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Patagonia Houdini Pullover

rated 4 of 5 stars

The Houdini Pullover has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Patagonia Houdini Jacket.

photo: Patagonia Houdini Pullover wind shirt

A very light, yet effective wind shirt for many uses. It is durable and comfortable to wear, and it packs down to the size of a stick of deodorant.


  • Lightweight
  • Windproof
  • Fits well
  • Durable


  • "Water Resistant" labeling is a stretch

The Patagonia Houdini Pullover is a simple, yet effective wind shirt that is very useful in many situations. It fits true to size, and I love wearing it with a Patagonia Snap-T fleece underneath, because the two garments have very similar styles and sizes that feel as though they were made to go together.

The shirt does not have many ways to adjust it, save for five snaps at the collar in the same fashion as a Snap-T, and a drawcord at the bottom to cinch the back of the jacket at the waist. 

Patagonia claims this jacket, which is 100% nylon, is water repellant. It has their DWR finish, but I have found it to be not very effective unless it's just a light sprinkle of rain. Any kind of significant rain will have you feeling like a drowned rat.

The breathability of this jacket is something I am indifferent to. It isn't the most breathable jacket I've tried, but it also isn't the worst. Its mediocrity doesn't bother me, but beware if you intend to use this jacket in warmer weather while participating in higher intensity activities. I have used it on hikes, as well as to warm up in spring ultimate games, and it can get a little stuffy at times which doesn't bother me because it is easy to take off and pack up.

Don't expect to have this jacket keep you warm on its own. It blocks the wind but there is zero in terms of insulation, which is to be expected with a jacket of this type. It is meant to be packable, light and deflect wind and some water, to which it does effectively. Buying this with intentions of using it as insulation would be foolish. That being said, it quickly becomes an insulated windbreaker when paired with a Snap-T or similar fleece. Choosing fleece is important if you encounter a downpour, as it dries quickly when the jacket's water repellency is pushed past its limit.

As are most Patagonia products, this jacket is iron clad guaranteed and it is made to last. I do worry slightly about having something sharp puncture it while hiking, but the nylon will be easy to repair with products such as Tenacious Tape, which is inexpensive.

In my experience with this jacket, I have worn it in warm spring days (10°c) as well as colder spring days with snow and rain (0°c) and have found it to work very well. Don't buy this with intentions of using it as rainwear, but it will still keep you warm by being a solid windbreaker. I intend to use this on colder summer mornings on canoe trips when a t-shirt is not enough and a sweater is too much and not packable enough to be able to manage on the fly in the canoe. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $49 Canadian

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