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2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket
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Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 14:41:33 MDT Print View

I tested the weight, air permeability, and hydrostatic head of the 2013 Houdini pants today:

Size L: 3.3 oz.
CFM: 3.73
HH: 457 mm H2O

Although they are the Houdini brand they have MUCH LESS BREATHABILITY and MUCH MORE HYDROSTATIC HEAD than the Houdini shirts I have tested the last 6 years. For comparison, the 2012 Spring Houdini shirt test results were:

Size XL: 4.45 oz.
CFM: 35.8
HH: 141 mm H2O

The above test raises the obvious question: Is the 2013 Houdini shirt the same material as the 2013 pants? The material specs are the same (1.2 oz. 10 denier) but, to verify I called their Customer Service Department. I chatted with Kevin and he confirmed that the material was identical for the shirt and pants.

Arrgh... thank goodness I have a large stash of prior year's Houdini shirts. IMHO the current versions are a VERY POOR CHOICE FOR UL BACKPACKING DO TO THEIR DRAMATICALLY REDUCED BREATHABILITY!

Edited by richard295 on 05/22/2013 14:44:49 MDT.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 14:46:53 MDT Print View

Wow, thanks for that piece of info. I was actually going to get a Houdini Wind shirt sometime this week with my REI dividend (Houdini's are on sale at REI currently).

I'm probably going to hold off now!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 15:22:43 MDT Print View

Cheers Richard,

I was surprised how water restiant my 2013 Houdini was last week in Scotland, I did also notice it is less breathable than some of my other windshirts.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 15:37:25 MDT Print View

David Chenault,

Are you aware of an alternative wind shirt brand with breathability similar to the 2012 and older Houdinis?

Peter James
(pbjames) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 15:38:50 MDT Print View

My 2012 Houdini definitely isn't very waterproof, as I found when hiking along the Mist Trail in Yosemite last week. I'm with you, Richard, I don't want to sacrifice breathability for waterproofedness on this particular piece.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Houdini alternates on 05/22/2013 15:50:00 MDT Print View

"Are you aware of an alternative wind shirt brand with breathability similar to the 2012 and older Houdinis?"

I don't have a basement of machines at my disposal, so my opinion is strictly based on field experience. That said, the 2012 Rab Cirrus breaths just about the same as the 2012 Houdini. DWR of the Rab is probably a bit less durable.

Richard, I assume the dramatic reduction in CFM and boost in HH is due to a more substantial Epic-esque DWR?

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 16:30:30 MDT Print View

Shit!!! Ruined my day. I recently purchased the Spring 2013 jacket and pants after losing my beloved Spring 2012 jacket. :(

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/22/2013 16:42:37 MDT Print View

David,

You said, "Richard, I assume the dramatic reduction in CFM and boost in HH is due to a more substantial Epic-esque DWR?"

Don't know but I will take some micrographs of both material types in an attempt to answer your question.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 16:45:46 MDT Print View

Get a grip people. Remember, we wear finished clothing, not fabric swatches. Last I checked the Houdini jacket still has a full front zip. And wind pants are pretty much a niche item.

Edited by rmjapan on 05/22/2013 17:29:21 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 16:55:12 MDT Print View

Well that sucks!
I was going to get a Houdini some time soon.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 17:06:11 MDT Print View

I actually don't mind the additional waterproofness in the pants. I'm hoping to use them in lieu of a proper WP/B layer.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 17:12:37 MDT Print View

Well I have to say I've become a convert to the Rab Cirrus. I tried one last year and promptly sold my Houdini. This piece is awesome, feels great against my skin...love the thing, actually. I've had it for a year, still looks brand new, but really didn't do much bushwhacking. No wear at all at my shoulders. Also wore it riding my bike to work....

I find that I'm really getting into Rab's kit...and the hood is supreme. Just sayin'

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Houdini pulled a houdini on us. on 05/22/2013 17:13:15 MDT Print View

Generally I agree Rick, but the Houdini fabric (sewn into a quality garment) was the gold standard for a windshirt. This year they've changed both the cut and the fabric. Patagonia has every right to do this of course, however when you have been producing the archetypal product for a gear category for the past several years, it's usually not a good idea to revamp the entire product.

It'd be like dupont changing the formula for teflon cookware coatings to be significantly more durable, but not nearly as non-stick without indicating any change to the consumer. You could no longer "trust" that brand to deliver on an implicit promise of a certiain performance profile.

When you change the gold in a gold standard to silver or platinum, it ceases to be a gold standard by definition.

There's always a risk of this with clothing of course since they "tinker" at least yearly as fashion changes. However when your fashionable clothing also doubles as performance gear in inclement environments, it's always disheartening to see dramatic changes (vs the incremental change we've previously seen in the dragonfly>houdini product line). I don't know why more companies don't just introduce two product lines that compete with each other for a season or two and then stick with the product that sells the best.

I think Arc'Teryx does this to a degree, especially with their synthetic insulation garments which are all very similar but with minor tweaks. Then products that didn't justify the sweatshop floor real estate are slowly phased out.

Maybe we should call the 2013 patagonia windshirt the Copperfield instead of Houdini...

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/22/2013 18:22:51 MDT Print View

How does the new Arcteryx Squamish compare? I really liked the breathability and air resistance of the Houdini. The Rab Cirrus looks nice, but it says the hood does not fit over a helmet. I'm too lazy to remove my helmet each time I want to move my hood up or down :(

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/22/2013 20:06:28 MDT Print View

David,

I haven't tested a Rab Cirrus but, the Moosejaw specs list the material as Pertex Quantum with a weight of 36 g/m2.

The Montane China website lists the air permeability for this fabric variant as:

PERTEX Quantum Triple Rip-stop
35 g/m² 100% RIP-proof nylon fabric, highest standard air 10.0cc (JIS l 1096/United States ASTM D737).

10.0 CC is equivalent to ~20 CFM. I agree that it appears to be a reasonable alternative to the pre 2013 Houdinis.

Edited by richard295 on 05/22/2013 20:23:42 MDT.

Loren B
(ljamesb)

Locale: London UK, Greenville USA
Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/23/2013 04:27:50 MDT Print View

I have the current version of the squamish and really like it. Apparently the breathability is 110CFM more info here .

For me at least, it is perfect. Great for aerobic activities as it is very breathable and it is also probably the most water resistant of the bunch. Additionally I think it looks the best for wearing around town, and it has a peaked hood. I've found that sometimes the increased breathability can make any exposed skin feel a little cold under it though so I just always wear long sleeved shirts underneath it.

Edited by ljamesb on 05/23/2013 04:28:31 MDT.

