IR - OR Contour Windshirt - Andy H.
Here's my IR for the Contour Windshirt. The html version can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/c4qdgw . I'll be heading OOP tonight and will be back on 5/3. Thanks for the edits!
Outdoor Research Contour Windshirt
Test Series by Andy Henrichs
April 29, 2009
Initial Report - 4-29-09
Name: Andy Henrichs
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Weight: 185 lb (83.9 kg)
Chest: 41 in (104 cm)
Sleeve: 36 in (91 cm)
Email address: a_henrichs@...
City, State, Country: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts in the southwestern US. I've gone winter camping several times, but I still prefer backpacking in the warmer months. Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6 days. In the summer of 2004, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked the 476 mile Colorado Trail over 35 days. Recently, I have been leaning towards the lightweight side of the spectrum.
Wearing the Contour Windshirt
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research (www.orgear.com)
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturers Stated Weight (unknown size): 9.9 oz (281 g)
Testers Measured Weight (size L): 12 oz (340 g)
Colors Available: Black, Pumice
Sizes Available: S, M, L, XL
MSRP: $110 US
The Outdoor Research Contour Windshirt is a softshell windshirt. According to the Outdoor Research website, it is constructed with 88% Cordura fabric and 12% Lycra; this is contradicted by a tag sewn into the inner seam of the windshirt. This tag states that it is constructed from 91% Cordura and 9% Spandex. According to the Outdoor Research website, Cordura is "a high-performance fabric resistant to abrasions, tears, and scuffs." Given this description, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fabric has just a little stretch to it. Additionally, it is softer than I was expecting. I am guessing the Lycra is responsible for both the stretch and the softness. The windshirt has also been treated with a DWR finish. The windshirt is a fairly basic garment. It is a pullover with a 15 in (38 cm) front zipper. There is a 1 in (2.5 cm) wide strip of fleece covering the upper 4 in (10 cm) of the interior side of the zipper. This serves to protect the wearer's chin from abrasion from the zipper. This piece also wraps around to the top of the outside of the zipper and acts as a small zipper garage. There is also an 11 in (28 cm) side zipper to make the windshirt easier to put on and take off. This side zipper is located along the right side and runs from the bottom hem straight up towards the armpit. The Contour Windshirt also has a zippered napoleon pocket on the left chest. The zipper is 6 in (15 cm) long and the pocket measures 7.5 in by 5.5 in (19 cm by 14 cm). There is an embroidered "OR" logo on the pocket. The back of the neckline of the windshirt features a hang loop, a size tag, a country-of-origin tag (Made in China), and an Outdoor Research logo tag. There is a care tag sewn into an interior seam near the left hip. According to this tag, the care instructions are: machine wash cold, do not bleach, tumble dry low, do not iron, and do not dry clean.
A closer view of the Contour and its features
This windshirt isn't exactly what I was expecting; it seems better. When I saw that it was made out of Cordura, I was expecting a stiff and rough fabric. Instead, the material is thin, light, flexible, stretchy, and soft. It has a very minimalist design with no bells or whistles. I like this design strategy quite a bit; I always prefer lighter weight and good function over fancy accessories I rarely use. When deciding what size to order, my measurements were just above the measurements given for a medium windshirt. As such, I went with a large. It fits a little looser than I was expecting, but is not baggy. When wearing the Contour, my motion is not restricted at all.
The front zipper is quite deep and makes it easy to don and doff the windshirt. I was initially very skeptical of the side zipper. I didn't have any problems getting the windshirt on or off and the side zipper seemed a little unnecessary. After using it a few times, I'm starting to really like it. It makes donning or doffing the windshirt very quick and easy. While this zipper is not necessary given the fact that the windshirt is a little large on me, I can see how nice it would be if the windshirt fit a little more snug.
The DWR coating on the Contour Windshirt is very impressive. When placed under a running faucet, the water beads up and runs right off. I was a little surprised to see that there is no elastic around the cuffs and I'm anxious to see if this affects its function as a windshirt.
This concludes my Initial Report. I will append this report with my Field Report in approximately two months. Check back then for further details.
Thank you to Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test this windshirt.