in praise of the windshirt

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by mtwarden, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Hello everyone. I'm trying to workout my clothing system for an upcoming rim to rim backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. I don't have any of the windshirts you all have mentioned but I do have a cs95 windproof smock that I use at various times here in Cali. As it is kind of a go to piece of kit for me, I was planning on taking it for this trip. This thread has got me wondering now though if I should maybe get something else. Do you guys know how the cs95 compares to some of these newer windshirts?
    From what my friend who is masterminding the trip tells me, the temperature could range from the teens to the mid 50s with rain and/or snow.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  2. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,373
    Likes Received:
    15,277
    Location:
    NW Montana

    I use the heck out of a hpg windcheater. Its a windshirt on steroids. With dwr it works well in everything but heavy snow or rain if you have the appropriate layering underneath. A windshirt does fill the gap for when a single layer isnt enough and when the windcheater is too much. I use the helikon tex windshirt for when im really working hard and sweating (hiking, running etc) but still need a layer to stop the biting wind or cold.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  3. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    9,266
    Location:
    Ohio
    What, no fricatating?
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    3,410
    Location:
    Geelong Victoria Australia
    ROFL
    :58:
    Fricatives are those things only noticed for their absence, such as heat. We perceive them but in actuality there are not there.
    Cold isn't a "thing" cold is only the absence of heat.
    Colin Fletchers "Coolth" should exist but it doesn't in common English.
    Hair doesn't count; I wish it did. So ! No Fricatating allowed:p
     
    Roamer and mtwarden like this.
  5. LFowler

    LFowler Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    742
    I have been using a PCU level 4 made by Beyond for some time now. One of the best cuts of any jacket I've owned; slightly longer hem, nice long sleeves, seamless shoulders and a huge hood that cinches down perfectly. Only problem is the grey Epic fabric is not very breathable at all, and for whatever reason I notice this the most during the winter (perhaps becomes sometimes the condensation actually frosts between my gridfleece and the wind shirt). Sportsman's guide had them on blowout for something like $35, wish I'd bought more then two.

    I am quite enamored with the Helikon tex pullover, but can anyone advise me on fit? I am quite tall and thin and am tempted to get the XL and take it in to get the sleeve length I normally require but would love some more info.

    I am also probably going to pickup a Rab Borealis; like the HPG windcheater it is somewhere between a softshell and a windshirt, but it doesn't look like there is any weight penalty compared to my PCU lv 4.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  6. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    7,156
    Likes Received:
    13,514
    mtwarden likes this.
  7. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    no experience whatsoever w/ it, but if it breathes well during exertion and does a decent job w/ light precip- it should work; looks heavy, but maybe it isn't?

    when I did my Rim2Rim2Rim- we started out in a snowstorm on the South Rim, light rain below, then dry near the river, more light rain as we ascended the North Rim, turned to snow as we got higher- repeat on the way back :4: I had my windshirt on all but maybe two miles in the bottom

    you'll thoroughly enjoy your trip, I'm going to do it again sometime soon :)
     
    draugur and Gruntinhusaybah like this.
  8. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    yes I wrote quite a bit about it on post #117 here. it has about the same "specs" for weight, CFM, water resistance, etc. as the original Patagonia Houdini.

    one thing that I was interested in was the Massdrop rep claimed it was silicone encapsulated, as is the Epic fabric that I mentioned in the post with the illustration. that's some amazing technology and can create a new genre of outdoor products if it proves out.

    bottom line, it's excellent and Mass drop has them for $60 shipped...
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    Usingmyrights and mtwarden like this.
  9. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Sold me on one. Helps that it has sizes for the less trim of us.
     
    mtwarden and ra2bach like this.
  10. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    7,156
    Likes Received:
    13,514
    Thanks. I must have missed it. They actually had them on sale for cyber Monday. One thing I was reading was that they should be sized up, as they're a slim fit.
     
    mtwarden and ra2bach like this.
  11. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    yeah, I contemplated getting anouther one while they were on sale at $44 shipped instead of $59 but I already have a PCU L4 made by Patagonia that fits me in my normal size.

    and yes, they do fit a bit slimmer than my "dad body" requires so I just sized up one size. "athletic" types should have not trouble.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  12. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    7,156
    Likes Received:
    13,514
    I wish I would have snagged one now. I'm borderline dad bod now, so I'm kinda torn on which size to get. Hopefully they'll go on sale aqain and I can nab one.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  13. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    9,266
    Location:
    Ohio
    This

    is SUPPOSED to be highly breathable. "Unlike the earlier ECWCS system, which relied on insulation under a Gore-Tex hard shell, the PCU [and ECWCS GEN III] system leans on the use of a more breathable, though less “waterproof” outer soft shell layer."

