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Patagonia Houdini Windproof Jacket | Review

Neat, hooded Houdini windproof jacket from Patagonia is ideal for trail-running use and packs down into its own pocket for compact stowage on the move.

‘Not super lightweight, but light enough and the pay-off is good protection, a hood that works and a more durable feel’

Outdoors Magic: Decently light, decently packable with slim/medium fit and a hood that stays put on your head while running. Also copes well with light to medium showers. Handy pocket.

Outdoors Tragic: Limited venting options.

Outdoors Grabbit? A nicely made, no-nonsense trail-running windproof with an adjustable hood that stays neatly in place on the move. It’s not the lightest windproof out there, but at a real 100g it’s not heavy either and the combination of wind proofing, water resistance and reasonable breathability is about right.

 

Full Specification

Lightweight trail-running windproof shell / 1.2-oz 15-denier 100% nylon ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) / single chest-pocket come stuff-sac / adjustable hood / semi-elasticated cuffs / adjustable hem / reflective trim front and back.

Full Review Below

The full-length zip lacks a storm-flap to save weight, but can also be used for additional venting if needed. Note the beading from the water-repellant finish - lwimages.co.uk
Hem-cord adjustment means you can cinch things down to suit rather than relying on the random elastics of some ultra-lightweight alternatives. It makes sense to us. Note too the neat, semi-elasticated cuffs - lwimages.co.uk

Houdini Jacket – The Tech

The Houdini uses 100% micro rip-stop lightweight windproof Nylon with a water-repellant finish to shrug off light to medium rain. It comes complete with an integrated hood, that’s one-pull adjustable so you can fix it in place on the move.

Mostly it’s quite a simple jacket, but we like the adjustability of hem-cord and hood. It’s the sort of thing many brands cut out in the pursuit of weight-savings, but it adds useful functionality even if it ups the weight slightly. And let’s face it, 100g isn’t exactly excessive.

The single zipped chest-pocket doubles as a compact stuff-sac with a clip loop you could use to hand it from a harness if necessary.

The hood works well with the single-pull adjuster giving an excellent fit to the head and meaning it stays securely in place even on the run. If you want a stiff peak, using a cap - as above - is an effective option - lwimages.co.uk

Performance

At 100g the Houdini isn’t as light as some alternatives, but we reckon the extra 20g or so has been well spent. It means the cut is ample for decent protection, the hood adjusts and the hem can be cinched to suit your sizing.

It also means the fabric, 100% Nylon, doesn’t feel flimsy and filmy, which is reassuring if you’re out in a tough outdoors environment rather than running laps of the local park.

The cut is medium/slim rather than super fitted, so not for whippets only and the jacket breathes reasonably well too despite being completely windproof and having enough water resistance to shrug off light to medium showers.

Many trail runners prefer to use a windproof like this rather than a 100% waterproof jacket on the basis that they’ll get wet anyway, so you may as well benefit from the increased breathability of a windproof. Makes sense to us.

One big plus point of the Houdini is the hood. Because it’s adjustable, it stays securely planted on your head on the move and moves with your gaze, unlike, say, the hood of the Arc’teryx Incendo Hoody we’ve also reviewed. It works really well for a lightweight and is well worth the few extra grammes.

Finally, breathability is par for the windproof course and you can always roll-up the sleeves a little for some extra cooling if needed. Finally, if it’s not needed, just stuff it into its small chest pocket to form a flippable bundle roughly the size of an orange

The neat chest pocket doubles as a stuff-sac, but also works well to hold a set of keys or similar. Too small for a phone - lwimages.co.uk

Verdict

Not the lightest windproof out there, but added adjustability to the hood in particular and a tougher, more durable feel to the fabric seem like a decent pay-off for mountain running in particular.

It’s nicely made too and the medium cut means you can press it into additional use for lightweight hiking, biking, or even climbing if you want to. Sometimes there’s more to life than just being light.

More Information

See eu.patagonia.com

 

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