Peter Fokkinga
(nitto)

Locale: the Netherlands
Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/23/2013 11:26:41 MDT Print View

Richard,


The Montane China website lists the air permeability for this fabric variant as:

PERTEX Quantum Triple Rip-stop
35 g/m² 100% RIP-proof nylon fabric, highest standard air 10.0cc (JIS l 1096/United States ASTM D737).

On the Pertex website they list "Air permeability – 1.0cc (max)" for Quantum, Quantum GL and Microlight. The Rab Cirrus product page they also list "1cc".

Are there other methods than JIS l 1096 for measuring air permeability or perhaps there is a typo on that Chinese website?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/23/2013 12:21:10 MDT Print View

Peter and Tom,

In addition to your post, I received an email from a very knowledgeable fabric related forum member in Europe (Tom Van Wauwe). He said, " Montane lists the air-permeability for PQ as max. 1 cc (in several workbooks) and not 10 cc like on the Montane China website.

The majority (except for Montane China) of the Pertex Quantum spec sources for the Pertex Triple Rip-stop Quantum are inconsistent with Dave Chenault's assessment of the Rab Cirrus breathability relative to the old Houdinis; so, NOW I DON'T HAVE A CLUE if the Rab Cirrus is a reasonable alternative to the old Houdini's breathability.

Edited by richard295 on 05/28/2013 11:11:42 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/23/2013 13:04:20 MDT Print View

Richard,

From a simple breath test, I could quite easily tell the difference in breathability between the old Houdini and several garments made from Pertex Quantum. Pertex Quantum was VERY noticably less breathable (though still slightly breathable - 1cc sounds about right). This was also true for other Pertex fabrics, such as Microlight.

I do prefer Pertex Quantum and similarly less breathable windshirts for climbing and other more 'static' activities, such as canyoneering. I wonder if this could be responsible for the change in Houdini fabric - most of their sponsored athletes are climbers, not hikers/backpackers.

I breath-tested about 15 windshirts last fall and found that only the old Patagonia Houdini and the Stoic Wraith had breathability suitable for backpacking and hiking. It's unfortunate that both garments are now discontinued, so to speak. It's a major disappointment and I intend to baby my Stoic Wraith from here on out.

If I recall correctly, using the breath test, I found MLD's fabric that they use on their quilts to be more breathable than Pertex Quantum. I don't believe it is as breathable as the old Houdini, but I can't say for sure. Perhaps MLD could step up, here?

I found that none of the 7D or 8D fabrics were that breathable - similar to Pertex Quantum or worse. The fabric used in the Stoic Wraith was the only exception. I have NOT tried Nobul1, which MAY be more breathable - I've read about it's lack of downproofness, which would indicate to me, that the material is either less tightly-woven than others, or less of a cirre finish.

As for the breath test, I've found it to be very accurate. If you can "easily" breath through the fabric, but feel strong resistance, that's the one you want. If you can barely breath through the fabric (almost feels like you're going to hyperventilate), it's going to be only mediocre for activities such as backcountry skiing, biking, hiking or backpacking.

I'd like to test out some biking windshirts, as they might fair better, but I'm happy with my Wraith and biking windshirts don't have hoods, so I haven't bothered yet.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/23/2013 13:23:01 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/23/2013 15:29:11 MDT Print View

David,

You said, "Richard, I assume the dramatic reduction in CFM and boost in HH is due to a more substantial Epic-esque DWR?

It appears that the weave pattern is identical between the 2012 (red) and 2013 (black) versions:

1

2

It also appears the fiber coating is identical between the 2012 (red) and 2013 (black) versions:

3

4

Only a CFM, HH test, or micrograph showing the interstice light passage pattern can tell the difference.

Edited by richard295 on 05/27/2013 10:43:31 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/25/2013 09:39:36 MDT Print View

Richard,

Do you have any theories as to what is creating the different CFM results?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/25/2013 10:40:45 MDT Print View

Brian,

Yes, it is the interstice pattern differences.

The following images were taken in a dimly lit room; a digital microscope with the light source from the bottom was used to capture the images; the microscope light rheostat was set to minimum; the camera exposure value was set to -1; and the field of view was 1.5 mm (~size of an ant or thickness of a US quarter). The tested material was a 2007 black Squamish (Gossamera fabric that was manufactured without the air permeable PU coating currently used), 2012 Red Houdini, and 2013 Black Houdini. I think the micrographs give a reasonable indication of why each fabric has the CFM value that it does.

101 CFM 2007 black Arcteryx Squamish (Gossamera fabric without an air permeable PU coating)
1


36 CFM 2012 red Patagonia Houdini
2


4 CFM 2013 black Patagonia Houdini
3

Please note that the Arcteryx Gossamera fabric is still produced and Arcteryx still uses it for the face fabric of jackets like the Atom SV Hoody. This fabric now has an air permeable PU coating that reduces the CFM to 7.

Edited by richard295 on 05/25/2013 13:35:55 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/25/2013 12:34:30 MDT Print View

Brian wrote, "I'd like to test out some biking windshirts, as they might fair better, but I'm happy with my Wraith and biking windshirts don't have hoods, so I haven't bothered yet."

I have both a 2012 Houdini and a Brooks LSD II windshirt. I guess the Brooks is a geared to running windshirt?

In some ways, i actually like the Brooks windshirt more than the Houdini--mostly because it's a bit more breathable both with the fabric itself and it has a back vent. Being polyester it's also a bit more innately hydrophobic, but probably a bit less tougher than the Houdini. The Houdini i like more because of the deluge dwr is much longer lasting and higher quality put together.

The Brooks is for my now gear box and the Houdini is mostly saved for the later gear box (long story of why i have two different ones).

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/25/2013 12:38:09 MDT Print View

Richard,

Thanks for the information. I have absolutely zero knowledge of garment and material production. I'm a bit confused how the interstice pattern could be so different when the weave appears identical? Or is it just a difference in the tightness of the weave?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Houdini alternates on 05/25/2013 13:56:08 MDT Print View

Brian,

I agree that the weave appears identical in most views. The interstice micrograph indicates the only difference is in increased tension for the 2013 Houdini's vertically oriented rip-stop threads.

You can tell that the 2013 Houdini is less breathable than 2012 and earlier Houdinis with a simple DIY "air suck" test. By how much and why takes a LOT more equipment and time.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer windshirt on 05/25/2013 14:12:32 MDT Print View

Richard,

Have you tested the breathability of the MH Ghost Whisperer windshirt?

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Men's-Ghost-Whisperer%E2%84%A2-Anorak/OM4625,default,pd.html

The size medium I got in the mail the other day weighs in at a scant 48 g (1.69 oz). I've yet to find a windshirt lighter than this one, but I haven't yet hiked in it so I can speak to its breathability. I think it is made from 7D nylon.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer windshirt on 05/25/2013 14:57:38 MDT Print View

David,

I haven't tested the breathability of this wind shirt but I know it is less than 10 CFM.

