Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt Custom
This is a good one!
The following is my experiences based on my personal preferences, other can/will see things differently.
I choose a 10D fabric in “Charcoal”. The 10D is - from what I understand – at the higher end in terms of letting wind trough. Then again wind in and body heat out is largely two sides of the same, and I wanted good breathability. The weight is absolutely perfectly spot on the spec. This is excellent, especially compared to most main brands who often shamelessly adds 10 – 12 – 15 % to their specs.
As a non-expert but a very practical orientated user I see the design of the shirt is pretty straight forward. I find no fancy super special (potentially failing) solutions, but rather proven user-friendly bomb proof simplicity. The design with no seam on the shoulders, a hood and last but absolutely not least – a full length zipper – makes the Copperfield Wind Shirt right for me; and when the details are this good – kudos to EE.
For those interested in colour I think the presentation on the web site is pretty good. If anything, the real-life version is a little bit less shiny. My chosen fabric colour combination gives a tiny bit of see through especially in sunshine. I wanted something blending in and not to dark. While mentioning the web site, a bit more practical product info and some detailing pictures would have been useful.
The way this thing is put together looks very professional. All though the design is (in my words) simple, all the details need to be right. How the fabric is cut, the seams ends, the stitching, a mini grommet (with backing) where the draw strings comes through, how the YKK zip is integrated and sewn in and never snags! the little ring preventing the bottom drawstring to come through the mini cord lock, and more. No traces of stitching going wrong and then half way fixed, just quality all the way. Others have voiced concerns about Velcro being too intimate with the seams/tread, I’ve had no incidents in practical use, but had to do a little test: the hard gripping part of Velcro will grip the tread on the seams, the tread is a bit fluffy on closer inspection, good to know and I will be a bit careful knowing this.
If I wanted to change something it had to be how the adjusted bottom drawstring hang down as a loop ready to get caught on a twig or a bus seat arm rest. Depending on what hurry one might be in, I am a bit uneasy about the potential result. I plan to sew in a tiny mitten hook a couple of inches up the inside side seem. I have already added a small loop/pull (fluorescent yellow Dyneema cord) to the tiny front zipper runner, it is small and difficult to handle with cold hands or mittens.
EE says the size should be on the large side with my Large actually being largeandahalf. I guess that is about right. The shirt goes nicely over my garments and also over my Large puffy (that combo with the puffy is hot). For me the sizing is good as I do not like restrictive clothing. The arms are a tad long for me but with the elastic on the wrist this is no problem. I like being able to stretch both up and down without the wrist riding up.
The elastic on the wrist is perfect for me but I have rather skinny wrists (I think); perfect in terms of keeping wind out and at the same time not feeling tight. The elastic itself is rather hard (feels like a flat rubber band in there), much harder than I had expected and harder compared to my Patagonia puffy or similar garments. One need to prevent the wind getting through making a big balloon of the wind shirt, I guess this is a reason for this elastic solution. It would have been interesting to see how a solution similar to the soft elastic on ultralight puffy jackets would work on a wind shirt.
The hood is a must have for me, and I love this one. Again, it is not restrictive but at the same time do not flap around a lot in wind. The front of the jacket comes up under the chin and continues up on the sides forming the hood shutting out wind in a good way. There is no protection/parking on the zipper top end, but there is nothing irritating on the zipper top.
The easy to use elastic draw cord up around the front of the hood can be adjusted on both sides; just pull the end - even with mittens on. I usually wear a cap and that is a good combination with the hood. A beanie will also work fine, the hood is not blocking my vision. This hood is too small for a helmet or other very large types of hats.
All three drawstring adjustments (two at the hood and one at the left hip) are basically made the same way with a tiny cord lock fixed/sewn in with a tiny webbing loop. There is a grommet with backing were the elastic comes through. It is just to pull to tighten.
I keep my wind shirt in a tiny TreadLite Cuben stuff sack. This is for several reasons: to protect it from other items in my pack (not sure if this is necessary but it feels right), to “isolate” it when wet/damp/sweaty, makes things orderly, so it does not blow away(!) and easy to stuff in a pocket somewhere. The fabric is not sticky wet nor dry and it do not stick to itself when packed/folded together wet.
I have used the Copperfield in the early to mid-Autumn down to freezing. The breathability is outstanding, and I do not feel any wind getting through – no feeling of wind blowing directly through. An extreme example: with just a t-shirt under and cold wind just above freezing it does of course feel cold, but nothing like with a fleece where one feels the wind blowing directly through. There will be a bit of moisture (condensation?) on the inside at high rpms when cold but nothing like with GoreTex.
When carrying a backpack and sweating the pack gets damp seemingly as if I did not have the shirt on, so yes – this thing really does the job letting moisture out. I try to avoid the wind shirt on my bare skin (as this is a bit contradicting to the function of the wind shirt holding in the warmth in underlaying garments) but wearing only a short sleeve t-shirt under works just fine (at least for shorter periods).
My biggest concern before buying - and also where I found very little info - was how the Copperfield would perform when carrying a back pack. I did not find much info on this at all. I did find other garments the manufacturers say is not to be used when carrying a pack(!).
One can vision all kinds of bad things happen, but if I should try to reason - all thought thin - this fabric is like any other fabric like say in my GoreTex Packlite 20D jacket. So, I am not afraid of the abrasion from a pack touching the fabric. I am a bit more concerned about the sideways stretch/tear on the fabric when jammed under the shoulder straps or the hip belt when I move and stretch and what not. Call me crazy but I have actually inspected the seams and the most exposed fabric areas with a magnifier(!). I cannot see much difference on the fabric/seams comparing the exposed and the non-exposed areas; only thing is there are more tiny hard creases on the shoulders where the shoulder straps ride. The same goes for the seams, nothing bad to report.
I had an encoder with a tree branch after tripping, and with a magnifier I can se a little scraping in the coating, no damages. Taking a magnifier to my GoreTex jacket I have lots of similar scrapings. So, all in all I have decided the 10D nylon fabric is strong – really strong. It is not a coincidence some makers produce tents with 10D silnylon floors. So far, I have about 30 hours with the Copperfield carrying a pack (my pack is in the 10 to 12 kg area).
As a bonus this fabric is keeping the rain out surprisingly well. It also keeps the bugs out but be careful with liquid bug dope. My favourite DEET product dry on the skin is OK but liquid spray will kill the coating (I did a little test on the backside of the hem). The Copperfield cannot replace proper rain gear, but a short burst of rain or a few drops for a long time is OK.
An example: I was fishing and snagged a lure on the bottom, I was in a bit of hurry and only took off my boots and trousers before wading out, I stumbled and took a full dip, back on shore – with a wet Silver Ridge shirt (and the lure) – I got the Copperfield on over for bug protection, then it started to rain a bit, 45 minutes later after hiking back to the cabin my Silver Ridge (under the wind shirt) was dry and my cotton/poly trousers was soggy from the rain. My wicking Silver Ridge shirt had dried up pumping all that moisture through the Copperfield fabric at the same time the fabric was holding the rain out – pretty amazing.
The Copperfield is now a trusted part of my kit. I use it a lot for Evening walks around where I live, and it will always be in my pack ready for the next outing.
Thanks to the good people at EE for their ingenuity and dedication.