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.