The Whisperer 7Dx10D rip-stop nylon is used for both the MH wind-shirt and down jacket. In order for a jacket fabric to be considered down-proof, the fabric has to be less than 10 CFM.

Edited by richard295 on 05/25/2013 15:16:59 MDT.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/25/2013 15:35:22 MDT Print View

Just received my 2013 Houdini. I'll be hiking out to my local WMA this weekend and had planned on taking the new, black Houdini (Large, slimmer fit for running) and my 2012 blue Houdini (XL, a bit larger for 3-4 season layering) for a side by side test. The two fabrics look similar enough, but the new has a crinkly-paper-almost-like-my- spin-tarp feel. The 2012, more smooth-silk texture. These are just my first impressions. I will have plenty of drizzle and humidity coming up in the next few days.
Have a great weekend!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer windshirt on 05/25/2013 16:03:29 MDT Print View

David:

I found the Ghost Whisperer to be a poor choice for a windshirt for aerobic activities:

See here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=65418

Peter Fokkinga
(nitto)

Locale: the Netherlands
down-proof vs breathability on 05/26/2013 03:48:37 MDT Print View


In order for a jacket fabric to be considered down-proof, the fabric has to be less than 10 CFM.

Richard, I find that incredibly useful to know, thanks!

That would make TiGoat's 10D Nobul-1 (just barely down-proof) probably around 10CFM then.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/26/2013 16:53:48 MDT Print View

I was at a Patagonia store today and breath tested the new Houdini. Definitely NOT the same Houdini. It's on par with the Ghost Whisperer - slightly less breathable than Pertex Quantum. Bummer :(

Unless you can locate one of these older Houdinis, I feel most UL hikers would be better off with saving the weight and just going with a rain jacket. Though perhaps some biking or running jackets would work.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/26/2013 16:58:22 MDT.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Do I need a windshirt? on 05/26/2013 17:03:48 MDT Print View

Brian,

That's bad news about the Whisperer. Wearing it around the house, I can see what you mean by it being not breathable. The question is: Would this piece be useful to me at all? My current rain jacket is a Marmot Mica, which claims a breathability of 20,000 gr (not sure exactly what that means). So would I be better off ditching the windshirt and just using the rainjacket as my windshell?

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Do I need a windshirt? on 05/26/2013 17:17:08 MDT Print View

Possibly. Depends on how you use a windshirt. I use a windshirt when there's wind and I'm above treeline. My Montane Lite-Speed (Pertex Microlight ~= Pertex Quantum) would sometimes be too warm whenever the wind died down. The Stoic Wraith (similar to the old Houdini) has a much more usable range. What I like about windshirts is that you don't have to mess with ventilating them or taking them on/off. I can usually put them on as soon as I feel a slight chill above treeline, and they stay on through the uphill and any following descent. With the Montane Speed-Lite, I couldn't easily do this, I had to more actively ventilate, sometimes fussing with taking it on and off. I found that a rain jacket was pretty similar in this respect (it's what I used before I knew about windshirts). So, for myself, I'd ditch the lesser-breathable windshirts and just bring a rain jacket.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/27/2013 06:46:30 MDT.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
CFM and g / m2? on 05/26/2013 17:35:40 MDT Print View

Brian,

Can you explain the difference between CFM and the rating that Marmot uses for their Membrain technology (gm2?)? They claim 20,000 g / m2 / day, I think. Curious what this would be in CFM.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: CFM and g / m2? on 05/26/2013 18:23:06 MDT Print View

AFAIK, even the least "breathable" windbreaker fabric is still ~5x more "breathable" than the most "breathable" waterproof membrane fabric.

But again, we wear clothing not fabric swatches. Maybe the new Houdini is not the ideal or most efficient, but with a full zip I can't imagine anyone not being able to thermo-regulate in just about any scenario. Heck, most of the time I wear my Houdini zipped only to my navel! IMO, the change in fit from Regular to Slim is the more important change that makes it less desirable for hiking since it limits layering flexibility.

I use 3 different windbreakers thru out the year; CAMP Magic Anorak, 2011 Houdini, and Marmot Ether Driclime. Each one has its pro and cons and each one has a best use/season. More often than not, what I am wearing underneath has a greater influence on my comfort than the windbreaker itself.

Edited by rmjapan on 05/27/2013 00:31:50 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Montbell Tachyon on 05/27/2013 00:06:46 MDT Print View

Does anybody know how the CFM of the Montbell Tachyon compares to the old/new Houdini and Pertex Quantum?
I love the Tachyon for my conditions and have been wearing it like crazy. Just curious to know how it compares, and it might be a good alternative for those seeking an alternative to the Houdini. It's certainly light and tough enough, but I think it might be slightly less breathable than the old Houdini?

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Montbell Tachyon on 05/27/2013 06:47:23 MDT Print View

Compared to the Tachyon, the old Houdini was significantly more breathable. The new Houdini is similar, and so is Pertex Quantum.

The difference being, the old Houdini strove to be highly wind RESISTANT. The others strive to be wind-PROOF. There is a huge difference between the two fabrics in terms of breathability (about 10x as breathable per Richard's CFM numbers).

See here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=65418

Edited by lindahlb on 05/27/2013 07:12:08 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: CFM and g / m2? on 05/27/2013 07:03:19 MDT Print View

Most rain jackets are ~0 CFM (including your Marmot).

> AFAIK, even the least "breathable" windbreaker fabric is still ~5x more "breathable" than the most "breathable" waterproof membrane fabric.

eVent is around 1 CFM. Neoshell is more. I'd rather bring one of those than a lightweight rain jacket AND the lesser breathable windshirts, even if it'd be another ounce or two more. One less item to bring and manage.

> But again, we wear clothing not fabric swatches.

True, but my experience wearing both the Montane Speed-Lite (Pertex) and the Stoic Wraith over a couple seasons, each, shows that the 10x higher breathability of the Stoic Wraith makes a HUGE difference in comfort and usability.

> Maybe the new Houdini is not the ideal or most efficient, but
> with a full zip I can't imagine anyone not being able to
> thermoregulate in just about any scenario. Heck, most of the
> time I wear my Houdini zipped only to my navel!

You can do the same with a rain jacket. I've found the highly breathable windshirts to operate at a completely different level than rain jackets. I could wear them in infinitely more situations and didn't have to mess with ventilation very often (i.e. zippers, pulling up sleeves, etc.). The lesser breathable windshirts weren't as versatile. I found that I could use a rain jacket pretty much the same as a lesser breathable windshirt, so it made no sense to bring both.

