November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood?
Display Avatars Sort By:
James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/13/2007 13:20:20 MDT Print View

As the (proud?) owner of one of the infamous "down-fill" Marmot Ion windshirts, I have found it to actually be pretty good, as long as temps stay below 45 or so, I can hike all day in it and not sweat out too badly. However, the warmer months are now upon us, and I'm looking for a nice, light (of course) windshirt that will be more comfortable in warmer climes. I was hoping to find something that wouldn't turn into a sauna at higher temps, say 60 - 70F with 20 MPH winds. I would also like it to have at least some sort of DWR to shed light drizzle. I know the two (breathability vs. DWR) tend to be mutually exclusive, but I was hoping to find something that strikes a good balance. Any suggestions or experience would be much appreciated. Thanks.

James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Anybody? on 04/16/2007 11:45:57 MDT Print View


Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Anybody? on 04/16/2007 12:10:30 MDT Print View

My preference is for Pertex Quantum windshirts from Montane (UK).

Sadly not readily available in the USA. Although you could try Prolite

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Anybody? on 04/16/2007 12:46:55 MDT Print View

My favorite is also Montane.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 13:11:29 MDT Print View

I have experience with wind shirts from Montbell, Pearl Izumi, and Patagonia. The Patagonia Houdini is my favorite. For me, it strikes the right balance between breathability and water resistance. I use the Pearl Izumi when on my bike, it's florescent yellow is a plus there. My Houdini is black because I felt it would be warmer and dry faster when the sun comes out after a storm. You might choose a lighter color if warm weather use is a real concern. I've had my Houdini for almost 2 years now and the DWR is still good. It's one of my most prized pieces of gear and I take good care of it. I did wear it skiing this season and it held up well. I bought mine at 20% off when REI was carrying them. There's a lot of great information about the Houdini in the forums (particularly form Richard Nisley) and I'm happy to help if you have further questions.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 13:14:11 MDT Print View


Edited by ericnoble on 04/16/2007 13:14:44 MDT.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: Anybody? on 04/16/2007 13:29:01 MDT Print View

I have the houdini (for the hood and as-reviewed dwr) and like it, but can't speak to comparisons.

you CAN get Montane in the US easily

Montane Aero is pertex quantum:

Montane Featherlite is Pertex Microlight, which as I understand it is less breathable, heavier and more water resistant than quantum:

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Windshirts on 04/16/2007 13:37:40 MDT Print View

For me, my best windshirts in terms of breathability (my highest windshirt criteria after it's ability to cut the wind) and ability to shed water, are the 1st generation Marmot Ion (before 2006)constructed of Brit-made Pertex Quantum, and the Patagonia Houdini followed by the old Marmot Chinook.

The Ion was the flat out lightest windshirt I ever used and the Houdini felt nicest next to the skin. They all do a decent job of shedding precip if the DWR is maintained.

I like Montane clothing but their lightest windshirt offerings never had a hood. Their Featherlite wind pants are surprisingly indestructable and are what I use.

Edited by kdesign on 04/16/2007 13:39:38 MDT.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Windshirts on 04/16/2007 13:57:06 MDT Print View

Another vote for the Montane Featherlite

Fran├žois Lederer
(franzi68) - F
Another Montane vote on 04/16/2007 14:14:51 MDT Print View

I also use Montane featherlite combination (smock + pants) as my base kit for 3 season hiking.

Used once the featherlite smock to run when it was raining, but my running style made me sweat too much for the pertex garnement to breathe enough.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
GoLite Ether Wind Shirt/Jacket on 04/16/2007 14:19:16 MDT Print View

So far I'm extremely happy with my GoLite Ether (Hooded) Wind Shirt. Good in light rain conditions and very breathable.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:24:47 MDT Print View

I have an OR Ion, 3.5 oz, in which I have experienced problems with breathability. The most breathable and thus most comfortable wind shirt I own is a L.L. Bean Mountain Anorak made from suplex nylon and weighs an estimated 10 ozs.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:40:41 MDT Print View

As nice as the Montane wind shirts are, I don't think they have hoods. I think James is looking for something with a hood.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:40:54 MDT Print View

Anybody have an opinion on (or experience with) the Montane Litespeed hooded smock? I'm debating whether to get it or the Golite Ether - they both sound good to me so far. Thanks in advance!

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:47:04 MDT Print View

Montbell UL Wind Parka

Full zip

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:50:37 MDT Print View

Both the GoLite Ether and Montane Lightspeed are excellent wind shirts, as well as a third - the Patagoina Houdini.

I prefer the Lightspeed for its fit - trim and long - and I do like the durability of the fabrics in it, because I use my wind shirt as a ground cloth and bushwhack a lot in it.

But it's 5 oz.

Which is where the Ether comes in. A little more bloomy in the torso, so if you fit the torso properly, the sleeves and hem are not as long as I'd like (like the Lightspeed).

So, the Lightspeed might be better if you want longer hem and sleeves with a trim torso; the GoLite might be better if you can size up a size and have more chest or belly to fill it.

The Patagonia Houdini has a fit more like the Lightspeed - trim with more shoulder articulation and longer hem/sleeves - at a lighter weight - but at the cost of some durability.

All three of these are great options. I'd go with what fits you best.

Kevin Lutz
(EazyE) - F
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 14:58:23 MDT Print View

If you are looking for a Montane jacket in the US, there is a seller on Ebay who has them periodically for a $35 buy it now price. I ordered both a Lite Speed and a Hydralite about 4 months ago and love them both. I was a bit skeptical for the price, but both came NWTs.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Anybody? on 04/16/2007 15:15:14 MDT Print View

Good info. You know James- I've always wanted to see a windshirt continuum on a spread from more breathable to more water resistant. But I've never seen one.

What I can tell you is that based on my experience with some windshirts, it goes more or less like this:

more breathable- Montane Jetstream

middle somewhere- Golite Ether (Wisp HP)

more water resistant- Montbell and Wild Things windshirts

much more water resistant- old Golite Helios

But these are guesses based on experience. I'm not sure I'm right. I do know for sure that the Montane is the most breathable UL windshirt I've owned.

Best of luck!

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Most Breathable Sub-6oz Wind Shirt W/ Hood? on 04/16/2007 15:32:23 MDT Print View

I tend to favor breathability over other parameters - assuming a reasonable fit. More often than not, I use windshirts as an early morning layer when the temps are chilly, or during near nasty conditions (pre and post storm). Given that use pattern, my favorites have been the Pat Houdini and the MontBell Stretch Wind Jacket - both fall on the breathable side of wind shirts. MB Stretch has no hood and is heavier than most though - but is also very durable and my wife loves the way it looks :-)

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Anybody? on 04/16/2007 15:35:41 MDT Print View

Doug, that continuum would be great to see! In my experience the Houdini is definitely more breathable than the Monbell UL and I think it is more water resistant as well. I'll have to do a more controlled test to verify that. Time to hit the showers while wearing wind shirts :).