Gabe Grayum has been pursuing wilderness adventure for more than two decades. A climber, backpacker, and skier, he loves the alpine, and is at home on mountain tops, in remote wilderness areas, and on infrequently traveled routes. His wife Linette and their eight year old son Ethan participate in most adventures. They ultimately hope to promote a love for wild areas, and inspire others to pursue outdoor adventure.
Gabe purchased a Westcomb Crest Hoody windshell two summers ago and has used it extensively through all four seasons in every activity — rock climbing, backpacking, nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking.
“It is probably the only jacket I own which truly gets year round daily use, and it’s definitely in the running for my favorite jacket”, says Grayum.
Why is the Crest Hoody his favorite jacket? Continue below for a review in his words.
What makes it so great? The fabric, for starters. The Crest Hoody is made from Pertex Equilibrium, a lightweight windshell fabric with good wind resistance and excellent breathability. Think of it as a cross between a wind shirt and a soft-shell, but more useful than either. It’s soft with a bit of mechanical stretch, making it more comfortable and quieter than most wind shells. The denier gradient is designed to move moisture through the fabric making it feel much more breathable than most wind jackets. It sheds light precip well, dries quickly, and is durable for its weight. My size small weighs 4.9 oz making it several times lighter than most soft-shells and easy to bring anywhere.
The minimalist design of Crest Hoody is nearly perfect as well. There’s one zippered chest pocket with mesh backing. The athletic form-fitted hood has no adjustments but fits well and can be stretched over a helmet. As usual Westcomb uses an excellent dual slider non-coil zipper, meaning you can open the zipper from the bottom for extra air flow or better access to a climbing harness. The cuffs are adjustable, which is a welcome feature on such a lightweight windshell.
The fit is also excellent, with enough room to wear over a mid-layer in cold weather, but trim enough that it doesn’t flap around when worn over a tee shirt. The back is long enough to provide good coverage but not get in the way.
DURABILITY & FEATURES
After almost two years of hard use the jacket is holding up surprisingly well. There’s a bit of piling on the back and under pack straps but there are no holes or tears. The bonded zipper on the chest pocket partially unglued from turning the pocket inside out and using it as a stuff sack, which it’s not designed for. I added a seam to the zipper to fix this.
I really like using the pocket as a stuff sack, which makes it easier to access in my pack, and handy for hanging off of my harness. Some small changes to the pocket would make it more friendly for this. A dual sided zipper pull, a carabiner loop, non-mesh backing, and reinforcing of the fabric/zipper bond.
In its current form this is still a highly recommended windshell. There are few if any comparable jackets on the market, and the fact that this one is made in Canada makes even more attractive.
CREST HOODY DETAILS (size medium)
- Center-back length: 31.5″ – 80cm
- Weight: 5 oz – 150g
Pertex Equilibrium attributes its soft-hand and dry comfort to the fabric’s dual filament structure; the larger interior fibers wicks sweat away from your body to the finer exterior fibers where it moves to the surface and quickly evaporates. The material is woven tight enough to achieve a great abrasion to weight ratio making it the best in its class for durability. Breathable and quick-drying performance makes Pertex Equilibrium perfect for vigorous and aerobic activities.
- Wind & Water resistant