Helikon-Tex have been around for a fair while now, since 1983 and have grown from strength to strength, they diversified into their military and paramilitary range in 1999 and they produce a wide range of products suited to our needs…and more importantly, price point.
I was looking for a lightweight extra layer to replace my rather threadbare and tatty para silk ‘Zoot Suit’ top, it had to be compact and easy to stuff into any nooks or crannies of my daysack or belt kit, as I already have a Helikon-Tex softshell I am familiar with the company and knew the general quality of their product. and since the Windrunner Shirt fitted the bill I took a punt…twice as it turns out!
I’ve had two of the things for almost a year now, I initially bought the Coyote Brown one for military use under a smock then, because I liked it so much I bought the grey one for civvy use as a windcheater.
Neither are in continual use however when pressed into service they perform admirably.
It’s made of, to quote the blurb “a high quality micro ripstop nylon with a Teflon DuPont coating” this makes it fairly hard wearing but not indestructible and, to an extent, dirt free.
Having a DWR coating makes it showerproof but not waterproof, this along with the tightly woven nylon making it windproof makes it a good outer layer on the milder days and a good mid layer at other times.
It does have a ‘rumpled’ appearance which I’m putting down to the weave and DWR treatment, it doesn’t detract from the overall look though.
The Zips are all YKK with the cord locks and toggles being made of a durable plastic.
Both my examples are finished to a good standard with some loose threads and missed seams in the stitching.
I like it, even if it is a little pricey it’s not too pricey, well I did buy a second one! quick and easy to don and doff, not cumbersome when worn and dead handy for when it gets chilly or just for cutting around when stood down.
It’s a handy bit of kit, once packed away, in the integral ‘stuff sack’ situated at the waist, it takes up very little room in your daysack or a utility pouch, if you’re into that sort of thing you can even cram it into a spare triple mag ammo pouch…but as it’s not for killing best not too as that’d upset your Pln Sgt or, heaven forbid the DS…
It works well as both a mid or outer layer, generously sized, read roomy.
The design has been to the most part well thought out and executed to a good standard with lots of nice touches e.g. mesh at the armpits for ventilation and ‘tubes’ for the hood drawcord are some of the finer points.
The downsides, in my opinion is that the zips are too small making it difficult to do up, especially with gloves on, they could be chunkier making the pulls more robust and less fiddly.
The integral pockets although fine for holding small stuff, lighters, pens etc. are of little use for anything else, an iphone 6s with a slim case will fit them but it tends to ‘pull’ forward in the chest pocket
I also would have preferred the hood concealed in a collar or of the roll up type.
Oh, and they make it in a Multicam/MTP look-a-like pattern that it quite compatible with the issue stuff.
It can be bought from any of these places: Amazon or our friends at Military 1st
Products from Amazon.com
• Cost – £££££: £50 ish (most expensive I found was £53, on eBay) ($69.00)
• Value for money 1-5: 3, if I’m honest it is quite expensive but you do get a lot for your money, the finish lets it down to an extent, however, it does exactly what I wanted it to do.
• Ease of use 1-5: 5, what can I say, you pull it on over your head and put your arms in the sleeves, it’s that easy.
• Construction 1-5: 3, both my examples are well constructed but there were loose threads and missed stitching at the neck zip.
• Allyness 1-5: 3, middle of the road it won’t affect your overall Ally rating one way or another.
This Kit Pest Review was written by Jim Shoebridge.. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!
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