Thursday, April 27, 2017

Patagonia Houdini Full-Zip Jacket Review

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

A Patagonia Houdini Jacket over a base layer - perfect for a late winter run on the Lost Lake Trail, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

A Patagonia Houdini Jacket over a base layer - perfect for a late winter run on the Lost Lake Trail, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

When unexpected weather hits, the best jacket is the one you have with you!  I don’t know how many times I have leaned this lesson while running in the mountains near my coastal Alaska town – a sunny day can sure turn cold, windy and wet in a hurry!

This is why I love my Patagonia Houdini Jacket – at 3.7 oz, it effectively weighs nothing – I don’t hesitate to have it with me.  I can stuff it in my water bottle holder pouch, my camera bag, there really isn’t any excuse for me not to have this moderate protection with me.

I say moderate protection because it isn’t going to replace a rain jacket or heavy wind proof shell, but I am always surprised at how much protection this light weight jacket does provide.  Just blocking the wind can be a big help in most situations, and the Deluge DWR (Durable water repellent) fabric will help keep you dry at least for awhile in the rain.  And on top of that, it is very breathable.

Durability?  This was my biggest concern with such a lightweight jacket, but after two years of regular use, it has held up perfectly – no tears, seams still intact, looks almost as good as new and I run in mine a lot.  Ironically, it has held up far better then my heavier, more expensive Patagonia jackets like the Rain Shadow which I think is a piece of junk.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the company and for what they stand for, and think 90% of their gear is awesome like their guide pants, base layers and fleece, I’m just not a fan of the lack of beatheability and durability of their shells that I have tried – but then again, I live in an extreme environment on the Alaska coast.  The little, tiny light weight Houdini is certainly an exception!

My only complaint with my Houdini was the lack of a little pocket, maybe a stuff-able one – and you know what, I see the new versions now even have a stuff-able pocket!  So with the Houdini, there is no excuse for not having a jacket with you!

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