    "Level IV: Wind Jacket

    Shell Layer: Designed to be worn with base and insulative levels in transitional environments to provide wind and sand protection.

    The GEN III Wind Jacket is designed to act as a low volume shell layer that optimizes the moisture wicking properties of other GEN III insulative and next-to-skin layers. It is also designed to be worn under body armor.

    Constructed from stretchable nylon with a water resistant finish, this full-zippered jacket provides wind and sand protection with low weight and bulk."

    But you are not the only one who thinks it is not breathable enough.

    But there is: "I have the PCU Level 4 windshirt and it rocks. Repels light rain and it's very breathable."RICH275 GRIZZLED POSTING VETERAN
    10/16/075:17 PM

    Different manufacturers?
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  14. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    Epic is great because it's encapsulated so no DWR to wear out, just needs washed occasionally BUT there are several different Epic fabrics and each one differs in it's breathability (measured in cfms) and water resistance (measured in hydrostatic head-HH)

    there is a gentleman on backpackinglight that has the right equipment to measure both and he's found that there are differences in the different Level 4 windhshirts- sometimes difference even among the same manufacturer, obviously using a different fabric

    Even Patagonia's civilian Houdini has undergone some changes over the last 10 years or so

    thus my call further back in the thread that it would be a heck of a lot easier to pick the right one knowing the cfm and HH of the shirt

    the perfect windshirt for running would be different than the perfect windshirt for hiking/backpacking, etc
     
    actichy, ra2bach and Ptpalpha like this.
  15. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    3,410
    Location:
    Geelong Victoria Australia
    Ambient temperatures having something to do with things too from my current research, no matter how hard you are working your body there must be a threshold temperature below which you need better windproofing. It looks like for me this will be around -5F/-20C but if I am working less hard that threshold will be a bit warmer maybe 0F/-18C
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  16. LFowler

    LFowler Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    742
    The PCU and ECWCS is often talked about as a homogenous system but it is far from it. There are multiple generations, manufacturers, and non-contract items that use the same designations.

    Even just the fact that the description you quoted mentions stretch nylon shows the variance; no level IV I have ever seen has a spandex content or stretch of any kind. The level V does, and also I think is more breathable.

    The general consensus seems to be that the multicam epic is the most breathable and the coyote and grey is much less so, but even just from batch to batch within the same product and company there can be differences in breathability. I find smaller fabric mills within the US (like Nextec) just don't have the same consistency as large mills doing large runs, either domestically or abroad, there isn't a huge demand for epic outside the government contracts so I doubt they are doing that large of runs.
    I have talked to at least one guy (Dave C of Bedrocks and Paradox) that has owned both my Beyond level 4 and the Wildthings multicam level 4 and he has confirmed the breathability difference.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  17. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    I can honestly say that even at $59 shipped, instead of the $44 sale price, you won't get a better value. did you read the link I put up? https://hikelighter.com/2018/11/04/massdrop-veil-wind-shell/

    he says, "Suffice to say, the quality is good, and if I can pay half the price for a piece of gear that is just as good as others out there, why not buy it at half the price! At this point in time, I think the Veil is the best made (quality of production) wind jacket that I have ever used or tested, and (I think) I have done more testing on wind jackets than most others in the world at this point."

