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Montbell Tachyon Hooded Wind Jacket Review

The Montbell Tachyon Hooded Parka is a wind shirt

The Montbell Tachyon Hooded Wind Jacket is a gossamer thin 7-denier nylon wind jacket with a 1-way adjustable hood, a full-length front zipper, two handwarmer pockets, underarm vents, and a stow pocket. This is the second Montbell Tachyon wind shirt I’ve owned: a repeat purchase because it’s such a fine and high-functioning garment. The first one I wore out over many years. This new model is slightly different than the old one but still provides highly breathable ultralight wind protection that is ideal for hiking and backpacking, particularly in windy mountainous terrain.

Specs at a glance

  • Gender: Men’s
  • Weight: 3.1 oz in a size XL (2.5 oz in a size medium)
  • Hood: 1-way adjustable
  • Material: 7-denier¬†Ballistic Airlight nylon ripstop (water-repellent finish)
  • Size: True to size

The Montbell Tachyon Wind Parka is a delicate 7D nylon jacket with a full-length zipper that is designed to trap warmth and keep the wind from chilling you. I normally layer it over a fleece pullover or hoody and a baselayer. It’s one of the simple nylon wind shirts/windbreakers in the clothing layering “stack” I use for winter hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The Tachyon Hooded Jacket is surprisingly breathable, which is a big asset when you’re hiking hard in cooler weather because your perspiration, in the form of water vapor, passes through the jacket fabric so it doesn’t chill you by remaining on your skin.

One of the standout features of the Tachyon is an adjustable hood with a flexible plastic “stiffener” in the bill and elastic controls at the neck that can be tightened to reduce the size of the face opening and works well with a billed cap. In addition to retaining warmth, this prevents wind from entering the hood and flapping loudly against your ears, which is most annoying. When buying a wind jacket or wind shirt, you’re best bet is to get one with some degree of hood adjustability so you can remain sane in a blow.

Otherwise, the Tachyon is pretty minimal feature-wise. There are elastic cuffs at the wrists that prevent wind from blowing up your arms but that are loose enough that you can pull them up over your forearms to vent additional warmth. In addition, two zippered side handwarmer pockets are accessible when wearing a backpacking hipbelt. The jacket can also be stuffed inside these pockets for packing. Finally, there are small openings in the armpits, barely the width of my middle finger, to facilitate venting although I’m not convinced they add much value in practice.

Comparison Table of Top Wind Shirts and Jackets

Make / ModelFabric DenierWeight
Arcteryx Squamish Hoodie30d4.9 oz / 140g
Patagonia Houdini Jacket15d3.7 oz /105g
Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt10d2.05 oz / 58g
Rab Vital Windshell Hoody20d4.6 oz /160g
REI Flash JacketNA4.3 oz /122g
Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie30d5.3 oz /150g
Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell15d3.5 oz / 98g
Warbonnet Stash Jacket20d5.0 oz / 142g
Montbell Tachyon Hooded Jacket7d2.5 oz / 72g
Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody20d7.4 oz /210g

Recommendation

The Montbell Tachyon Hooded Wind Jacket reviewed here is somewhat different from the first Tachyon Wind Shirt that I purchased many years ago. It has a full-length front zipper instead of a half-zip and handwarmer pockets, although there’s no hem adjustment on the new model. While it is different from the wind shirt (pullover) I owned years ago, the full-length front zipper and the hand warmer pockets significantly enhance your ability to regulate your body temperature and keep your hands warm across a wide range of conditions.

RELATED: 10 Best Windbreakers and Wind Shirts

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6 comments

  1. no hem adjustment is very odd…in a heavy wind it will get up into the jacket. some other manufactures have omitted this feature on there down jackets making them almost useless when the wind is blowing.

  2. Thanks Philip for the new review! Most to least breathable do you have a chart for all windshirts reviewed? Cheers

  3. First, we have to define breathability (MVTR). It’s usually attributed to breathable membranes and not wind shirts and no wind shrrt vendor measures it. The metric by which wind shirts are compared is CFM which is equated with air permeability – in other words, wind proofness. This is a metric some manufacturers publish that most don’t.

    Sorry to split hairs, but it’s important to define terms since more often than not they’re misused.

    The most breathable wind shirts therefore – this should be obvious – are the ones with the most mechanical openings – zippers and pit zips.

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