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Randall Butler
(Randall) - F
WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/29/2007 17:14:06 MST Print View

For winter backpacking, is a nylon anorak OK for a WIND SHIRT? Not sure about the WIND SHIRT concept. Are nylon wind breakers the same thing???

Need your explanation of WIND SHIRT. Is it buttoned,
pullover, zippered....thickness of nylon.... ect. ect.

I'm puzzled.


Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/29/2007 18:14:23 MST Print View

Randall, search the forums, you'll find a lot of info. The name "wind shirt" gives its purpose away. It's purpose is to stop convective heat loss ( the wind ) while leting water vapor pass through easily. It will resist water for a time but that is not it's main purpose. Don't confuse it with a water proof or water resistant jacket or shell. They are usually zippered and can be a pull over or have a full zipper. Buttons might not block the wind well enough. They are usually between 3 and 5 ounces. A wind breaker is probably the same thing as a wind shirt. Windshirt, windbreaker and rain jacket are imprecise terms when use by marketers. The lighter the fabric the better, until durability becomes an issue for you. Gortex does not allow enough water vapor to escape to be a good windshirt. Event and Epic treated fabrics might work but would be marginal as a windshirt, in my opion. This weekend I used my windshirt over an Ibex hooded Shak while nordic skiing to great effect. My wind shirt of choice is the Patagonia Houdini. Much cheaper alternatives can be found.

Edited by ericnoble on 01/29/2007 18:24:03 MST.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/29/2007 19:04:42 MST Print View

A simple nylon anorak makes a great windshirt any time of year.

The concept is simple: a very light wind-resistant layer over a light base layer is useful for hiking in cold weather, or for breaks and in camp in warmer weather. It can be layered over a 200-wt fleece for a very warm combination. Most are half-zip pullovers, but some have a full front zip and even a hood. Wind shirts are generally made from breathable nylon, and range from under 3oz to almost a pound.

One of the most popular wind shirts has been the Marmot Driclime, which is a two-layer jacket with the thin nylon fabric on the outside, and a light knit wicking layer inside. Lots of people -- me included -- love this jacket year-round.

Stephen Eggleston
(happycamper) - F

Locale: South Bayish
Re: WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/29/2007 21:49:18 MST Print View

I think 'windbreaker' is the older non-techie name for a wind shirt or wind shell. Anybody could wear a windbreaker back in the day(grandma, little kids, etc.) but only hi-tech ultralight dudes and dudettes know about wind shirts! HAHA

I like my Patagonia Dragonfly hooded pullover(now the Houdini.)

Edited by happycamper on 01/29/2007 21:50:24 MST.

Randall Butler
(Randall) - F
Re: WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/29/2007 22:29:10 MST Print View

To all that replied. Thanks so much!!!


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: WIND SHIRT HELP!!! on 01/30/2007 03:18:22 MST Print View

Eric, excellent reply. Really appreciated reading it.

Two points:
1) I use a Wild Things Epic treated nylon windshirt - works well, but as you say, not quite as breatheable as SOME windshirts. I seems to me to be more breatheable than my GoLite Wisp (both '04 & newer Ether-fabric '05) and is probably more breatheable than the newer Marmot Ion windshirts. I like the WT Epic windshirt for use under a poncho in long-term &/or heavy rain as it keeps my forearms dry for hours, whereas a more commonplace DWR windshirt, while generally more breatheable, wets through faster (10-20 minutes typically), depending upon the rain. The Epic windshirt also, in some cases, allows me to refrain from donning full rain gear, poncho, or cape when the rain is lighter and long lasting.

2) DrJ once enlightened me on why heavier fabrics, like eVENT & GTX are not optimal choices for a windshirt. His info was the increased "pumping" effect/losses that a heavier fabric can produce due to one's body moving about (bending, moving, etc.), resulting in the very thing that an UL fabric windshirt is trying to avoid, viz. convective heat losses due to cold air exchange.

Again, very articulate post you authored. Thanks.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:WIND SHIRT HELP!!! Mitsui Pertex on 01/30/2007 04:20:30 MST Print View

Great points, all; especially enjoyed Eric's and PJ's posts. My newer Marmot Ion is a sweaty garbage bag with arms. ("new" ones, unlike the great old ones the reputation was built on, can be identified by the tag saying filling is "down")
So, I am already eyeing possible replacements; the Patagonia Houdini in DWR nylon, or what appears to be better in my subjective opinion, the Montane Lite Speed, in Pertex. I really love Pertex based on the items I have which use it (Snugpaks), breathes enough to vent moisture while still blocking most of wind. BUT, I heard there is a new Pertex type from Mitsui, so I might wait till it is used in a windshirt.