Saturday, 28 March 2009


It's breezy out. Almost Gale Force at times. I had half-a-mind to head out this weekend, not far, just somewhere local. My mental checklist (mental as in, the one in my head) always includes a windproof and has done for at least the last 8 or 9 years.

It was Chris Townsend's idea. I was reading TGO one day and he'd done a test on windproofs. They were, and I'm paraphrasing here, "One of the most useful & versatile items you can carry". That caught my attention and, the very next Saturday, I was off up to Summits to see what they had.

CT had recommended the Karrimor Vector Run and so that was the one I had to have. I couldn't see it on the racks. "Looking for anything in particular?" said Andy from behind the counter. "Karrimor Vector Run", says I. "What size?" says he. "Large, I think". "Two ticks", and off he went up the back stairs. After a bit of thumping from above, he trots back down bearing a tiny package. I was beaming. He even knocked a tenner off on account of me being a regular.

From L to R, Karrimor Vector, Paramo Fuera, Rab Quantum Windshhirt

I took it out the next day. And every other hill day for years after. That wee blue bundle's been over more hills than I can count. A constant companion no less. Even though others have come along since, it's never been fully put away. That flash of blue is there every time the door to the gear cupboard opens. It was however, put away dirty. There's still evidence of its' last outing. Some TLC is in order. And maybe a wee re-living of the old times when I was a full-on Hill Monster and not the procrastinating, any-excuse-to-stay-home lazy bastard I've turned into.


BG! said...

I agree - windproofs are always worth a carry. I have the Montane Featherlite Smock and Pants, and I take them on all walks. They make good makeshift waterproofs if regularly treated with Nikwax, and they're ideal for quick and easy coverage when visiting the cat-scrape during a wet windy wildcamping night.

Big Kev said...

Those 3 were on one hanger. There's more in there including the Montane combo' you mention.

My Black Fuera gets worn nearly every day to work.

You can get ones so light and small (and cheap) that there's no' really any excuse for not carrying one.

Nice mental image with the "cat scrape" btw :o)

Joe Newton said...

Another windshirt fan here. I wear my Montane Lite-speed about four times a week, running, walking and, at the moment, cross country skiing. Best £35 I ever spent. I just wish all those people who don Gore Tex anoraks the second they leave the car and then complain about sweating would give a windshirt a go!

Big Kev said...

Ah yes, the Litespeed. I have one of those too :o) As Bg says, a well-proofed WP will see off a fair bit of rain. I only use a "hard shell" if it looks like the rain's set for the day. Otherwise I just plod on.

scott said...

I'm a confirmed Fuera man myself. Oddly enough, today is genuinely the first time ever that I can remember leaving the car wearing not only my Cioch waterproof but a microfleece underneath.

The minus 25 windchill(or whatever daft figure that was forecast on MWIS) had something to do with that, mind you. And I can say without fear of let or hindrance, that there is absolutely no way that if I hadn't been wearing the fleece I'd have dared take off my jacket to put one on halfway up the hill.

Cold? I was getting pain from the fillings in my teeth.


Big Kev said...

Aye, that was some wind eh? It was feckin' baltic ootside yesterday. Well done on gettin' oot tho'. I'll await the write-up :o)

I know what you mean about taking stuff off to put something else on. Some days, it's no' an option. That's when an "oversized" windproof or whatever comes in handy.

PTC said...

That Vector's elite blue so it is. My eyes are misting for the old days again...
I'm equiping with wind tops again as it's spring, and old Haglofs Kaza and new Montane Featherlite.
Adds a splash of colour also :o)

Big Kev said...

Aye, it's a nostalgic colour isn't it? There's a lot of "me" in that wee top. Actually a bit less now that I've washed it but I'm sure you know what I mean? :o)

Interesting that you mention the improved fit of the Featherlite over at your place. Mine's is like a giant windsock. I may have to look anew.