If I remember correctly, the Arc'Teryx Squamish was considered a highly breathable windshirt. I haven't had my hands on one before, but it might be a suitable replacement for the old Houdini. A wind vest might be another option, as well. I'd like to test some of the running/cycling windshirt fabrics as well. I can imagine there's a few good ones out there.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/27/2013 13:46:25 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 10:09:45 MDT Print View

The Arcteryx fabric that had exceptionally high breathability (101 CFM) was Gossamera. It was available from 2007 - 2008 uncoated (according to the Arcteryx Shop Manuals). They have coated the Gossamera fabric with an air permeable PU since 2009 and they list the breathability as 7 CFM for the coated version.

Edited by richard295 on 05/28/2013 11:08:27 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Montbell Tachyon on 05/27/2013 10:38:38 MDT Print View

Jackuchu,

I have not tested a Montbell Tachyon but, I have tested the SAME APPARENT Montbell 7 denier ballistic rip stop used in their EX Light. It tested 9.72 CFM.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 11:46:19 MDT Print View

"They have coated the Gossamera fabric with an air permeable PU since 2010 and they list the breathability as 7 CFM for the coated version."

They also no longer use the Gossamera fabric in the Squamish line. The fabric is now Luminera.

For those looking for more breathability than the Squamish, check out the incendo line. I use them for running. Trimmer fit than the Squamish. Mesh panels aid breathability. The vest has a full mesh back, in fact. I really like wind vests for running. The Squamish makes more sense for hiking and layering over other layers.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 05/27/2013 11:49:33 MDT Print View

Thanks Richard, for doing this work. Do you have a website where some of this information is stored? I would love to read a chart that compares various jackets showing number for CFM, HH and weight. Better yet, it would be nice if Backpacking Light did this. Unfortunately, it looks like they would have to do it every year, as they seem to change without warning. I think it is crazy to see how often the makers change their jackets without changing the name. It is getting be to like car models ("a '70 Firebird is nice, but I like the lines on a '69 better...).

Both rain jackets and wind shirts provide a certain amount of water, wind and bug resistance. So far as I know, all of them work as a mosquito barrier. As stated elsewhere, there is a direct inverse relationship between a garments wind resistance and breathability. The more breathable, the less wind resistant, and vice versa. Given that, I can understand why companies sometimes make their wind shirts more wind resistant and more waterproof. Many of them sell them as the one shirt you need (for all of the elements). I personally wouldn't trust any wind shirt as my only rain garment (for backpacking), but I do appreciate the value. For me, I will always take a rain jacket.

Given that, I want my windshirt to be on the other end of the spectrum. I can always throw on my rain jacket (which is not as breathable) if things get really windy. But if I want an extremely breathable layer for bug protection, or mild wind, then it is nice to have that option. This is why it is frustrating when makers decide to change a garment that served that purpose so well.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 12:10:29 MDT Print View

Gossamera is still produced and they still use it for the face fabric of jackets like the Atom SV Hoody.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 13:51:37 MDT Print View

I totally agree with Ross. I want my windshirt highly breathable and wind resistant, not windproof.

> They also no longer use the Gossamera fabric in the
> Squamish line. The fabric is now Luminera.

Looking at their website, it looks like the Luminera fabric also has the PU coating. :(

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 16:17:29 MDT Print View

From the Arcteryx Q&A page (by an Arc rep.):

"The Luminara and Gossamera fabrics are basically two different versions of the same thing. Luminara using a 20 denier filament while Gossamera was woven with a 30 denier filament. Aside from the filament weight the fabrics are the same."

And it does sound like their is an air permeable PU coating used from some of the other info on the page.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 16:37:33 MDT Print View

The Luminera fabric in the Arcteryx wind shells appears to be middle of the road in terms of breathability according to my breathe through tests (not scientific).

I found it significantly better than the MH Ghost Whisperer and a GoLite wind vest I have, but found the Pertex Equilibrium in a Westcomb Crest hoody to be dramatically better than anything else I own. A MontBell 7D fabric felt a little better than the Luminera.

I found Gore WindStopper to be about impossible to breathe through.

I also found all of my rain shells to be impossible to breathe through, including GoreTex, eVent, Salomon's ClimaPro, 3L WPB Cuben, and TNF HyVent.

That westcomb jacket really impressed me compared to the rest. I don't own a Houdini.

Again, these are all subjective tests based on my effort to breathe through the fabric. I made no effort to clean anything prior to the testing and used the sleeve of each jacket as my test sample (vest excluded)

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Arcteryx Squamish Gossamera Fabric on 05/27/2013 19:29:36 MDT Print View

Nathan,


1

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
houdini on 05/27/2013 19:40:28 MDT Print View

now I don't feel so silly having three Houdini's :)

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Ah well on 05/27/2013 20:16:07 MDT Print View

Glad that I finally pulled the trigger on a Houdini from last years close out sales. We'll find a good alternative eventually.

Ryan

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Re: Montbell Tachyon on 05/28/2013 14:11:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great information, measurements and tests.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Nine Trails on 05/28/2013 15:30:37 MDT Print View

I wonder if the Nine Trails jacket has the breathability of the old Houdini. The jacket is unfortunately hoodless.

http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-nine-trails-jacket?p=25020-0-175

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Nine Trails on 05/29/2013 19:19:53 MDT Print View

I tried the Nine Trails while I was in the store. Identical to the new Houdini, unfortunately.

Now that you mention the Westcomb, I think I do recall Pertex Equilibrium to be better than the other Pertex varieties (Quantum and Microlight). Unfortunately, it's a relatively heavy fabric. I don't believe it was quite as good as the old Houdini, however.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/29/2013 19:28:07 MDT.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: houdini on 06/05/2013 19:45:44 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried the marmot Trail Wind hoody?

For that matter, has anyone actually tried both versions of the Houdini while hiking or doing something active?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Marmot Trail Wind Hoody Air Permeability on 06/05/2013 23:49:14 MDT Print View

Yes, Outdoor Gear Lab tried it.

The Outdoor Gear Lab aerobic field tests indicated that the Marmot Trail Wind Hoody did not breathe as well (OGL 7 rating) as either the 2013 Squamish (OGL 8 rating) or the 2013 Houdini (OGL 8 rating). See http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Wind-Breaker-Jacket-Reviews/Marmot-Trail-Wind-Hoody

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Marmot Trail Wind Hoody Air Permeability on 06/06/2013 06:35:39 MDT Print View

Richard,

The test dates for the OGL tests would suggest the jackets were not the 2013 versions for the Squamish (doesnt really matter) or the Houdini (seems like the 2013 would have done poorly based on BPL accounts)

Maybe they had early pre-production models to test though?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Marmot Trail Wind Hoody Air Permeability on 06/06/2013 10:22:12 MDT Print View

Nathan,

The Squamish fabric has been the same since 2009.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Marmot Trail Wind Hoody Air Permeability on 06/06/2013 11:01:52 MDT Print View

"The Squamish fabric has been the same since 2009."

