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soft-shell use with a UL wind jacket
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Colin Thomas
(fullofadventure) - F
soft-shell use with a UL wind jacket on 12/11/2004 10:29:50 MST Print View

I was just wondering what people thought of a soft-shell/hooded wind shirt combo. If one was say wear a pertex stretch equilibrium jacket next to skin or over a merino wool base layer most of the time. If it really started to rain put a UL hooded wind shirt over it made of pertex to help stop the soft-shell from wetting out. This combo would weigh about 13-14oz and feel great in the comfort department.

Would the wind shirt hinder the breathability of the soft-shell and cause you to sweat wetting you from the inside out?

Is the wind shirt able to stop the rain from wetting out the soft-shell?

What do you people think of a combo like this? Could it replace a hard shell in most cases? Perhaps and Epic shell (4-8oz) instead of a pertex shell would work better.Any thoughts on this people.

Edited by fullofadventure on 12/11/2004 10:32:10 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
wind shirt over a soft shell? on 12/13/2004 00:12:08 MST Print View

Colin GREAT question. I've been experimenting with this system all winter (winter comes early in MT) and it's a fantastic combo.

I'm using a Rab Vapor Trail Smock, which has a wicking lining (microfibre pile, similar to the tricot of a Driclime windshirt, but more comfy against the skin) and a Pertex Equilibrium shell, and a Montane Lightspeed or GoLite Helios Jacket. In cold and windy weather I've been putting a Smartwool Microweight T next to skin and layering the V-Trail and windshirt over that.

I've yet to encounter winter precip (snow/sleet) that this combo cannot handle, even in sustained use for several days. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of rain this winter so can't comment on how it does in very wet conditions.

But, not carrying a WPB garment this winter has certainly been enlightening.

Now, I only wish someone would make a Lightspeed-like windshirt with a real HELMET HOOD so I can use it climbing. The best hope is probably this coming spring's Patagonia Ready-Mix Jacket, but at 14 oz it's absurdly heavy for a "windshirt".

Edited by ryan on 12/13/2004 00:12:40 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Why hooded? on 12/13/2004 08:52:54 MST Print View

Could ya'll give the reasons why a hooded windshirt is more preferable than non-hooded? Thanks.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Why a hood on a wind shirt? on 12/13/2004 10:36:14 MST Print View

John: I like hooded wind shirts if it is going to be my last outer shell in lieu of a hooded rain jacket. The hood goes a long way at sealing in heat and keeping high winds from cooling you. Pair a 200 weight balaclava with a hooded wind shirt over a thin base layer or two, or a base layer and soft shell (e.g., Pertex Equilibrium) top, and you can weather some amazing conditions in winter. This is my typical winter mountaineering/hiking outfit for temps above zero.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
soft-shell use with a UL wind jacket on 12/22/2004 22:59:18 MST Print View

My old standby - a Marmot Dri-clime windshirt - has been thru the mill with me for many years. In retrospect, I should have bought the windjacket (no longer made) which had a Dri-clime hood for warmth but minimal windblock.

This past summer, before heading for Mt Whitney, I asked my wife to stitch an uncoated(for breathability) nylon hood onto it to cut the wind on the ridge-tops.

I wouldn't have a windshirt now that wasn't hooded. The added warmth and windblock is well worth the tiny additional weight (1/2 oz)

Wandering Bob Bankhead

Edited by wandering_bob on 12/22/2004 23:01:04 MST.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Windshirt/softshell on 05/01/2005 21:44:43 MDT Print View

I've used this combo a fair amount, and found that the waterproofness of the outer wind shell is a critical factor.

An example of why: I was wearing a Patagonia Dragonfly over an Ibex Icefall, with a light capilene shirt as a base layer, this weekend we were at Loch Leven Lakes in the Sierra Nevada. We encountered sustained light to medium drizzle while hiking away from our camp.

As I've seen happen previously with this combo, the Dragonfly wetted out fairly quickly. It then began holding moisture in between itself and the softshell, which also got quite damp.

Moral of the story: the wind shell's ability to shed moisture does matter a lot for this combo. The Dragonfly is not a particularly water-resistant shell, and I'll be looking for a replacement, because otherwise (e.g. in dryer conditions), I've found this to be a successful and comfortable layering strategy. I also agree with Ryan on the added warmth of the hood, in both windy and snowy conditions.

Edited by slnsf on 05/01/2005 21:47:40 MDT.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
windshirt: hooded AND full zip on 05/02/2005 16:04:07 MDT Print View

For the past two years or so I've used a Montane Lite Speed as my primary shell in all 4-seasons. It is not only hooded but full-zip. I love this combination: the hood delays the need to don a hardshell while on the move in most daytime winter conditions, and the full-zip delays stripping down to a baselayer alone during short aerobic bursts or intermittant sunshine in Fall or Spring. Pair it w/ a merino crew, possumdown vest and warm headwear. The versatility and ease of use is well worth the extra 2-3 oz of fabric and zipper.

I think pertex microlight is also better suited to the softshell/windshirt combo than, say, quantum for instance. It's not as breathable, but I've found that to be imperceptible as part of a multilayer system (I've used mine w/ climawool and schoeller products). Also I've found microlight to be more weather resistant, and I appreciate a little extra durability for an item I use year-round.

Edited by pilgrim on 05/02/2005 16:11:23 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Why Not a Hybrid on 05/21/2005 12:06:18 MDT Print View

Reading the comments above, it seems like what we are after is an ultralight, hooded wind jacket that will still protect us from most rains...

