We’ve done our research and compiled the back wind shell jackets for men and compared each side-by-side. Wind shell jackets are made for hiking, running, and general outdoor use and protection. Though they are not very waterproof, their main purpose is wind protection were lighter and very compressible with more breathable fabrics. In terms of design and construction, while some were good in comparison, these hoodies excelled at some of the valued features.
Here is a list of the Best Windshell Jackets for Men
Here we have provided the important features and quality of the jackets, only leaving you to answer one question: What is the best wind shell jacket that will work for me?
In terms of Wind resistance, the Arc’teryx Squamish offered the best protection as it was the only hoody to seal out wind completely with its great hood closure and Velcro cuffs. The Patagonia comes in second, but had no cuffs for the same amount of protection as the Squamish hoody. The Rab Windveil has the potential to be just as good though it did not provide a way to seal off both wind and rain.
Among the top 5, no hoody want water resistant to withstand the rain for more than a few minutes. In terms of light, drizzly rain, the Arc’teryx Squamish did very well. Along with the Patagonia Houdini, both will keep you dry for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the downpour.
The Marmot DriClime did the best job for handling sweat build-up as it was by far the most breathable on the list. Its mesh panels are located in areas people often sweat the most, such as the back, head, and armpits. The overall material is highly breathable, though the rest of the hoodies are about the same quality.
Versatility & Compact Size
As compared to the other hoodies, the Arc’teryx Squamish appears to be way too big to be worn over a base layer, though it layers nicely with a puffy jacket. It terms of looks, feel, and performance, the Squamish gives a great ultra light shell better than the best. Make sure to try on for size. While the Patagonia Houdini is great for its small size, it also has small pockets which cannot carry a smart phone as with the Squamish, you can easily carry your phone, keys, and more.
The Rab Windveil has very similar features though it is not as useful to be used in rain or heavy winds, but rather great for bike trails through the mountainside.
Let’s face it; all of these hoody jackets are quite expensive. With the high price tags, we must consider how the jacket was made in terms of construction, what features we really need, and how many times a year will we use it. The measure the value, consider the price per day. Let’s say you plan to use the hoodie at least 400 days within the next 5-10 years, and then $150 isn’t that expensive if you plan for long-term use.
Top 5 Best Wind shell Jackets for Men
1. Patagonia Houdini
The Patagonia Houdini is almost as great as the Squamish as it the lightest and most compact wind shell jackets on this review. It’s very versatile as you can also wear it during warm weather to stay protected while still so light that you can carry it everywhere.
The Houdini is by far, the lightest jackets on this review. It was definitely made to take you everywhere since it weighs almost nothing and doesn’t take very much space. The fabric is light and breathable to use just for sun protection during the warmer days – though it does not have a UPF rating, so be sure to use at your own risk. It is also a great hoody to keep mosquitoes at bay as the layer blocks bug bites and entry.
There is one zipper pocket that is big enough to store your phone and keys along with a small keeper loop for clipping to your backpack or a harness for climbing. The Houdini was also rated the smallest in size in this review. What really makes this hoody stand out is the breathability is has and that it does not stick to your bare skin, which keeps the air circulating. There is a DWR coating that blocks most rain situations as it keeps you dry, and well ventilated at the same time.
There are limited colour options and no side pockets or Velcro sealable cuffs, which is ideal when threading though snow. Keep in mind that there are no hand pockets, so you will have to find other ways of storage. Since there are no Velcro cuffs, it does not as effective when keeping the wind out, though you can solve this issue with long biking gloves.
The hoody is quite expensive at $70-90 is may be cheaper than the rest, but still a high price.
2. Marmot DriClime Windshirt
The DriClime Windshirt is a combination of a windshell jacket and a performance shirt. It is ideal for outdoor activities including biking, running and rock climbing – basically anything that will get your heart pounding. The Driclime doesn’t stick to your skin when you perspire as it is very breathable and blocks out wind. It also provides a full zip with a chest pocket to fit your MP3 player or phone.
We like the new update on this windshell jacket as the other layers block wind while the inner layer has a soft, moisture wicking feature. Soft-shell jackets are meant for cold weather, while the DriClime is meant for a far wider temperature range. We can describe this wind shirt as fully versatile. You have the choice to wear it with a shirt or without it as the Bi-component Lining feels more like a type of felt fabric and very comfortable against the skin.
Both the inner and outer polyester layers are breathable as the armpit region has a mesh liner for extra breathability. This wind shirt is perfect for rock climbing or mountain biking as it can withstand the abuse. The fabric of the DriClime actually collects odour as it attempts to tone it down. We like the variety of colours in comes in, such as peak blue, yellow, red, and black. This is a major plus as other wind shell jackets come in only 3 colours, while the DriClime comes in 4 colours.
The downside to this jacket is that it barely fits into his pocket which is a necessity for these types of jackets. It would have been better if the pocket was a little bigger to allow easier storage and stash it right into your backpack. There is no hood as it isn’t meant to keep you dry during sudden rainfall, which we also noticed that the DWR coating didn’t last as long as expected. Perhaps the good news is when the outer layer absorbs water, the inner layer can dry for a while longer.
The jacket is actually twice the amount of weight of other wind shell jackets, mainly because it is 2 layers combined in one though offers almost the same warmth and protection as the lighter jackets.
The price listing is about $95 which is in the medium-high range of the wind shell jackets.
3. Rab Windveil Jacket
Similar to the Patagonia Houdini, the Rab Windveil is another favourite lightweight jacket. Where the Houdini lacks in pockets, the Rab has to hand pockets – which makes Windveil a lot better in terms of extra needed storage. There is also a buckle that is used to put away the hood. While the Squamish is our top pick, if you’re looking for a jacket to use for light hikes and biking, the Rab Windveil might be the one for you.
We like the two generously large chest pockets as it is very light and folds easily into its own pouch. The Windveil jacket was the replacement of the Cirrus with major updates as this is 50% more breathable and has a super DWR treatment that is more durable than in previous models. It is a bit heavier, though Rab says the new Pertex Micro light fabric offers better performance and versatility.
The downside to this jacket is that there is no way to actually tighten the hood, which may actually get pushed back during strong winds. Users have said it is actually a challenge to find this jacket in stores as many products from Rab are hard to find in the U.S.
The price of the Rab Windveil starts at $110.
4. Marmot Trail Wind Hoody
The trail wind jacket costs less than other leading models though it still maintains the size lightweight and compactness. The jacket is perfect for commuting, hiking, climbing or any activity requiring some form of protection. The fabric offers a great range of mobility with the arms, though not recommended for rain due the large patches of mesh material. The latest version of the hoody comes in a Rich Forest tone, while the older models are made in yellow.
We like how well the armpit and neck vents work as it adds to more mobility. The material is quite burly as it can handle a good amount of abuse. The pockets are pretty generous with its size as it can easily hold a Smartphone with extra space. The chest pocket is also liked with mesh to allow more air for ventilation. While the Houdini is much lighter, the Trail wind comes at 4.8 oz.
The jacket is very easy to pack into its own pocket and has reflective details to make it more visible to cars when in use, for extra safety.
While the vents add an immense about of breathability, the jacket does not block super high winds. Perhaps the jacket would be better if the armpit and neck vents have a stretch material that doesn’t have large holes as the main purpose of a wind shell jacket is for high winds and rain protection. Another downside is that the main material tends to stick to bare skin more than the other jackets meaning the fabric will stick to your sweat rather than provide a bit of space for air and get rid of moisture.
At a price that is around $50 less than other wind shell jackets, the Marmot Trail Wind Hoody comes at a great value.
5. Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody
The Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody is considered at the top pick among the 5 wind shell jackets. It’s a great winter jacket as its light, compact; works well in both all most weather except harsh snow or rain, and looks great as well. If all you need is a light and comfortable jacket to protect yourself against wind, the Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody is a great choice.
It’s a great fit and very versatile. The fabric is really nice in terms of style as it also does a great job at keeping out wind and sudden rain fall as it sheds water off. It’s light enough to keep you feeling fresh without breaking a sweat during a hike. You can also layer a light fleece to help retain warmth if needed.
The Hoody is a little expensive for its price as it is not as comfortable as the Patagonia Houdini. It is not recommended during heavy rains. Another drawback is that there are no front pockets as there is not enough space with just one chest zip pocket. While we like the Velcro cuffs, they do add a bit of extra weight to the jacket and might become an annoyance especially if you have no use for them.
The price of this hoody range from $100 to $150 depending on where you buy from! It is however, the most expensive hoody jacket in the review, but keep in mind that you do get what you pay for.
As wind shell jackets range from windproof to wind resistant, they are most often light and breathable. Remember to focus on what type of activities you will use a wind shell jacket for and where you will use it. Not all jackets are the same and will not please everyone. Make sure to try it on first as many are not true to their stated size. Also make sure to go up a size if you plan on layering your jacket.