Rating: 5 / 5
I recently received a Pertex down vest and a 1.1oz ripstop nylon wind shell from Luke's Ultralite.
The wind shell was "calendared for wind resistance". Whatever that means, it works well. The description also says, "Coated with a high quality DWR". While I haven't tested it, it certainly does appear to be and I'm sure it will do quite well with a little bit of dampness.
The workmanship was superb. No bunched seams, or hanging stitches. The material has a very nice feel to it. It appears strong, but again, I'm not going to test it.
The fit was perfect. There is enough room to get a good base layer underneath. The cut wasn't boxy. I'm 6' with a 36" waist and ordered a large.
I contacted Luke, concerned with the length before committing to a purchase. For me, and I'm sure a lot of folks out there, most wind breakers/wind shirts are too short. I struggle to keep my wrists covered and I hate the breeze when I reach down to pick something up. My correspondence was returned on the same day which was a Sunday.
I was instructed to bend my head forward, with my chin on my chest. I then measured from my chin to where I wanted the bottom of the shell. For me it was 27", just below my favorite shirt. The shell came out perfect.
The sleeves hang down past my second knuckle. With the optional shock cord sleeve adjusters, they stay securely at wrist level and don't slide down when not wanted.
I haven't had a Houdini so I can't really compare. Luke's initial wind shell is $70, so it may be a little cheaper. Adding wrist adjustment adds $10 and underarm zips add another $10. A waterproof pocket can also be added for another $30. I went without a pocket and paid $90. Close to the Houdini when it's not on sale.
The wrist adjustments are good quality shock cord. The under arm zips to me appear to be extra long. You could actually wear it by putting your arms through the zips. I'm not sure why you would. Not a problem mind you. They are very effective.
I can't say on the pocket. what I did though is that liking this one so much, I decided to give it away. I've ordered a second one with a pocket.
Look wise, it is ultralite. I like the look. The website pictures I feel do little justice. If I did have a critique, it would be the pictures. Perhaps I'm partial to the black and not the color represented in the picture. It really doesn't matter though. Fit and function rule. Fashion is only a bonus. If ultralite can be fashionable, these are. They have a very nice look.
Great quality product, explicit service, and just flat out pleasant to deal with.
I was a bit disappointed to hear Luke had a 14 day lead time, but my purchase was sent out in ten with fast delivery.