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Windshirt question
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Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: Re: microweight merino wool vs wind shirt on 10/29/2012 01:35:02 MDT Print View

+1 Stephen. I personally put out a lot of body heat when I hike. WPB Shells are never B enough, so I like to get them off as soon as I can or I sweat buckets.

Wind Shirts also work great when using Poncho Tarps as both shelter and rain gear. The shirt gives you some protection while you set up the shelter.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
insulated wind shirts on 10/29/2012 07:45:33 MDT Print View

I'm looking at experimenting with an insulated wind shirt with a micro pile liner as my primary base layer / active layer for snowshoeing and winter hiking. Has anyone experimented with this?

I actually found out about the idea somewhere else on the BPL forums when someone posted this blog post by mountaineer Andy Kirkpatrick. He recommends an insulated wind shirt as a basic piece that all people should have and recommends that it be worn next to skin and only with a hood.

I picked the new Marmot Ether to experiment.

Here is the blog post:

Oh, and I also e-mailed Andy about this topic asking if I could wear the Ether over a base layer too and this was his response:


Driclime windshirt is a great piece of kit and can be either worn alone (next to skin) or over a base layer. You'll need a warmer top for colder weather and when static (like a Patagonia Das parka). The Montane Extreme smock is a great cold weather soft shell.

Hope that helps


Edited by flutingaround on 10/29/2012 07:49:44 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: insulated wind shirts on 10/29/2012 08:02:29 MDT Print View

permanently attaching an insulated layer under a windshirt defeats some of the advantages of the two layer system.
It makes sense in the right conditions, but I wouldn't want it for 3 season backpacking, mainly because of it's lack of flexibility.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: insulated wind shirts on 10/29/2012 08:15:30 MDT Print View

Yeah - if you're exercising vigorously/it's not super cold, you want just the wind shirt without insulating layer

The biggest problem is not getting wet from sweat, which will later make you cold

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
beloved windshirt :) on 10/29/2012 08:28:35 MDT Print View

that little 4 oz gets used more than any other single bit of gear I own- year round, including dead of winter

mine has a decent DWR so if it's light rain or snow, it's all I need- on the rare occasions it does wet out, it's still providing warmth and it dries literally in minutes

I wear a thin base layer that even when sprayed w/ Permethrin if the bugs are bad- they'll get me, slip on the windshirt end of problem

hiking in steep country (lots of exertion) and the wind picks up and you almost instantly start freezing- break out the windshirt and you're good to go

x-crountry skiing, snowshoeing, trail running- it doesn't matter, this little piece never fails me

it doesn't replace a hard shell, but it certainly gets used a heck of lot more :)

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Windshirt on 10/29/2012 08:51:15 MDT Print View

I agree with most of the comments, especially Dan's. Here is my take on it:

A windshirt is not necessary. I always carry the following while backpacking:

1) T-Shirt
2) Puffy Jacket (synthetic, but down would work as well)
3) Propore Rain Gear

This will provide protection from rain, cold, wind and bugs. In other words, I can survive and be reasonably comfortable with this gear. The puffy jacket weighs less than fleece. The Propore is very light, breathes really well, and is extremely waterproof. A tarp would be lighter, but not provide bug protection. So, as far as I know, this setup is the lightest setup that will provide protection from rain, cold, wind and bugs. There are flaws with this system though:

1) It is easy to be stuck "in between" hot and cold. It may be too hot for the puffy jacket, but too cold to go without it.
2) Propore is extremely fragile.
3) While Propore breathes well, it is not as breathable as most windshirts.

A windshirt fills in these gaps at a very low weight penalty (2 or 3 ounces in men's large). Putting a puffy jacket over a windshirt is only done for convenience.

Since I hike in the Pacific Northwest, I do a lot of day hiking. While day hiking, I carry the following:

1) T-Shirt
2) Fleece Jacket
3) Propore Rain Gear

Fleece breathes much better than a puffy jacket. It therefore has a much bigger comfort range. As a result, I don't need anything for "in between" temperatures. However, using Propore as my wind and bug protection is still just as flawed. I would hate to rip up my Propore jacket just to save a couple ounces, especially since I don't care as much about weight when I go for a day hike (which is why I carry fleece instead of a puffy jacket).

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: the continued windshirt debate on 10/29/2012 12:01:35 MDT Print View

All questions will be answered tomorrow.


David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Propore vs Windshirt on 10/30/2012 02:21:40 MDT Print View

I like the Propore too. Waterproof, breathable, yellow. I am wondering if there is still a place for a wind shirt in my pack.

Tell me I am back in fashion Dave!

Damn Good Looking

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
windshirt findings on 10/30/2012 03:18:33 MDT Print View

Hey Gary

In my opinion, a wind shirt is a luxury item.
I could easily go on a trip without one and be all right. But the comfort I get is worth the weight. I have experimented a lot with wind shirts over the last 3 years, bringing it on one trip, and leaving it at home the next, and so on for 3 years. My findings are that it's always worth the weight, except below 0 degrees C, where a shell is worn all the time without me getting overheated.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
cold weather on 10/30/2012 08:21:36 MDT Print View

I find the windshirt to possibly even more valuable in cold weather. It might be due to the fact that in cold weather I'm snowshoeing or x-country skiing (or trail running)- typically high output activities where I would quickly overwhelm any hard shell.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Windshirt question" on 10/30/2012 10:22:15 MDT Print View

In the summer I never wear a windshirt while in the process of backpacking; too hot! But I'm mostly in the Sierras. If it's raining I want my event shell;a windshirt is no good in real rain. In the winter, I find that my windshirt doesn't provide enough warmth or real wind protection; unlike Mike I once again prefer my Rab Demand in wind or especially if it's snowing. I tried my Houdini while skate skiing and found that I prefer just a light base and an R1 type fleece. Maybe in a cold snow a windshirt over fleece would shine while nordic skiing; I've used event hardshells while skiing in falling snow and they work great for me. Downhills especially help regulate internal moisture. If I'm going to be snowshoeing for several hours in falling snow I want a real hardshell!

Again, I recognize that I may be missing something here. People love love love their windshirts; maybe I just need to push my Houdini's limits.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Windshirt on 11/21/2012 14:23:47 MST Print View

Pretty simple, really.

Baselayer + Hardshell = too warm
Baselyer = too cold
Baselayer + Windshirt = just right
Baselayer + Fleece = just right, but much heavier
Baselayer + Fleece + above treeline winds = too cold
Baselayer + Windshirt + above treeline winds = just right

Sizing and wearing a windshirt over a down jacket is stupid.

It makes absolutely no sense:
1) use your hardshell to protect your down jacket, it's more durable than a windshirt
2) a hardshell's lack of breathability is not a problem when you're not exerting yourself (and wearing a down jacket)
3) a loose-fitting windshirt over a baselayer leaks and flaps in the wind, a tight-fitting one works much better
4) removing a windshirt to put on your down jacket means you loose all that heat as soon as you take it off - for arriving and leaving camp, this sucks

Edited by lindahlb on 11/21/2012 14:26:11 MST.