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


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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) - M
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 - M

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 - M

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 - M

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: Tokyo, Japan
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.