Patagonia Women’s Houdini Full-Zip ReviewMarch 8, 2012
- Hood has a brim and cinches for a close fit that moves with you.
- Drop tail provides nice coverage and hang.
- Enough room for an insulating layer.
- Elastic cuffs don’t allow for adjustments.
- Only one reflective detail.
This piece is easy to wear or throw in a hydration pack for ‘just-in-case.’ Styling is a bit more subdued than others in this category, making it a jacket to grab not just for running, but also for hiking, trekking and travel. Definitely a multi-purpose coat.
The Houdini moved well, and was well crafted with small-allowance, bound seams that felt smooth inside the jacket and added no bulk. It was also pleasantly quiet with the hood up. As for the hood, it has some smart design features such as a low-profile cut and one-pull cinching system, which secured the hood around my face and allowed it to actually move with me. Have you ever turned to check traffic while you’re running and end up looking at the inside of your hood? It doesn’t happen in this coat. I also liked the small brim to keep some water from rolling down my face.
The fit was slim, with articulated arms and good movement, and enough room for a mid-layer, which I recommend for winter warmth. For spring/summer/fall running the jacket alone should suffice. During my runs, I never felt clammy or hot, and, when the wind kicked up, I actually felt some air move, probably through the zipper, which did not have a storm guard. That proved somewhat chilly until I began to sweat. Post run, there was no condensation buildup inside the jacket.
The drop tail gave good coverage and didn’t creep up during runs, plus there’s a drawcord for fit adjustments. Wrists are kept simple with elastic all the way around, but didn’t fit tight enough for my skinny wrists. Since the sleeves are generous in length, I was able to give them a quick roll for a closer fit.
The self stuff-sac/zip pocket is on the side, and easy to reach, yet out of the way. Once the Houdini ‘disappears’ in it’s pocket, there’s a sturdy loop that can be hooked to a pack or carabineer.
Since I tested in dry weather, I checked the water resistance with a one-minute, sleeve-in-the-shower test and was impressed with the amount of water beading and rolling off the jacket, with only minor dampness in the crook of my elbow.