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Montane Lite-speed

in Clothing - Wind & Soft Shell

Average Rating
4.13 / 5 (8 reviews)

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ivo zlatinov
( ivaylo )
Montane Lite-speed on 12/16/2005 17:14:56 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This shirt breathes quite well for active pursuits (Pertex Microlight) and feels nice. Not too light at over 5oz (size L) - the current market has a number of lighter alternatives.

The fit is quite weird on me. I am often M but for this L is a bit too snug on the top (shoulders, chest) as well as arms. On the other hand, the bottom is very loose (it would be good if I had a beer gut). The sleeves are a tad short, and the back drop hem is way too low. When you lift your arms (biking or climbing) the shirt does ride up.

I am satisfied with the purchase, especially considering I got it for only $29 brand new. It works great over a merino base for weather when just base is too little and anything else is too much.

people have been very happy about the double hood - i haven't had a chance to use it yet.

One more thing - the zipper. Some have complained that it's prone to snagging. It is, but not as bad as I was led to believe / expect. It's alright if you are just a bit careful; for me it was pretty easy to adjust / get used to

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Raymond Evans
( spylan )
Great wind layer; less wonderful waterproof on 01/02/2006 00:44:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

So light in weight, I didn't hesitate to throw it in my bag for a trip to Europe, where it was perfect over a smartwool sweater for a night of pub crawling in light rain. Day hiking in the southern California foothills in a steady moderate rain this week (not a Sierra storm), the shoulder seams leaked almost immediately. That surprised me...I thought the DWR finish would hold up better, based on other reports. Do I need to seal the seams?? Regarding the zipper, unless I am very careful (two hands!) and pull the zipper away from the fabric backing, it snags. I've gotten used to it now, but in the dark or in an urgent situation, dealing with a snag could be a real drag. Size large fits me about like a usual size medium, with the exception of a lot of room at the bottom, as noted in another review here, which is useful for pulling over a fanny pack.

( mountainwalker )

SF Bay Area & New England
Montane Lite-speed versus Patagonia Houdini on 01/30/2006 21:31:06 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've used my Montane Lite-Speed in almost all conditions. The fit is quite good, with plenty of room to layer underneath, without being way too big. I'm 6 ft 180lbs, 42 chest and I do fine with the large. The material has excellent breathabilty, but there is a downside. I recently had the opportunity to test the jacket in a steady downpour while hiking for about 45 minutes, with my wife wearing the Patagonia Houdini. This was in 40-45 temps over a light fleece and thin merino baselayer. We did not like the old Patagonia Dragonfly, because the material breathed like a rubber bag (not at all) and didn't feel good against the skin (felt like a nylon bag). However, the results of the unplanned test were surprising.

My wife's Patagonia Houdini wind jacket kept her surprisingly dry. I couldn't believe the jacket was so water resistant, while still breathing well. I, on the other hand, was totally soaked in my Lite-speed, which should have held out much better. Arms, shoulders, head, back and top of chest, soaked. My jacket is in excellent, like new condition and the DWR and material should have held out much better. On the plus side, the double hood helped keep my head warm.

As a result of my wife's terrific experience with the Houdini and the soak surprise with the Montane, I may switch over to the Houdini. A good wind shirt is one of the most important pieces of gear to me. I expected the Lite-speed to be more water resistant. With the Houdini offering much better breathability than the old Dragonfly, the Houdini might be the better balanced choice.

Anyone else have any experience with the Houdini?

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Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

great fabric, weird fit, still a winner on 11/04/2006 10:05:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I'm quite broad shouldered and Montane jackets/shirts are not. I wear an XL and the lower portion of my 2 Montane windshirts are huge but I can live with it.

Maybe the fact that I live in the dry Rockies influences my bias but I DO NOT want my windshirts to be rainwear. I have rainwear and the reason I carry a windshirt is to have protection from windchill while being active. These Montane shirts breath well enough that I don't sweat up the insides like any rainwear I've tried.

Both the Lite-Speed and Featherlite have surprised me with their DWR protection while not feeling like a plastic bag while active. I like the balance they have attained.

Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Greater Yellowstone
LiteSpeed Breathes, Functions on 11/04/2006 14:00:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The strengths of the Litespeed are its breathability (Microlight, which feels more breathable than Quantum and some other wind shirt fabrics), its long length, and hood.

I washed it in detergent to wash out the DWR, cut the inner layer out of the two-layer hood, removed the adjustable drawcords on the hood and hem and replaced them with 1/4" elastic tucks here and there, and removed the zipper draft flap so the zipper wouldn't get stuck. The resulting garment weighs 3.9 oz.

I like it now, so it gets a "4". If it would have come like this, I would have given it a "5".

Edited by ryan on 11/04/2006 14:01:04 MST.

dave hollin
( backpackbrewer )

Deepest darkest Wales, boyo
A versatile top on 09/06/2008 08:08:49 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought this a couple of years ago and mainly use it in the Spring and Autumn. I find that its wind stopping power is superb and when combined with a longsleeve baselayer will cope with most 3 season situations.

I normally leave it in the sack unless its really blowing a gale but will then whip it out on breaks to prevent too much chill setting in.

Yes its not that water proof but its not designed to be. I keep mine topped up with a DWR finish which copes with all but prolonged rain.

Love the hood and the fact its so light and packable.

Its a nice bit of kit that I use in some walking circumstances to avoid having to take a relatively bulky microfleece (although I do in Winter)

Edited by backpackbrewer on 09/06/2008 08:09:34 MDT.

joe newton
( holdfast )

Bergen, Norway
Almost perfect, most of the time. on 05/22/2009 03:22:11 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've been wearing this jacket for over a year now and it gets used maybe three times a week for hiking, backpacking, road and trail running. It is light, packable and just weather resistant enough that my waterproof coat only gets used when it's raining hard. It breathes really well too, as long as you vent enough when going hard.

The fit is good on me. Perfect length in the arm/body. I'm 6'1" tall and 190lb and wear a Medium which gives an 'athletic' fit over a baselayer with just enough room to put a 100 weight fleece hoody/vest underneath at rest stops.

In the Norwegian winter I wore it over a Powerstretch zip top and found it perfect for hiking/skiing 90% of the time. In summer I carry it in a hip belt pocket of my rucksack and whip it out if the wind gets too much for my baselayer. I'm pleasantly surprised by it's robustness for such a light fabric and have only reapplied the DWR once.

The hood is a real bonus and makes a discernible difference to my comfort on freezing winter runs or exposed ridges when pulled over a thin beanie or baseball cap.

It's asking a lot for one jacket to be 100% perfect all the time. There are a couple of times when I've wanted 'more' of a jacket, usually in heavier winter weather when a wired peak or maybe hand pockets would have been useful but then it would have been overbuilt for the rest of the year. Next winter I will invest a true softshell for those kinds of conditions. Yeah, as mentioned above the zipper has got caught a couple of times on the baffle but it's probably the only slight niggle I could make.

I will definitely buy another one if/when my current one gives up on me. In conclusion I don't think there is another single piece of clothing in my wardrobe that has been worn more often, worked effectively or been appreciated more than my Lite-speed.

Matthew Black
( mtblack )
Build quality on 06/30/2010 16:47:38 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've purchased a 2010 Lite-speed for my wife. Women's size S weighs 4.8 ounces, 5.3 ounces in the stuff sack.
The sewing quality is excellent. Seams are taped or lapped. There are no loose edges to snag. The finish is superior to my military contract Patagonia Houdini.
The hood concealment is well designed and in my opinion an essential feature. I live in my Houdini and the collar design and ability to stow the hood are two features the current model completely lacks.
The Lite-speed has one spacious left chest pocket closed by a concealed zipper.
The Montane stuff sack is very compact and made from a combination of jacket fabric and mesh. The stuff sack is slightly over-built and includes a small metal carabiner for attachment to gear.
I can't comment on the DWR or comparative wind-resistance but the Lite-speed clearly beats the 2010 Houdini for finish, price and feature set.

Edited by mtblack on 06/30/2010 17:16:23 MDT.

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