Yes I know that, but there seems to be a significant difference in the Houdini fabric between 2012 and 2013. And it looks like that test used the 2012 fabric (based on the date of the test) unless they stated otherwise and I missed it.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
the flap on 08/29/2013 10:51:23 MDT Print View

I bought a Men's Houdini directly from Patagonia in Jan. 2013, which does have a flap over the front zipper. Conversely, the garment tag contains this number "24140 FA12," which I believe the "FA12" means fall 2012. I've checked out the newer ones at REI and did a simple breath test and mine seems to breathe much better. Do I have the dud or an anomaly, zipper flap, good one?

Edited by FeetFirst on 08/29/2013 10:57:10 MDT.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
never mind on 08/30/2013 11:09:28 MDT Print View

I spoke to a Patagonia representative via live chat and confirmed that I do in fact have the newer style, aka "the dud." Bummer.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: never mind on 08/30/2013 11:19:26 MDT Print View

Sounds like it was working for you though, so why do you care?

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
why do you care? on 08/30/2013 13:20:24 MDT Print View

Yes, good so far, but I've only used the jacket on two relatively cooler trips, so I'm not sure my limited use matters.

There's also just the principle of it. I want a light jacket that I can wear while on the move that won't feel stuffy and block some wind so I don't feel overly chilled either. I paid the same amount for a product that was praised for this, yet I received an inferior (e.g. less breathable) product.

Edited by FeetFirst on 08/30/2013 13:51:35 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: houdini on 08/30/2013 13:41:18 MDT Print View

What about Pertex Endurance? Not as breathable because it's 'windproof'?

J C
(Joomy) - M
Re: Re: Re: houdini on 09/08/2013 02:09:49 MDT Print View

Pertex Endurance HH is about 1000 from what I've heard so would expect CFM to be close to zero.

Derek Musashe
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Am I the only one who sees a wind shell as insulation? on 09/08/2013 02:46:43 MDT Print View

I have to say I'm a little perplexed by all the hand-wringing over how breathable these windshirts are. Am I the only one that sees my wind shell as part of my insulation system while on the trail?

That is to say, I use my windshirt to stay warm. So to me, this means that I'm never going to be all that hot in the wind shirt (and therefore won't be generating too much sweat), and if I do happen to get hot, I just take the windshirt off and let the wind cool me down. Is this not what everyone else does?

I've got a wind shell that fails the "breath test" that was articulated earlier in this thread, but I still find it plenty breathable for moderate hiking with a pack.

I also like that it will warm me up a bit when I put it on and I know a big part of that is due to the fact that it's not super breathable. So I guess I see this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage (one that also, incidentally, makes the jacket more "windproof").

Now I can understand if you are all runners and are sweating like crazy under these things and routinely getting all clammy, but I don't understand the problem with moderate hiking in these things. Maybe I just don't sweat as much as most of you?

Again, whenever I get hot in my wind shell, I just unzip it or take it off. It's easy enough to take on and off that I don't really think too much about it anymore since it lives in the outside mesh pocket of my pack anyway (always within quick reach).

Edited by dmusashe on 09/08/2013 02:47:59 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Am I the only one who sees a wind shell as insulation? on 09/08/2013 08:49:17 MDT Print View

A windshirt is the seal for a layered system of clothing. The goal is to keep a warm *dry* layer of air close to your skin and not allow cold air to pick up your body heat. Those inner layers can be changed to suit the outside temperature and your level of exertion.

If I am moving and need protection from cold wind and light sporadic rain, I can add the windshirt over my thin base layer. For a cool rest stop or camp, I can add a fleecy mid layer like R1 or 200w fleece. Those mid layers breathe well and maintain the transfer of moisture away from my skin to the outside.

Breathability is the key to the dry part of system. Indeed, if the windshirt is too breathable, body heat would be lost. But there must be some exchange of air to transfer moisture out away from your inner layers. It is a tightrope walk, surpassed only by rain shells, where you are trying to make a waterproof fabric that is still breathable.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/08/2013 22:50:30 MST Print View

I have a spring 2013 (sp13) houdini. Originally I picked it up thinking it was an older houdini, it was steeply discounted on ebay and the seller was selling quite a few. It looked like clearance to me. I just figured out that I can see the date on the tag. I purchased it in early summer.

It passes the breath test pretty well, I can breathe in and fill my entire breath from empty before I feel uncomfortable. It seems breathable to me. I mostly, 90% of the time, use my houdini as a very light insulation layer over my shirt. It works well for that. I've never felt dampness even though I've almost always been wearing cotton or polycotton shirts underneath it.
This summer in the sierras when it got cloudy and chilly I wore it for about 3 hours of vigorous hiking without taking it off every time I overheated a little - and I was wearing a 100% cotton long sleeve shirt. I wasn't abnormally damp or sweaty, the fabric seemed to breathe.
It's also terribly not waterproof. I mean, water barely even beads off the surface.

So do I have an older style breathable houdini that was made in spring of 13?

Edited by justin_baker on 11/08/2013 22:51:08 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/08/2013 22:59:50 MST Print View

Justin,

Based on your reported breath test: yes.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/08/2013 23:14:23 MST Print View

Of course my breath test was highly subjective and I lack real comparison. I can breathe through it, not easily, but it passes through and I can fill my lungs from empty to full more than fast enough before I feel uncomfortable.
Can I assume with the new houdini that it's impossible to breathe through (like trying to breathe through plastic wrap) or that you can't breathe through it quickly enough to fill your lungs without gasping for air? That's a weird way to describe it, I know, but resistance is hard to describe with words.

Edited by justin_baker on 11/08/2013 23:15:29 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/08/2013 23:34:19 MST Print View

Yes, there is a dramatic difference.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/10/2013 09:46:03 MST Print View

Justin B. wrote re: spring 2013 Houdini, "It's also terribly not waterproof. I mean, water barely even beads off the surface."

That doesn't sound like the Houdini and it's epic (silicone) like coating at all, at least not like the 2012 ones we have (3 currently).

Some ideas: You possibly got a lemon, or it's possibly a knock off. There is a big market in China for re-creating expensive brand name clothes and they can be pretty good about making it look just like the real thing except for you know, important things like a truly durable DWR coating (which costs significantly more money and is harder to do).

The fact that the retailer had a bunch of them and was selling them cheaply, is a bit suspect.

