by Don Wilson | 2006-03-03 03:00:00-07
The Integral Designs Pertex Wind Jacket is a 4.5 ounce (as measured, size large) windshirt with few frills but some nice touches. It is heavier than the lightest jackets on the market, but includes a full zipper, a hood and more durable fabric than some of the lighter wind shirts. And it's $80 price tag is quite attractive.
The Pertex 685 fabric in this wind shirt is tougher and heavier than the thin fabrics on 3 ounce wind shells. At 1.85 ounces per square yard it is double the fabric weight of the lighest windshirts. But the fabric is noticeably tougher than the lighter fabrics and has a comfortable, soft feel. I did not do long term testing, but am confident this jacket would last longer and stand up to tougher treatment than most 3 ounce wind shirts. The number 4.5 YKK zipper is also heavier than in "those other windshirts". The jacket fits easily into the included silnylon stuff sack, which adds a skinny 0.2 ounces to the total package.
I've had my Pertex Wind Jacket out on a number of winter training runs, along with some short overnight trips. I have found it to be at the upper end of breathability and comfort among the many wind shirts I have tested this winter. On warm uphill runs it stays dryer and cooler inside the jacket than most other windshirts. I could do my usual run up Brown Mountain in the Tucson mountains with the zipper completely closed and still stay reasonably dry and comfortable. In similar conditions, most other jackets needed to be opened at the chest to prevent overheating. The shaped hood is comfortable and fits securely over your head despite having only elastic closures. It is a good bivy jacket, and I've used it with success in combination with a light insulating layer. The hood is especially comfortable in a bivy; it lacks annoying drawstrings and toggles, but the elastic hood closure is comfortable and stays on your head in a night of tossing and turning. The fit of the jacket runs smaller than most - consider upgrading one size if you want a roomy cut or if you have long arms. Overall construction quality is good, with nicely finished seams and reinforced stitching at the zipper ends.
If I had to complain about anything in this jacket it would be the relatively small sizing. This can be easily remedied by sizing up. Although not the lightest jacket on the market, it has a durable zipper and fabric, and it's $80 price tag beats just about every other competing wind shirt.
Left Image: The hood on the Pertex Wind Jacket is comfortable and hugs your head, but lacks adjustability. Right Image: The Pertex Wind Jacket packs down into a tight package in the included stuff sack.
"Integral Designs Pertex Wind Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/integral_designs_pertex_wind_jacket_spotlite_review.html, 2006-03-03 03:00:00-07.