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Windshirts: 2012 State of the Market Report - Part 1: What is a Windshirt?
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Adam Klagsbrun
(klags) - MLife

Locale: Northeast US
TNF Verto on 07/12/2012 11:59:17 MDT Print View

How come you guys left TNF verto out of this review? Its really light, and it has been my first foray into windshirts, so far I love it.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Windshirts: 2012 State of the Market Report - Part 1: What is a Windshirt? on 07/12/2012 15:45:07 MDT Print View

I would like see a review of hood-less windshirts too.
I never liked the hoods on these things, they never really fit for one, but worse they are very loud in the wind and block your field of vision. A light balaclava fits pretty much perfectly, is warmer than any hood, and when you don't need the hood it isn't laying there blowing around your face.

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 07/12/2012 15:47:25 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Boreas, bugs, and weights on 07/13/2012 20:20:15 MDT Print View

The dimensional measurements in the chart are all for a men's medium. Sorry for not making that clear from the beginning.

I had a recent opportunity to test both the bug-proofness and durability of the Boreas, and was impressed on both counts. Mosquitoes can probably get in when it is worn against the skin, but not easily or often. It stood up to the worst bushwhack I've ever done without significant wear, as well.

Max Neale
(maximumdragonfly) - M
Fall 2012 Houdini on 07/13/2012 23:02:12 MDT Print View

It uses 10D that's supposedly more wind resistant than the previous 15D. And it's cheaper.

Edited by maximumdragonfly on 07/13/2012 23:02:50 MDT.

Theodore Cardos
(tedcardos) - F

Locale: South
Why no Paramo on 07/14/2012 10:40:18 MDT Print View

I recently took the plunge and bought a paramo windshirt. I am totally please for the UK climate (chilly with on/off showers). Also if you add a paramo fleece under the windshirt you have a full-blown rain gear system that is truly versatile.

Jeffrey McConnell
nice job on 07/14/2012 16:06:21 MDT Print View

Very nice article. I second Howie's recommendation for the CAMP Magic jacket. Nice jacket and usually not too expensive.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
sun and insect protection on 07/14/2012 17:54:47 MDT Print View

do these wind shirts offer sun and insect protection?

Ron Gallant

Locale: En
Re: Stoic Wraith on 07/15/2012 07:36:22 MDT Print View

I can attest to the quality of the stoic wraith. Great price of gear.

folecr r
(folecr) - M
Re: Re: Houdini pocket on 07/15/2012 20:05:19 MDT Print View

@greg Thanks! I bought one.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
eVent shells on 07/15/2012 20:36:24 MDT Print View

@ Eric Chan

Yep, my thoughts persactly! My Kimtah eVent rain parka does the same job and is quite durable. No sense carrying extra slothing.

My polyester long sleeved shirts are fairly wind resistant but breathable. I always wear them backpacking in the mountain west for sum protection. Once in late April in the Grand Canyon I wore my REI Sahara long sleeved shirt over a light fleece vest and was fine in a very cool wind. Mechanix gloves and a hat helped too.

At the time I had a GTX PacLite parka but I left it at home, thinking I wouldn't need it with a 5 day high pressure forecast. Never again will I backpack without a WPB parka.

Lars Laird Iversen
(larslaird) - M
Boreas and DWR on 07/17/2012 02:26:07 MDT Print View

I love my Boreas for skiing and short runs - but it does gain weight in rain. Would the softshell material approve of a round in the washing machine with Nikwax TX-direct? Or is that only for wb/b materials?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Boreas and DWR on 07/17/2012 09:17:51 MDT Print View

itll work fine .. i find grangers works better, youll need to throw it on the dryer at moderate heat to activate the DWR ... and reapply it often

rowan !

Locale: SF Bay Area
Trying out a Windshirt on 07/19/2012 00:24:17 MDT Print View

Well, you guys have convinced me that a windshirt can largely replace my Gore-tex hardshell, which is aging and now sports a variety of holes both large and small. Since I usually wear it for added warmth and don't see much rain, the windshirt should be suitable. I tried on a Verto, on clearance at REI, but decided to order the Stoic Luminous Thrive instead, as it cost half as much (also on clearance)and the Verto didn't fit that well. It arrived today! And it fits perfectly. I can hardly wait to try it out!