Wonder if any manufacturer is thinking about a hybrid jacket -- w/b laminated fabric at critical places -- hood and shoulder areas perhaps, but ultralight wind resistant fabrics everywhere else?

Edited by ben2world on 05/21/2005 12:06:47 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Hybrid on 05/21/2005 15:27:04 MDT Print View

Benjamin has a good point.

One possible construction might be to emulate a feature of the Western "Duster" using a WP mini/demi-cape on the back & shoulders (don't know what that particular feature is called) with mesh underneath the mini/demi cape in the back to promote air exchange. A hooded version could also use the WP mat'l for the hood.

Edited by pj on 05/21/2005 15:29:50 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Australian Drovers's Coat on 05/21/2005 16:52:22 MDT Print View

I think this would be close to your Western Duster. I have a nice pattern for the Aust... Drovers's Coat that I will make someday. The "Cape" as they call it seems to be detachable.

My idea is to make a lining that would take replaceable Down baffles like I use in my DAM and the Down Top cover during really cold days. If I am really slick I might be able to turn it into a Down quilt like something to sleep under.

Hybrid/Multiple use and maybe more.

I think I need some eVENT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/12/2006 20:48:42 MST Print View

It's been a long time since this thread was added to, but I've often wondered why so few people outside of the UK ever consider using Paramo products. Basically their system works on the idea of "active" moisture movement, as opposed to "passive" that most systems use today. By using a combination of a liner that transports moisture in one direction and then a very thin polyester outer that disperses the moisture, along with a wash treatment that helps to waterproof the garments, the Paramo gear that I've used have been unmatched in their ability to keep me dry, even when the garment is totally wetted out. It's sort of like a softshell with completely waterproof properties, but more breathable than any hardshell I've ever used.

The downside to the system is that, used as a traditional, three layer insulation system, it is quite heavy. If thought of as both a windshirt and light inner insulating layer combination, however, the garments save a significant amount of weight and do away with fiddling with different layers. Paramo also has wicking layer garments and undergarments that work in combination with the waterproof outer layers (that can be reversed and actively bring moisture toward the body to promote cooling in hot weather) that do exactly what a lot of the people in this thread are looking for. Personally I find the outer layers a bit cold and have to add a windshirt underneath to keep me warm in colder weather, but many others who use the system say they run warm with it.

I've got no affiliation with Paramo, but have continually been very impressed with the significant difference in how Paramo products work compared to other products that it surprises me that more people don't use the system. There is nothing else like it.

Re: Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 00:14:38 MST Print View

These look like nice garments with thoughtful designs and a nice appearance. Still on the heavy side compared to gear I currently use.

The point the manufacturer makes "can be reversed and actively bring moisture toward the body to promote cooling in hot weather", in my experience, doesn't seem to hold much value.

In warmer weather, with summers in the eighties and nineties degrees farenheit, most people are producing enough sweat to produce evaporative cooling. Not sure more moisture is needed in my experience.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 00:26:18 MST Print View

Had to laugh at your assessment, Anon. You're absolutely right... when it's very hot, who in the world wants to wear MORE stuff!?! Except, if you have ever been in a very arid place, like the Sahara or Death Valley, your evaporative cooling is much faster than your body can handle, so a layer to hold in the moisture makes a lot of sense. That's why, I guess, you never see the Tuaregs (the Beduin) going about in short sleeve t-shirts and shorts. In a muggy place like Japan or the Amazon, however, these reversible shirts wouldn't make any sense. Your skin would probably end up wrinkled and soft like when you take a bath too long... ultralight by emaciation!

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
Re: Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 01:26:30 MST Print View

similar to paramo I recommend this brand

an this review to understand more

when you compares weight remember that you don´carry other clothing....

Re: Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 02:06:21 MST Print View

Good point on the arid climate. I'm totally unfamiliar such. I do however work with someone from Morocco (land of Bedoins) and he has educated me on their clothing. You make a good point. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 02:22:32 MST Print View

Hello Carlos, I don't want to be contentious, but Buffalo's (and Montane's... which I have... Mardale's, and Trax's) Pertex/ Pile gear works quite differently from Paramo's gear. Originally designed in Scotland by Buffalo the Pertex/Pile concept is the origin of the softshell. It works on the idea of the body's heat dissipating the body's moisture through a very absorbant lining (pile) that is dispersed on the surface of the garmet (Pertex), all passively. Paramo's gear actually "sucks" up the moisture and mechanically moves it to the outside of the garment even when no heat is present... you can see this happening if you drop some water onto the inside of the liner and watch it disappear toward the outside of the garment. It's hard to expain... Paramo's gear depends on the Nikwax treatment (Nikwax owns Paramo) in order to work and acts just like moisture management (often depending on oils in the skin or worked in, as you often see ducks doing) in wild animal fur and feathers, upon which the concept is based.

Both the Pertex/Pile and Paramo Biological Analogy systems are very breathable and durable, not relying on films like Goretex and eVent to deal with moisture. If you put a hole in them they can just be patched with no loss in performance. Pertex/Pile is not waterproof, however, while Paramo is. Both systems tend to run hot, too, so are best used in the colder months.

A lot of people seem to have trouble grasping how the Paramo system works (even the early Paramo website had a hard time describing the system). If you look at user reviews of the Paramo system (usually in the UK) you'll see people raving over the Paramo garments.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: wind shirt over a soft shell? on 01/13/2006 02:28:21 MST Print View


Edited by butuki on 01/13/2006 02:28:52 MST.