Patagonia Airshed Pullover Review
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- This topic has 85 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Mike M.
Jan 18, 2017 at 8:19 am #3451362Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Companion forum thread to: Patagonia Airshed Pullover Review
This Patagonia Airshed Pullover Review features a new type of wind shirt that focuses on maximizing the air permeability of the fabric.Feb 19, 2017 at 10:51 am #3451393
A few more words here,
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/new-patagonia-breathable-windshirt/Feb 19, 2017 at 11:19 am #3451399Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I am really excited about this piece. I have been using two wind shirts for the past decade a Montane Aero pullover, and a 2011 Patagonia Houdini. I could care less about a windshirt performs in a light rain, but do care about being able to wear it in high exertion activities so I don’t have to be constantly taking it off and putting it on as I climb/descend or go from sun to shade.
I wonder about the spandex content in the cuffs and waist, and really would like some lighter colors that wouldn’t be as hot in the sun.
Please write a full review and or update this thread as you continue to use this jacket.Feb 19, 2017 at 11:26 am #3451400Paul S.BPL Member
The two things that caused me to not try out the Airshed:
- Unknown CFM (thanks for getting the numbers, Patagonia support was no help here)
- Dark colors, making it a poor option for sun and bug protection
With a CFM of 50-60 it would be an ideal replacement for my bug shirt, but alas too dark. A nice bone color would be ideal. I’m giving the Squamish a shot instead, which is heavier but full featured and a known CFM.Feb 19, 2017 at 11:37 am #3451405matthew kModerator
I’d consider buying this piece in a lighter color for use in the sun in mosquito heavy conditions but I could never bring myself to wear the turquoise color…Feb 19, 2017 at 11:42 am #3451407
I cannot wait for the contrasting zipper color fad to be over.Feb 19, 2017 at 11:49 am #3451410JCHBPL Member
I cannot wait for the contrasting zipper color fad to be over.
+100. Also the extremely busy, bright gaudy graphics on shoes!Feb 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm #3451622
This is exciting. As others have mentioned, I would use it as a bug shirt. A lighter color (white) would be ideal. It really makes sense as a bug/sun shirt, so a lighter color makes a lot more sense.Feb 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm #3451629
I got one of these a few weeks ago and it’s instantly my favorite item of clothing to wear actively period. I’ve been wearing it over a lightweight merino T and I am so happy with it that I’m afraid to write in more detail, lest I sound slightly nuts.
It almost seems like a lighter and more efficient version of the classic rab boreas.
I don’t like having a wind shirt that is completely wind proof, it just doesn’t suit me. I’d much rather have this.
+1 for more color options, although I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t mind the contrasting zipper color ;)Feb 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm #3451635Scott RyskampBPL Member
+1 on lighter colors and a hood. Do Patagonia employees read this site?Feb 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm #3451638
And in 2XFeb 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm #3451646Iago VazquezBPL Member
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
Adam, you mention it’s more efficient than the Rab Boreas. Other than weight, could you develop on that? I love my Boreas, and wear it often, from cycling to hiking. It almost never sits in my pack, as I only wear it when I am relatively certain I will be wearing it. So I wouldn’t mind it being lighter in weight to extended its range into the “just in case” category, where most of those shells are in the 2-5 oz range, but these are not terribly breathable.
As far as colors, I have to agree. My first Boreas was a blueish color of some sort, and I got a second one in a bone color so I could wear it in the sun a bit more,but it has bright red stitching all over. What a way to ruin the look of a great piece!!Feb 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm #3451649
Basically it’s thinner and possibly less breathable than the boreas IMHO. I found the boreas too hot for many circumstances where I believe this thing will shine. I was hiking in 60 degree breezy conditions yesterday and it let more air in than my boreas used to. (Don’t have the boreas anymore sadly.)Feb 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm #3451680
Yes on a hooded option, but perhaps the hoodless version will help those uninitiated to wind shirts to think “shirt” rather than “jacket” and get the full layering versatility that only an ultralight breathable can do. It’s a little annoying that Patagonia made the decision with the shell material from the Nano Air being handy, but at least they recognized the potential and followed through. So add the hood— and heck yes, add some light colors with color matched zippers.
