Montbell has had a major hit on their hands with their Montbell Tachyon Wind Jacket and the Montbell Tachyon Anorak since they were introduced to the ultralight hiking and running communities. For 2013 they decided to one-up themselves, and boy did they ever!
Three months ago when I was informed I had been selected as a Montbell America sponsored hiker I received one of the brand new 2013 editions of the Montbell Tachyon Wind Jacket, to replace my aging Montbell Tachyon Anorak that I had a few years of hiking use with.
The 2013 edition of the Tachyon was revealed to us here in America at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 – and what really made a lot of us go “wow!” was the fact that Montbell was indicating a weight of 45.36 grams (1.6 ounces) for a size medium!
Gone, for the Tachyon wind jacket, was any hood and any hem drawcord – In was a new and substantially large mesh armpit, and the use of 7-denier material that is now the hot thing in the SUL/XUL world.
Size, Fit, Features:
I am a bit of a larger individual so I ordered up the size large – it weighs in on my calibrated scale at 51.63 grams (2.037 ounces)!!
The fit is superb!
I have long arms so I tend to have to custom order gear with an extra two or three inches of arm length, but the new 2013 Tachyon does not suffer this problem.
It has its own built-in stow pocket so you can easily store it. Love this feature and glad to see more manufacturers adding the little stow pockets to their smaller jackets.
They retained the elastic wrists which is nice.
And it has a full front zipper! Stop and think about that… a windjacket with a full zipper that is 2 ounces! And under two ounces if you can fit into a medium. Amazing… simply amazing. It has a zipper guard at the top of the zipper too.
The jacket also has some rather large pit vents made of mesh. This makes for amazing ventilation to prevent peripheral temperature build-up, but it also tends to cause the jacket to balloon, as can been seen in this photograph that a buddy took after having some lunch one day. There was just a slight breeze and it causes this ballooning effect – it happens quite a bit.
At this point I have a little over two hundred miles of hiking with the 2013 edition of the Montbell Tachyon Wind Jacket, and of those 200 miles (322 kilometers) I have used it for somewhere between 60 and 80 miles, so not a whole lot. I have also used it as a daily jacket around my home town.
It is able to repel light rain, heavy mist, and fog, but it quickly soaks out in anything beyond that, which is to be expected – it is a wind jacket, not a rain jacket.
For what it is designed to do — shielding you from all but the strongest of winds — it performs perfectly!
It has gone with me, and has been used, on multiple hiking trips along the ocean where we have strong cold winds, and it handles the job it is there to do.
It has gone with me on multiple hiking trips along rivers where during the early evenings it is nice to have a wind jacket to take off the cool breeze from the river.
It has gone with me on trips through the Redwoods where the under canopy does not see the light of day and tends to be a bit chilly, and I have put it on to help gain a degree or two of increased temperatures, rather than putting on a heavier layer.
I have used it twice in full sun situations where the sun was just beating down on me and I wanted some level of UV protection. While it is not a UV rated jacket, something is better than nothing at times. It does have a tendency to stick to your skin in warmer situations, but lets face it, it is designed to be a wind shirt, not a sun shirt.
Most importantly, it is one of those rare pieces of gear that has a very specific job, is super ultralight weight, and does the job it has been designed to do!
What Others Think:
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that as of the day of publication of this article I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell America, Gossamer Gear, Black Rock Gear, Suluk46.