I have been using the Enlightened Equipment ‘Copperfield Wind Shirt’ for a bit over a year. I have been getting questions about it so I thought that I would write up a few brief thoughts about the wind jacket after my first year of use.
I was lucky enough to get mine about 9 or ten months before they hit the market so that I could do pre-release R&D / T&E on the garment. So while mine is slightly different than the current on-the-market version, the changes they have made since I and other testers got ours, have been really nice to see. I think all of the changes that I recommended, with the exception of one, a larger #zipper, made it into the final production version.
I do wish I had more photos of me wearing the Copperfield over the last year or so, but as is usual when testing prototype gear, videos, and pictures of using the gear is something that is typically a huge no-no.
So having tested pretty much every major wind jacket on the market that we ultralight hikers tend to use, these days I just tend to roll my eyes at any new wind jacket coming to market. The fabrics these days have reached a point of pushing the boundaries. At some point, fabrics reach a point where, in the quest to be as light as possible, they start losing the value of what they need to be used for.
In that, Enlightened Equipment has decided to offer
two three different types of fabric, and it is really important to pay attention to that, as one of them makes the Copperfield and actual honest to god wind jacket, another makes it a good option for those looking for a middle of the road wind jacket, and the other fabric just kind of makes the Copperfield fall into that scenario presented above.
The first fabric they offer is a 10d that has a cfm of ~10.
The second fabric they offer is a 20d that has a cfm of ~1.0
The third fabric they offer is a new-to-market 7d that has a cfm of ~35
Suffice to say, that is a huge difference.
A Brief Education:
Now if you do not know that abbreviation “cfm” no worries. It is just one of a bunch of terms the industry likes to use. Sort of like “mm/24h” for DWR (see, there is another one), or “mvtr” or “g/mm2”, or “SPF” and “UPF” for sun protection.
When it comes to wind resistance (or ‘windproof’ as the preferred term), the abbreviation “CFM” means “cubic feet per minute”. Basically meaning, if they have a test room with a fan inside of it blowing at 30 miles per hour, one square foot of the fabric should be able to block it.
So, ignoring all that technical mumbo-jumbo, just remember the important part: the lower the CFM, the better.
Let me try to explain this with some numbers and explanations of them, that I have put together:
60 CMF – Most fleece fabric these days is rated about 60 CMF, in other words, it pretty much sucks for wind resistance.
20-30 CFM – This is considered wind ‘resistant’ but nowhere near ‘windproof’. Pretty much any wind jacket in this range is not really something to call a wind jacket, IMVHO. That said, in some applications, such as a 5+ layering system, a garment with a CFM in this range absolutely has a place.
10 to 5 CFM – This is where a wind jacket starts to come into its own. This is where the term ‘wind resistant’ starts to come into effect.
1 CFM or less – Anything in this range blows (sorry, bad pun) post being “wind resistant” and can be considered “windproof”.
0 CFM – At zero CFM is can be considered completely windproof. In other words, no wind at all should get through the fabric. Just remember, zero CFM fabric usually also means zero breathability so this level of CFM can lead to sweat-through rather quickly.
Now if you go back and take a read of my article Wind Jackets: Montbell Tachyon, Patagonia Houdini, ZPacks Wind Shell, there is a section in there that lists some of the CFM of some of the popular jackets on the market:
3.73 CFM — Patagonia Houdini
6.60 CFM — ZPacks Ventum
9.72 CFM — Montbell Dynamo Wind Jacket
So back around to the Copperfield.
The version that is “~10 cfm” falls into that range of being a viable wind jacket, but probably not the type of thing for actually being a true wind jacket. That said, this version might be best/better if you are a trail runner and have a lot of body heat build-up and thus have a higher RET rating and need a more breathable wind jacket to help vent.
The second fabric, the one that is 20d and rated at ~1.0 cfm, now this is where the Copperfield actually becomes a legit wind jacket. If you are looking for a wind jacket that will pretty much totally block all wind, you want to go with the 20d fabric version of the Copperfield. That said, many people might find it to be too much and cause thermoregulation issues which results in internal moisture build-up. Again, it is all about application and how you approach things.
The third fabric, released a week or two after this article was originally published, is a 7d fabric with a reported CFM of ~35. That makes this version of the jacket not so much a ‘wind‘ jacket as it would be an integral part of a multi-layering-approach layering system. Having a sub 2 oz garment that is super fast and easy to take off and put on, as the conditions change, certainly has a place. At a reported ~35 CFM rating, this version would give you the ability to have some warmth build up (trapping thermoregulation) in those moments when you just want that, but also want something that will not cook you out of it. Kind of a trick slope on this one. I think if you know what it is you are after, and you feel this might solve a situation you often face, it could be a good choice to go with. Something I am certainly willing to give a try. However, if you are after a wind jacket to block out any blistering cold wind, this 7d fabric is not going to be the option you want to go with.
So what are the weight specs?
As of the time of this article being published time the Enlightened Equipment website only lists weight for the 10d fabric. I have contacted them about this and they are going to work on getting the weights for the 20d added.
Here are the weights for the jacket as of February 14, 2018:
Those are some really nice weights for a wind jacket with a full length zipper.
The features of the Copperfield are pretty small, and that is one of the main reasons I like it.
No idiotical chest pocket.
They have an adjustable shock cord along the waist, so you can cinch it up nice and tight, or vent it to help with thermoregulation.
The wrists have elastic to help keep the wind from coming through the arms. I have had a wind jacket from another company that did not have wrist cuffs and it was always comical to wear it because the entire jacket would inflate (puff up) from the wind blowing through the arms.
They have raglan shoulder design, to keep the thread line from rubbing on the top of your shoulder when wearing a pack.
And, next to no stupid chest pocket, the second most important feature is a full-length zipper!
The Copperfield is competitively priced in the world of wind jackets at, currently (Feb 2018) a price of $110 USD, and the 7d version of the jacket is an additional $15 USD.
Where To Buy:
The Copperfield Wind Jacket is available to buy directly from the Enlightened Equipment website: https://enlightenedequipment.com/copperfield-wind-shirt/
Thank you for reading!