Elsie Ashworth
No need for a separate base layer on 07/19/2012 07:35:44 MDT Print View

A windshirt is cool, comfortable and quick-drying enough to wear as a lone base layer. If you are exerting yourself in a mild, damp climate, and need to keep yourself covered for reasons of a) decency, and b) fending off small, biting flies, and disease-carrying ticks, it is the best option. Whilst Merino is nice to wear, a wool base layer does not take well to scrambling amongst rocks and brush, and will not dry as fast as a windshirt if you get soaked. I find that as long as I’m moving uphill, a windshirt alone is enough down to about -5 degrees C. If you are walking up a mountain in slushy snow, and need to pause, you can throw a pertex & pile top or Paramo over the windshirt, without feeling clammy underneath. If you have garments that dry fast, you don’t worry so much about getting wet, and you don’t feel like a boil-in-the-bag sweaty mess.

Todd Smith
You're reviewing a discontinued Houdini model on 07/28/2012 18:35:13 MDT Print View

Thanks Dave, this looks like another very usefull review. However, I want to reiterate what Neale pointed out in his July 13 comment in case you missed it: you are reviewing an obsolete, discontinued version of the Houdini, which is no longer available. If at all possible, you should switch and review the current model in Part 2 of your report, otherwise it will be a "state-of-last-year's-market" report.

The new model weighs less and is supposed to be more wind resistant. Don't waste your time (and your readers') writing about a model that is no longer available.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: reviews as such on 07/28/2012 19:17:48 MDT Print View

Timeliness, comprehensiveness, unity of perspective. All good things to have with gear reviews. Alas, unless circumstances are favorable (usually when a production sample is available well ahead of retail release) it's hard enough to cover two of three. My personal opinion is that the second is often sacrificed for the first.

And yet, SOTMRs are not reviews. Or not merely reviews. They're discussions of what the market is at the moment, and more importantly why that is so. Chasing the latest and greatest is helpful for guiding retail purchases, but less so for the more meta discussions which are BPLs bread and butter.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: re: Boreas, bugs, and weights on 08/21/2012 20:08:07 MDT Print View

The Boreas has become one of my favorite pieces of backpacking clothing. It goes with me on every trip where the temps might dip below 60 degrees during the day. It breathes incredibly well, blocks enough wind on chilly days to keep me cool (I prefer to hike cool, not warm) and handles light drizzle well enough. On my recent Sierra trip, I wore it a few times with great success - I didn't sweat while hiking (which is unusual), and I didn't need to don my rain top for the light rain we got a few days of the trip (it took much harder rain before I got the Haglofs out). Yup, it weighs more than most wind shirts, but I love it, and don't even carry a 'true' wind shirt anymore, the Boreas fills the bill beautifully. A great piece of gear.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
OK but... on 09/02/2012 17:01:04 MDT Print View

An good review IF ya use "windshirts" (really wind parkas)

But I don't want the extra weight or expense. I wear long sleeved polyester or nylon shirts that are fairly wind resistant. My .511 nylon shirt is very wind resistant but heavier.

My answer is to use my light REI eVentrain parka if I ever need THAT much protection from the wind.

So no, a windshirt is NOT an indispensible item whereas a WPB parka is. (Of course, in my humble but experienced opinion.)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: OK but... on 09/02/2012 21:34:18 MDT Print View

A windshirt is an intermediate layer, which is always open to being dropped from a gear list. I'll argue that it is very effective because it can improve warmth while remaining breathable. It is dispensible for extreme weather, but comes into play for temperate weather, which is what most 3 season hikers want. I use my windshirt more than my rain shell or puffy insulation, and the freqency of use is the real benchmark for inclusion on my hear list.

When properly layered, a windshirt is providing the same outer skin that an insulated jacket would have, but can be used with just a base layer or thicker mid layers rather than being permanently comitted to use as only an insulated garment. You get wind, sun, bug and light rain protection all in one 4 ounce garment.

Your 5.11 shirt is doing exactly the same thing, but at greater weight and less compressible storage. A windshirt should be thought of as a shirt with some jacket-like features (mostly the hood). The full front zip isn't much difference in practice than the row of buttons on your 5.11 shirt. So it is a conventional button down shirt at 10 ounces or a windshirt at 4 ounces and more versatility.

Yes 1000
Cheap alternative Windshirts on 10/31/2012 13:43:38 MDT Print View

While it can't hang around with the big dogs tested here, I have a Eddie Bauer Sirroco wind shirt which is on sale for $20 and I attest its usefulness for relatively little money I spent to buy it.