Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt Review

Over the past year, I have become obsessed with the humble wind shirt. Where I previously relied on a thick grid fleece that alternated between too hot in the sun and too cold when a breeze came through, the wind shirt is a perfect dry weather shell that negates the wind so you can focus on layering just by air temperature.

While wind shirts have been popular with the running crowd for a while, the Enlightened Equipment Copperfield is one of the few models catering specifically to hikers.

hiker in snow with enlightened equipment copperfield wind shirt on beneath backpack

Some mild postholing in Colorado spring snow

Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt At a Glance:

  • MSRP: $120-130
  • Weights: 2.0 to 4.3oz, depending on size and fabric. 2.1 oz in my selection (medium tall, 10D fabric)
  • Materials: 7D, 10D, or 20D breathable nylon (not ripstop)

Women’s Copperfield here

Intended Use

This lightweight layer is best for windy days and colder weather where cutting out the breeze is essential. It’s particularly useful in concert with a grid fleece, making up for the latter’s lackluster wind performance without trapping sweat.

READ NEXT – Wind Shirts + Alpha Direct: The Next Layering Revolution

Circumstance of Review

I got my hands on the Copperfield in February, just in time for some backcountry winter adventures and the first hot days of spring in Colorado’s western deserts. It saw harsh winds up to 40mph and temps anywhere from 0°F to 80°F.

Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt Features

Lots of Custom Options

While Enlightened Equipment (EE) offers stock versions of the Copperfield, there are only two color options (grey and navy) and only in 10D fabric. With no added cost and only 2.5 weeks of extra lead time, you can get 16 additional colors, 7D and 20D fabric weights, and tall size options.

I highly recommend going custom, as the color options are quite a bit better. I find the neutral options (greys, blacks, whites, and darker colors) have a bit of a trash bag aesthetic (no, not in a “hiker trash” way) that leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department.

Hood, Full Length Zipper, and Elastic Weight

When a piece of gear is already so delicately close to zero weight, the little things add up. Some wind shirts omit hoods, zippers, and cinching mechanisms to push the numbers even lower. EE makes a fair balance of features that increase the comfort and usability of the shirt, while keeping the weight just a touch over two ounces (in most configurations).

I prefer the full length zippers, as getting a pullover or half-zip on during high wind can be a bit of struggle.

three hikers pose in snowy mountain landscape around hagerman pass US Forest Service sign. leftmost hiker wearing blue sunglasses and enlightened equipment copperfield

Going over the Continental Divide at Hagerman Pass. Despite the 10-15 degree temps and 25-30mph winds, I was comfortable in just an Alpha Direct fleece and the Copperfield.

Sized for Layering

The sizes on Copperfield garments run a touch large, allowing sun hoodies, fleeces, or light puffies to be worn underneath. Wind shirts are often worn as part of a layering system, so I appreciate having some flexibility to accomodate midlayers.

In my experience, a typical midweight puffy (such as the Cotopaxi Fuego or Arc’teryx Cerium) are just lofted enough to be slightly compressed under the shirt. Lightweight puffies (such as the Patagonia Nano Puff) are going to have a little more room to spare due to their thinner insulation.

While I would recommend wearing fleeces underneath a wind shirt, puffies I am more ambivalent about. If you are really trying to squeeze every last bit of warmth out of your clothes, I might be inclined to put the wind shirt under a puffy, then finish with a rain jacket for a shell.

READ NEXT – 8 Pound Base Weight With a Wind Jacket AND a Rain Jacket

Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt Pros

Featherweight and Thimble-Small

Tipping the scale at 2.0 to 2.5 ounces in the standard 10D for most sizes, It’s hard not to throw this versatile layer in your pack. It also packs down to about the size of a crabapple, meaning it can slip in just about anywhere in your pack, from shoulder strap pockets to fanny packs.

A wind shirt has become a standard part of my packing list and accompanies me on short hikes, runs, and even to work most days. It sometimes comes along on accident, because it hides so well and is so light I don’t notice the difference.

This layer packs down small. I usually roll the layer from the waist into the hood, since there are no pockets or stuff sacks included.

Colors Are Stylin’

With 18 color options spread across three fabric weights, you get way more options to jazz up your hiking suit than most brands provide. I particularly like the colorful options like robin’s egg blue, yellow, and red.

