windproof or waterproof?

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Dippa, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Dippa

    Dippa Backpacker

    Firstly, what's the dfference between the two exactly ? Wouldn't a waterproof jacket be windproof also ?

    Am I best to buy a lightweight waterproof jacket like OR Helium 2 or go for a windshirt like the Montane featherlite ?


    Any help is appreciated
  2. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    Buy both......
  3. HillBelly

    HillBelly Section Hiker

    A windproof is fabric without the waterproof membrane, so is much lighter and packable. Thinks almost tissue paper! Often seen on lightweight walkers looking all crumpled.

    Waterproof has the windproof fabric layer, but then adds a waterproof membrane, and then in the case of 3 layer, an inner layer too. So bulkier.
  4. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I wear a windproof most of the time but only put a waterproof on when it's really set in to rain for a while.
    Personally I think waterproofs are horrible to wear all day unless it is chucking it down
    Dippa, Tartanferret and Baldy like this.
  5. pendodave

    pendodave Summit Camper

    Defo both!

    I have a montane windproof that is gossamer thin. weighs 77g. Keeps the wind off, but to all intents and purposes I don't know I'm wearing it. Perfect for walking (and golf :shamefullyembarrased:) when it's chilly but not actually raining. Much better for 'active' pursuits than even a lightweight waterproof.

    Obv, when it's wet, it's not so good...
    Dippa likes this.
  6. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Windproofs are the workhorses of hikers clothing. Generally hardwearing, not sweaty, pretty showerproof. Compared to a shell, climbing a hill on a windy dryish day is much more comfortable experience than in a shell. I live in mine in the hills.

    Waterproofs are hideously expensive, don't last long, and don't keep you dry for more than a few hours. :biggrin:

    FWIW, If your looking at Scandinavian brands, their descriptions often differ; windproofs can't be sold as such by law in those countries unless they have a membrane, and what we know as windproof, tend to be called wind resistant.

    Most often, both get packed.
    el manana, Dippa and Mole like this.
  7. Dippa

    Dippa Backpacker

    Thanks for the reply and help everyone :)

    Would the Montane featherlite be a good choice for the windproof ? And can anyone suggest a lightweight waterproof ?
  8. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Just to get a varied set of opinions :whistling:

    I don't use windproofs, for me personally even if it's 3c and i'm wearing only a baselayer i'll STILL boil in the bag in a windproof.

    I prefer to just throw a fleece on, or if it's really dire a fleece then my waterproof jacket, which i'll have with me anyways.....
    Dippa likes this.
  9. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Teepee likes this.
  10. Dippa

    Dippa Backpacker

    Another option for me to consider :)

    I'm guessing you use these two jackets separately to each other as they serve the same purpose ?
    gixer likes this.
  11. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    yes if the weather looks like i will have the windproof on more often than not, i take the Litespeed. The MH one goes if it will only need occasional use, stops, over tops, wind picking up etc.
    Dippa likes this.
  12. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Another windshirt fan here :) My Litespeed gets worn on every trip just about., it's so versatile for keeping the chill off or a light squally shower, and the breathability means I hardly know I'm wearing it. It's a few years old now but still does the job, it keeps out the damp stuff but the Quantum fabric is pretty much done for now.

    I still carry a lightweight hardshell too, but like Teepee struggling to find anything light that works for very long these days.

    I can wear just the windshirt for most days out, but when the really dark clouds come over I reach for the hardshell.
    Teepee and Dippa like this.
  13. Dippa

    Dippa Backpacker

    Hey Shewie! What hardshell are you using atm ?

    It seems the litespeed is the most popular. Has anyone used the featherlite 7 ?
  14. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I'm switching between an old Rab Demand, an Alpkit Pulsar and Montane 777 at the moment, with a ME Lhotse for winter

    I prefer the hood on the Litespeed over the Featherlite, I think a windproof without a hood is missing a trick
  15. DodgyKnee

    DodgyKnee Trekker

    Hi everyone,

    First post on Treklite!

    Windshirt fan here also. Presently a Paramo, before that a Buffalo. The Buffalo was slightly lighter, both do the job.

    When it's chucking it down, obviously a waterproof.

    Trouble is, when it does rain that heavy then I really need it to cover my backside or I need leggings, but as it spends most of its life in my pack it ideally needs to be light weight.

    Light weight and full length doesn't exist so there's no saving in weight on a rainy day.

    Montane are too small for me.
    Teepee likes this.
  16. Nigellionheart

    Nigellionheart Backpacker

    Another fan of windshirts here. I find I can wear them from in a wind range of weather, very light rain and wind chill through to a fairly warm temp, If i tried that in a waterproof I would overheat.
    Favourites Paramo but on the heavy side, Litespeed, Arcteryx Squamish and just receintly purchased an Mountain Hardwear ghost lite. https://www.simplyhike.co.uk/products/MountainHardwear/MensGhostLiteJacket-MantaGrey.aspx which is the lightest jactket I own.

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