View Full Version : Windshirts

12-27-2011, 00:30
I'm thinking what I want is a windshirt that blocks wind well, transfers moisture well, is light weight and then maybe okay in weather-proofing.

I did some homework, and put the Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Lite on my Amazon wishlist - which I use to bookmark things I'm researching. Then found a good deal on the highly-rated Patagucci M's Houdini Full Zip in last year's color, and snagged it. Of course, a family member saw the Pearl Izumi on my wish list, and now I've got it too.

Time to contrast and compare.

The PI Pro Barrier Lite is part of their P.R.O. line, and they hype very high wind resistance, and high weather resistance. You have to look hard for generic comments about the line having good breathability. It's a no-frills, lightweight windshirt. No pockets, no draw strings, but it does have a full zip with a zipper garage, elastic around the bottom hem and around the cuffs. It is marketed for cycling, but fits well when standing erect. The sleeves are a bit long, covering my hands if I let them. It has a tail that pretty well covers my butt. I normally wear a large. This model has a rep for running a little small, and the XL fits me well with a base layer and a light fleece. It weighs 82g/2.875oz Not a lot of online reviews. At least a few suggest it doesn't breath well. Will it transfer moisture well? Suggested Retail is $80.00, available for 59.96 from Amazon.


The Houdini is part of their Alpine Climbing line. They hype high breathability and a water repellent finish that is suppose to not wet out except in sustained downpour It's not as spartan as the PI. It has only a small chest pocket, that serves as storage for the jacket. It has a hood that is designed for human heads vice helmeted heads, and the hood has a drawstring with a cord-lock. There is also a drawstring with cordlock around the bottom hem. I also bought this in an XL and the fit is similar. It also has a tail that covers my butt. The sleeves are a better fit - tho I'm not going to be able to withdraw my hands in the cold). It weighs 127g/4.5oz Five-star reviews abound. Suggested retail $125, got it for $75 from Dept of Goods.


Love the weight of the Pro Barrier Lite. Love the hood on the Houdini. Gonna layer up and try out both of them to see if either offers better moisture transfer. What do you think?

Also, I now have a private wish list for bookmarking things I'm not sure I want.

12-28-2011, 20:54
I've been out for long walks the last two days wearing the Houdini. Yesterday was 41 and blustery. I was wearing a light base-layer, a Patagonia R1 full zip fleece and the Houdini. I was just a but chilly when we started, but warmed up quickly. At one point, I unzipped both the Houdini and RI a bit to vent. Later, when the wind picked up and temps dropped, I zipped up, put the hood on over my wool beanie, and cinched it down. I was fine. I never really had a problem with humidity building up inside - But then I wasn't wearing a 30 pound pack over mountains ...

Today was a lot colder. It was 32 with light winds when we first headed out. I was wearing the same outfit with a buff around my neck. I was comfortable all afternoon till the sun started dropping along with the temps. Even then I was ok. We were in forested dune country, so we were doing some climbing, and walking in sand, and I was wearing a daypack, and had a little perspiration under that, but otherwise was dry.

So far, the Houdini is a hit. I'll wear the Pearl Izumi over the next few days ...

01-15-2012, 17:43
So I wore the Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Lite on a few long walks with a light daypack. I did not feel like it was as breathable as the Houdini, and I missed that hood when the winds started to blow. At almost half the weight of the Houdini, I feel like I have to give it a better workout. I still have 2 months to make a decision ...

01-15-2012, 19:03
I really like my Houdini windshirt, for all the reasons you mention. I also have an LL Bean UL windshirt (really!), and I love that it's a Tall size so the arms actually fit, but I really miss the hood and the full zip when I don't take the Houdini.

Patagonia stuff is often available on sale - my Houdini is an odd color (screaming neon green), and was half price at an outfitter in Boone a couple of years ago. Love it.

01-15-2012, 19:51
... my Houdini is an odd color (screaming neon green), and was half price at an outfitter in Boone a couple of years ago. Love it.

Mine is a screaming orange - You'd see me on the ridge across the valley!

01-15-2012, 20:15
Mine is a screaming orange - You'd see me on the ridge across the valley!Anytime you see someone wearing really bright Patagonia gear it's almost always safe to assume they didn't pay full retail price. :)

It seems the Houdini gets favorable reviews for wind shirts. I would probably give it a try if I need another. I have one from ID.

01-15-2012, 21:16
I had bought a GoLite Dakota on their closeout, but then found the ugly orange Houdini on DOG for $43. Sending back the GoLite as the Houdini has too large of a pedigree to ignore, or gamble on the GoLite. A guy on BPL has tested airflow for several windshirts, but hasn't posted it.

01-15-2012, 23:23
the ugly orange Houdini on DOG for $43.

I just got mine from DOG too.

01-16-2012, 00:44
A hood is indispensible on a windshirt, imo. It probably saved me from losing, or at least having to chase, a couple of knit caps over the past few years. I have a Marmot Ion. I don't think it's made anymore, but it's a lot more breathable than a Golite windshirt that I had previously. Of course, the Golite shed rain a bit better - a tradeoff. I'll take the more breathable one and carry a hardshell rain jacket on most trips where cold rain is likely, or just the windshirt and poncho (which I can use as shelter, too) in the dead of summer, when I chose, most of the time, just to get wet. A windshirt over a poly base layer is enough (sometimes too much) while hiking in summer rain.

01-16-2012, 02:53
Where I live, I'll take something that can stop the wind over something that stops rain every day.

01-16-2012, 12:53
Just posted this on another windshirt thread: Montbell Tachyon Anorak (http://montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=61&p_id=2303218) (2.3 oz in men's medium, 7.5" zipper, hooded, $85 list).

02-13-2012, 16:54
Anytime you see someone wearing really bright Patagonia gear it's almost always safe to assume they didn't pay full retail price. :)

Hence my hideous orange/blue merino t. I only hope it doesn't play a part in my trail name decision.