May 10, 2005 at 7:04 am #1216139
A store near me has a bunch of the Chinook’s in stock at half off the sticker price. The medium felt really constricting on me, even though I have a relatively small frame. Anyone have any experience on this? Have you sized up from your normal size? Thanks for the help! -GlennMay 10, 2005 at 7:39 am #1337203
Yes! I normally wear a size medium in womens and had to get a Large. The medium was constricking on me also. I sure do like it. I have worn the Dragonfly for a couple of years and I feel the Chinook Jacket is more breathable.May 10, 2005 at 10:11 am #1337207
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It was my intuition, but of course it’s difficult to feel confident about this type of decision wihtout the benefit of field experience.May 11, 2005 at 8:02 am #1337221
The have a Semi-athletic fit. I have a large which is perfect in my shoulders, chest and arms, but a bit tight on my no-so athletic gut.<g>
You don’t want a windshirt that is too big, otherwise they flop and buzz in strong winds, rather than just being plastered against your person.May 11, 2005 at 8:41 am #1337224
I really want the wind shirt to:
(a) complement a base layer in cold morning hiking
(b) shed light rain, even in hot weather hikes
(c) block wind if it’s exceptionally windy
My inclination is that the size large on my frame might flap about a bit in high winds, but I think I’d rather deal with a little flapping than being really constricted if I wear it over a base layer. The part I’m not sure about is how significant the flapping will actually be, especially given how light the material is.
The size medium Chinook is really short, very athletic in fit, and uncomfortably constricting over an insulating layer.
I also own a size medium DriClime wind shirt, and it fits much more comfortably at that size.May 11, 2005 at 9:05 am #1337225
Have you considerd the Montane Aero? I own one as well as a Chinook (2003 model). Size L in both. The Aero is noticably larger, and longer, than the Chinook. Neither sheds water all that well, unless you are just dealing with “walking in a cloud” type rain. The Aero doesn’t have a hood.
I don’t usually put my insulation layer (Montbell UL Down Sweater) under the wind shirt. Though I probably could with the Aero. Might be a bit more difficult with the Chinook.
I should also note that 2004+ version of the Chinook are made from a less than breatheable material. So, if you are comparing a 2004/5 Chinook with an Aero, the Aero is significantly more breathable. Not sure why you’d want a non-breathable windshirt (winter?), but keep that in mind when selecting one.May 11, 2005 at 9:38 am #1337227
You mentioned a “non-breathable windshirt”. I believe that would potentially equate to a vapor barrier, of sorts.
So the question would then be, as what layer would you where it?May 11, 2005 at 9:48 am #1337230
I agree with Tony.
I like the Montane Aero (as well as the GoLite Wisp).
While both are very nice windshirts, I find the Aero a tad more breathable than the Wisp. However, this is just my impression without any data whatsoever to back up my opinion.
Both resist light rain showers well. The water just beads up (cohesion > adhesion) & rolls off.
The Wisp has a much trimmer fit than the Aero. I have size Med. in both.
Both use elastic in the cuffs. The Wisp has an elastic waist; the Aero a drawcord.
The impression I get from the fabric is that the Aero feels more delicate than the Wisp. That’s NOT to say that the Wisp fabric is robust by any means. It also weighs a “whopping” ~0.21 oz less than the Wisp (based upon mfrs’ claimed weights for their products). Oh…, and the Aero has a nice (though small) zippered “Napolean” chest pocket. The Wisp has a small pouch sewn inside which functions as its stuff sack. The Aero comes with a separate fabric&mesh stuff sack with a drawcord & toggle.
One thing I definitely like better about the Wisp is that the collar is stiffer & still stands upright when the zipper is NOT zipped up. You can still fold it down however if you want to. Is this where some/all of the extra 0.21 oz comes from, i.e. a stiffer collar???
On occasion, I’ve had the Wisp’s fabric get caught in the zipper. Tough to extricate, but never tore the fabric or damaged the zipper getting it “uncaught”. …And, it was NOT easy to do so, especially with the windshirt on!!!
If I pay attention, pull the fabric taut BEFORE “zippering”, and zip it up slowly, it never gets caught in the zipper. Not sure if this problem is unique to mine (a manufacturing issue) or a design issue.
Haven’t had any zipper related issues with the Aero.
Hope this info helps.May 11, 2005 at 12:52 pm #1337236
> You mentioned a “non-breathable windshirt”. I believe that would potentially equate to a vapor barrier, of sorts.
Maybe I should have stated “less breathable” rather than “non-breathable”. You’ll find most wind shirts are not very breathable (again, not sure why’d you’d want a windshirt that isn’t very breathable). In fact, your Wisp is listed as being less breathable than GoLite’s own hardshell. Which I suspect, is why they now have their newer version of the Wisp fabric called WispHP in their Ether windshirts.May 11, 2005 at 1:36 pm #1337237
Thanks Tony and Paul for your insights.
The reason why I’ve been excited about the Chinook – besides the $45 price tag at a local store – is because the backpackinglight.com staff wrote in their review that while it’s not the most breathable, nor the most water repellent, it does a great job of finding the right space between the two.
If it doesn’t breathe well, then yes, I don’t want it. But if it does well, than a 4oz shell with full zipper and hood is fairly compelling.
