Rating: 3 / 5
I've used my Montane Lite-Speed in almost all conditions. The fit is quite good, with plenty of room to layer underneath, without being way too big. I'm 6 ft 180lbs, 42 chest and I do fine with the large. The material has excellent breathabilty, but there is a downside. I recently had the opportunity to test the jacket in a steady downpour while hiking for about 45 minutes, with my wife wearing the Patagonia Houdini. This was in 40-45 temps over a light fleece and thin merino baselayer. We did not like the old Patagonia Dragonfly, because the material breathed like a rubber bag (not at all) and didn't feel good against the skin (felt like a nylon bag). However, the results of the unplanned test were surprising.
My wife's Patagonia Houdini wind jacket kept her surprisingly dry. I couldn't believe the jacket was so water resistant, while still breathing well. I, on the other hand, was totally soaked in my Lite-speed, which should have held out much better. Arms, shoulders, head, back and top of chest, soaked. My jacket is in excellent, like new condition and the DWR and material should have held out much better. On the plus side, the double hood helped keep my head warm.
As a result of my wife's terrific experience with the Houdini and the soak surprise with the Montane, I may switch over to the Houdini. A good wind shirt is one of the most important pieces of gear to me. I expected the Lite-speed to be more water resistant. With the Houdini offering much better breathability than the old Dragonfly, the Houdini might be the better balanced choice.
Anyone else have any experience with the Houdini?