In any case, not that big of a deal except for the crappy DWR. It will still more or less perform it's function, blocking up to moderate winds while being semi-breathable. Will just have to occasionally treat it with a DIY DWR occasionally.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 11/10/2013 12:16:45 MST Print View

Hmm.... never thought of that. I think I'll send patagonia an email and see if I can figure this out.

Klaus Kostenbauer
(KlausKostenbauer)

Locale: Canadian Maritimes
Houdini Jacket -- Thank you on 12/17/2013 13:43:52 MST Print View

I found this forum when researching rain jackets and I am grateful to you. First it became clear to me that a wind jacket beats a rain jacket in some situations. Then, after researching wind jackets, I settled on the Houdini. Luckily I read this forum before purchasing. Without this forum I would have bought the 2013 Houdini Jacket. This forum educated me that the 2013 version barely breathes at all. Taking the hint, I emailed a small distributor and asked him if by chance they have an old model laying around -- he did! It's #24017, which is a 2011 model (I think), so the CFM should be just under 40.

On the larger picture, I have accepted that when moving about in rainy warm weather, staying dry just won't happen. Either I get moist from the outside in, or from the inside out. The best breathable rain jackets seem to have CFMs that cannot prevent profuse sweating once on the move. I prefer staying cool and getting somewhat moist from the outside in. Or in a true downpoor, wet. That's just how it goes. I have trecked in jungles with 99% humidity and lots of rains and with my breathable nylon pants, shirt, nylon Tilley hat and jungle boots, it was quite alright.

From this forum I have learned that a wind jacket beats a rain jacket in warm weather situations.

Thanks guys!

Edited by KlausKostenbauer on 12/17/2013 15:17:44 MST.

Klaus Kostenbauer
(KlausKostenbauer)

Locale: Canadian Maritimes
Arc_teryx Tweave 518c windjacket CFM 40 on 12/17/2013 14:07:15 MST Print View

As a Houdini replacement, the most interesting windjacket I found is from the www.wildthingsgear.com company that allows you to custom-design their Mountain Guide Jacket for a number of features including fabric. Their most interesting fabric (for this forum) is called "Tweave 518 c" from the Arc'teryx company. From the site,

Rugged 84% Nylon construction
16% Spandex provides excellent stretch and recovery
Tremendous abrasion resistance
Water Repellency, Spray Rating (AATCC 22) – Initial rating: 100; after 20 launderings: 80
Air Permeability (CFM via ASTM D 737-96): 40

"518C is a four-way stretch woven fabric containing 84% Nylon and 16% Spandex. It weighs only 4.0 oz/yd, and because it is both thin and durable, 518C yields an extremely lightweight, packable garment. 518C makes for a lightweight soft shell jacket, perfect for warmer climates. It can also be used as a breathable side panel in a jacket made with 520E or one of our insulated soft shell offerings."

Digging a bit into the spandex, the manufacturer ( www.gehring-tricot.com/tweave/‎ ) writes that for their Durastretch fabrics (such as the 518c), the spandex is enrobed by the nylon.

Also of note, only wildthingsgear makes reference to 518c. It cannot be found anywhere on the web. However, I suspect that it is nearly identical, if not identical, to Tweave 536n as both are described as a lighter version of the 520e fabric, and both are described as having 84% nylon and 16% spandex.

I sent the company an email to ask about the weight of the jacket.

Edited by KlausKostenbauer on 12/17/2013 14:10:13 MST.

Mark Handy
(mhandy)
about that distributor on 01/07/2014 19:51:04 MST Print View

Klaus,

Are you willing to post the identity of that small distributor that has stock of the 2011 Houdini? I'll bet readers of this thread would be happy to give them some business! If you don't want to post it publicly, would you send it to my g mail address, which is mark dot handy dot 2014?

Did you get an answer on your research at Wild Things? The $289 price isn't realistic for me, but the concept is interesting.

Mark

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
@ Justin re Testing Your Houdini on 01/07/2014 21:14:55 MST Print View

Say, Justin:

Elsewhere Richard Nisley has posted that you can approximate the breathability of 35 CFM (which he sees as a nearly ideal CFM for a windshirt--which is what the older breathable Houdinis were). Simply stack two paper coffee filters and breathe through them as a reference. I can suck in a chestful of air in about 9 seconds through two coffee filters. But at 3 CFM (new Houdini), you'd soon need to stop your test and breathe, because it would take more than eleven times longer to get a chestful of air.

Edited by Bolster on 01/08/2014 08:55:26 MST.

Ryan "Rudy" Oury
(ohdogg79)

Locale: East Bay - CA
found houdini at REI on clearance... any way to tell which year? on 01/07/2014 22:44:31 MST Print View

I've been thinking about adding a windshirt to my wardrobe and came across this thread researching the Houdini. Was just at REI tonight and wondered into the men's clothing area browsing. Came across a Houdini on clearance. Would one on clearance at REI at this point be the newer, less-breathable option, or is this possibly one of the last of the older, more breathable? I asked the sales lady and she checked the computer, claiming it had been around since late 2012, put on sale ~1 month ago. I've never owned a wind jacket so have no frame of reference to compare how breathable the jacket really was. I tried breathing thru it a little bit but was getting some pretty funny looks from the sales lady so didn't continue... it certainly seemed more breathable than my Marmot Precip wpb rain jacket. Any way to know??

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
2013 Houdini on 01/07/2014 23:25:36 MST Print View

Based on the way REI clears old inventory quickly it's almost certainly the newer Houdini.

Telltale signs of a newer model Houdini: very small pocket that's hard to stuff, and small zipper flap over the pocket. Also, the elastic will only run on the back of the jacket, and the elastic cuffs are only on the bottom half of each sleeve.

I still like my 2013 Houdini despite everyone complaining about it. I don't think it's a lemon. I just think it no longer fills exactly the same role that people originally wanted it for.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: found houdini at REI on clearance... any way to tell which year? on 01/08/2014 01:38:51 MST Print View

The surefire way is to look for the style number on the tag, similar to "19001F6". The final letter/number indicates the season, in this example Fall '06.

(example image at http://pcpsia.com/images/pcpsia/typical_label.pdf)

Tuan Cao
(zurich)
Transition Houdini on 01/08/2014 05:40:24 MST Print View

When I bought my first Houdini in december 2012, I got a transition jacket. A few days later I was caught in a light rain. One side of the jacket was dry (good new DWR), the other side was completely wet (no DWR at all).
I brought the jacket back to the Patagucci store in Zurich. They tested it in the sink and agreed, that it's strange and offered me an exchange.
Now I'm stuck with a 2013 houdini, that's not breathable nor waterproof ... arrgh.