Kudos to Patagonia for making a truly breathable windshirt after the demise of the pre-2012 Houdini fabric (like elections, we had to survive four long years). Richard Nisley reported that the optimal crossover point for breathabillty/wind protection is at 42.5 CFM (see https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/102981/), so they may have gone a bit too far here, but I would rather have it be a bit too air permeable than too little. The 2007 Squamish was 100 CFM and the 2012 Houdini was 35.8 CFM (see https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/70722/).
The kool-aide I drink is this flavor: monolithic jackets like winter parkas and puffy belay jackets are one trick ponies for cold rest stops. You can’t hike in them and they are heavy, bulky and expensive. On the other hand, lightly insulated jackets with thin down or 60g synthetic fill are not breathable enough for aerobic use and not warm enough cold rest stops; they are handily replaced with a windshirt and a long sleeve fleece or fleece vest and/or a wicking base layer of a weight appropriate to the season. The windshirt/fleece/base layer can be worn in any combination and having the windshirt breathable extends the versatility of the whole package.
You could use a trekking shirt in the same way, but a typical weight on a “light” nylon button front shirt is more like 7-9 ounces (or more). Richard Nisley reported shirts of that type as just a bit higher CFM than the Airshed. Of course, a windshirt needs to be light and breathable to work in an ultralight layering system efficiently and effectively.
On the rain side of things, don’t we wish that we could have on shell that breathes and is waterproof too! As a denizen of the cool wet and humid PNW forests, I constantly travel with the decision of getting wet from the inside or the outside. The bottom line is that I’m not going anywhere without rain gear and I need my layering system to wick, transfer and vent the hot moist air I produce while keeping the cold air and light precipitation at bay. So until the Unobtainium Shell comes to be, my gear list will be bullied by fleecy midlayers and both wind and rain shells.
Thanks for the review and specs!
P.S. This should make a fantastic shell for.cycling.Feb 20, 2017 at 10:56 pm #3451714Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Clarification of CFM Classes
Dale’s reference to my 2012 post said in part, “…At a 7 MET exertion level (UL backpacking average), in average summer mountain temperatures and wind conditions, most people find the Houdini air permeability the optimal windshirt available. I measured the spring 2012 version of this windshirt at 35.8 CFM. The reason its air permeability is optimal is that this is the level of air permeability that will JUST PASS the AVERAGE EVAPORATED SWEAT moisture while UL backpacking. More air permeability than provided by the Houdini is not a wise choice for most people.”
I would like to expand on what I said in 2012,
In 2012, Natick Labs recommended 25 CFM for high MET activities (~7) in the range of 50 – 30F and 5 CFM for high MET activities in the range of temps below 30F. Most recently they fielded their PCU Level 3A, for moderate/cold temps with 35 CFM.
Both windshirts and softshells have a similar range of CFM levels and different CFMs are optimal for different combination of MET rates and temperatures. As a gross oversimplification, Low MET activities in cold/moderate temps work best, for most people, in the 5 CFM range. Medium MET activities, in cold/moderate temps, work best, for most people, in the 15 CFM range. High MET activities in cold/moderate temps work best, for most people, in the 35 CFM range.
Although most vendors don’t offer a spectrum of windshirts with different CFMs, many do offer softshell CFM spectrums. From a thermal functionality standpoint, a softshell and windshirt are equivalent. A softshell is typically in the 25 oz. range (more durable, significant stretch, and more dressy looking) for a medium, versus a windshirt in the 5 oz. range which negates softshells for UL backpacking.
