Wind vest experimentation

Marco, above 3000 m, wearing a wind vest prototype.

A windshirt is the most versatile piece of equipment I use.

If you're not aware of its advantages over softshell, insulated or rain jackets, you already have something to find out today.

Windshirts were introduced to the backpacking community by the early Ultralight gurus. Even Mark Twight praised their use in his book Extreme Alpinism. However, windshirts have been around for a long time in the cycling world.

Despite how much I love using a windshirts, sometimes I end up overheating. Think about trail running or going uphill.

Not wearing the windshirt is not an option when it's windy. And, most of the time, using the front zip doesn't work either.

This is why I started experimenting with wind vests more than a year ago. The rationale is to keep your core protected while having ventilation through the arms.

Again, cyclists are right and routinely use wind vests.

But I wanted a vest that works in the mountains, and that means a hooded vest.

A wind vest prototype on a mannequin.

The prototype shown here has loose and ample armholes to maximize ventilation. It also features a pleated back panel, so you can wear it over a small running backpack.

It has worked like a charm for trail running and fastpacking.

Marco, at Oturia summit, wearing a wind vest prototype.

In exposed areas the armhole design has not performed great, because too much wind goes inside. In these scenarios, a windshirt is a better choice if you want to keep moving. On the other hand, if you want to stop and contemplate the views, adding on top a light insulated jacket solves the problem.


PS1. I have another vest prototype. With a better armhole design. With an alternative closure system that complements the front zip. Which I really love.

PS2. Don't forget your legs and check the Millaris Trousers.

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