Patagonia Houdini Windbreaker
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Our Conclusion
Don’t you admire those people who seem to always be prepared? How do they just whip out a jacket that protects them from wind, water, and the cold? Here’s the secret.

These people you see are hiding the Patagonia Houdini jacket in their bag. This windbreaker jacket is incredibly lightweight and folds into its chest zipper to pack down into a rectangular shape that is smaller than your hand.

While this is a great jacket to take with you just about everywhere, it isn’t ideal for every situation. It doesn’t hold up well in extremely cold situations or in heavy rain.

But don’t let that hold you back - continue reading to learn why so many customers end up ordering more than one of these jackets.
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Pros & Cons
Pros
Great wind resistance
10 color choices
Incredibly lightweight
Packs into the chest pocket
Reflective details
Adjustable hood
Water resistant
Cons
No hand pockets
Chest pocket is very small
Wrinkles easily
Runs small
Key Features
Key Features
Comfort

This jacket is so lightweight, you might forget you are wearing it. As long as you find the right size (we will discuss that soon), you’ll be comfortable in it.

It weighs only 105 grams or 3.7 ounces. It does not provide a lot of flexibility but isn’t overly restricting either.

Fit

The Houdini is available in sizes XS to XXL. It has a slim fit with a drop tail. For some people, the fit is too slim, and the general consensus is that the jackets runs small.

It is recommended to order a size up from your normal size. There haven’t been any complaints about the length of the sleeves or the jacket itself.

Weather Resistance

This jacket provides a little bit of everything. It is not intended for use in extreme weather though. The materials it is made from provide great wind resistance and it is finished with a DWR treatment that makes it water-resistant. To reiterate, the Houdini is resistant to wind and water, but not fully windproof or waterproof.

It functions as a great layering piece for cold weather. To provide more warmth, you should use a base layer or two underneath. To keep the warmth in, the wrists are cuffed and there is a drawcord hem. Unfortunately, it is not very breathable. The only ventilation system is the main zipper.

One of the best features is that there is a hood. If you zip the jacket all the way up and use the cinch cord on the back of the hood to adjust it, it will not likely be blown off. The hood is fitted well and does not interfere with your peripheral vision.

Features

For ultimate portability, the Houdini packs into its chest pocket. There is a built-in carabiner clip loop that allows you to hook it or clip it to a loop inside or on the exterior of your bag. Seeing how small this jacket packs down, that would probably be a good idea. It can easily get lost at the bottom of a backpack.

The next detail is a blessing and a curse. This same pocket that the jacket folds into is the only pocket on the jacket and it is very small. This is great because the portable package is very small. This is bad because most smartphones do not fit in this pocket.

The Houdini is available in ten great colors. All ten are unique and eye-catching. This also includes a brown geometric pattern and a gray/black camo design. To keep you safer at night, there are small reflective details on each jacket.

Durability

Even though this jacket is thin and lightweight, you are not likely to experience issues with its durability. It is made from 1.2 ounces recycled ripstop nylon. One slight downfall is that if you leave it crinkled up in its stuff sack for a long time, it will likely come out wrinkled.

To wash the jacket, you should put it in the machine with cold water on a gentle cycle and hang it up to dry.

Like all Patagonia products, the Houdini also comes with the Ironclad Guarantee. If the item was purchased within the last year and still has tags on it, you can return it for a replacement or refund. If one year has passed, you can return it for Patagonia store credit.

Overall, Patagonia has great customer service and is also willing to replace and repair items that do not meet your standards.
Comparison to Similar Windbreaker Jackets
A jacket that is often compared to the Houdini is the Outdoor Research Helium. While it is still very lightweight, it weighs more than the Houdini. It weighs 179 grams or 6.3 ounces. These extra grams come from the fully taped seams and the incredibly durable material.

It is made from Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse nylon with 30 denier ripstop. A couple of the biggest differences is that this option is not just resistant to wind and water- it is waterproof and windproof. Similarly, it only has one chest pocket into which the jacket folds. In terms of price, this one is going to cost you much more than the Houdini.

The Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody is another great option. Visually, it looks very similar to the other two options- it has one chest pocket and folds into it. One thing that makes this jacket slightly more comfortable is that it is articulated for a better fit and has gusseted underarms.

It provides the same weather protection as the Houdini. It is wind and water-resistant and provides some warmth, especially with base layers underneath. It is made from nylon with a Tyono 30 denier shell with a DWR treatment. It is also more expensive than the Houdini. It costs about the same as the Helium jacket mentioned above.
Verdict
The Patagonia Houdini is clearly a great ‘just in case’ jacket. Many people purchase multiple of these, and not just because they fold up so small that you can lose them easily. They order multiple so that they can keep one in their backpack, one in their car, and one in their suitcase.

As long as you make the purchase with realistic expectations (remembering it is resistant to weather, not impermeable), you’ll be very pleased. It is slightly expensive for such a product, but it costs less than its competitors and it is incredibly convenient and lightweight.
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Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz
Ana
Last updated:
Ana
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Best offer on: Dec. 03. 2021