Gear Review : Patagonia's Houdini Jacket

Houdini. It's here, look away and it's gone. 

Patagonia's Houdini Jacket first came on the market towards the tail end of 2016, during the peak of Australian summer. 

I had heard great reviews about Patagonia’s Houdini Jacket way before I decide to get my hands on one. So why did I wait? Firstly, I had a rain coat and an old 'high-viz' running jacket, so why would I need this? The Houdini jacket felt thin to touch which made me worried I might tear it on a trail run. I was also concerned it wouldn’t provide much warmth and although it folded up small (which I loved!) I just wasn’t convinced I would use it over any other jacket I already owned. How wrong I was!

Forward 8 months, various visits to the store, with overly patient and friendly staff, who responded ‘oh so patiently’ and without pressure to my constant indecision. I was evidently drawn to the jacket, but did I really need it?

With the change in seasons, colder evenings and better running temperatures, I took the plunge. ‘One Houdini jacket please!’. My oh my, what a great decision I made.

My Houdini jacket always has a place in my bag or pocket where ever I go. I have worn my Houdini jacket as a main jacket and as a mid layer when it’s been really cold. The jacket has a durable water repellent finish, making it impressively water resistant (albeit don’t wear it out in a storm!). Because it's so thin, it also slips nicely under a jacket as a mid layer when you need some extra warmth; great on chilly morning walks and as pj-extra in your sleeping bag!

Despite being thin, it is phenomenally wind resistant.  It is tougher than it looks, take it running, backpacking, climbing, you name it. I am blown away. And should it tear, don’t forget that Patagonia have a Wear and Tear guarantee (Worn Wear)!

What’s more, the jacket is light (aka featherweight) and folds in on itself. It’s zippered chest pocket converts to stuff sack!  It also has a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop, which makes it easy to clip to your harness or bag, if tucking it in a back pocket or running shorts is not doing it for you.

Patagonia promotes fair labor practices, safe working conditions and environmental responsibility throughout the Patagonia supply chain.  In Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles you can find the suppliers that impact the W's Houdini® Jacket or any other Patagonia product.

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  • Featherweight 100% nylon ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Zippered chest pocket converts to stuffsack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop
  • Hood adjusts in one pull, won’t block peripheral vision
  • Durable half-elastic cuffs; drawcord hem
  • Reflective logo on left chest and center-back neck
  • Can be worn over baselayers and light midlayers
  • 94 g (3.3 oz)


1.2-oz 15-denier 100% nylon ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish