For several weeks now, I am using a Helikon-Tex Windrunner shirt and would like to take the opportunity to give you my impression of this very lightweight piece of gear.
According to Helikon-Tex it is designed to be an outer layer for athletic activities like running, or as an additional layer over your clothes, if you need something to add over your fleece jacket for example.
First some basic specs:
- Fabric: Micro Ripstop Nylon with a Dupont Teflon Coating, YKK Zippers
- Weight: 155g
- Colors: Black, Coyote, Camogrom, Shadow Grey (as seen here in the review), Alpha Green
The Windrunner not only feels lightweight, it is in fact very compressible. You can basically make it as small as a 0,5l can. To do that you only have to reverse the small pocket sewn inside of the shirt with the help of its pull tab, and start stuffing it in.
Size and Fit
The cut of the windshirt is a little bit larger to accommodate to layering and freedom of movement. I am typically a European size 52 and between the American sizes Medium and Large. This Windrunner shirt is size Medium and fits me perfectly, with enough room to wear it over a fleece or other jacket.
Only the sleeves could be longer in my opinion. The cuffs are around the wrist joint if you let your arms fall naturally, and as soon as you raise your them, the sleeves draw back extensively.
The front zipper opens half over the chest and makes it easy to put the Windrunner shirt on. It is made of a YKK zipper, features a wind flap and a chin guard, so that the zipper does not pinch your beard, chin etc.
There is a drawcord at the bottom of the jacket to adjust it to the user. On the inside of the Windshirt you can find a loop of fabric, which keeps the drawcord from hanging loose.
The front pocket is accessible from the left and right, so you can reach through it basically. It is lined with a fine mesh material to the direction of the body, offering more possibilities to increase airflow and ventilation in case it gets warmer.
It features a small slip pocket on both sides, giving enough room for a cellphone and items of similar size.
The zipper is sewn in reversely, so it offers more protection against the elements. There is also a wind flap on the outside, concealing the zipper and creating a nice streamlined look.
As mentioned before, the sleeves are not as long as I would like them to be, nevertheless they feature some interesting details:
Under the armpits there are mesh vents to provide air circulation.
The cuffs are elastic: just enough to close up the wrist, but not too tight to be uncomfortable.
The sleeves are not just tubes, made of Nylon ripstop. They are ergonomically formed, as you can see especially at the elbows. The latter are reinforced by an additional layer of the Micro Ripstop Nylon fabric. This cut can’t be seen at first glance, but gives the windshirt a nice overall fit and design.
The hood is fully adjustable to the user. You can close up the opening with two drawstring, which can be fastened with cord locks. The excessive cord can be drawn into the inside of the shirt.
On the backside of the hood there is another drawcord to bring the hood closer to the head. That way it stays firm on the skull and follows the head movement of the user. The brim is laminated and extends slightly over the front of the head.
The manufacture is as you would expect it from Helikon-Tex. It is not over the top, but definitely worth the money. You can find some loose threads and unclean stitches here and there, but overall there are no major flaws.
The seams on the inside are hemmed appropriately and the fabrics and hardware used, is of good quality.
My overall impression of the Windrunner shirt is a very positive one. It arrived with me in Summer, when I used it during cool mornings going to the lake, or as additional layer over my shirt when the weather was volatile.
At the very beginning I had to hang it out on the fresh air though. The smell fresh out of the package was not a pleasant one – chemical and apparent. One night on the balcony changed that, although a slight remnant of the odor stayed.
The windshirt is only able to withstand very light rain. As soon as you experience normal to heavy rain, the shirt is offering very limited protection, since the seams are not sealed and develop a wicking effect, transferring the water from the out- to the inside of the jacket. Obviously the mesh vents under the armpits are no water protection as well. Something to keep in mind!
The small packing size and the lightweight characteristics of the Helikon-Tex Windrunner windshirt make it a very practical item to carry along. If you prefer to wear breathable clothing in the outdoors which offer low wind protection, the windshirt is an ideal option to create an additional layer for protection against windy weather and mild rain.
Especially when you are on the athletic side, going out for longer runs and needing something with you in case the weather changes, the Windrunner might be an option worth considering.
Since it is that small, I have it with me most of the time in my bag or pack, and have used it on several occasions to layer.
The muted color of Shadow Grey is growing on me as well and I think I will look into other items with this color. With the Windrunner shirt, Helikon-Tex showed once more that their design team is able to come up with something new every year. I am looking forward to see what they will be up to in the future.
I hope this review was able to give you a decent idea of the shirt!
Thank you for reading! And special thanks to Helikon-Tex for the Windrunner shirt!