This impressive piece from Patagonia blocked a surprising amount of wind and offered one of the most comfortable fits in its category. The Houdini’s limited DWR finish means you’ll get wet in anything heavier than a light misting.
Weather-shedding While the Houdini jacket offered significant protection from wind, it’s DWR finish did not stack up to other jackets in its category to repel precipitation. Testers noticed good beading at the start of light rain, but felt it permeate the jacket’s fabric after fifteen minutes. During waterproofness shower testing, the Houdini let water through after two minutes, and left the tester soaked after five minutes.
Breathability The Houdini’s simple design does not include any vents, thus the fabric is the only provider of its average breathability. In weather above 60 degrees, run testers thought the jacket was too warm. One tester said the jacket was perfect for oceanfront trails on cool mornings: “It keeps the mist from chilling my skin but breathes when I’m working hard.”
Function The Houdini features simple functionality to adjust fit on the go. Sleeve cuffs with elastic kept the jacket close to the skin without being snug on the wrist. The elastic draw closure at the waist of the Houdini offers further protection against updrafts in windy weather. The single chest pocket is perfect for a car key or credit card, and doubles as the jacket’s stuff sack.
Fit/Comfort The athletic fit of the jacket seemed ideal for one mesomorph-bodied tester. The ingenious cinch strap of the hood was perfect for a snug fit without obscuring vision. The arms are comfortable in a running position, but ride up more than other jackets in this test with a far reach.
Packability The Houdini impressed testers with its storability. The jacket packs into the single chest pocket and is easily carried by hand or in a hydration pack. The Houdini packs down the smallest of all the jackets in this test but as a consequence has the smallest pocket volume.