Ryan "Rudy" Oury
(ohdogg79)

Locale: East Bay - CA
rei clearance houdini on 01/08/2014 07:21:06 MST Print View

@Stephen- the only one of those signs I noticed was the cuffs only had elastic half way around, not fully. I'll check out the others you mentioned though. Sounds very likely its a newer version...
@jeremy- any idea what the cutoff is (or at least transition period)? Certainly of its "13" its a newer version and "11" is older, right? Should "f12" be old, new or either? Do they just do "f" for fall and "s" for spring?

Is a little funny how "up in arms" we are getting about this, but when a jacket filled a specific niche and did it far better than any other option, I can see where the frustration lies. Like others, I'm of the mind that a wind shirt needs to push the envelop towards too breathable because otherwise its just a poor rain jacket and has no point.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Test Directly. on 01/08/2014 08:51:19 MST Print View

Ryan> Would one on clearance at REI at this point be the newer, less-breathable option, or is this possibly one of the last of the older, more breathable?

Why not test the one variable you're really interested in, directly? Just use the "Nisley Two Coffee Filter Test," as described above, and you're done. Can you fill your lungs in 9 seconds, give or take, by breathing through the fabric? Or does it take over a minute and a half? Remember to seal tightly around your mouth, and no nose breathing!

Edited by Bolster on 01/08/2014 08:59:55 MST.

Ryan "Rudy" Oury
(ohdogg79)

Locale: East Bay - CA
breath test on 01/08/2014 11:42:07 MST Print View

Yea, I missed that post earlier about the "coffee filter standard", per se. Will definitely do that and see how it performs. Thx

Ryan "Rudy" Oury
(ohdogg79)

Locale: East Bay - CA
re: breath test on 01/10/2014 07:53:35 MST Print View

Well, no luck... between the breath test, features and style # ending in 13, its definitely a newer less breathable option. Checked pretty much every other light jacket they had and the only one that felt substantially breathable was a North Face Torpedo, that weighed in at a whopping 10oz. There was a very basic, light Solomon that was more breathable than the new Houdini, less than the NF, but wasn't ready to pull the trigger until checked out some of the others mentioned on this thread like the Rab Cirrus or Arctyrex options. I'm very interested in myog stuff and the tyvek coverall to windbreaker conversion for $10 and a little sewing is something to look into as well.

Ryan "Rudy" Oury
(ohdogg79)

Locale: East Bay - CA
rei fleet running jacket?? on 01/16/2014 21:54:50 MST Print View

Anyone come across, or even own, the REI Fleet Packable jacket? Just found for the first time at rei and it seems like a great option. Has BY FAR the most breathable fabric of any jacket I've come across (based on the ever reliable breath test), so much so in fact, that it almost feels too breathable. But claims to be windproof to 40 mph, has a dwr for lite water resistance and weighs 6 oz. The fit was kinda poochy in the gut but a bit narrow in the shoulders so my normal Med was a shade snug to wear much under it. Only issue i can find is it doesn't have a hood. Otherwise, feeling like it could be a great option. And BTW, its only $60.

Anyone have experience with it??

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
REI Packable Fleet Running Jacket on 01/16/2014 22:06:52 MST Print View

I have it. While it is very good it also seems rather unexceptional. It deserves a hood. Very comfortable for active use. Wish the hem had an elastic cinch. Feels more durable than Houdini. The fit on the other hand, is not as good. I needed to size up or have reduced mobility. Pit and wrist mesh "vents" offer just enough without being drafty.

Edited by skomae on 01/16/2014 22:10:09 MST.

Klaus Kostenbauer
(KlausKostenbauer)

Locale: Canadian Maritimes
Re: about that distributor on 01/23/2014 19:01:10 MST Print View

I got my 2011 model from a small distributor in Manitoba (Canada); a lucky phone call got me their one jacket. However I notice that EBay has a regular trickle of 2nd hand Houdinis.

I moved away from the "Wild Things" jackets after writing down on paper what I want from a wind/rain jacket. What I wrote down was,

For the warm wet season, a light and fairly long water and wind resistant jacket over a Columbia nylon shirt and trousers, together with a broad brim nylon Tilley hat (every Canadian knows those) is all I want. I don't mind getting wet in warm weather, and I do mind cooking in my clothes. The Houdini, with some DWR, will be just fine.

For the cool season, a solid waterproof jacket that goes down to close to the knees, with a hood, gortex gaiters that come up to almost to the knees. Underneath, capilene or merino underwear, and polyester based trousers and shirt. (Polyester heats me more than Nylon, from my experience.) A forum member pointed me towards the Paramo, to which I am grateful. I ended up contacting Cioch for a customised model that is, above all, long, all way round. The forums mostly seem to agree that Paramo works meaningfully well in cool wet weather. Which describes most of the year in the Canadian Maritimes. When it's pouring buckets of cold water, I don't expect any jacket to perform. I take shelter.

I wonder why jackets are so short these days, just going to the belt. It must be a fashion thing, cause they sure used to be longer. I can see why climbers need short jackets (also the main market of Wild Things, so I get the point), but for hikers, longer is sensible as long as it doesn't impede mobility, which doesn't happen if the jacket stops short of the knees. Short jackets seem to require rain pants. With a long jacket and gaiters, it's just a few centimetres above and below the knee that remain exposed, and so be it.

Bottom line, for rain protection:
Summer - Houdini, gaiters, wide brimmed nylon hat (Tilley), nylon trousers and shirt
Spring, Automn - Paramo, gaiters, with capilene or merino base and polyester trousers and shirt.

Edited by KlausKostenbauer on 01/23/2014 19:19:40 MST.

William Wang
(billwang) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Arcteryx Incendo Hoody breathability? on 02/02/2014 00:24:01 MST Print View

Does anyone know how the Incendo Hoody rates on breathability? Apparently it uses a "lumina" fabric. Thanks!

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket on 03/22/2014 03:21:26 MDT Print View

So what's the verdict on the newest Houdini? Is it a good jacket despite lower breathability?

J R
(JRinGeorgia) - F
so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 10:18:44 MDT Print View

So from this discussion I learn that my Houdini is the newer model -- less breathable, more water resistant. Which makes me think about the possibility of leaving the rain jacket behind on trips where I don't expect lots of rain. Thoughts on that? In particular I'm going to do 9 days in Yosemite this July, could the Houdini serve as both my not-very-breathable windbreaker and also my rain jacket for the sporadic mid-summer Sierra storms I might encounter?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 10:51:00 MDT Print View

Thats exactly what works well for me. If there is a chance of rain its a good idea to bring a disposable 1.5oz plastic poncho, store in a ziploc bag.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 11:14:35 MDT Print View

The new Houdini is less breathable, but as good or a bit better than mostvofcthe other current offerings.