The Military’s Nextec Epic fabrics are designed to have a HH > 300mm regardless of whether it is a 35 CFM version, 25 CFM, or a 5 CFM version. In contrast, most commercial fabrics have a HH <100mm for 35 CFM class products and >300mm for 5 CFM class products. This primarily determines if the garment can be used effectively as rain wear, when active.Feb 21, 2017 at 9:08 am #3451761Mike MBPL Member
why not just make the pre 2013 Houdini? no hood is a definite non starter for me- I use the hood on mine very frequently; split the difference in cfmFeb 21, 2017 at 10:32 am #3451774
I’m not sure why they don’t revert back to that Houdini, but this fabric is way better anyway. It’s more stretchy and feels way better on the skin and body overall.Feb 21, 2017 at 10:56 am #3451780Mike MBPL Member
maybe they’ll put a hood on one and I can try it :)Feb 21, 2017 at 11:19 am #3451786
Adam wrote, “I’m not sure why they don’t revert back to that Houdini, but this fabric is way better anyway. It’s more stretchy and feels way better on the skin and body overall.”
I always wondered why the changes were made in the Houdini fabric in 2013. Maybe the equipment was becoming too old, the manufacturer went under, or marketing wanted to lean to more water and wind resistance. With this new garment, they simply whipped it up out of the existing Nano Air fabric. “You breathable? Where here you are.” Now I just need to wait for some bargains :)Feb 21, 2017 at 11:23 am #3451788Brian LindahlBPL Member
@lindahlbLocale: Colorado Rockies
On the other hand, lightly insulated jackets with thin down or 60g synthetic fill are not breathable enough for aerobic use and not warm enough cold rest stops; they are handily replaced with a windshirt and a long sleeve fleece or fleece vest and/or a wicking base layer of a weight appropriate to the season.
I disagree. I find my 6oz down jacket to be warm for cold rest stops. Also, what world do you live in where a 6oz down jacket isn’t warm enough, but an 8oz fleece jacket with a windshirt is? My 6oz down jacket is WAY warmer than the fleece + windshirt. Note that I also always have a windshirt no matter what, since you need one over your baselayer for hiking above treeline. I also never find myself in cold enough conditions to be wanting to hike in anything more than my baselayer + windshirt. I can understand things might be different if you intend on getting wet in the constant drizzle of the PNW, but out here in the Rockies, your formula does not work very well.Feb 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm #3451818StumphgesBPL Member
For those looking for a hood MEC has been making the Farpoint out of very similar Toray fabric for awhile now. As with Patagonia, they also use this fabric as the face for their “active insulation” (Polartec Alpha, et al.) products.Feb 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm #3451820StumphgesBPL Member
For those looking for a hooded version, MEC has been making the Farpoint with a very similar Toray fabric for a some time now. As with Patagonia, MEC also uses this fabric as the face for their “active insulation” (Polartec Alpha, et al.) products.Feb 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm #3451882
Agreed on regional differences. Down is great in cold dry conditions.
I carry a 100g puffy jacket or vest per the season, plus the windshirt and fleecey mid layer. Something like a Patagonia Down Sweater would sub for the 100g garment if it is dry. I do find the fleece/wind shell as warm as a 60g jacket and it can be worn on the move in cold weather, where the 60g jacket would lack the breathability for more active use.Feb 22, 2017 at 10:50 am #3452004
>> More air permeability than provided by the Houdini is not a wise choice for most people …
Assuming their goal is to add warmth. Several people on this very comment thread (myself included) want this as a bug shirt. For a bug shirt, we have no interest in adding warmth (which is why the dark color is very unfortunate). The more breathable — or more to the point, the cooler — the better. There are other options, of course, but very few this light. In other words, this may be the lightest bus shirt with this much breathability (or the most breathable shirt in this weight class). For a lot of people, this could be a huge improvement over what they are using now.
It also begs the question — will they make wind pants out of similar material? If not, what are alternatives for bug pants?Feb 22, 2017 at 10:55 am #3452005
OK, so how do these numbers compare with rain jackets? I was looking at some of the new rain jackets (e. g. https://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear) and when discussing breathability, they use MTVR. This uses air permeability (in CFM). Does anyone have any numbers for MVTR for this windshirt, or air permeability for the rain jackets?
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