Apr 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm #1301173
After reading nearly every thread on wind shirts over the last year, and not really ever intending to get one, I picked up a Salomon Clima Wind at the local REI today. It was marked down and with the 20% discount I couldn't resist once I felt how light it was (scale says 2.5 oz).
At any rate, now that I have one, I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. I've got a Super Mica, a Patagonia Nano Puff, and a standard 4 oz light hiking shirt (all of which I got on sale too over the last 2-3 years). I've been taking a cheapo 30% polyester/70% cotton thermal shirt to wear at night forever, but am now thinking of ditching it since it weighs 6 oz. Any thoughts out there? Would the new wind shirt also work as something to sleep in? Would it be too hot? Should I ditch any of the other layers?
Most of my trips are in the Sierra.
Thanks.Apr 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm #1971807
@marty_mcflyLocale: Southeast US
In my experience a windshirt is best used as part of a layering system to manage the conditions. Often times a wind shirt has difficulty working at its best unless it has a thin poly-pro or similar shirt underneath it to wick the sweat off you. I doubt ditching the use of a long-sleeve completely is a solid solution, but would recommend ditching your cheap cotton which isn't an efficient use of weight. I would recommend going to walmart and getting a $9.00 starter dri star shirt. I've stopped purchasing patagonias base-layers I like them so much. Combine a wally world long sleeve and a wind shirt and you've got a winning combo. OR use a long-sleeve of your choosing. FWIWApr 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm #1971815
If you have read every thread on wind shirts then you should have a pretty good idea of how other people use it. My use of a windshirt
1] Drastically reduce heat loss from wind and allow me to keep warm when moving
2] Protection from biting insects and therefore may very well be worn to bed over my baselayer.
Your patagonia nano puff is already wind proof so what I did was replace my Nano Puff with the R2 jacket and so I have a much more versatile system with an insulation layer that can breath very well when I want or I can add wind protection when it's breathing too well.Apr 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm #1971888
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Here's how I use my windshirt:
This past weekend, I went for a long dayhike in the Columbia Gorge. When I started around 8:45ish, it was very cool. I had a short sleeve synthetic t-shirt, a wool Indie Hoody and a Rab Cirrus Windshirt (similar to a Houdini). In the bottom of my pack was a full-on rain shell (not ever used but I was going on a hike I hadn't done before and had thought about that recent lost hiker on Mt Hood).
The Gorge is a lot of ups and downs, so within 10 minutes, I shed the windshirt, slinging the pack around on one shoulder and stashing it in the outer mesh pocket of my pack. The trail started up into a steep side canyon. I took off the wool midlayer and never needed it again. For the next hour +, it was only the windshirt that got used, in shade or when stopping along the creek or if there was enough wind to chill me, then off quickly when the trail got steeper and I got hotter. I never felt I needed long-sleeves under it.
If light rain had come, I would have put on the breathable windshirt first, hoping that the light rain would pass.
If heavy rain had come, I would have put on the rain shell only (at first) and (hopefully) moved more slowly to not overheat. I would have added the midlayer if it got cold.
If cold dry weather moved in, I would have put on the midlayer, the windshirt and a hat.
If I had been camping, I would have put on the windshirt when I got to camp (if I was starting to chill). I would have eventually added the midlayer (under the windshirt) and an insulation layer (like your Nano Puff) over the windshirt (or finally putting the windshirt away). I wouldn't sleep in it unless it was an emergency and I needed to put on all the clothing I had with me.
In drier CA, you could probably do with only one baselayer/midlayer (a L/S wool or synthetic) and the Salomon windshirt for hiking. Carry the Nano Puff (for camp) and the Mica (for rain) in your pack. Some CA folks might suggest only the Mica as both wind and rain shell. I'm sold on both here in the PNW.
Hope this wasn't confusing (there's a kid who is working overtime on distracting me!)Apr 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm #1971906
Not confusing at all–great actually. It crossed my mind to just return it but I started to think along the lines of your post and the variety of uses I could put it to. As you indicate, it'd be great for cool morning hikes or when it's damp out. I'm even thinking of ditching the shell on weekend trips if the weather calls for it.Apr 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm #1972167
anytime it is even relatively cool out i sleep in my windshirt. i believe it really does a wonderful job of protecting the down in my sleeping bag from condensation from my body. it also keeps it cleaner. it also makes it easier to get out of the hammock in the am since i have on a little bit of warmth.Apr 3, 2013 at 5:19 am #1972272
@randy, love your explanation:
"I have a much more versatile system with an insulation layer that can breath very well when I want or I can add wind protection when it's breathing too well."
