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Current best Houdini alternative?
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G Sticks

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 16:20:11 MST Print View

So I tried on the Houdini at REI today - the Medium is too tight on my hips and shoulders and the Large is too long in the sleeves and overall. I am 5'8" with a thick trunk (butt and legs) and broader shoulders apparently (felt very manly trying on the Medium). Normally Patagonia suits me very well and I've worn their stuff for years so I'm disappointed that the flagship windshirt of these forums doesn't fit me.

That said, what are the best current alternatives to the Houdini? I've read plenty of reviews on here, but some of the threads are a few years old and jackets mentioned aren't sold anymore (like the Golite Ether).

Requirements: really as close as possible to a Houdini haha, so a hood is essential, I'd like a full zip but I'm not against an anorak, some water resistance if possible but favoring the breathability side of things (I get hot FAST). Affordability is key too, I had found a Houdini for about $65 and was about to buy but I wanted to make sure it fit - glad I did.

At first glance, perhaps the Montbell Tachyon Anorak is my best bet? What size would I need...large?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 16:31:45 MST Print View

Not answering your question... I LOVE my Houdini...

I'm 5'9', 150lbs and the Houdini Large fits me just fine. Yes, the sleeves are a bit long, but I actually prefer them that way -- when using hiking poles and cold winds are howling, it's nice to have the sleeve long enough to cover over my hands -- and the elastics minimize the cuffs nicely .

Even as a relatively skinny guy, the Medium was too tight to wear over anything but a shirt or tee shirt. Bad for layering options.

Casey Jones
Brooks LSD on 03/09/2013 17:18:53 MST Print View

Edit #2: REI has the Brooks LSD Lite II on clearance for about $52.
weighs 4.3 oz

Edited by cjsbug on 03/09/2013 19:29:18 MST.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Stoic Wraith on 03/09/2013 17:57:25 MST Print View

I like my Stoic Wraith.
Very light and stows away very small.
Hood and full zip.
2.5 oz.
Under $50 when it's on sale, and it's on sale quite often.

Alex Romanko
(aromanko) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 18:06:26 MST Print View

+1 on the Stoic Wraith. I'm 5'11 175 and a large fits me fine. It has a hood and as someone who also runs hot it breaths quite well.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 18:19:03 MST Print View

The Wrath is very nice, not as refined as the Houdini but still a nice piece.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 18:24:16 MST Print View

One word, "Montane". Go up a size.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Current best Houdini alternative? on 03/09/2013 18:25:49 MST Print View

Montane are nice also :-)

Tyler Miller
(FightingTheTide) - F

Locale: Southeast
Marmot Ion Wind Hoodie on 03/09/2013 18:34:23 MST Print View

For a budget wind hoodie, I love my Marmot Ion Wind Hoodie -

Wait for a 30% or 35% off coupon.

I wear this over a running tee or long-sleeve quarter-zip and have been plenty warm trail running into the low 40's. The tee yielded less condensation inside, compared to the long-sleeve, but for such a high-output activity it's what I would expect. It has mesh under the arms and behind the neck. I wear a large and it weighs in at 5.1oz/145g.

As for how it fits, there is plenty of room for a few layers underneath. I'm 6'3'' and 165lbs. The hood is spacious and my large noggin fits fine. Overall this jacket is not so big that it's too baggy when worn only over a tee.

EDIT - by condensation, I mean that this jacket yields a very small amount of wetness inside...not a puddle. I would consider this jacket to be pretty breathable. You can get it around $35...can't beat that!

Edited by FightingTheTide on 03/09/2013 18:54:25 MST.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
North Face Verto on 03/09/2013 18:42:45 MST Print View

You might keep an eye open for the North Face Verto on sale, I snagged one last year for $64. It's a great jacket.

G Sticks

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
bah! on 03/09/2013 18:45:22 MST Print View

Hmph, the Wraith appears to be out of stock right now. Considering it's a Backcountry brand, they're the only ones that would be selling it right now, correct? True sizing (I'm a Medium) or should I go up...assuming I can find one.

Montane, yes they look nice. It appears that I can get a Lite-Speed for around $80. Promising indeed. Thanks all.

G Sticks

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: North Face Verto on 03/09/2013 18:54:43 MST Print View

How's the fit on the Verto? I think I saw them at REI today, so I may be able to go check as well...

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Verto on 03/09/2013 18:59:02 MST Print View

My build is totally different so I'm not sure I can help much re. sizing, but it does sound like to me like the Verto will probably fit bigger in the chest/shoulders than the Houdini.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Verto on 03/09/2013 19:04:32 MST Print View

I managed to pickup one of the last batch of Wraiths before they sold out, I plan to test it against the Houdini once the weather gets warmer.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: North Face Verto on 03/09/2013 19:10:11 MST Print View

is Stick's blog video of him trying on and talking about the verto and then a video of him trying on and talking about the houdini here ,I know that in some of his videos when he is hiking he talks about his gear that he is using at the time including commentaries on the wind shirt he has on at the time.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Houdini fit on 03/10/2013 08:54:43 MDT Print View

The Houdini is on the baggy side of windshirts in that class, you might be best served by just dealing with the long sleeves or having them altered (shortened).

Montbell also has a roomy torso fit, and might be worth a look. Rab and Montane would not suit you.

G Sticks

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
actually... on 03/10/2013 10:17:35 MDT Print View

Thanks all for the insight. So I thought about it more and I think I might just pick up a large Houdini and deal with the long sleeves and torso. I generally LOVE my Patagonia gear and I can get the Houdini far cheaper than anything else recommended on BPL so it is probably still my best choice. Haha, I'm not trying to win any beauty contests either right, it is just to serve a function in my pack. Long sleeves are unsightly but not the end of the world.