    I would order a size larger than you think, even if you read their fit-chart. at worst, you get something that you can layer over a thicker fleece or puffy vest...
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    Ptpalpha, mtwarden and Usingmyrights like this.
  18. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Cool thanks for the info. We're doing South to North and expecting similar weather. I'm really looking forward to it!
    While I haven't ever considered the cs95 smock heavy, I put it on the scale today and it weighs 1218 g , roughly 42 oz, for a size 180/104, which is monstrous compared to the windshirts you guys are talking about lol! That Massdrop veil is a feather in comparison.
    BTW, I noticed REI has a decent looking lightweight jacket on sale right now: https://www.rei.com/product/127550/rei-co-op-essential-rain-jacket-mens
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  19. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    yeah thought it looked heavy :) lots of good options for much lighter and potentially better performing outerwear- the Veil one certainly sounds good
     
  20. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    don't confuse rain jacket with wind shirt. a rain jacket is a shell that will protect from rain but is almost completely non breathable and weighs considerably more than the wind shirt.

    a wind shirt (or shell) will resist tiny amounts of moisture but you will get wet if it rains. its job is to protect you from heat loss due to convection. it will keep the boundary layer of warm air from being blown away by wind but it has no insulation so don't think it's magically going to keep you warm in cold temps. for that you need something like a fleece or puffy to create loft...
     
    mtwarden and Ptpalpha like this.
  21. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    The CS95 smock is not a rain jacket. It's a windproof jacket made from (probably) 50/50 poly/cotton. In British service it's either worn under a poncho, or some soldiers are know to wear a waterproof layer under the smock, so they can still easily access all the pockets.

    I have a British windproof SAS smock, an Indian knock-off, and two Sarma smocks from Varusteleka, which are modeled on British issue smocks. I also own a First Spear Windcheater, a Sarma wind shirt, an Orc PCU Level 4 wind shirt, and an Arktis wind shirt. Aside from these, I also have a German flecktarn parka and a tropentarn (desert camo) parka, which are similar in concept to the British smocks (uninsulated windproof shells made from a poly/cotton mix).

    The British smock and its copies are extremely wind proof while remaining breathable. I've tested them in sub-freezing conditions with high winds, over fleece or other insulation. For cold, dry conditions they are hard to beat IMHO. They weigh more than wind shirts but are far more durable and have a ton of pockets. The Sarma smocks have a DWR coating that works pretty well against mist and short exposure to light rain.

    The German flecktarn is as windproof as the Brit smocks. The tropentarn parka is a little light and not quite as windproof. Both come down to my thighs which is good. I wish the hoods were a little larger. Neither have much water resistance.

    The genuine British smock and the Sarma smocks have pit zips which help ventilation when needed.

    The First Spear Windcheater is not as windproof as the Brit smocks but is lighter and would dry out faster if it gets wet, because of the material. It is pretty good against light rain. It's more durable than wind shirts. The hood design is excellent and it has giant pit zips.

    The ORC L4 wind shirt is as windproof as the Brit smocks or flecktarn parka, more so than the Windcheater. It's much lighter weight. IIRC, the fabric has some kind of DWR encapsulation tech that works very well against light rain. I haven't tested it in a downpour. I wish the hood was larger.

    The Sarma wind shirt is decent. Pretty wind proof. Not as water resistant as I'd like. Very packable. Has a full zip and two Napoleon pockets.

    Finally, the Arktis wind shirt is good, IMO. OK against light rain for a short time. It's super packable; you could fit it in a cargo pocket. I keep it in the GHB in my truck.

    I realize that I probably need an intervention with all my jackets.
     
    Dinsdale, operatord, draugur and 2 others like this.
  22. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    he's not talking about any of that. he was talking about an REI Rain Jacket - https://www.rei.com/product/127550/rei-co-op-essential-rain-jacket-mens
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  23. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    @Dave_Markowitz holy crap- a guy that has more windshirts than me!!!!!!!!! :eek:

    @Moondog55 agreed that as the temperature drops and the winds pick up, windproofness becomes a higher priority over other attributes

    @LFowler spot on in your assessment, lots of variations (and hard to keep track of)
     
    Dave_Markowitz likes this.
  24. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    I have no idea the CFM but my Patagonia made L4 is pretty darn wind resistant and not very breathable. it does repel mist and light rain like a boss but I've not used it in pouring rain.

