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Wind Shirt
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Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Wind Shirt on 03/04/2007 20:40:55 MST Print View

I've been hearing a lot lately about wind shirts. Obviously, I do not have one. What is the up-side of having one?

Also, I did a brief search, and I've heard people mention the Montane Featherlite and the GoLite Wisp.

Which one is better, from experience? I have seen the Montane for $37, a little better than the Wisp.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Wind Shirt on 03/04/2007 21:32:23 MST Print View

Joe -

Take a look at these reviews. Lots of good info there about specific products and windshirts in general.


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Joe, re:wind shirt on 03/04/2007 22:45:19 MST Print View

Joe, I bought a windshirt to do a few things:
1. Block most of the wind to reduce convective heat loss.
2. Block a light rain for a short period, including a hood for my head. (enough time for me to get under cover, get out my rain shell, or set up a tent)
3. Have some air permeability to allow moisture vapor (a gas) to escape readily.

Features I want:
2. Full zip for venting and wearing backwards (on belay, pack on, etc..)
3. Be as light as possible; around 100grams.

Waterproof "breathable" materials such as goretex are not air permeable, so they only meet 1 and 2. eVENT meets all three, but is not light. Most people choose something in single layer nylon. I tried a Montbell 'Windblaster', and a 2006 Marmot 'Ion' before settling on the Patagonia 'Houdini'. The latter one meets my requirements while weighing about 105 grams. I highly recommend it.

Sorry, I do not have experience with the two choices you are considering; but certainly someone here does.

Before you buy a windshirt, try a simple breath test; place your mouth up against the fabric and try to blow through it. This simple test result correlates exactly with how well the fabric transports moisture, in my experience. Goretex the worst, eVENT and EPIC better, single layer nylon the best.

With any single layer nylon, you will need to keep the Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating in good condition for water repellency. When water starts to soak through unusually quickly; wash the jacket with ivory soap (or similar non-detergent soap), drip dry, spray on a DWR, and iron it in (or toss in dryer).

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Joe, re:wind shirt on 03/05/2007 06:20:51 MST Print View

I'm looking at this item too. It's pertex microlight, and they also have a pertex quantum for around $50. Neither have hoods though, so I'm tempted to save for the well recommended houdini.

I'm still exploring which of these might be the best choice.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Joe, re:wind shirt on 03/05/2007 10:24:31 MST Print View

Brett- The threads used to make the Houdini appear to be micro-fibers encapsulted in silicon. Theorectically, you shouldn't have to DWR this windshirt for a very long time, if ever.


Edited by richard295 on 03/05/2007 10:25:18 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Richard, thanks for Houdini info on 03/05/2007 19:06:54 MST Print View

Richard, how can these silicon encapsulated fibers allow air to get between the fibers while other sil-nylon products do not? Is some sil-nylon coated AFTER weaving, thus creating a homogeneous and non-permeable sheet of silicon? While the Houdini fabric coats the threads BEFORE weaving, thus leaving gaps?
There is a big difference in the air permeability of my 2006 Marmot Ion (none) and my Houdini (much).
Thanks in advance.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Houdini info on 03/05/2007 20:37:54 MST Print View

Brett-I think your assessment is correct.

The Houdini micro-fibers appear to be coated prior to weaving similar to Nextec’s EPIC process. This is “silicone encapsulated fibers”. There are air gaps between the coated fibers after they are weaved into cloth. The Houdini coated nylon micro-fibers won't absorb moisture like conventional wind shirt fibers will after their much less robust DWR is worn off.

As I understand it, nylon can be treated with silicone two additional ways. One way is to coat one side with silicone. In this case the material will have and "up" side and a distinguishable "down" side. This is referred to as “silicone coated nylon”. I think this was the process used on your '06 Marmot Ion. The other side is sometimes coated with Urethane.

Nylon also can be coated on both sides with silicone so thoroughly that the two coatings meet in the middle of the fabric's thickness, completely saturating the nylon with silicone. This is “silicone impregnated nylon”, and it does not have an up or down side, rather the two sides of the fabric look and act the same as each other. Attached is a photo of my silicone impregnated nylon Campmor tarp at the same magnification as the Houdini. There are no air gaps between the fibers without silicone covering them.

Silicone impregnated

Edited by richard295 on 03/05/2007 20:46:47 MST.