances hypothermia would be a real issue. That said, because of the ongoing process of desertification in Melbourne I no longer even carry a rainproof in my panniers even in winter ... so getting caught out is rare.

I've had a couple of other windproofs (Patagonia Pneumatic, Mont Bell bike jacket) and the Montane is my favourite.

I've looked at the lighter Montanes but I want at least ONE pocket.

Edited by Arapiles on 06/26/2010 08:24:03 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "Best Wind Shirt?" on 06/26/2010 10:46:05 MDT Print View

Another vote for Montane Lite-Speed.

Very comfortable, durable and versatile.
Nice balance between weight and features.

Not very water resistant, but if it were, it probably wouldn't be breathable enough to wear while hiking.

Gregory Topf
(notoriousGRT) - MLife

Locale: PNW / Switzerland
montane marathon and slipstream owner on 06/26/2010 12:43:29 MDT Print View

I love the concept of the slipstream, as it is barely more than one needs for a strictly defined "windshirt". I use it mainly in the city though because the fabric is superlight and I would simply not bushwhack with it. Also, the cut is noticeably narrower than the marathon. For approx. an additional ounce you get the marathon: more durable fabric, vented, and adjustable elastic drawcord on the hem, and (good for 6'1" 180lbs) a more generous cut. They are both Orange, but I am sure you can do better. Breathability rulez with both jackets. Just match them to the application.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
VAUDE Spin Off Smock on 10/05/2010 13:24:03 MDT Print View

Just got the Spin Off Smock.

Weight is 65 g in M. I'm pretty excited. :-)

Also, the water resistance is really good, had it under the sink with no water coming through.

The hood is pretty basic though, no adjustments possible.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: VAUDE Spin Off Smock on 10/05/2010 13:42:44 MDT Print View

I use a Houdini but the MontBell Tachyon is 65 g in M as well and has drawcord adjustments on the hood and hem.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Re: VAUDE Spin Off Smock on 10/05/2010 13:46:14 MDT Print View

Looks like a draw.

But I must say that MontBell's cut doesn't work for me at all and VAUDE may be a bit more general.

Paul Davis
(FauxRealz) - F

Locale: East Coast
Marmot Trail Wind Hoody, Patagonia Houdini... on 01/28/2011 21:31:51 MST Print View

I'm in the market for a wind shirt. I'm heading out to the JMT this summer and am looking to pick one up soon.

I've been attracted to the Patagonia Houdini simply based on the way people seem to rave about theirs. They have recently been put back into production, so I'm thinking about snagging one.

I'm holding off for right now simply based on the steep price tag. Has anyone used the Marmot Trail Wind Hoody and could you talk about your experience with it?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Best Wind Shirt on 01/28/2011 23:21:14 MST Print View

"Best" of course is subjective.

I have a 2006 model Houdini and love it. It has a lot of holes in it from bushwhacking and fire sparks, it has a funky smell that I can't quite bleach out, and seams are starting to fray.

But it's sort of like a 10 year old pair of Carhartt's. It's really soft, I like not restoring DWR on it so it breathes really well, and it's been through a lot with me, so replacing it is sort of like retiring an 8 year old dog just so you can experience a few more months of puppy cuteness.


I honestly haven't found a wind shirt that is *that* much lighter, and I definitely haven't found one that fits better.

+1 for Patagonia jacket fit in general.

Christoph Blank
(chbla) - F

Locale: Austria
another one on 06/09/2011 04:41:15 MDT Print View

stumbled about a new one from monatane:

Montane Slipstream GL Jacket

makes my houdini look pretty outdated :)

but the tachyon looks pretty nice..

Edited by chbla on 06/09/2011 05:10:17 MDT.

Mark Primack
(Bufa) - MLife

Locale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
TNF Verto Very lightweight on 06/09/2011 06:54:26 MDT Print View

Picked up a TNF Verto a few weeks ago. Full-zip, hood, chest pocket. Weighs exactly 3 oz. in XL!, which is less than advertised for a medium.

I had been looking for a Montbell Tachyon or full-zip hoody, but MB no longer makes either and they do not appear to be available anywhere. I suspect that they had wear and tear problems with their ultralight fabric, because their new wind jacket has heavier fabric reinforcement at all wear points and weighs nearly twice what the older offering weighed.

The Verto is constructed of the newest Pertex Quantum, which is truly gossamer thin but claims to be much stronger than similar ultra thin ultra lightweight fabrics. Only time will tell if the Pertex holds up. Seems highly breathable, and treated with DWR. The only thing I don't like about the Verto is the elasticized cuffs, which are too loose to stop wind from blowing up the arms. I've taken to carrying two elastics in the pocket and putting them around the cuffs if a cold wind is blowing up the cuffs. Other than that, I'd rate as excellent.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Montane Slipstream GL for $79.90 @ on 06/09/2011 12:07:53 MDT Print View

15% off right now.

Dustin Snyder

Locale: Southeast
Re: Best Wind Shirt on 06/09/2011 13:40:06 MDT Print View

I love my Houdini! In size XL it weighs 4.5 oz.