/ Windproof for Everything
I'm looking for a windproof smock/jacket to use for everything from days on grit, to winter walk ins and alpine days out.
My current choices so far are:
Montane featherlite, Pros, cheap, light, smock. Cons, No hood, very thin (wear fast?) no little pocket
Paramo Fuera Windproof Smock: Pros, cheap, reasonably light, hood, smock. Cons, bit heavier
Rab Alpine Vapourise lite: Pros, hood, pockets. Cons, expensive, seems quite thin, maybe too warm with the liner, jacket.
Can anyone offer some advice on these or any other windproofs they use for everything?
brilliant value for money jacket.
under a £100.
cant praise it enough.
and it sounds like it would fit your criteria perfectly.
mine has just done its duties on Ben More and the hood saved me from getting my face blasted.
Prism is a bit too insulated for me!
I've been using a NF hooded cipher softshell for a few years now. Windproof with massive front vents for cooling, hood fits well under a helmet and it's taken a tonne of abuse from dartmoor/cornish granite with no obvious signs of wear.
IMO, anything with the word 'lite' in the name will get trashed the second it sees rock.
Seems a strange trio to pick - the Montane Lightspeed jacket would give you a hood and pocket, and is surprisingly tough given how light it is. I use mine for biking, cragging and hill days where it's unlikely to take a battering.
Fuera jacket - much heavier material than Pertex, will stand up to a bit of abrasion on rock for winter climbing. I tend to use it over lighter, more expensive kit as a cheap protector around rock. It's very windproof and works well over softshell layers in Winter to beef up water repellency. Cut is grim, but it can be adjusted without compromising the effectiveness of the jacket.
Rab VR Alpine Lite - practically live in this, with just a base layer underneath. When it gets really cold or wet for extended periods, you need another layer on top, but for a lot of days it works well on its own. In effect, you could think of this as a Lightspeed/fleece combo, so if you got the Lightspeed, you could get much the same overall effect with a Powerstretch top on underneath.
They're all good bits of kit, but I wouldn't have said they're direct replacements for each other.
You have a point, but I guess they show the range of 'wind proof options':
minimalist, lightweight pure wind proof
heavier weight pure wind proof
Taking this approach, the suggested wild card of the Prism is just a further extension to synthetic insulated wind proof...
OP needs to decide what function he needs...
I'm definitely in the pure wind proof category. I want a hood. I want it to be heavier weight to deal with the abuse I plan to give it. I'd like a pocket. I'd like it to be a smock.
I definately do not want any extra insulation, whatsoever! Most of the time currently I'm choosing between a big bulky soft shell and boiling, or a baselayer and freezing due to the wind. Even on heavy walk ins.
I'm looking at getting rid of the softshell, just a windproof and waterproof, unlined completely, both lightweight but reasonably hardwearing (my waterproof is a rab demand pull on), and then if I need a little extra insulation, I have a tiny circa 100g micro fleece or a belay jacket.
For hard climbs, I might substitute the thin fleece for a thicker one. But I believe it would still be a better and lighter system than my current one.
Also consider Buffalo Curbar Windtop.
You'll prolly want something that packs down small and is light (only to be used when needed).
'Ryx Squamish and Patagucci Houdini are the defacto options. But rather spendy as a simplified pertex windbreaker.
I would rather get something hihgly similar, but with 1/3 of the price. Decathlon at least used to do a nice adventure racing windbreaker for the odd 30 Eur. I'm sure there are other similar options as well.
very fond of my Montane featherlite smock! A lot more durable than the material seems. I've used it for about 5-6 years, to festivals, up mulitipitch routes, all over really. Still not showing any signs of wear, and packs into my pocket, so i don't need to waste space on my harness.
Rab Cirrus is good - very minimal and lightweight but with a hood and a couple of pockets. IIRC it's basically straight pertex, so it's as windproof and durable as anything else made of pertex. It's also reasonably cheap.
IMO pockets are invaluable if you want to use it as a top layer, because you can use them to stash gloves, hats etc and regulate your temperature on the go without having to dig around in your bag.
I reckon the 'Rab Cirrus' hooded jacket would be ideal for you.
(its basically the same as the Patagonia Houdini).
I have one for sale - size large, colour Guacamole, £40 inc p+p if you want it.
Only worn it once, and it was too big for me.
Curbar is made from Pertex Equilibrium, which is a compromise between robustness and wind resistance. It's a thicker fabric than the smooth 'old skool' Pertex, but it's less wind resistant (BTW, for the OP, none of these fabrics is really windproof, since they're not coated; they'll all let some air through, so it's just how much they'll let through - look for CFM ratings).
Equilibrium tends to pill more easily, too, probably because the more textured, more open face weave is easier to snag.
I might be more tempted by the simple Buffalo Windshirt, in 'Pertex Classic'. Judging by the weight, I'd guess this is what used to be called 'Pertex 6' (maybe ask Buffalo for confirmation?), which is more robust than Pertex Microlight used in the Litespeed.
I'm not a big fan of pouch pockets, and I think I'd prefer two side zipped pockets instead, in the obvious big side seams.
Of course, the other thing to remember is that the likes of Montane Featherlite seem to appear discounted on a regular basis, usually around £20. At that price, it's almost a disposable item... I'd hate to count the number of Featherlite's in the captain's kit closet that have come from TK Maxx...
For the really cheap alternative, Lidl and Aldi often do 'cycling jackets' that are basically Pertex-alike windshirts; Lidl had such a jacket a couple of weeks ago (may only have been women's fit), for £8, IIRC. I picked up three a couple of years back in one of their mad 'big cardboard box' clearance sales, at 50p each.
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