Apr 13, 2007 at 12:20 pm #1222795
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 10:45 am #1386160
Anybody?Apr 16, 2007 at 11:10 am #1386162
My preference is for Pertex Quantum windshirts from Montane (UK).
Sadly not readily available in the USA. Although you could try ProliteApr 16, 2007 at 11:46 am #1386168
My favorite is also Montane.Apr 16, 2007 at 12:11 pm #1386171
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 12:14 pm #1386173
.Apr 16, 2007 at 12:29 pm #1386174
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:
http://www.prolitegear.com/montane_featherlite_windsmock.htmlApr 16, 2007 at 12:37 pm #1386177
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 12:57 pm #1386181
Another vote for the Montane FeatherliteApr 16, 2007 at 1:14 pm #1386182
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 1:19 pm #1386183
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
So far I'm extremely happy with my GoLite Ether (Hooded) Wind Shirt. Good in light rain conditions and very breathable.Apr 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm #1386185
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 1:40 pm #1386186
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 1:40 pm #1386187
@jmcmichenLocale: Maine, DownEast Coast
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!Apr 16, 2007 at 1:47 pm #1386188
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Montbell UL Wind Parka
3.3ozApr 16, 2007 at 1:50 pm #1386189
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 1:58 pm #1386190
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.Apr 16, 2007 at 2:15 pm #1386192
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!
DougApr 16, 2007 at 2:32 pm #1386193
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
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 :-)Apr 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm #1386194
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 :).Apr 16, 2007 at 3:11 pm #1386195
@jmcmichenLocale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Thanks Ryan and Kevin – yes, that's the eBay seller I had in mind for the Montane. Glad to know it's legit! Gear Exchange has a few Ethers (various sizes) for discount prices, but none as low as $35 ($46 w/UPS ground ship).Apr 16, 2007 at 4:03 pm #1386197
I have the Lightspeed and the Ether, and like them very much, but I still my old Marmot Chinook. Alas, I lost it in Glacier Park.
PaulApr 16, 2007 at 7:39 pm #1386218
My favorite is the Houdini. But once your windshirt has the capability to vent moisture faster than you can create it (lets call that 100% venting), further breathability is not necessary. In other words, ranking shirts as 110%, 120%, 130%(of max moisture generation rate) seems irrelevant. So any uncoated porus nylon, silicon encapsulated nylon such as epic, or pertex would work.
I have not tried the new Montbell UL windshirt, but I suspect it will be above 100%.Apr 16, 2007 at 7:59 pm #1386223
Interesting comments Brett. I tend to think that you can sweat out just about any garment depending on your exertion level, outside temp., humidity, etc. It seems like the 100% mark would be a moving target and that no garment could ever approach it. Just my thoughts.
I have a Montbell UL windshirt and it's not the most breathable- far from it. I typically use it for water repellency when on mountain bike rides because it's better in that arena- I wear it primarily on long descents or rides in the rain.
For all-day hikes, I match my more breathable Montane Featherlite with a waterproof shell.
Great conversation, by the way- some great stuff here!Apr 17, 2007 at 10:29 am #1386275
Wow! Thanks for all the great info. So far, it looks to me like my best choice might be the Montane Lightspeed, as I do fair amount of bushwhacking. It does have a little more "heft" than some of the others, but the durability and extra breathability might be worth the extra couple of ounces. Now I just have to figure out where to find one.
Just FYI, I've been considering buying a Montane Superfly XT for a while now, and in my research I found these guys over in the UK. Right now their Montane stock seems a bit low, but they usually have most of their stuff, ship to the states (if you have to ask, you can't afford it), and have the prices on their website in both GBP and USD. These would be the guys I would go through if I were looking for something from Montane or Rab that I couldn't get here in the states and was willing to spend the extra $$ on shipping (like for one of those nifty eVENT shells…)
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