by Ben Smith | 2006-11-30 03:00:00-07
Montane’s Jetstream windshirt certainly sounds good – a sub-3-ounce, stripped-down item made from tried-and-true Pertex Quantum fabric. I’ve used the Jetstream backpacking, mountain biking, and running, and the performance is excellent. It proved very breathable, and the ventilation offered by the full zipper makes temperature management a cinch. The bright colors (Montane says mine is “Flouro Yellow,” but I’d call it “Ninja Turtle Slime Green”) and reflective patches make this an excellent choice for runners or cyclists looking for extra visibility. For the demure, never fear - more subdued colors are available. Finish and sewing are excellent, and the drop-tail design provides extra protection. During a recent backpacking trip in New Mexico's Black Range, I left the jacket on for two full days. Lows flirted with the teens, and though the highs ranged from the 50s to 60s, the wind was fierce all day and night. The venting options made it comfortable at the higher temperatures, and it made a great second layer for sleeping and hanging around camp in the evenings.
So what gets skipped to make a garment this light and clean? Pockets – there are none, not even the cute little chest pocket found on many popular windshirts. Montane makes up for this (and in so doing, exposes the jacket’s running/biking/adventure racing pedigree) by including a nifty 0.7 ounce armband stuff sack. If you’re having trouble picturing what that looks like, think “tiny fanny pack.” Since the jacket stuffs so easily into a pants pocket, I can't picture myself using this. However, someone who can't afford to stop to don or doff a windshirt might love the at-hand storage.
One complaint about this jacket is that while the torso sizing is perfect for wiry guys like me, the arms are just too short for a performance-geared jacket. It’s not terribly noticeable when just walking, but when running, using poles, biking, or sitting on the ground, the cuffs ride up several inches farther than I’d like. I have fairly long arms, but this was still not a fatal flaw. More annoying is the fact that Montane claims a weight of 2.5 ounces - about 8 percent less than my measurement.
For now, this jacket has a home in my pack or pocket. However, I'll jump on the first jacket that comes around with this combination of features and weight, but with a more realistic athletic cut that doesn't "cheat" to save a few tenths of an ounce.
The Montane Jetstream windshirt has no built-in pockets, but includes an armband stuff sack.
"Montane Jetstream Windshirt SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Ben Smith. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/montane_jetstream_windshirt_spotlite_review.html, 2006-11-30 03:00:00-07.