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  1. #1
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    Default How does a wind jacket ie Houdini fit into your layering system?

    I recently bought a patagoochie Houdini for a Paddling trip. I fell in love with this for a lite wt jacket which is usually all I need in Florida. I'm curious how others use this in there pack as its not a true rain shell. I normally carry my OR Helium 11 as a lite jacket/ rain shell. Having hard time seeing me carrying both on a hike besides a winter trek. I'm hoping to do the collegiate loop on the CT this summer would you carry both...


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  2. #2

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    It's definitely not a rain jacket. I carry both on my hikes, and will sometimes use it under my rain jacket to give it more wind resistance during a storm. In fair weather, the Houdini works well alone or paired with a fleece in lower temps. My layering system starts with a wicking tech short sleeve shirt, a set of sun sleeves, a fleece (just bought a Patagonia UL down jacket but haven't used it yet), the Houdini, and my rain jacket. This covers any temp range I'm likely to encounter at elevation here in Maui--mid-20's and up.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maui Rhino View Post
    It's definitely not a rain jacket. I carry both on my hikes, and will sometimes use it under my rain jacket to give it more wind resistance during a storm. In fair weather, the Houdini works well alone or paired with a fleece in lower temps. My layering system starts with a wicking tech short sleeve shirt, a set of sun sleeves, a fleece (just bought a Patagonia UL down jacket but haven't used it yet), the Houdini, and my rain jacket. This covers any temp range I'm likely to encounter at elevation here in Maui--mid-20's and up.
    Thx MR....I had no idea it got that cold in HI!!

  4. #4

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    I mostly use mine for cold windy days, to start hikes, or during stops. I wear it for morning walks when I'm just unwinding, waking up and not pushing hard. I'll also use it in the rain when it's cold, but with an umbrella. It's a tiny bit more breathable than my rain jacket.

    For the weight and compressability, it's a worthy addition to the pack.

  5. #5
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    Wear a Pat Houdini Jacket(full zip) over a merino tee w/ 1/2 zip and possibly under a UL WP rain jacket like a OR Helium II or MB Versalite when wet or cold on the move. Will wear nylon running shorts and trail runners w/ very light wt merino Smartwool beanie or Buff and UL running gloves. I wore this top system on a CT thru in fall because 1) I was doing some additional fast and furious off the CT peak bagging in some cold and/or windy conditions desiring just the Pat Houdini over a merino tee 2) started early around or before sunrise so needed the bit of wind blocking and warmth w/ UL torso apparel wt. 3) it worked with my base layer merino tees and accessories(beanie, gloves, buff, etc) 4) I paced rather fast over a 14-16 hr duration and wanted many layers but thinner layers to tweak for thermoregulating over those 14-16 hrs in vastly changing trail conditions(light snow, heavy rain, wind, 80* temps in full blazing sun w/ little to no shade, UV protection)

  6. #6

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    I use a montbell. It wets out too fast to be considered rain protection. Good over puffy for a couple extra degrees warmth. Good to hike in on chilly mornings for a little warmth. Good in stiff cool breezes too.

  7. #7

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    Agree on the Montbell wind shirt. Wore it climbing Mt K until it warmed up. Adds more warmth than you might think for a tiny weight. Always carry it on trail runs and hikes.

  8. #8
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    Thx DW...I like your layering system...I've yet to try merino as been using cap for many years....maybe I'll use my rei dividend and give it a shot...


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  9. #9
    Registered User English Stu's Avatar
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    Default houdini jct

    Would a Houdini work with a ZPacks Poncho, need a wind jct for stops. I have a Montbell Thermawrap jct for warmth
    Last edited by English Stu; 03-27-2016 at 14:27.

