Bought a houdini after wearing a friend's while out in the north cascades climbing and promptly bought one when arriving back in town. This jacket is phenomenal for me in that I am very warm blooded and never really want to throw on a thick windshell/insulating. Instead, I can have a longsleeve T on and the Houdini and be fine for most cold, windy days. The thing COMPLETELY blocks the wind. During the cooler months I'd say I wear this at least 4 times a week. It's great both in the mountains (I've used it in the Bugaboos and while skiing) and to just run around town in. The only downside is that it is not fully waterproof, but I knew that going into it.Spark notes: best windbreaker you can buy for both looks and usability.
Good:- Excellent windproofing- Sufficient DWR water resistance for dry snow and light rain- As breathable as you can get- Lightweight, packable- Durable enough to last me a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail, plus a year of climbing approaches, bike commuting, backcountry skiing and bikepacking.- Patagonad's bomber guaranteeBad:- Beware the carabiner loop. My stuffed Houdini ripped off of my harness 300 feet up a desert tower and plummeted to its early demise. I promptly replaced it with the same.Ugly:- You, skinning up a ridge on a cold, windy winter ascent without this thing or an equivalent.. Also recommended: Montane Litespeed.
This is the third Patagonia Houdini that I have purchased. Two are in bright colors because I use them for jogging. But I also take one of these jackets almost everywhere I travel since it weighs only three ounces; it is almost un-noticed until I need it. I am tall, thin and get cold when the wind blows on me. The Houdini blocks the wind and keeps me comfortable. While the bright colors have been fine for mountains, deserts, lakes and oceans, they have been a bit strange for places like Paris, London and New York, so I recently bought a Houdini in blue. I recommend Houdinis to friends and relatives, and am extremely positive about it - - as long as you are not too heavy.