View Full Version : Wind shirts anyone?

Just Tom
08-14-2015, 08:40
There seems to be a lot of overlap between a wind shirt and your rain jacket. Does anyone pack a wind shirt of some kind? Anyone think they are just extraneous weight? I was looking at the Houdini but I am torn on if I want to add yet-another-item to my backpack that I struggle to get below 20 pounds. Feedback appreciated!

08-14-2015, 08:52
For backpacking, I think it depends on the type of weather you hike in. If you expect brief afternoon showers on otherwise dry warm summer days like we often get here in the Rockies, they can be attractive. In areas or on days with prolonged soaking cold rain, they're extra weight.

Personally I don't carry one, and that's one reason my pack is under ten pounds. (And I have about $100 more in pocket.) Good luck in your decision--lots of people like them and if someone gave one to me I'm sure I'd enjoy it on day trips, for sure. I'd probably like it a lot on backcountry ski trips.

08-14-2015, 09:21
I feel the same as garlic. I wrestled with the decision for a while but so far have not regretted just using my dri ducks jacket for rain and wind.

08-14-2015, 10:42
I purchased a Patagonia Houdini this spring and used it on the PCT in southern CA. It's a great addition to ,y pack at four ounces. Much more breathable than my rain jacket and a great additional layer early in the morning and in the evenings. Unless it actually rains hard, the Houdini can shed light mist or drizzle pretty well. I'm going to upgrade to a zPacks challenger jacket soon but plan to keep the Houdini in my pack as well under most conditions.

Just Bill
08-14-2015, 10:42
For me it's either or...
A full on rain jacket is for late fall to mid spring.
A wind shirt is for the rest of the time.

A rain coat is too hot most of the time, so you just sweat yourself wet. So I just use my Houdini and deal with being wet if a heavy rain sets in.
When it's too cool out to risk Hypothermia, the Houdini stays home and the rain coat goes in the pack.
I use the Houdini pretty late into the fall and winter too as I'm a pretty warm dude in general.
Paired with a Cap 4 top or a nano-puff (primaloft synthetic) a houdini makes a pretty warm combo into the 20's for me.

Patagonia's fall sale is on right now, up to 50% off-
No zip ups on sale this sale... I'd wait for a zip up.

I just wait until Patagonia's half off sales, I find most of their gear worth the wait and cost. Yar you can get a decent rain coat for about $100 bucks these days, but I waited until the M10 went half off and picked that up (took two years, but got one). Same with the Houdini's I have. So for $300 or so, I have an M10, and two Houdini's. I use a Large for warmer weather, and picked up and XL to wear in late fall/winter as it layers better for me.

A good compromise piece they added, that I have no feedback on-

I talked to a Patagonia employee about it and they do feel it is a full WPB but stopped short of that claim in their ads for some reason. But if you picked one, at half off it seems a good "do it all decent" piece.

Roughly in my size-
Houdini is 4.5oz
Alpine is 7 oz.
M10 is 9 oz.

If you really want to crunch ounces... the Montbell Tachyon's are even lighter, but they are never on sale. And for the 2 ounces I've been happy with the durability of the Houdini. I don't do heavy bushwhacking in it, but a little off trail wandering and the occasional push through has yet to tear it.

Harrison Bergeron
08-14-2015, 11:32
Personally, I wore my Houdini at some point every day during my May GA-NC section. Mid summer, you'd use it less, but you still need long sleeves of some sort at high altitudes, especially since you might not be carrying a puffy or fleece. I dont' know how you can get any lower than 4 oz or smaller than a pack of cigarettes. If this isn't UL gear, I don't know what is.

Bill's right, you can pick them up cheap on ebay if you're not picky about the color. I got mine for $40.

The Cleaner
08-14-2015, 13:16
Check out Marmot's Trail Wind Hoody.Just about 4 ounces and much cheaper than the Houdini.I always take a rain jacket too as most of my hiking is in the cooler months.Many just say use your rain jacket as a wind jacket,but this will shorten your rain jacket's life span by "sweating up" the breathable pores and require more washing and retreating.I learned this the hard way.Unless it is raining hard the Trail Wind Hoody repels light rain and snow.I also washed mine and sprayed on a good layer of Nikwax spray on waterproofing.On a cold and windy day a merino top and the hoody work well and seems to breathe better than most rain jackets.

08-14-2015, 13:17
My wind-shirt is one of my most used pieces of gear in summer, winter, spring, and fall.

