Montane Slipstream GL Review: The Windshirt of Justice

90g for a hooded windshirt with a big zipped pocket in size XL. Yes please.

I saw the Slipstream at the Montane showroom and was rather taken by it. The word is that’s store buyers had been less than enthusiastic about it because it looks like a gimp suit or a bin bag. Well, I’m happy to report that by using those two points of reference I’ve been overjoyed being dressed like a dirty deviant, this is the best wind shirt I’ve ever used.

This is an XL, but it wears and measures up as a Large compared to other Montane kit, so labelling rather than design going awry? Once over the shock of wearing an XL what I found was a neat fitting smock, good arm length and a good length at the tail. I’ve found that the tail stays down too, I haven’t been yanking it out of a bundle at the small of back, a combination of the smooth fabric and fit I’d say. The arms are neat enough with elastic ends, the elastic hidden inside Pertex cuffs, but I can get them over my elbows, just, so ventilation is fine. The long length means no gaps in the cold on foot or on a bike, even when stretching up on a scramble, the arm articulation is brilliant. The hem on the body has the same covered elastic as the cuffs, you get a neat fit but it’s still plenty stretchy enough, you don’t feel it’s there.

And now to the genius parts. There’s a chest pouch pocket which isn’t a kick in the arse away from A4 paper size and its mesh inner bag has some slack sewn into it so you can get a bunch of kit in there. The pocket is sewn in, it doesn’t hang like most smocks, this I like, less faff and more stable.
The reversed zip matches the main one which is a good length, getting as close to the pocket as it dares without making a weak spot in the construction. It’s a two-way zip, you can hide your chin from the wind while you open the bottom to let out steam or fumble in your undergarments. It’s backed by a stiff-ish tape anti-snag/wind baffle which is neatly sewn over at the top as a chin/nose guard. It all works perfectly

The hood is simple, or so it would seem. You’ve got a close fitting skull-cap affair with a soft lycra lining around the face hole. This gives a good fit without pressure on your skin, even with my melon head. The construction is also very clever, the neck has a little extra width to it meaning you can zip the Slipstream right up to your nose over other light layers with high collars without discomfort and it also means you can turn your head like an owl and your face stays aligned with it’s designated window of opportunity. Too flowery that bit maybe? What the hell.
You can also pull the hood up and down while its fully zipped, which is brilliant, the other day in Coigach I was doing just that every couple of minutes as I went from warm sun to icy blast as I wandered the ridge and plateau of Ben More.
I was worried that the small-ish lock-down style zip pulls would be too hard to work with gloves on, but they’re fine, and this type doesn’t flick up at your nose every time the breeze lifts, it was a good call.

The Pertex Quantum GL fabric is a 25gm² nylon joy. It looks crinkly, but it’s actually very soft and smooth with a fine ripstop grid to it. It hisses more that it rustles when you handle it. It holds the wind out as well as you’d expect, the layers you wear under it will decide how far you want to take it temperature wise, stick a base and a light mid in there and you’re good for some winter  fun. In the photies here all I’ve got under the Slipstream is 190 weight merino and that was good for hovering above and below 0°C, I was nicely comfy.
Breathability is excellent, especially over just a base layer, it’s a recipe for being dry. If the fabric does get wet, it dries fast and it’ll also repel a surprising amount of rain or snow before it wets out.
Durability is largely up to you and how you treat the fabric, I’ve found abrasion resistance is great, tear resistance not so much, but then is it expecting to be pulled over a barbed wire fence? Get a rucksack that fits and don’t leave it crunched into a corner of that same rucksack and you could be long term windproof friends.
Construction is good, the minimal seams are all very well finished internally to hide the stitching and prevent snagging and pulls. There’s night time friendly reflective detailing here and there, there’s a hang loop at the collar and it comes in a little bag with a hang loop and cinch cord so that every time you use it it feels like you’re opening a present.

The Slipstream GL is a brilliant bit of kit. Run, bike, walk, backpack, it’s fit for purpose. It weighs F/A, it’s comfortable to wear, the fabric is excellent and it’s been designed for humans to be active in. Something that’s not always guaranteed.
The Windshirt of Justice. Indeed.

13 thoughts on “Montane Slipstream GL Review: The Windshirt of Justice”

  1. I have a limited edition Featherlite in the same material – blooming brilliant but you do have the seventies pimp look in buckets – mine is silver! It’s a lovely smooth material tho and works well.
    Hope you and your’s are well chap – it’s good to see you’re getting out and about as much as me.


  2. Montane is my favourite gear company without a doubt, and I’ve got a pile of their jackets / windshirts in the cupboard, but it has to be said, with the hood up that is just a bit weird – Pic 3 just makes me think scuba diver action man without his mask.

  3. so if thers going to be some occasional rain and or snow would you take a windshell like this and a raincoat or just stick with the raincoat? or do you think you’d still want the extra breathability of the windshell?

  4. I never go anywhere without the windshirt – best purchase ever and at less than 80g for my thing, why leave it at home?

  5. PTC why are you carrying all that extra weight ? :-)
    The Mountain Hardwear ghost whisperer windtop is 59g for the hooded version and 49g without.
    All joking apart I prefer something a bit more substantial.
    I’m still looking for a replacement for my purple Berghaus Inferno windshirt which used the Airfoil fabric and weighs about 250g.
    I have Montane featherlight for running in Summer and Paramo Fuera for when it’s really nasty in Winter but find I still use my ‘just right’ Berghaus more of the time even though it is falling apart

  6. I’ll wear a windshell as far as I can, especially if I know I’m going home, I’ll let it get wet, on the move you stay warm.
    On overnighters I’m more careful, sometimes I will just carry a windshell, some current waterproofs are so light they almost make windshells superfluous, but they cost five times as much.

    Many times I’ve pulled a lightweight shell on over a windshirt, that works very well, you stya dry and warm. Even slept like that a few times.

    Windshirts a very versatile, after this Slipstream my next favourite is my Buffalo smock, 200g heavier and great in winter. Again, packed with a light shell you can keep it light. Gore’s Active Shell and eVent screwed all this up a bit though with their breathability and low weight. I was using an OMM Cypher and a Haglofs Endo as my winter jackets last year, both sub 300g.

  7. yeah thers only a hundred grams difference between one of my more breathable shells and my windshell now. this montane one is another 60 gams lighter, if theres any rain around, i’m more likely to go with the rainshell on its own,
    i’ve got a rain shell thats only 180 grams as well but less breathable. more for colder conditions.
    for me now windshells are more for days when its not going to rain.. and then i’m usually just needing a vest

  8. I’ll wear a windshirt until the rain is heavy enough to stop the beading. When I was last out it rained for most of the day but my rab cirrus held up nicely. Maybe it was having a micro fleece and merino T on underneath to dry whatever rain did manage to get through? I had a nice microclimate going on under there!

  9. if you can get a close fit you can get away with a bit of rain theres enough warmth to make it harder for the moisture to get through. but can be a bit of a gamble eventually, i got caught out once using a softshell. torrential rain, it didnt like…

  10. Running and biking are great in the went with a windshirt. Until you stop and chill.

    I did a long hill day with an old Gore Activent smock, kind of an early Windstopper shell fabric, and it rained when it wasn’t supposed to. I was miserable.

    Still great kit when the condiotions are right, the fabrics are so much comfier that hardshells.

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