That is the most common use of a wind shirt for most people, but there are other reasons to carry a wind shirt.Apr 3, 2013 at 5:36 am #1972274
I carry a short cape for rain, but use only the windshirt as my outer shell in most rain and snow.
If it is cold and raining hard, I will wear the windshirt under the cape. I find it helps keep me dryer underneath. Perspiration can condense on the inside of any rain shell. The windshirt helps block and redirect this dampness to the ground.Apr 3, 2013 at 10:07 am #1972344
J Dos AntosParticipant
@damagerLocale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts
I'm a recent convert to windshirts myself. I used to only carry a DriDucks for rain/wind, until talking to a few SUL backpackers who I really trust for gear advice. I now have a Houdini and it's an amazingly versatile piece of clothing that fits perfectly with the other layers in my system. I went with the Houdini over the Montbell Anorak because of the convenience of the zipper, which made sense to me since I am constantly taking this jacket off and putting it on. It protects from wind, light rain, and depending on your baselayer, sun and skeeters.
Also, it's a great jacket for trail runs.
In fact, I've also switched to Montbell Dynamo wind pants as my primary lower baselayer. My mediums weigh under 3 ounces, and have replaced my convertible pants. I used to be a die-hard shorts guy, but that's how much these wind layers have impressed me.Apr 3, 2013 at 10:25 am #1972349
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
Hike in Scotland, and you'll know what a windshirt is for! :-)
A typical hike might involve 15 miles, with 3-4000 feet of ascent Mostly off trail. On the uphills, you can get soaked in sweat. As we 'enjoy' an Atlantic weather system, a cold wind often blows, so you can be warm and cold every 2 minutes unless you block the wind.
If i only strolled along level trails in warm weather without breaking a sweat, i would probably leave the windshirt at home.Apr 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm #1972461
@bookLocale: Northern California
Josh: so, Houdini as a vapor barrier? Neat. Have you used it this way in winter?Apr 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm #1972472
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
So if you are hiking in the wind and don't have a windshirt, you can just throw on a little more insulation. The wind will blow right through it, but it will still give you that tiny bit of warmth. Then you turn around a bend in the trail and suddenly there is no wind. You end up overheating. It's even worse when the wind is really gusty and infrequent. You constantly go from being cold to hot.
Windshirts are just more comfortable.
I sleep in my windshirt all the time.Apr 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm #1972512
Regarding wearing a winshirt as a vapor barrier in the winter:
A vapor barrier should NOT be breathable. So a windshirt or even breathable rain jacket is not a good choice.
A vapor barrier works by blocking moisture from getting to your puffy layers.
A breathable membrane, especially a proper windshirt, will let moisture through.Apr 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm #1972568
@bookLocale: Northern California
Steven: D'Oh! of course! Although I remember someone on a thread who wore their wpb shell at night in winter as a vapor barrier.
So now I'm curious as to why you'd wear a windshirt to bed.Apr 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm #1972577
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Yeah, a windshirt is not going to act as a vapor barrier unless it is a windshirt that doesn't breathe, which would make it a terrible windshirt. When I wear my windshirt while sleeping, I experience no condensation. I am completely dry. Where did all that moisture go? It went into my bag.Apr 4, 2013 at 2:45 am #1972674
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
The other 'wonderful' feature of the UK climate is that an awful lot of the time when there's wind there's a sort of light drizzle about. Or very brief, stronger showers either happening or threatened.
Windshirts are rather nice for that sort of thing.Apr 4, 2013 at 3:28 am #1972678
I agree, a windshirt is more comfortable than a rain shell in a drizzle.
I also find it more comfortable in most snow, unless it is really cold out.
I can walk all day wearing a windshirt in heavy snow if the temps aren't much below freezing.
I can't say that would be the case with all windshirts. Mine may not breath as much as some windshirts do.Apr 4, 2013 at 5:38 am #1972696
@scubahhhLocale: White Mountains, mostly.
Oh, I'm good in a merino t-shirt, Ibex 1/4 zip Zephyr, and Houdini inn temps down to about 0F as long as I'm moving; have to keep an eye on the ventialtion to avoid sweating everything out and make sure the head's warm and dry when the wind picks up, but that's OK. I just slip on a nano-puff oer the windhsirt at lunchtime.
I LOVE the Houdini- my only issue is that i wish the hood didnt' hang out over my face quite so much. A hat with a brim takes care of that, though.Apr 4, 2013 at 7:04 am #1972713
Most hoods on windshits seem loose, awkward and annoying unless there is a hat on underneath.
The combination of hat under a windshirt is perfect. The sides of the hood help protect the face from windburn and side spray as long as it is kept reasonably taut by the hat.
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