    I hate to bring up the hikelighter.com website again but he discuss the exact thing you talk about with difference between running and hiking windshirt -- https://hikelighter.com/2015/07/07/inov-8-race-ultra-shell-hz/
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  25. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Wow! Thank you for the rundown! The worst conditions I've used my smock in is light precip in the low 40's and it worked great with only a wool baselayer. We don't get much weather here in SoCal. I used an m65 paired with an ecwcs lvl3 fleece when necessary prior to getting the smock.
    The pcu lvl 4 windshirt is most appealing to me now based on the information shared by everyone in this thread. It seems to strike a good middle ground between weight, durability and functionality. They are kind of pricey right now though. $80 being the cheapest I've seen on ebay. Is that usually around what they sell for?
     
    mtwarden and Dave_Markowitz like this.
  26. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    $80 sounds about right. You buy a PCU L4 shirt directly from ORC Industries now for $57.25 but they only have size XL. They also have the full zip MCU L4 wind shirt in stock for $55.99 in various sizes, if you don't mind the UCP digital camo.

    FYI, I've ordered a couple times from ORC. Each time it took about a week to receive my order but did not get any kind of shipping notice. Just a heads up.
     
    Usingmyrights, draugur and mtwarden like this.
  27. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Good to know. I'll check them out. Thanks again.
     
    Dave_Markowitz and mtwarden like this.
  28. holygoat

    holygoat Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    412
    Location:
    WA, USA
    I have several smocks, love them (pockets!), but the minute I start going uphill with a backpack in even moderate weather, the Brit smock comes off, and it is a big and heavy addition to the pack… and I have to figure out what to do with all the stuff in the pockets.

    Not so bad when there’s snow on the ground. In those conditions they make good windshirts, particularly if you sew in pit zips for additional venting.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  29. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    I just stumbled across this on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/PATAGONIA-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
    The thing is, I wear a Med-Reg, sometimes Med-Long, and I recall it being stated earlier in this thread that fit is very important to get the most benefit from this piece of gear.
    At 183cm tall, 101cm chest, 80kg, will the Large be too big to be effective? Other than my British smock, which is very spacious inside, I literally have zero experience with a light windshirt.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  30. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    I love this thing too. It's my go to for backpacking and camping in my favorite local spots. Sometimes I'll just rock the smock with a camelback underneath. It has plenty of storage.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  31. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    wow- smoking deal! (at least at the moment); if you can pick it up for under $80- I'd grab it, worse case scenario if it doesn't fit- I'd bet you can recoup your $ pretty easily

    I didn't do the conversions (sorry metric challenged :4:), but I'm 5'11" 175-180 lbs and the Large or Large Long fits well
     
    draugur likes this.
  32. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Ok great! We're pretty much the same size. I'm gonna throw my bid in the hat and see what happens.
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  33. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    5,107
    Likes Received:
    21,156
    Location:
    Michigan
    Lol, that's on my watch list, but recent Black Friday spending will prohibit me from bidding.
    Get it!!!
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  34. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    3,410
    Location:
    Geelong Victoria Australia
    Fit is important but my own experience is that it better to be a bit on the loose side
     
    Dave_Markowitz and mtwarden like this.
  35. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    I hear that :dblthumb:
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  36. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    especially if you plan on layering over insulating pieces; my running windshirts I size a little smaller, hiking/hunting ones a little bigger
     
    draugur likes this.
  37. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    FYI, I got a Patagonia made PCU L4, new with tags, in wrapper, for right at $100 shipped.

    the one offered for sale on Ebay is
    Used :
    Seller Notes:
    “Pre-Owned * Clean / Damage-Free * Minor Fading and Wear Noted”
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    mtwarden likes this.
  38. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Ah man. Well, if I don't get this one, I'll contact you about yours.
     
    ra2bach and mtwarden like this.
  39. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    haha, no I wasn't offering to sell mine. I was telling you I paid $100 for mine that was new, with tags still on it. just giving you a point of reference for pricing... :18:
     
    woodsranger and mtwarden like this.
  40. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Oh! lol :22:
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  41. Snipen

    Snipen Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    So package came today and I got a huge surprise. Even though the picture was of an ORC pullover style windshirt, what arrived was a Patagonia gen 2 windshirt brand new in the original packaging.
     
  42. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    ^ wow- nice!
     
