Revised OR - GoLite Wisp - Ray Estrella
- Hi guys, I revised my OR, ther HTML may be found here;
BY RAYMOND ESTRELLA
April 20, 2007
NAME: Raymond Estrella
LOCATION: Huntington Beach California USA
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 205 lb (93.00 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and
in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.
Web site: www.golite.com
Size: Extra Large
Year manufactured: 2005
MSRP: $50.00 (US)
Weight listed: 3 oz (85 g) Weight measured 3.1 oz (88 g)
Color reviewed: Grease (not offered any longer)
Colors available: Avacodo, Burnt Orange and Lt Mediterranian Blue
Warranty: 100% Guarantee
The Golite Wisp is a light-weight garment that the company calls "an
ideal travel jacket or just-in-case wind shell". The company says
that it can be used in a" wide range of activities in windy and or
It is made of "WispHP", 22 denier polyester taffeta with a DWR
treatment. It has a fine rip-stop pattern in it and it is very
translucent. The material is very soft and silky feeling, much like
the lining in a sleeping bag.
The three in (7.5 cm) high collar is made of a triple thickness of
the material and has a seven in (17.5 cm) long black nylon YKK zipper
in the front of it going down onto the chest. The zipper is backed by
1 in (2.5 cm) draft/water stop.
On the left side of the chest the GoLite logo has been embroidered.
The waist and wrists have elastic sewn in to them to help keep out
Inside of the Wisp on the left side is a care tag. It reads, "hand
wash, line dry in shade, no bleach, cool iron and do not dry clean".
Just above the tag is a small pocket. This pocket can be used to self
stow the Wisp. Once the jacket is stuffed in the pocket a flap goes
over the top of the opening to close it. This exposes a short nylon
loop meant to be clipped to a carabiner. GoLite says that it packs
down to the size of an apple, which is true as can be seen here.
The Wisp has been with me on many day-hikes and fastpacks all over
southern California. I have had it with me for trips to the San
Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Cleveland National Forests. I have worn
it in temps down to 27 F (-3 C) The warmest temps it has been used
(worn) at is only the high 40's F (8 C) as I am pretty warm blooded.
(It has been carried in much warmer temps though.) It has been at
high altitude a lot as I break it out when on windy peaks like San
Gorgonio (11499'/m) and San Jacinto (10834'/m)
I have had it in Utah in the Canyonlands National park. Temps there
ranged from 35 to 70 F (2 to 21 C). Here is a picture of it on the
top of San Jacinto.
I bought the Wisp in 2005 to mainly use as a lightweight rain coat
for day hikes, and as the wind shirt that they position it as. I am
so hot-blooded that I rarely need it for this purpose often.
I use it on multi-day trips when I don't expect bad weather too. I
have been bringing it on winter trips that I do not plan on needing
an ice axe. (I would not want to have to slide down a slope with the
Wisp. It is not made for that and does not deserve to be shredded
during a self-arrest.) A memorable trip that I used it was a trip to
San Gorgonio that saw temps plummet to 22 F (-6 C). It was still 27 F
(-3 C) and very windy when I had to take off hiking. I put a
lightweight Arcteryx top over my t-shirt and topped it off with the
Wisp. It worked great.
As it is usually very windy on the top of peaks, not to speak of the
temps in spring-time or late fall. The Wisp is great to be able to
pull out of the daypack or summit pack and wear as I have a top-of-
the-world snack break or lunch, such as this break on the top of
Jepson. As can be seen, it gets very wrinkled while stuffed into its
little pocket. Maybe that's why they say to use a cool iron. I seem
to have forgotten mine
In light rain the Wisp works quite well as my body heat will keep it
dry inside. But the fabric will wet-out under heavy or long duration
rain-fall. I will notice a very light amount of damp feel on the
inside of the fabric. It works quite admirably for a lightweight
alternative to a heavy dedicated raincoat. I wear a hat with it in
the rain, and zip it all the way up to keep water from entering
through the collar. Here is a picture of the fabric with water beaded
up and running off. Notice that my arm can be seen through the WispHP
On a hike with my fiancée, she wanted to cut her total weight a bit
and was concerned about the weight of her technical shell. I told her
if she could live with the XL size of my Wisp I would bring it along
for her use, letting her leave the shell that weighed 5 times more.
She was pretty enthusiastic saying, "Yes!" I may have to get her one
in the future.
I love how small it packs down. The pocket will not stay closed with
the fabric flap though. With movement in my pack the material works
itself out. Sometimes I will throw a rubber-band around it, other
times I don't even stuff it but just shove it in my pack.
The company recommends re-doing the DWR treatment periodically as it
is affected by dirt and such. I have not at the time of this writing,
but am going to do a few of my winter shells soon and will add the
Wisp to the load.
As far as the breathability claims, to me it is no more or less
breathable than any of my other shells. I still get over-heated in it
when hiking and take it off as soon as it stops raining or I get warm.
It has held up very well for something so light. I have no holes,
tears or separating seams on it yet. It is very tough too. I slipped
off an icy trail in the San Bernardino Mountains and hit a tree
branch. I thought for sure that I would need some McNett's repair
tape, but the Wisp did not tear. My shoulder got a good scrape though.
All things considered I really like the Wisp and plan to carry it for
many trips to come. I wish that GoLite made the matching pants with
side zippers, I would buy them too.