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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Montane Aero Wind Shirt > Owner Review by Douglas Wayne McCoy

MONTANE AERO
BY DOUGLAS MCCOY
OWNER REVIEW
September 30, 2007

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Douglas McCoy
EMAIL: dmccoy805@msn.com
AGE: 35
LOCATION: Spokane Washington (State) U.S.A.
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
CHEST 45-47in / 114-119 cm
ARM INSEAM 36-37in / 91-94cm
WAIST 36in / 91cm

I have always been intrigued with the outdoors since I was a small child. As a kid I did do some camping and stayed on a farm once in a while. But I never really had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors until about seven years ago. In the past 4 years I have really gotten serious about backpacking and have made it more of a lifestyle than an activity. In accordance with this I have transitioned from a “heavy” packer to an “ultralight” backpacker, and am constantly seeking ways to lighten my load and share my newly gained knowledge with others.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Montane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.montane.co.uk
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 3.1 oz (88 g) for XL
Other details:
The Aero comes with a ½ length chest zipper, and a map pocket. It also has elastic cuffs in the sleeves, which also have two reflective dots for night time visibility, if being worn for a running or cycling jacket.
I was equally impressed with its texture and feel of the Pertex Quantum, along with its craftsmanship. The stitching is of good quality and the design is basic and to the point which does away with unnecessary extravagances that can come with garments. For once I had found something that was already engineered well enough that I did not need to cut off any extra amenities. The pocket measures 4 x 4.5 in (10.0 x 11.5 cm). I opted not to use the stuff sack that it came with, but if I was going to use the stuff sack it would compress into a size slightly larger than a hacky-sack but smaller than a tennis ball.

IMAGE 1
Front View


IMAGE 5
Stuffed in stuff sack


FIELD USE

The main reason I bought the Montane Aero pullover was to kill two birds with one stone. It was my goal and hope to get some rain protection and some wind protection, which, when combined with other layering systems would form a versatile 3-season warmth/clothing kit that would drop my pack weight and volume. At a scant 3.1 ounces (88 grams) for the XL I was very happy about my selection.
Soon after the Aero's arrival I had the opportunity to test it out. I wore it on a seven mile (11.2 km) loop hike visiting 10 different waterfalls in Silver Falls Oregon (OR). There was a slight drizzle throughout the day and the temps were in the mid 40 F to low 50 F range (4 C - 10 C) Underneath the Aero I was wearing a Mountain Hardwear Canyon shirt. The first thing I noticed was with any hard exertion, like climbing a steep grade for 10 minutes or more, I would begin to create my own weather system inside the Aero. But as long as I was strolling casually or putting forth medium exertion I was OK. In my opinion that kind of blew out the breath-ability statement from the manufacturer. On my hike I did not notice that I was getting wet, because my core temperature was keeping me warm. However, I did notice that on top of the sleeves the water droplets did not ball up and roll away, as they would in a designated rain jacket. Upon returning to my car and taking off the Aero, I found that the advertised water resistance was true, and that it is ONLY water resistant but not water proof, and will not stand up to a steady rain, as I had just experienced on my hike. The only parts of my body that were dry was my back, chest, and under sides of my arms. Which indicates to me that where there is systolic pressure there will be water leakage.
As far as using the Aero as a wind shirt, it does the job excellently. I have had it on several backpacking trips where the temperatures have went from the low 30 F to 80 F range (-1 C - 26 C) and weather that ranged from drizzle, foggy, windy, cool evenings and mornings, and extreme windy alpine conditions. But the trip that I would say is pretty typical and had the most back to back days of usage was my recent Mt. Hood to Cascade Locks OR, trip along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). This trip and other trips have heralded about the same results, so to avoid redundancy I will limit it to the PCT trip, keeping in mind the results have been very similar on other trips. I went from Mt. Hood OR to Cascade Locks OR along the PCT, starting at Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood. The day time temperatures were in the high 70 F (25 C) with night time lows in the 40 F range (4 C). Elevation was a steady 3000-4000 ft (914 - 1219 m) until the last day which was a 9 mi (14.5 km) descent into Cascade Locks 1500 ft elev (457 m). I used the Aero primarily in the evening when the temperature was around 60 F (15 C) and would steadily decline to about the 40 F range (4 C). As the evening temperature would decline I would then put on my poly-pro shirt under the Canyon shirt and then place the Aero over the whole assembly and cinch up the bottom draw cord to keep the heat in and the drafts out. With this combination I was very comfortable and did not feel chilled even while just sitting around and gabbing with friends, before getting into my sleeping bag for the night. In the morning when the temperatures were in the low 40 F (4 C) range, and the winds were variable from 0-5 mph (0 - 8 kmh) it was a repeat of the same procedure as the evening except I would start with all layers on and then strip it all off before starting out for the day.
During the day I kept the Aero handy in one of my ULA Circuit's outer mesh pockets so that I could put it on just over my shirt when on a rest break or when the wind would pick up a little and chill the sweat on my body.

IMAGE 2
Side View


IMAGE 3
Drop tail


IMAGE 4
Chest Zipper

SUMMARY

The single draw cord at the bottom of the jacket worked great for sealing in my body heat and keeping out bothersome drafts. The overall cut and shape was done well which allowed the jacket to be roomy enough for me to layer underneath, but not so loose that it will beat me to death in the wind. I especially like the drop down tail that covers my bottom side.
Overall the Montane Aero was an excellent item to add to my three season clothing kit. I wanted a quality wind shirt to add to my layering systems, and that could be use for slight rain protection in a pinch. The Aero did well as a stand alone wind break, and for my already scant clothing kit final outer layer. I wanted to reduce my clothing pack weight and volume and was able to do so with the Aero. This is not a robust overkill garment so I did need to take some care when wearing it. The Pertex Quantum is very thin and I do not plan on wearing or using it for off trail bush whacking or even off trail hiking where I may run the risk of snagging it. This pull-over has served me well for around camp morning and evening activities, as well as keeping my core temperature warm when stopping for a break while hiking and wind protection during a hike. It also provided some rain spatter protection in a pinch or prolonged drizzles but did not keep me dry, just warm. I was seeking something that was water proof and wind proof and had breath-ability properties but did not find them all in this item. However I did find a great multi-use item that can stretch my already small clothing kit into a better temp range. In general I would highly recommend this item.

THINGS I LIKE

Windproof.
Ultra-Light.
Extends temp range in clothing kit.
Uses very little real-estate in pack.
Nice shape and design.
No frills.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Not as water resistant as I had hoped.
Very poor breath-ability, contrary to advertisement.
A little spendy for what it is.

SIGNATURE

Douglas McCoy
dmccoy805@msn.com

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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