Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody
A nice balance of breathability, wind resistance and…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80
A nice balance of breathability, wind resistance and precip resistance — more durable than your average windshirt (but heavier too).
- Good breathability, while still very wind resistant
- Very good DWR
- Nice stretchy Schoeller material
- Heavier than most windshirts
- Size up
This isn't your average ultralightweight windshirt, for one it comes in at 8.2 oz in XL, about double what my other (Patagonia Houdini) windshirt is. But there are some advantages.
The Schoeller material has a nice stretch to it and is definitely going to be more durable than any of the real lightweight windshirts. It strikes a nice balance of wind resistance, breathability (~ 40 cfms) and sports a very good DWR; the HH on this shirt (from Black Diamond) is 500mm (my Houdini is ~ 100), so it's very water resistant.
I can back this up as I've used it on several occasions when the snow has been on the very wet end of the scale, also a few occasions with light rain. It won't replace a hardshell, but your hardshell will see less use!
I had to size up from normal Large to XL. It's definitely cut tight and as I like to layer mine sometimes over a mid or insulating layer, the Large wasn't going to cut it.
For summer use I'll probably continue to use my Houdini, but shoulder season/winter, the Alpine Start will be my go to windshirt.
Pic on a recent overnight snowshoe trip: