Montbell Tachyon Anorak Wind Jacket

This ultra-light wind jacket from Montbell that fits like a shirt is my new favorite piece of functional gear. It’s so light and compactable, be careful not to drop it unnoticed along the trail, since it could easily float out of your pack or pocket like an energy bar wrapper. On an early spring bike packing trip on the 150 mile Columbia Plateau Trail, I left my heavy hardshell at home and prayed for dry weather as I tucked the Anorak into a corner of my saddlebag. Warm, sunny weather greeted us for the first three days of the trip, and on the morning of the fourth and final day, a cold wind began blowing an hour before sunrise. It was time to test this truly feather-light nylon wind stopper. We raced out of camp with the storm building at our backs as fast as our loaded fat bikes and tired legs would pedal. The Tachyon Anorak sheltered my core, arms and head (thanks to a welcome hood) from the heat-sucking wind as good as any bulky, bomber shell, but when the storm unleashed its first raindrops, I pedaled faster, expecting the cold rain to start soaking through the thin nylon at any moment. Fortunately, we were already on the Fish Lake Trail and nearly home before a full-on down pour finally breached the DWR treated Anorak and I finally got a little wet.

While it’s definitely not a replacement for your heavier waterproof breathable jacket when rain is in the forecast, the Tachyon Anorak is an indispensable windbreaker that, when pulled over a fleece or base layer, is an incredible heat trapper that lives in my bike pack when it’s not in my running pack or my multi-day backpack or fleece pocket on a stroll down by the river. The stripped-down, functional design left room for a 10 inch zipper that helps with venting and makes entries and exits go more smoothly. It fits tight to keep annoying wind flapping to a minimum, so keep that in mind when choosing a size. MSRP: $99. //

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