My standard gear in all seasons is a silk-weight, short-sleaved base layer, a long sleeved mid-weight crew-neck top and my wind-shirt. In winter I add a puffy or fleece depending on temperature and rain expected. On a short hot summer trip, I may skip the long-sleeved crew-neck. The wind-shirt sheds light rain (the most common type in my experience). The wind-shirt sheds mosquitoes. The wind-shirt, long-sleave and base layer, all together are warm enough when moving down to well below freezing and they dry fast if wet from light rain. The wind shirt sheds snow very nicely. During cool evenings, the three layers are warm enough so I don't need to add a thicker insulating layer to my kit during most of the year. In frequent cold windy conditions, the wind-shirt cuts the wind well enough that again, a thicker insulating layer is just not needed, so again, it saves me weight.

Finally, I cannot use rain gear in most of the conditions noted above when a base layer and/or base layer and mid-weight top are not enough (including light rain) because no rain-gear breaths well enough to avoid accumulating too much moisture inside while moving.

08-14-2015, 14:19
I often pack a wind shirt, especially in Spring, Fall, and Winter. As I take off puffy layers, the wind shirt over a base layer helps a lot to stay warm. In summer, it can be all you need to add for a cool evening or to reduce the skin you are exposing to biting bugs; it can even double as clothing when you are in town getting everything you wear washed (more comfortable than your rain gear IMO).

Just Tom
08-14-2015, 14:52
Hmmm...BackCountry.com has one in my size for $75. Just not sure I like that loud color...

08-14-2015, 16:09
No right answer. Only preferences and opinions. I consider a wind shirt redundant gear. Sure, a specialized item might work better. A rain jacket (Packa) will suffice. I carry a fleece for warmth. Sometimes that suffices. Just my opinion/preference.

08-14-2015, 18:17
Windshirt yes. I carry the Montbell shirt and pants. We use them surprisingly often, even last time climbing Mt K.

08-14-2015, 18:48
I used my wind shirt every single day of my LASH this year. I'd start out wearing it over my T-shirt in the morning until I warmed up and again in the evening when it cooled down. It can also be worn with other layers to make a jacket. And I found when my smartwool T shir got wet in the rain, when I got to camp I could put on my wind shirt over it and it would dry out my T-shirt in 30 minutes. If I got cold at night I would slip it on over my sleeping T shirt. Best 2 oz I carried by far.

08-14-2015, 18:59
I dont find it necessary.
It has a niche where its convenient
I can take it or leave it

Del Q
08-14-2015, 21:10
Happens to be a Go Lite but I find a super lightweight wind shirt a CRITICAL piece of gear. Was having this discussion with my son today.

Super vapor barrier, versatile, packs stupid-small, light, no brainer in my view.

I wear merino wool tee shirts exclusively.............many times in 30-40 degree weather, that and a wind shirt, good to go.

I have also used the wind shirt in my layering "system" during the day and at night to stay warm. (ie tee shirt, wind shirt, fleece)


08-14-2015, 21:49
I believe a wind shirt is one of the best bangs for the ounce. it is generally the heaviest clothing I wear while hiking. Doesn't replace a rain jacket but it certainly will keep the wind at bay during all four seasons.

08-15-2015, 10:34
+++ on windshirt. . Mont Bell at 1.6 oz.

08-15-2015, 20:41
I don't pack a windshirt. I pack a synthetic down vest and arm warmers in the summer that mostly does the trick.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Wise Old Owl
08-15-2015, 21:55
I am with QiWiz I have a wind shirt and they breath, most are polypro and vented in the right places... hard to find. People buy them for trips to Africa and other hot counties - great to hike in.. Strap a knife on and learn to say good-day and you are in! http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg275/MarkSwarbrick/Fun%20Post/oopsowl_zpsaz1d6tev.jpg

08-19-2015, 10:54
I've been wrestling with the decision myself, but tried on the Houdini last week. I really liked the fit, etc... and they happen to be $53 right now (for the pullover, which is only 3 oz) on Backcountry, so I'll probably scoop one up.

Mountain Dog
08-19-2015, 16:36
Take your wind shirt, fold it so it will hold water, put water in it and see how long it takes the water to seep through. I did this with a MSR wind shirt and it took a long time. So, I seam sealed the shirt and used it as a rain jacket. It worked as good as my rain jacket unless I was in really bad rain for most of a day.

Just Tom
08-19-2015, 16:37
I saw that. Doesn't open all the way, and no hood. It reduces some of the multi-purpose abilities of it, but cuts the weight and save some bucks too. Hmmm...

08-20-2015, 09:41
I saw that. Doesn't open all the way, and no hood. It reduces some of the multi-purpose abilities of it, but cuts the weight and save some bucks too. Hmmm...

I really liked the idea of the hood on the zip version, but my baselayer ExOfficio Sol Cool hoody has a hood, so I'm okay without it. Not a huge fan of pullover vs zip, but for $53, I'll live with it. Also saves about an ounce. Yippeee.