I’ve never owned a wind shirt/jacket before and so the Montbell Tachyon Jacket was a new and exciting thing for me to test out. This jacket was a part of my Continental Divide Trail gear, and it accompanied me the entire length of the trail.
I used it extensively at high elevations in Colorado and also found myself wearing it in the (very) early morning as a lightweight insulating layer –
something that I could stand to hike in for a bit longer than my down or rain jacket before having to take it off.
Overall, I’ve had an interesting experience with the Tachyon Jacket, and I certainly am not upset about having brought included it in my pack.
- Weight: 1.6 oz (45 g)
- Fabric: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon
- DWR: Polkatex DWR treatment
- Compressed size: 3.3 x 1.6 x 4.3 in (11× 8.5 × 4 cm)
- Center back length: 28.3 in (72 cm)
- Other: Front zipper: Left-hand insert (Right side slider)
- Country of origin: Vietnam
- Hooded: No
- Available colors: Green, Blue, White
- Available sizes: S, M, L, XL
- MSRP: $99
- Elastic cuffs
- Reflective safety logos
- Mesh underarms for ventilation
- Packs easily into an integrated stow pocket
- Fabric weight: 21g/m²
THE WEIGHT | The Tachyon Jacket is stupid light. It weighs 1.6 oz / 45 g – that’s less than a Snickers bar. To be honest, the last time I wore this jacket on the trail was about halfway through (that’s still a couple of months of use). However, I didn’t send this jacket home 1) because I used it as my town shirt, and 2) it was literally worth having just in case I wanted to use it – it’s that light.
THE PACKABILITY | With the help of a discreet inside pocket (that could be used for a key, passport photo, gumball, etc.), the Tachyon Jacket packs down so small that I can close my hand around it. It almost looks as though you aren’t going to be able to pack the entire thing into itself at first, but it’s possible, I promise. Bottom line? It packs impressively small.
THE CUFFS/ZIPPER | The elastic cuffs have held up and have done well to keep out the drafts. I was originally a bit worried about the zipper (and basically the entire jacket) because of how delicate it felt, but both the elasticity in the cuffs, the zipper, and the entire jacket have held up well. No problems to report.
THE MESH PITS | This jacket has mesh under arms to help with ventilation and they do – a little. If you’re looking at the stock photos of the jacket, it might look like the mesh extends down the side – it does not. The mesh part of the underarm cover is just that – your armpit. I guess that too much mesh would defeat the purpose of a wind jacket and allow in too much of the wind you want to keep out, but the Taychon Jacket could definitely use more venting.
THE WATER RESISTANCE | The Tachyon Jacket has Montbell’s Polkatex water-repellant treatment, but don’t plan on using this thing in anything heavier than a mist. Granted, this is not a rain jacket and should not be treated as such. In this context, it’s actually a bonus that the jacket has been treated to repel water which, again, it does an acceptable job at in light rain. I haven’t worn the jacket in the snow, so I can’t speak to the performance with more crystalized water.
THE WARRANTY | Montbell will cover “all defects in materials and workmanship to the original owner for the lifetime of the product.” The lifetime is a long time, awesome. “Damage(s) caused by accident, improper care, negligence, alterations, or normal wear and tear” on the other hand, is not covered. Understandable. That being said, if you damage your jacket Montbell does repairs at “a reasonable rate” (3-5 week turnaround). I haven’t yet taken them up on this so I cannot say how much a “reasonable rate” is, but it’s good they stand behind their products.
THE BREATHABILITY | I did not find this jacket to be very breathable. Personally, I run a little hot, and whenever I found myself in direct sunlight if the wind wasn’t whipping or the temperature wasn’t freezing, I pretty much immediately started sweating. Even wearing this jacket around town, with nothing underneath, I would begin sweating as soon as I started walking (fortunately, it dries quickly).
THE HEM/HOOD | This jacket does not have a drawcord hem. It also does not have a hood. For my own needs, I haven’t found the lack of either of these things to be an issue with the Tachyon Jacket, but if you’re going to be relying heavily on this jacket, then you may want to take this into consideration. If you are looking for these features, then check out the instead Montbell Tachyon Anorak (it costs the same and weighs just .3 oz / 10 g more).
I have to say, I am a bit indifferent when it comes to the Tachyon Jacket. It’s not every day that I end up wearing it, but despite not being an essential piece of equipment, it’s just too small and light to not keep around. If you want something a bit more full-featured, then check out the Montbell Tachyon Anorak. This is basically the same jacket but it weighs 1.9 oz / 55 g, does not have a full-length front zipper, has a hood, and has a drawcord hem.
For now, the Montbell Tachyon Jacket will stay in my pack, as I am sure that one day soon I will come across the perfect set of circumstances to use it (maybe in the wind somewhere?). Check out Montbell Tachyon Jacket here.
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