Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
windshirt: Patagtonia Houdini vs. Marmot Ion
Display Avatars Sort By:
rajesh kumar
(rajesh) - F

Locale: Portland
windshirt: Patagtonia Houdini vs. Marmot Ion on 03/09/2006 18:12:02 MST Print View

I am sold on the concept of a hooded lightweight windshirt. These two seem pretty good at first impression (I just tried in store). Patagonia is cut a bit larger to allow some layering and seems a bit beefier. Marmot uses Pertex Quantum which gets good reviews but I haev no field experience with either. Quantum material seems thin so somewhat worried about being fragile under backpack at shoulder

So which one would you reccomend for PNW hiking and backpacking.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: windshirt: Patagtonia Houdini vs. Marmot Ion on 03/09/2006 22:13:51 MST Print View


I was considering the same two options, and opted to go with the Ion. I'll be hiking in your territory this July (the Wonderland trail), and I hopefully made the better of the two choices. It is, afterall, the 'Holy Grail' of windshirts (or so I've heard....), but I'll give the Ion a test run this upcoming week and let you know how it performs.


Oh yaaa...and there may still be a few Ion's left over from the online REI sale. Check the outlet store to see what they have left.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Houdini vs. Ion on 03/09/2006 23:00:10 MST Print View

I went back and forth between those two windshirts as well and ended up with the Houdini. It seemed to have a good blend of all the features I was looking for. While the Quantum in the Ion is somewhat more breathable and lighter weight, I was willing to give up a little of that for the added durability of the Patagonia fabric. I actually wear the jacket more for trail running than for backpacking. Since I am often cruising down trails, I sometimes come in contact with brush and vegetation despite being careful. While I love Quantum in my sleeping bag, and it is tough for its light weight, I favored the Houdini's fabric which is quite tough for outer layers. All in all I have found it to have good water resistance, breathability, weight, coverage, features, and durability. It covers all of the bases better than any I have seen. They are both fine pieces however. You will like them both.

Beth Correira
(Beth) - F

Locale: Beautiful New England!
Houdini vs Mamot Ion on 03/10/2006 10:36:36 MST Print View

Both are great windshirts with great fabrics but the Houdini edges out the Ion. Far better hood coverage on the Houdini and the draw cord at the waist stamps out those pesky breezes.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Houdini vs Mamot Ion on 03/10/2006 16:29:08 MST Print View

For standard backpacking, I'd probably choose the Houdini, for the roomier fit and bottom drawstring. I like the more trim, shorter, athletic cut on my new Ion because I use it more for running and other more mobile activities. The good news is that you really can't go wrong.

Elliot Lockwood
(elockwood) - F
Houdini vs. Ion on 03/10/2006 17:20:34 MST Print View

The Houdini is, as other posters commented, more roomier than the Ion. It's made to be layered as a top shell. In warmer weather hiking where a tight fit might be better, (or high exertion activity such as the example of running posted above,) the Ion would probably edge out the Houdini in my book.

My choice for one windshirt to use year-round would be the Houdini. The drawstring waist is a big plus for me, and the hood offers excellent coverage - zipping up to the mouth. It helped me a lot on today's snowy hike in terms of coverage, and locking body heat in.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Montane Lightspeed? on 03/10/2006 19:05:21 MST Print View

I liked the fit, and the doublelayer hood makes it warmer, when that's what you want... Found it less translucent than Houdini, which I liked.

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 03/10/2006 19:05:58 MST.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Ion, Houdini and Montane Litespeed on 03/11/2006 09:21:15 MST Print View

Between the Ion and Houdini, you can't go wrong, they are both good wind jackets. I paid a lot of attention to selection of a wind shirt/wind jacket because it's probably the most used and versatile piece of gear I have. I've had both and sold the Ion and got a Houdini. 1) the Houdini fabric is more durable 2) the hood on the Houdini has a superior design offering better protection, zipping up to the mouth 3) the fabric is highly breathable and while perhaps a drop less (really a drop) breathable than the Ion, the Houdini fabric is far more water resistant 4) the Houdini's more generous cut works just as well for next to base layer or over a midlayer - you're going to want that versatility in highly variable weather. The cut is forgiving but not huge 5) Houdini waist drawcord further extends its ability to keep you warm 6) while the old Patagonia Dragonfly was very see through, the Houdini is not, if that bothers you.

I also bought and used a Montane Litespeed for more than 6 months. Montane makes a lot of quality products and I had read some reviews pointing to good breathability. No comparison. Houdini wins hands down. This was the deal breaker for me - during a fast hike in the fall, my wife wearing a Houdini and me wearing the Litespeed, with the DWR in the same shape as new, we were caught in a moderate steady rain. I was soaked in 5 minutes - shoulders, back, chest, arms, while my wife's underlayers were dry after 45-50 minutes of rain. In that same time, I was soaked to the bone. The lightspeed double fabric hood is a little warmer - but the Litespeed also weighs about 2 ounces more for that, and in that case, I'd prefer to take my light 1-2 ounce thin powerstretch balaclava. And by the way, my head eventually got soaked through the hood in that rain as well.

I couldn't stand Patagonia's old Dragonfly wind jacket as it was about as breathable and comfortable to wear as plastic. However, the Houdini is an incredibly well designed, functional and comfortable wind shirt.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Ion, Houdini and Montane Litespeed on 03/11/2006 13:31:26 MST Print View

Great comparisons here,
Any idea how the Houdini might compare w/ Golite's Helios? I love my litespeed for most trips, but am looking for something a bit more water-resistant for occasional poncho tarping (Dr J seemed to favor the helios for this). I'd expect it to be less breathable, but more water-resistant than the Houdini, as per above comments, but... Thoughts?

Edited by PA_Jay on 03/11/2006 13:33:43 MST.

rajesh kumar
(rajesh) - F

Locale: Portland
Thanks everyone on 03/11/2006 15:12:27 MST Print View

As I suspected, for general hiking/ backpacking/ spring ski mountaineering etc, where layerign may be needed adn some contact with brush/ trees unavoidable, it looks like the Houdini is the better choice. For running, the Ion may be better.

I just bought the Houdini.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Houdini pocket on 03/11/2006 15:24:46 MST Print View

Anyone had any problems with stuff falling out of the pocket? I've got a sun shirt with a velco dot pocket and I have to be careful with smaller stuff. Plan to sew more velco on, but then get to the point were I might as well change it to a zipper. Thoughts on the Houdini pocket?

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
re:Patagtonia Houdini vs. Marmot Ion on 03/12/2006 08:38:31 MST Print View

Has anyone compared the Montbell UL Wind Jacket (2.6 oz) to the shirts mentioned here?

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Ion available again. on 03/15/2006 19:43:58 MST Print View

Just thought there might be people around who might be interested in what appears to be a re-release of the Ion by Marmot.

It's back on their site, and back at

(Back up to $100 to!!!)