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.
The Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt
Comfort & Mobility
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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I use a 7D Copperfield wind shirt that I really like! It replaced a Patagonia Houdini shirt that always felt clammy & unpleasant, plus it lacked a full-length zip for venting. The Copperfield is much lighter, more comfortable & has great venting – but hard to comment on breathability compared to the 10D version. Looking at the glossy, tightly-woven material it would be difficult to believe there is really so much difference. The only negative I’d have about the Copperfield is the fit – a bit baggy around the arms, which in really windy weather do blow around a little. The body is also “relaxed” when worn over a shirt, but with a fleece underneath it fits well. I guess you would say, plenty of room for layering & makes for easy movement. Still love it though!
That zipper and those elastic cuffs make it very easy to dial-in the warmth level you want, irrespective of the fabric weight. I’ve used a LOT of wind shirts and had great experiences with the ones that have the same features. The fabric on most wind shorts is very thin, so they transfer heat more readily than heavier weight jackets – simple physics. That’s why a very thin rain shell runs so much colder than one made of heavier fabric (the difference between many three-season ultralight rain jackets and a winter shells)
This looks like an even lighter version of the GoLite wind shirt I got on sale a dozen years go. I assumed it would duplicate the function of my rain shell, but it was half price, so whatever.
Man, what a useful jacket. Stop for lunch at the top of a pass and feeling a little chilly in the wind? Put on the wind shirt. Ready for the trail in the morning but waiting for the rest of the Scouts to get their shit together? Put on the wind shirt. Watching a college track meet and it cools off a bit? Put on the wind shirt. It goes in my backpack, it goes in my camera bag.
Mine is a shiny gold that looks like it came from RuPaul’s garage sale, but it love it.
Again nice review Philip. Hope to see you review OR’s Helium Wind Hoodie soon. Thanks.
A great piece of gear! I own various sizes and colors, with and without hoods/pockets (all from Montbell, but the concept is identical). I’m guessing a wind shirt may yield more warmth per ounce than any other piece of clothing?
Phillip, how does breathability of the Copperfield compare to one of your old favs, the Montbell Tachyon?
Thanks for continuing to wave a flag for wind shirts! My first use of one was when the AMC naturalist told us to bring one on a Mt Washington hike in mid June. It didn’t take long to realize the necessity once above treeline! A windshirt now lives in my pack year round on southeastern mountain hikes.
Pretty much the same. I still have that Tachyon but it is so beat to hell that I don’t wear it anymore.
Aloha again Philip. I first noticed this item on your recent 27 January Facebook post where this was used near Canon in the single digits. I’m wondering how this compares to a Montane Featherlite smock. I see that you’ve reviewed it in the past, and I’ve owned that full suit for many years and remember it excelling in rainy conditions under a poncho “warm and wet”. I’m curious to know too if you side w/ this piece more than the Tachyon. Lastly could you comment on the fit of the hood since it has no adjustments, I’m almost ready to pull the trigger, but that’s a super key feature for me.
I haven’t worn my tachyon for a while and I believe they’ve upgraded it recently, so I’m not sure I can give you an up-to-date comparison. I’ve been meaning to buy a new one. The Copperfield is lighter than the Montane smock. Much lighter and more delicate. It has a hood and the hood has neck adjustments. So does the tachyon. I’d go with the Copperfield for winter use (warmer) because the Tachyon now has underarm vents and is probably better for three season. I suspect the latter is more breathable too.
I’ll just add…it’s really difficult to tell which side of the Copperfield is the inside and which is the outside. I keep putting mine on inside out which kind of pisses me off.
Thanks again, really good info to base $$choices since I’m a heavy sweater, I’ve tended toward the Arc’ Squamish thus far b/c of breath-ability and resistance to tears. Cheers!
This shirt, and the matching pants, have been a terrific addition to my clothing strategy. So effective at retaining warmth for their weight…whether while active, hanging around, or sleeping. My wife says I look like I’m wearing a trash bag when I wear them…that’s fair, I suppose…but the function of these easily trumps the form.