It is not a rain jacket, with unsealed seams and will wet thorough. DWR treated windshirts are good for a light sprinkle, but that is it I strongly recommend NOT relying on a windshirt for rain gear.

I carry a poncho when I want the lightest rain gear (7oz). That gives coverage to below my knees and covers my pack too. It can be used for a rest or cook shelter strung from trees or brush and a regular shelter if used with a bivy. A poncho is far less expensive than the UL rain shells, has good ventilation, no tricky laundering, no zippers to fail, etc.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 11:29:38 MDT Print View

I feel like a wind shirt is enough even when it rains. It just depends if I want to keep hiking through prolonged rain or pitch my tarp and wait it out. I haven't really bought into the expensive rain jacket thing. I tried, I just bought and returned the new mh plasmic. I feel like the only time I would carry an expensive rain jacket is in cold wet alpine conditions.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 12:49:43 MDT Print View

You're going to wait out three weeks of constant drizzle, wet brush and overcast skies? I don't think so.

I'll give you 8 hours of precip and switchbacks in the Cascades or Olympics and see how you like your windshirt as rain gear. It's a brick on any gear list, but rain gear is a core essential.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 13:06:27 MDT Print View

A mid layer under a windshirt can keep you warm (while wet) in most conditions, but at that point you might as well just carry a rain jacket. So I don't consider a rain jacket a core essential, keeping warm is the essential thing, but a rain jacket is the most efficient way to keep warm in the rain.
How do you think they kept warm before rain gear? wool.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
houdini on 03/24/2014 13:16:07 MDT Print View

" rain gear is a core essential." -

It depends if it's cold and wet or you are in death valley the summer.

A 4oz houdini and 1.5oz plastic poncho is what I carry. The poncho is weatherproof and can be brought as rain gear. It's not fancy but it sheds water. Any condensation or rain that gets in will have to contend with the DWR on the houdini.

My new orange Houdini was about $80 and the ponchos are $0.88. What I get is a great combo for a sul 5.4 ounces.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 13:19:37 MDT Print View

How and when will you dry those wet layers? The ones that are now cold and wet once you stopped moving? Have you ever been hiking in 40f wet weather for several days? Your layering scheme is a classic setup for hypothermia.

I've been snowed on in June, followed with near freezing rain for hours and at relatively low altitudes. I hiked with light base, windshirt and cape with my insulation warm and dry in my pack for when I stopped. Once you sacrifice your insulation to "warm wet" use, you are literally at a layering dead end.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 13:27:39 MDT Print View

YMMV,

If you don't bring enough we can always use our tent and take a break.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
Houdini verdict on 03/24/2014 13:35:13 MDT Print View

>> So what's the verdict on the newest Houdini? Is it a good jacket despite lower breathability?

-----------

I have a 2013 Houdini Jacket and pants. Terrific fabric, very well made. My only complaint (and it's minor) is that they could have made the pocket the jacket stuffs into just a little bit bigger. I don't have any problem stuffing it, but I do have to work at it. It would be a little easier/quicker if the pocket were just a bit bigger.

The breathability is what it is. Less breathable than my Marmot Trail Wind hoody or other options (including the Houdini Nine Trails which is a houdini with breathable panels on the back). But, on a cold windy day when you want to block the wind, the reduced breathability is plus.

The pants are awesome. They weigh nothing and are the perfect addition to a pair of power stretch fleece or heavy baselayer pants to cut the wind.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: so can Houdini sub for a rain jacket? on 03/24/2014 13:39:59 MDT Print View

So all your travel and layering plans ( read personal safety ) are based on avoiding packing 7 ounces of rain gear? That doesn't make sense to me.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
rain or wind on 03/24/2014 13:49:25 MDT Print View

11 ounces of rain jacket and rain pants is always the first thing that goes in my backpack. All rolled up neatly and packed away. I'm happy carry them all day and never have to pull them out and put them on. When I need them -- due to pouring rain or driving snow or unexpected wind/cold -- all those days of carrying them are worth it. If I had to choose between the rain gear and a windshirt (fortunately, the stuff is now so small and light that we don't have to choose), I would take the rain gear.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: rain or wind on 03/24/2014 13:57:09 MDT Print View

It all depends right? Am I crazy to not bring a $200 event rain jacket to Hawaii?

In hawaii a windshirt would work for rain gear my opinion. If it's really that rainy I can always take cover.

If someone is putting themselves in danger from not bringing rain gear, they are doing something wrong. Imo.

J R
(JRinGeorgia) - F
well that settles it... on 03/24/2014 14:06:22 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, you are articulating very well the exact debate I've been having in my own head. Michael, funny because while I didn't say so in my first post here I was considering the very idea you propose, a shopping-bag-thin poncho carried in a zippie to layer over the windshirt if need be, there's one in my storage bin somewhere already. And Dale, I agree I wouldn't expect it to hold up to a true downpour nor would I enjoy being caught out like that.

To clarify my question, I'm not talking about an everyday, all-circumstances solution that would work in the Cascades, or here in Georgia for that matter where we can get summer "gully warshers" that dump a couple inches of rain in 20 minutes. But at first glance it seems possible for the usually-dry High Sierras in the summer. I was in Yosemite this past year also for 9 days, same time of year, and got two bouts of light precipitation, neither of which should have been a challenge for the Houdini. Not that there's any guarantee that this year's weather will be the same, it's just my point of reference that started my wheels spinning.

If I force myself to choose between rain jacket or windshirt, only one or the other, I may be better to choose the rain jacket (DriDucks). Last year that is what I pulled on when it rained and I never even unzipped the Houdini from its pouch pocket the whole trip. And my Houdini is not breathable -- maybe technically, but if my face were wrapped in a single layer of what my Houdini is made from I would be dead from suffocation pretty quickly based on my home-brew breath test.

From a weight standpoint the Houdini+uber-cheap poncho is within a few tenths of an ounce of the DriDucks jacket, not an issue if choosing only one solution.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: rain or wind on 03/24/2014 14:27:50 MDT Print View

I would take an umbrella to Hawaii and get the sun shade advantage. A poncho would be good too.

I've been through some Maui drenchers: warm, short-lived, at least on the dry side and switching to warm sun soon after. NOT what I've experienced a lifetime of in the PNW.

Georgia might be a good case for a super light button down shirt plus DriDucks or poncho

Breathable never means being able to physically breathe through the fabric, but rather a slow exchange of air and the moisture with it.

If you want high aerobic windshirts, there are many running tops like the Nike Hurricane and Reebok Crossfit Lite that are even more breathable than the older Houdini. You tip the teeter totter to the side with less wind protection and DWR though.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/24/2014 14:34:48 MDT.