A while ago I apparently lost/misplaced my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket somewhere, I can’t find it. If you know where it is please let me know 🙂
Fortunately for me when I realized this the Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket was on sale, 50% off so I instantly grabbed it. As you might know I already own the Patagonia Houdini jacket and it’s a jacket that I like a lot. The difference between the two is that the Houdini is a windbreaker and the Alpine Houdini is a “lightweight emergency rain shell”. Emergency rain shell really translates into that the jacket will (probably – not yet tested) withstand a heavy downpour but not prolonged sessions of rain unlike the Torrentshell that will take everything you throw at it (10,000mm- vs 20,000mm water column – waterproof rating).
As with every rain jacket out there you’ll eventually get wet anyway so for me this is not really an issue. Compared to the Torrentshell the Alpine Houdini is also much lighter which is nice, saving me about 160g of weight (345g vs 184g).
The only thing that I’m a little disappointed about is that they went “stupid light” with the front zipper. This is only a normal YKK-zipper with no extra taped seams or anything just a storm flap on the inside. When I read reviews of the jacket this is where most people complain that it’ll leak through for the most part, no big surprise there. But since I haven’t tested it myself I can’t comment on this.
Zipper storm flap and membrane. On the right you can see the only pocket on the jacket that doubles as a stuff sack.
Size medium, Classic Navy. I’m 176cm, 65kg.
Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell, with laminate membrane and DWR (durable water repellent) finish holds a 10,000mm water column
Taped seams throughout entire garment
Full-zip hooded jacket has minimal interior storm flap and single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that rolls down and stows
Zippered, interior left chest pocket doubles as self-stuff pouch with streamlined shape and carabiner clip-in loop
Elasticized cuffs and a minimal single-pull adjustable drawcord hem seal out weather
1.5-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop shell, with a waterproof/breathable membrane and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
This is my first guest post here on Andrés blog. André and I have been hiking together for years now and it’s about time that i contribute with some material here. /Jon
One of the things about UL-hiking I really like is all the Cottage Manufacturers making excellent equipment for us hikers. I like the oportunity to support a small scale industry with design and manufacturing in house. But a large bonus is also the possibility to customize the equipment you want to purchase. As a Design Engineer this is kind of a kids dream coming true, I can get equipment exactly the way i want it!
Last week I found the small (Even by these standards) Japanese/French manufacturer KS Ultralight Gear. They make various versions of ultralight backpacks in interesting material choises as X-pac, Silnylon and in some cases Cuben.
Imo Pack in red X-pac fabric. Front pocket in 70D Nylon, note the mesh bottom for water drainage – Photo by Laurent Barikosky