  43. draugur

    draugur Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    SoCal
    Congrats! I got outbid on the one I was going for. The hunt continues...
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  44. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    77
    mtwarden has me really interested in picking up a BD Alpine Start. I have a Houdini and like it for running, but I find that I can't put much under it other than a base layer and 100 weight fleece at most. I've got an older Patagonia Dimension Soft Shell in Alpha Green from their MARS line, but i really dislike how it gets stiff like cardboard when it gets below freezing. That experience put me off soft shells for awhile.

    I've been researching the BD Alpine Start and thinking of giving these newer and lighter "soft shells" another try. The other one that seems to pop up is the Outdoor Research Ferrosi. It also sucks that I don't have any stores nearby that carry these items and I'll have to purchase online before trying them on. Can anyone here compare the BD Alpine Start and the OR Ferrosi and which one they'd prefer? Also, I'm about 6 feet tall and weigh approx 180 pounds and typically wear a Large. What size BD Alpine Start and Ferrosi should I get? Some people say they run small.
     
    Ptpalpha and mtwarden like this.
  45. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    I have both. The Alpine Start breathes better and is lighter- it's what I usually take on the Bob Marshall Open. The Ferrosi is made from a heavier denier fabric and is definitely more robust (but obviously adds weight), better wind resistance (at the expense of breathability).

    I haven't had the Ferrosi out in any heavier precip, so can't say which is better as far as water resistance- the Start is pretty good.

    I will select the Ferrosi when I'm moving slower, sitting more and in thicker country.

    I'm about the same size- definitely a XL in the Start (I had to send my Large back) if you plan on layering it over anything other than base layer. I have a Large Ferrosi- it's definitely not overly sized either. It's slightly roomier than the Start in the same size, but an XL might not be a bad choice in the Ferrosi either.
     
    Ptpalpha likes this.
  46. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    5,567
    Likes Received:
    8,083
    Location:
    ATL
    these aren't soft-shells. they're wind shirts. different app...
     
    mtwarden likes this.
  47. kronin323

    kronin323 Nobody Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    3,828
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I had to read I don't know how many posts into this thread before I realized windshirt was another name for a windbreaker. I do keep a cheap windbreaker in my EDC pack in case I need a little unanticipated warmth or rain protection and it's so light and small it's like it's not even there.

    But I have been getting into the ECWCS Gen III stuff this season and reading this thread prompted me to pick up a ORC PCU level 4. And here I thought joining this forum would give my wallet a break...

    BTW I also have a Sarma windproof smock and I love it but yes quite different than a windbreaker.
     
    Ptpalpha, Primordial and mtwarden like this.
  48. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    5,107
    Likes Received:
    21,156
    Location:
    Michigan
    :18:
    Me too... and it did, at first. Then I began realizing how woefully unprepared I was for so many different activities and conditions, and the kind folks here at BCUSA were always willing to help me out by gently explaining why I need to upgrade my gear...
    Now I find myself doing the same thing when others ask questions about sharp things: of course a Mora will do most everything you need a knife to do, which is why you should have a few of them scattered around. But if you want something just a bit nicer...:53:
     
    mtwarden and kronin323 like this.
  49. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Messages:
    831
    Likes Received:
    3,743
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Finally put my Black Diamond Alpine Start windshirt through an alpine test and I am a huge fan.

    Skinned up the local ski resort this morning and it was dumping heavy wet snow. Summit temps were 16 degrees and the wind was blowing 20-30 miles per hour in exposed sections of our route.

    For 15 years I have been exclusively skinning in the mountains with a mideight Patagonia synthetic top and a R1 vest. It has worked for me but the same time the layers were lacking in the wind department and after long ascents I am often very wet and on the verge of being chilled. Today I left the vest in the car and wore the windshirt. Not only was I dryer than usual but I also maintained more of a consistent core temperture and I did not have to get out my gortex shell when the wind started to really howl. The hood on the windshirt was perfect for the last hour of climbing.

    Thanks once again @mtwarden for bring such a great piece of gear to my attention.
     
  50. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    24,303
    Location:
    Montana
    good deal :)

    I lived in mine for two days straight in the Elkhorns- would have sucked without it
     

Share This Page