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Wind Jacket vs. Wind Shirt
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Wind Jacket vs. Wind Shirt on 03/14/2005 16:08:52 MST Print View

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a full zip hooded lightweight wind jacket vs. a 1/3 zip hoodless windshirt? Specifically what are your thoughts on the GoLite Helios, Montane Light Speed, GoLite Wisp, Montane Aero?


Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
windshirt: material and style on 03/14/2005 18:39:50 MST Print View

Except in the winter, I like unlined windshirts which favor breathability over weatherproofness. So I like Pertex Quantum & Featherlite used by Montane, the material in the Marmot Chinook, The Patagonia dragonfly, etc. I don't like the material used in any of the current GoLite windshirts. They are more water resistant, but much less breathable.

As to style? I think a hood makes the wind shirt useful over a larger range of conditions. Full or partial zip doesn't matter to me.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
hooded windshirt on 03/14/2005 19:32:08 MST Print View

I have heard several times that hoods on your windshirt extend their usefulness into a wider range of conditions, but exactly what kind of conditions are we talking about?

I am sewing a wind shirt using the Liberty Ridge shell kit from and I have the option of putting a hood on it, but I am reluctant to do so. It would mean extra weight and I seem to get tunnel vision with a hood on and look at nothing but the trail 5 feet in front of me. Miles of beautiful rain forest have been lost because of my hood-induced tunnel vision.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
hoods for windshirts on 03/14/2005 23:04:38 MST Print View

I have used my windshirt in temps which have ranged from 0F to 75F, in spots with no wind to 50 mph blows, and sunny skies to sleet and rain. Most of the time my hood is not up. I prefer a hat to maximize ventilation and visibility. But when the wind really starts blowing, or when it is getting cold (<40F when wearing just a base layer), the extra protects around the neck can make a big difference.

For example, earlier this season I was tromping through some blowing snow and 28F temps with my daughter wearing a Montbell Light Shell as an intergrated base layer, Montbell Thermawrap Vest, PolarBuff around the neck, a OR FallLine Hat, and my trusty Dragonfly Pullover Windshirt. [Oh, Cloudveil Rodeo Pants and Sahalie 2oz tights] I was chilled with the hood down and hiking, but when I stopped and I put the hood up over the PolarBuff and hat I was very comfortable. I think the windshirt helps more than you would think because not only does it block the wind but it helps contain pockets on air partially trapped by the insulating layer.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Hoods and Golite Models on 03/18/2005 21:55:06 MST Print View

The hood is very useful. I wear glasses & use a baseball-style cap, so the hood adds a little more drizzle & rain protection that I can adjust as needed. I recently spent about 48hrs straight with the hood up on the Golite Ether. 40s/50s and varied mist/ drizzle/ rain throughout the day. Definitely helped while moving, under the poncho, and sleeping. At night the bugs came out. I was glad to have the hood, so at least my neck, ears, and scalp were completely covered while my face became an insect playground. [Yes, I will remember the headnet next time].

I pretty much agree with the other Mark that zipper length isn't a big issue for me, but I also have a couple windshirts to choose from. I think my ideal would be a true half-zip with a hood.

Also, current Golite models have slightly different specs than the old. New Helios/ Ventus use an acrylic-coated nylon, like the old Ether/ Wisp from 03-04. The 2005 Ether/ Wisp models are listed as a polyester taffeta, so I'm not sure how the new fabric compares on the weatherproofness or breathability scale. It's something to look into.


Edited by mlarson on 03/18/2005 22:16:31 MST.