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.