The Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt is an extremely light wind shirt that weighs close to 2 oz but still has all the features that hikers and backpackers need for temperature regulation in cool and windy weather. If you’ve never used a wind shirt, they’re thin jackets or pullovers, typically worn over a fleece, wool sweater, or hiking shirt, that keep you warm by trapping your body heat so it can’t be stripped away by the wind. Wind shirts are ideal for hiking above timberline in full exposure or in early spring, winter, and autumn when there are no leaves on trees to block the full force of the wind from chilling you. They are more breathable than rain jackets, but they are not waterproof.
Specs at a Glance
- Men’s and Women’s models and sizing
- Weight: 2.35 oz in a men’s XL (2.05 oz in a size men’s medium)
- Fabric: 10d nylon with DWR coating
- CFM: 10 (explained below)
- Zipper: YKK
- Fit: oversized to enable layering
- Transparency: Translucent and safe (but barely) for wear in town laundromats.
The Enlightened Equipment (EE) Copperfield Wind Shirt is specifically designed for hiking and backpacking and has the key temperature regulation features that hikers require to manage their perspiration rate and stay comfortable in cool weather. It has an adjustable hood drawstring so you can seal the hood around your face, elastic wrist cuffs, a full-length front zipper, and shock-corded waist adjustment. If you feel too warm when hiking, you can lower the hood, roll up your sleeves, or unzip the jacket to cool off and vice versa if you feel cold.
The Copperfield also has a factory DWR coating that repels mist and light rain. It will eventually wear off since the DWR is just a chemical coating, but it’s very effective when worn on misty mountain summits, in drizzle and light rain, or when snow is melting off tree branches onto the trail.
Other than that, the Copperfield is a no-frills jacket, designed purely for function. There’s no chest pocket for your phone and no handwarmer pockets, no reflective stripes for running at night, no key fob, or even a fabric loop to hang the jacket up to dry. There’s no zipper garage to prevent your beard from getting caught in the zipper and the high gloss exterior fabric makes it look like you’re wearing a black plastic garbage bag. In other words – it’s hiker trash chic.
I wear the 10d Copperfield reviewed here over a midweight fleece or a thin hiking shirt and have no problems in regulating my temperature with it when it zipped up or by adjusting the hood, rolling up the sleeves, or cracking open the zipper if I feel warm. In terms of breathability (water vapor passing through the garment), I can feel the dampness on the outside of the garment so I know it’s working, and I don’t experience any noticeable perspiration buildup in my shirt or wicking mid-layer fleece. The 10d Copperfield is well made and I expect to use it throughout the winter as an outer layer over a fleece, which is my preferred layering tactic for winter and shoulder season (spring, autumn) hiking in NH’s White Mountains.
Copperfield Variants/CFM Rating
Enlightened Equipment offered the Copperfield in three different fabric weights previously – 7d, 10d, and 20d nylon (the thickest) as well as in multiple colors. The 7d fabric was said to have a CFM of 35 (high air permeability), the 10d fabric had a CFM of 10 (moderate air permeability), and the 20d had a CFM of 0 (no air permeability). In terms of comfort, air permeability can be equated with the relative amount of air (measured in cubic feet per minute) that can be forced through a fabric, ostensibly to cool you off. CFM is often conflated with breathability (water vapor transmission) but they’re different measurements. For example, you can have a rain jacket with no air permeability that has a high breathability rating.
The Copperfield is now only available in the 10d fabric in a charcoal grey color which I think is a good balance between durability in terms of fabric thickness and performance for cool-to-cold weather hiking and backpacking. It’s also the most popular option chosen by EE customers.
The Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt is a great layering garment for cool weather hiking when worn over a wicking midlayer, like a fleece or wool sweater. If you’ve never used a wind shirt you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to manage your warmth and perspiration rate with the Copperfield’s adjustable hood, elastic wrist cuffs, and full-length zipper when you’re actively hiking, even in freezing temperatures. While it’s not the most attractive or stylish wind shirt available today, I believe it is the lightest weight one you can find anywhere, with a hood or without. While it’s not normally a garment that I would recommend for summer/hot weather hiking, when it gets chilly, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
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