  10. #10
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    I find some kind of wind-shirt to be central to my temperature regulation all year round. For hiking all four seasons, my top is almost always a merino or capaline or other synthetic t-shirt with a long sleeved (merino, or cap, or other synth) medium weight t-shirt over that with my wind-shell over the top when needed (good to single digits while moving). At stated above, the wind-shirt provided a great deal of warmth for its weight, especially in windier conditions where I don't need extra insulation, I just need wind blocking, but, wind blocking that breaths well enough that I don't start building up condensation while moving.

    My rain-gear of choice, all year round, except when technical alpine climbing, is a poncho which works well with a wind shirt underneath.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  11. #11
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    For deep three season hiking I use a wind jacket as my insulating layer. This and/or my rain coat around camp is all I have ever had to use. I can hike with it and don't have to worry about it absorbing sweat like you do with a down jacket. I just like the versatility that it provides. It is light enough that it can be used as a town "shirt" while doing laundry also.
    Lonehiker

  12. #12

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    I use mine over a baselayer if it is windy way into the winter. I never hit the trail without it. Works really well at keeping me warm enough but not too sweaty. The only jacket I will wear while actually hiking unless it is heavier rain, then I just use my Super Mica rain jacket.

  13. #13
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    As others have stated, I use mine over a Long Sleeve Icebreaker when hiking in temps 30 to 50 with or without wind or in light rain. Above 50 I layer it over a Short Sleeve T-Shirt in mornings, grassy knobs/peaks, rest stops if chilled and evening until temp drops below 35 and I switch to a Pre-cip or Down Jacket. I often layer over the Down to protect the slightly more expensive down. I bought it unsure of the versatility of a wind jacket and now it is on the outside pocket of the pack and grabbed as the first layer before adding insulation. Like Spiffyguy, it works really well at keeping warmth without sweating out. Easy on Off and so packable in the chest pocket zipped.
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  14. #14
    Registered User mortonjl's Avatar
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    Houdini is great, no need for a rain jacket you're gonna get wet anyways.

  15. #15
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    I LOVE my Go Lite wind shirt, super light, thin, dries fast, use it in many ways, I do not see ever going out without something like this. Example - merino wool tee shirt & wind shirt - comfy while moving down to freezing weather. When really frigid out, super thermal barrier.

  16. #16
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    I like a 4-layer system, and a wind shirt is a big part of it.

    Base layer - a very light next to skin layer
    Wind layer - a <3oz single layer wind shirt
    Warm layer - something insulating
    Shell layer - a waterproof rain shell

    Base layer: I almost always wear 150-wt merino wool, short or long sleeve, as appropriate. This layer should not be warm by itself.

    Wind layer: worm over the base layer in cool, breezy conditions. Makes a big difference in comfort while hiking, as it's much more breathable than a rain shell but cuts convective heat loss considerably. I like one with a hood to cover my thin fleece hat -- adds a lot of warmth by covering my neck and head.

    Warm layer: usually a light down jacket, or even just a thin fleece pullover in the summer. Worn in camp, or on breaks. I like my wind shirt to be able to fit over the warm layer, especially if it's fleece. I don't like "windblock" fleece for this layer, or any kind of "soft shell" as both are very heavy for their insulating abilities. The wind shell over a thin grid fleece (Patagonia Cap 4 or similar) is pretty warm. Some hikes, especially in shoulder season, I bring both a light fleece zip tee and a light down parka.

    Shell: a waterproof, breathable shell like Goretex or similar. Worn in rain, also useful in very cold weather as an additional layer in camp or while hiking.
    Ken B
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  17. #17
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    I started using a Houdini a couple of hundred miles into the PCT in SoCal last year and it has become one of my favorite pieces of gear. Unlike rain shells, it is light enough to wear on colder mornings over my merino base layer, and it excels in ... the wind, which is what it is designed for. I also find that it does OK in misty conditions although it is definitely not a rain shell. I now often take it on runs in misty conditions or on day hikes where there might be a slight chance of rain but I know that I can get back to the trail head quickly. It weighs so little that it is a permanent part of my pack now. Highly recommended.

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