Good Breathability, Vapor Transmission

I have used this jacket in high output backcountry ski trips, fast-pace runs, and hot but windy hikes. It’s masterful at blocking wind while still letting sweat escape. Even while wearing a pack, I rarely noticed a buildup of perspiration in my layers. If I started to swamp the system, it dried out handsomely after a moment of rest, without the bone chill that usually comes with the wind.

If you want even more breathability, select a 7D colorway. If you are in persistently cold conditions or worried about durability, you can go up to a 20D to reduce the amount of air coming through.

Getting actual scientific numbers for wind resistance requires very fancy, specialized equipment. The home tests are guesstimates at best. From a user experience point of view, it had about the same level of wind blocking and breathability as the Montbell Tachyon.

Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirt Cons

Oversized Fit Can Flap in the Wind

Unlike the athletic fit of running-specific garments, the Copperfield has some room to spare for midlayers. Unfortunately, this also means that wearing it with just a base layer leaves lots of fabric to blow in the wind.

Before you convince yourself that this is a bummer, consider your actual use case. Do you need a barrier in warm but windy conditions, or are you only going to use this with a long sleeve base or fleece that will take up the extra room? I personally rarely found it to be an issue, except on cold but high cardio output days.

selfie with robin's egg blue enlightened equipment copperfield with t-shirt pattern visible underneath

Level of transparency when the layer is pulled tight (left half) vs loose (right half). The print on the shirt can be seen easily. Also notice the black, diagonal seam between the armpit and neck. Those are from the black threads used to join fabric panels.

Basic Construction and Externally Threaded Cinches

When I first unboxed this shirt, I was a little surprised by the construction. EE’s quilts are generally well regarded for their build quality and level of refinement; the Copperfield seemed basic in comparison. Even though I chose a bright, robin’s egg blue color for the fabric, the bulk of the seams were made with black serger thread.

While there’s no inherit issue with serged seams in this application, I wish they had bothered to color match the thread, like they did at the straight stitched locations (zippers and elastic locations). Because of the transparent nature of this particular fabric, there are dark lines traced around anywhere two pieces of fabric join. This is not a great look in my opinion.

The pattern is also relatively basic, lacking the high level of refinement found on garments made by the bigger running brands. One particular issue I have is that the hood cinch exits on the outside of the jacket, meaning the loose ends are prone to flapping in the wind you are already battling.

Similarly, at the waist they use a loose plastic bead (yes, like from the craft store) as a pull. I find this awkward since it’s not fixed in place and is heavy and prone to swinging while you walk.

My last minor construction gripes are the lack of pull cord on the main zipper, and that my zipper is “wavy,” making it hard to operate one-handed. All of these complaints are minor, but add up to an overall “meh” feeling about the finished product.

Tall Size Could Be Taller

As a certified orangutan (my wingspan is 6” wider than the average person), I wish the tall size was even taller. Selecting this option adds two inches to the torso length, but only one inch to each sleeve. People in search of a tall size are generally going to want at least two inches extra in the sleeve, in my experience.

I wouldn’t call the sleeves short, but I could have used another inch or two when the breeze was particularly cold.

No Pockets or Stuff Sack

This particular jacket does not include hand pockets or a way to compress it into a nice package for storage. Also absent is a way to keep the hood held down while not in use. I don’t find these particularly disruptive omissions, and not something I would knock it for personally. Some users will find these to be deal breakers however.

Semi Transparent

The uncoated nylon fabric has varying levels of transparency, depending on which color and fabric weight you choose. Since this is intended to be worn over a base layer, I think it’s a non-issue compromise to get a high level of breathability. You will find this on nearly every wind shirt on the market, just to varying degrees.

If this is something that might bother you, go darker in color. Choosing the 20D version will also make the garment more opaque, but with negative effects on the breathability.

Shop the Men’s Enlightened Equipment Copperfield

Shop the Women’s Enlightened Equipment Copperfield

Overall Value

Functionally, there is not much to complain about on the Copperfield. It blocks the wind while venting sweat, all for the weight of a standard candy bar.

It’s the finer points of this garment that have me looking back in my closet for other options. At $120, there’s lots of competition in the market. If your priority is color and dedication to hiking brands, this is a reasonable choice. If you want a higher level of refinement or options for pockets, I would look elsewhere.


A Few Comparison Items

Montbell Tachyon: $140 (shopping the American version on the Japanese website may yield a better deal due to current Yen conversion rates)

Salomon Sense Aero Wind: $130

Dooy Sun Protection Jacket: $20 (yes, twenty dollars)

The Enlightened Equipment Copperfield was donated for purpose of review

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