Forum Index » GEAR » 2013 Spring Patagonia Houdini Pants / Jacket


Display Avatars Sort By:
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) - M

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: Tokyo, Japan
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: west coast best coast
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.