Outdoor Research Delta Windshirt
By Matt Smith
Windshirts are a staple. There is no question about it. Outdoor Research has once again pushed the envelope and produced a great product that is unique as far as I am concerned. The Delta Windshirt is just that. A 3/4-zip shirt that can be worn as a base layer, and does a great job at blocking the wind.
The Delta is constructed with Gore's Windstopper N2S (Next to Skin). This was my first experience with N2S Fabric; and I have to say I am impressed. It is comfortable, it doesn't bind or stick to the inside of other layering pieces. Range of motion in the Delta is excellent, though I discovered it does ride up a little with overhead activities.
The Delta is cut close enough to layer very well under basically anything. The seams are comfortable right against the skin, though I typically wore the Delta over a silk weight base layer for added versatility. The true 3/4-zip front, and the side zip allow for quick and dramatic venting during highly aerobic activities. The N2S fabric does an excellent job of moving moisture away from the skin, and allowing it to evaporate. Though there is no particular claim of being anti-microbial, I found that I could wear the Delta for several days without getting to "funky". This may be attributable to drying quickly. The Delta is well suited to layer under a down sweater and shell while cooking back at base camp, and well as a pseudo shell that you can wear while snowshoeing or cross country skiing, when you have stripped off everything else.
Summary:The Delta is a true windshirt, and an excellent product. I was able to regulate my temperature so well while wearing it, and found it so comfortable, that I pulled it on frequently, even while testing other insulation and shell pieces. The Delta will set you back about $120 bones.
UPDATE: The Delta will be discontinued for 2007, so if you keep your eye out on the clearance websites, you can probably pick it up for a great price. What a shame. This is such a functional shirt in my opinion, I wish OR wouldn't drop it.
For more information contact:
2203 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134-1424
Matt Smith is the canyoneering specialist at GearReview.com