Any info on Houdini Airborn Baselayer?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Any info on Houdini Airborn Baselayer? on 03/30/2013 05:19:42 MDT Print View

For clarity, I'm not talking about the Patagonia Houdini. There's a European company called Houdini that makes really expensive baselayer pieces out of a Wool/Silk blend. It looks nice, but I am wondering about the durability and odor resistance until I actually get my hands on a piece. It'd also be nice to know how thin the fabric is, as I am looking for a summer-weight long sleeve wool shirt (to keep sun off without overheating or stinking).

Here's an example:
Air

Website: http://www.houdinisportswear.com/en/

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Any info on Houdini Airborn Baselayer? on 03/30/2013 08:06:06 MDT Print View

Never heard of them before, but looks like a nice line of base layers. Pricey though. Keep in mind the wool/silk material of those thicknesses will wear out pretty quickly. Something to consider before dropping that kind of money on them.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Yup on 03/30/2013 08:23:04 MDT Print View

That's my concern. I looked at the durability of silk, which looks much higher than wool. I'm wondering if it'll just last much longer than regular wool because of the blend. I can't tell how thin it really is, but since my backpack has a cantering hipbelt and shoulderpads, it shouldn't rub much.

Worst case scenario, I'll return it.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Anyone have experience? on 03/30/2013 14:52:22 MDT Print View

Surprised nobody else has seen this, given there's a pretty good UK crowd on here.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Anyone have experience? on 03/30/2013 18:27:56 MDT Print View

Never heard of them myself Max or seen them in Uk outdoor shops.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Someone's gotta do it. on 03/30/2013 18:30:15 MDT Print View

I guess a review is in order, then... They said the sizing was one off from US sizes, so I got an XL instead of an L. If it fits, I'll use it this spring and report back.

If the price and advertising are to be believed (HAH!) this is trying to be the nicest baselayer piece on the market, period. Better than Smartwool, Ibex, Arcteryx.

I don't believe everything I read, so I'll give an impartial judgement soon.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Impressions on 04/04/2013 11:35:56 MDT Print View

Here's an update:

The piece was ...ok. It felt very thin. I took my fingers and stretched the weave to see how resilient it was, and it felt like it was going to tear (but it didn't). There's nothing to distinguish it from any other ultralight wool piece I've tried. I have Smartwool pieces that are less itchy next to the skin.

The zipper was unusually large and heavy. I would have preferred something much more minimalist.

The color was pretty hideous, but that's personal. I had the green and orange.

The sleeves with thumb loops were in an XL, but they came down only barely far enough to give me a full range of motion, and my 6'2" height is all legs- my arms are not that long. Also, the ends were very open, so it made me look like I had two big rectangles for hands.


Overall, for a baselayer piece that costs $150 I was not impressed. I sent it back, and I'll just pick up something on sale. Maybe my eye isn't discerning enough, but this brand (which I believe is from Belgium) seems to be more about style than quality.

My 2ยข.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Brand location on 04/05/2013 02:51:37 MDT Print View

Sweden I believe which helps to explain the cost! Nordic things are always very pricy due to their rather nice standard of living. Also mega keen on bright colours :) Look at Haglofs/Norrona's websites for more examples of that....

Houdini also very much into ethics, so lots of recycled/recylable things and manufacturing in the EU which won't help price wise. Very little UK penetration.

In some ways calling them a technical life style brand does seem plausibly reasonable. Certainly some of their stuff very much trends that way, and their main product is a powerstretch hooded jacket which seems rather popular in terms of lifestyle clothing.

I actually got one of those as it turned out to fit me fantastically. Very nice on all levels really. As a result (and badly struggling to find stuff that does fit me well) I'll likely be getting the odd other bit at some stage. Definitely a premium price wise.

Edited by MartinCarpenter on 04/05/2013 02:53:12 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Brand location on 04/09/2013 09:45:13 MDT Print View

Does anyone know the blend ratio of wool to silk? I've seen some blends at fabric shops at reasonable prices. Not sure my sewing and craft skills are up to par to make even a decent and more form fitting shirt or bottoms though.