Arc'teryx Tau Jacket
The Tau Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best wind shirts for 2023.
I've been using the Tau Jacket for three years now. Its strengths are that it is windproof, very lightweight and it looks good when you are wearing it. On the downside, I'm really not a fan of the elastic waist on the coat. I'm sure there are people that would argue that this makes it more windproof, but I use this shirt mostly for mountain biking and sometimes for backpacking, and in both cases I find that the elastic causes the shirt to ride up well above my waist.
I also own a Marmot windshirt which is easily one of my favorite and most used pieces of gear. The biggest differences are (a) lack of elastic around the waist and (b) the driclime lining on the Marmot windshirt definitely makes it a warmer garment. The Tau Jacket wins for packability, and use on cooler/windier days. The Marmot jacket wins as the thermometer drops further. I also find that the Marmot shirt works better as a layering piece since it hangs more like a regular shirt.
The one thing I will say for this shirt is that it has been impressively durable. I've taken several falls in rocks on my mountain bike while wearing it, and the shirt is none the worse for it. I have yet to find a personal reason to doubt Arc'teryx quality and the Tau continues that tradition.
Used in the right conditions this shirt is excellent. I just find that I use my Marmot windshirt more.
Price Paid: $65
This jacket is the biggest waste of money. I am a trail runner, backpacker, and climber. I wanted a jacket that would be a nice summer time shell for the rain and to keep the hard winds off of me in the spring, winter, and fall. Well this shell is not designed for rain, so don't buy it for that purpose. The shell did do a decent job in the wind, but I would hope that it would do something good at retailing at over $100 dollars. This jacket is way overpriced and not up to par in design.
Fabric: nylon shell
Price Paid: $70
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Reviewers Paid: $70.00
Historic Range: $49.95-$249.95
Reviewers Paid: $65.00