Wonderful Windshirt

  • Share on Tumblr
Backroads Trip Leader Dirk Badenhorst jogging in a windshirt

Bright colors make you visible on the road

It’s 50-something degrees out and you’re soaked to the bone. You’re on an epic ride and your heart is beating like the bass drum of a metal band–fast. While standing at the top of a gnarly climb, you’re sure that the well-deserved descent will be steep and send you screaming past moving cars like they’re parked on the side of the road. The only dilemma is that you’re dripping sweat, fully kitted out in spandex, and going 45 mph sounds awfully chilly and unpleasant. With hypothermia around the corner, you realize you might have to squeal the brakes all the way back down the mountain. Having a windshirt would have turned this epic fail into an epic win.

What Is a Windshirt?

Windshirts are designed with ultralight synthetic fabrics that not only block wind but will also fend off light rain. Most windshirts are considered to be water-resistant because they are coated with a waterproofing agent that causes water to bead up instead of soaking into the fabric–that is, however, still very different from a “waterproof” jacket. Almost all major outdoor brands have their version of this product and a great example is the Patagonia Houdini Jacket.

The Benefits:

Windshirts fold up to easily take on hiking and biking trips

Folds up tiny so you can take it anywhere

One of the many benefits of using a windshirt is that they typically breathe really well which means that moisture (sweat) passes through the fabric very easily to keep your body dry and comfortable. Getting wet from the inside is just as bad as getting wet from the outside, right? They’re perfect for hikes, bike rides or runs when there’s sure to be wind and lots of sweating! Windshirts also come in a variety of bright colors and sometimes with reflective materials, making you highly visible to vehicles if you’re road riding or running. They also can weigh as little as 4 ounces, almost always have a way to fold into their own pocket and can be clipped to a belt loop without being cumbersome, making it easy to carry one with you at all times!

The Downside:

There are only a few downsides to using a windshirt. The first is that they’re typically not fully waterproof. They aren’t designed to act like rain jackets and should never be a substitute on any adventure where getting wet could mean the different between life and death. Instead, windshirts are a great addition to any long adventure or travels, or as a “go to” piece for short jaunts close to home. Windshirts are also not the most durable garments in the closet and special care needs to be taken with them (like washing delicately and hang drying).

Windshirts are water-resistant

Water-resistant but not waterproof

To me, a windshirt is an invaluable piece of gear. Just like a survival kit, it’s something that I always have stuffed into a small pocket of my pack whether I’m hiking, biking or traveling. It keeps me comfortable when I’m sweating hard in chilly conditions and keeps me visible when I’m riding on the road. Don’t be the person white knuckling down the mountain with your brakes engaged because you’re too cold to go fast. Bring along a windshirt, and enjoy the fun ride down the mountain that you deserve for having pedaled all the way up!

  • Share on Tumblr
The following two tabs change content below.
Dirk Badenhorst

Dirk Badenhorst

After earning his bachelors in marketing, Dirk moved out west on a whim and has since enjoyed living a “simple life”—which he defines as a life free from clutter but rich with exciting new experiences. Everything he owns fits in his car, but everything he needs fits in his memory, he says. In 2010, after spending three months hitching and cycling across America on a shoestring budget, he discovered his love for the “charming nature” of adventure travel. He hasn’t stopped traveling since, and has even spent a summer as a writer/photographer in Africa. Dirk spent his first season with Backroads working on the Camp Crew in Alaska, the Tetons and the Canyons. He now works as Trip Leader and blogs for the Back Beat.
Dirk Badenhorst

Latest posts by Dirk Badenhorst (see all)