GEAR REVIEW: Montbell Tachyon Anorak

In the High Sierra under the moon
In the High Sierra under the moon

Technical Specs

Montbell Tachyon Anorak (photo from Montbell)
Montbell Tachyon Anorak (photo from Montbell)

Weight: 2.82

Size Tested: XL

Construction: 7-Denier ‘Balistic Airlight’ Nylon
coated in Polkatex DWR

Store: Montbell

Mileage before Review: 2500+ miles

Longest Test: 2155 miles

***Thru Hike Tested***


  • At under3oz, this jacket isvirtually a non factor in weight andpackability.

    On mount Whitney it is windy and cold. The Tachyon Anorak handled it all.
    On mount Whitney it is windy and cold. The Tachyon Anorak handled it all.
  • Ballistic Nylon offers serious wind protection. Testers used this shell everywhere from the gritty desert winds of the Mojave, to the frigid knife winds of the High Sierra, and found this jacket to excel in very high winds. They also loved that mosquitos could not penetrate the thin fabric.
  • The hood offers added protection against wind and mosquitos.
  • The Anorak is very versatile, and can be used as an emergency rain shell for those few minutes you need to set up shelter.
  • Durable. This jacket is so thin, it is easy to imagine it getting shredded. But, 2500+ miles later, not a scratch or rip.


  • For bigger hikers (one tester is 6’6”) the fit just might not work. Montbell only makes the Anorak to XL. One tester found them waist lineto be just a tad to high for his liking, and a little too tight in the back when stretching his arms forward.

    Notice the high waist line. It can be awkward for some
    Notice the high waist line. It can be awkward for some (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
  • The half zipper makes this jacket a pull over, which can be annoying to some. A full zipper would make this jacket almost perfect.
  • Though durable, this is a trail jacket only. It is not recommended that it be used for serious bushwhacking as the fabric might not hold up.
  • Would not offer enough protection in winter or extreme wind conditions. This is an ultralight shell best used for trail hiking within the three seasons, and some winter use.

Best Used For: Three Season ultralight Long Distance Hiking, Light and Fast Climbing, Emergency Rain Protection, Multi-use mosquito protection.

Tester’s Comments

This jacket is a mystery to me. I cannot fathom how such a small and incredibly thin piece of fabric can cut the wind so efficiently. At under 3oz, this jacket is basically always in my pack.

I throw this shell in my pack any time I go hiking in three season conditions. For casual trips in the winter this shell can be used, but for serious winter use, I don’t even think it would fit over my heavier puffy jacket.

High Sierra Life
High Sierra Life

This shell has a lot of uses besides wind protection. North of Yosemite during peak mosquito season, this jacket functioned as a very lightweight, bug layer. The mosquito scourge cannot penetrate the ballistic nylon.  I also used it as a laundry day shirt when in town and cleaning my filthy hiking clothes. It never smelled. I think it can’t smell. Science. (Note: everything eventually smells)

Laundry day in town
Laundry day in town

I really wish they made an XXL. The fit would be so much better for me, though I am not the normal sized hiker, so if you are under 6′ 6”, you should be fine. For those who are longer in the arms and torso, this jacket might feel awkward in the waist and cuffs when doing certain movements. For example, when I reach forward the jacket becomes very tight in the back and the sleeves ride up.

I usually pair this jacket with the Montbell Dynamo wind pants for a very effective, and super light weight wind shell.

Tester’s Jacket Rating

Weight 10/10
Mobility 6/10
Durability 8/10
Wind Protection 9/10
Rain Protection 6/10
Bug Protection 10/10
Comfort 6.5/10
Style 7/10

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