Patagonia are not a brand you’d immediately associate with MTBing – and their Windshield jacket is actually intended for trail running – but somehow it has managed to become my most-worn outer layer of the last four years.
I ended up owning it after a previous Patagonia waterproof delaminated – leading me to receive a credit note after taking advantage of their lifetime guarantee.
I wanted to try a lighter softshell jacket, since my existing one at the time was too hot and cut too short for biking – and since Patagonia don’t make bike-specific clothes, I reckoned a running jacket would be their most-breathable option.
And the Windshield is certainly light, weighing little more than a midweight jersey. The fabric is super-thin and it has stretch panels on the side and under the arms to help give it a “fitted” feel – as well as adding some valuable extra breathability in more-sheltered areas.
I really like the vibrant green colour, which was enduro before enduro was such a big thing – and still looks “on-trend” four years later.
There are thumb loops which I don’t actually use, but which help make the sleeves a bit longer – so you never get cold wrists even when stretched right out on the bike.
I was a bit concerned when buying online that the sizing could be on the large side, since Patagonia do so much business in the US, but fortunately it’s a nice normal cut – loose without being baggy or flapping around too much.
Mine has two side pockets – which I find handy for a phone and gels – but I know the newer version seems to just have a single chest pocket.
The rear isn’t as dropped as some cycle-specific jackets, but it still does a decent job of keeping my bum dry-ish, and although the jacket is only lightly water resistant, it dries very quickly if you do get caught in a downpour or you’re splashing down a wet trail.
It certainly lives up to its name – cutting windchill beautifully, which is obviously handy for fast descents (and I wear it a lot on road rides as well as MTB ones). Breathability is very good for a jacket, but it still gets hot if worn in summer. It’s fine for hard efforts at anything under 10 degrees C though.
I’ve done several rides that have turned out wetter than expected and the Windshield copes well, perhaps because it dries out so quickly – as mentioned. Also maybe because it’s too thin to hold a lot of water.
As I suggested in my intro, this has absolutely become my “go to” jacket (and that’s the only time you’ll read that term on this blog), accompanying me on countless rides over the past four years.
Yet while much of my bike-specific gear has started to look tatty and worn out with issues like failed zips, this jacket is still in great condition.
Patagonia stuff is by no means cheap (they don’t call it “Patagucci” for nothing), but at the current retail price of £90-odd I would suggest that it could turn out to be a bit of a bargain in the long run.
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