I’m leaning toward keeping both the medium and the large for the moment (I bought both, and can return either/both for 30 days), and trying out the large on a trip to the Guadalupe mountains next weekend; which is notorious for excessive winds and sudden rain showers this time of the year.May 11, 2005 at 2:08 pm #1337241
The Chinook review you are talking about is for the 2003 version. I believe the same article, or maybe the “other windshirt” article, mentions that the fabric changed for the worst in 2004+.
I own a 2003 Chinook and an Aero (gift of sorts), I find they both breath just as well as each other. I typically use the Chinook more in the winter as the hood helps keep cold air off my neck. If I were to lose a few pounds, I’d probably bring the Chinook over the Aero on every trip.<g>May 11, 2005 at 3:52 pm #1337244
Marmot did change the material from 2003 to 2004. It seems to have gone from a 1.1 oz/yard material to 1.2 oz/yard of their proprietary wind material, or P-110R to P-120R.
The NP-550 thing that was listed on their website at one time and is now on backcountryoutlet.com is clearly wrong – because that NP-550 name means it would be a Nylon / Polyester mix with 5.5 oz/yard material.
That all said, the August 2003 review used the P-120R Chinook, which means it was a review of the 2004 model.
And Marmot is nice enough to keep prior year catalogs on their webiste to help us figure all of this stuff out. Hurts my head after a while, not to mention my productivity at work!
The latest Chinook:
The 2003 Chinook:
The Chinook replacement ( Marmot Ion – Pertex Quantum 0.9 oz/yard!)
Thanks again for all of your thoughts on this. I’m still leaning toward my trial run in Guadalupe!
-GlennMay 11, 2005 at 4:03 pm #1337245
I also have a Wild Things Hoodless Epic Windshirt. I love it. Handles the rain very well. For really heavy rains, I don a BMW/BPL SpinPonchoT. My lower forearms arms (the only part still exposed) still stay dry.
I breathes fairly well in my experience. Not as good as the Aero though, but much more water resistant. When I’m really sweating, I zip it down to vent some warm air & humidity.
It only weighs 6oz.
Overall, I actually feel it is more useful than the Aero & Wisp since it is more water resistant. We get a lot of rain in CT.
Hope this info helps.May 11, 2005 at 4:17 pm #1337246
i use a montane lite speed for both wind protection and rain protection. granted its not waterproof but im sure it would survive a full days rain. it breathes pretty well, ive been running in it and got up to where it was just slightly uncomfortable and then it stayed there until i stopped. maybe you should check out GVP’s new rain gear when they put it up. made from these new synthetics like tyvek etc.. i did some research in the fabric and im sure its more than likely quite breathable. its also water proof, and a whole suit weighs less than 8oz. and the price will only be around $30. to me thats worth a try.May 11, 2005 at 9:25 pm #1337252
Ok – so I feel like we’re back to the beginning. Three kinds of shirts out there in general.
-More breathable, Less waterproof
-More waterproof, less breathable
-Not the best at either, not the worst at either
All things being equal, based on the comments here and various reviews I’ve read, I think something made from Pertex Quantum is the way to go.
But with a $45 4oz garment (the chinook), that includes a hood (not really important to me) and a full zipper (more important) and a wide zippered pocket (very important) in my possession, I’m willing to try the Chinook out.
I would absolutely love to compare the performance of the Chinook to the Aero to the Houdini (Patagonia’s dragonfly replacement) to Marmot’s new Ion. But that ain’t gonna happen any time soon.
-GlennMay 11, 2005 at 11:50 pm #1337253
James E NaphasMember
I have an older chinook in large, which is my normal size. It fits well, though I do have an athletic build.
What colors does your local shop have? The newer ones were put out in more of a set of primary colors, the older, more breathable in sort of off-colors (mustard, burnt orange, a sickly shade of green).May 12, 2005 at 12:52 am #1337255
Sounds like, given the reiterated criteria, that, for you, the Chinook is the way to go.
I only thought to mention the Epic fabric since you mentioned sudden rain showers – not sure how long/heavy they are.
Pertex prob. fine for “sudden” light to med. showers of a relatively short duration. I really haven’t tried it in more extensive precip. So, I can’t comment on its appropriateness for those conditions. I know both my Aero & Wisp will survive 10 minutes of moderate, large drop rain with absolutely no wetting – I could easily feel the drops hitting my forearms (short sleeve shirt underneath the windshirt) & the water just rolled off. Small drop rain just beads up on the Aero & Wisp & rolls/falls off when you move.
When it looks like extended light-mod. rain, I use the Epic windshirt. It’s generally considered to be better for wetter conditons than the Pertex fabric, but less breathable. My BD Lightsabre bivy is made of Epic & survives hours of light to light-mod rain with no problem (if heavier, all night rain is in the forecast, I use an eVENT bivy).
For heavy all day and multiple day rain, sometimes w/almost no “let up” (yeah…we get that in CT & New England), I go with eVENT or don my poncho.
Hope this clarifies some points & proves useful to you.May 12, 2005 at 8:57 am #1337265
Jim – The one I bought is clearly the 2004 model. It says so on the tag, and like you would expect, it’s a normal type of dark “electric” blue color. I’m leaning on trying out the size large, even though the medium fits athletically on me with just a t-shirt under me. The constricting feeling of the size medium is uncomfortable.
Paul – Your thoughtful discussion of the materials and illustrated examples of how they have performed for you have been very helpful for me. I only go backpacking three to six times per year, and I’m trying to go light weight without spending a lot of money on field experimentation, which is only possible when people like yourself take the time to share their experiences.
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