Patagonia Alpine Houdini Jacket - Men's

Escape the shackles of heavyweight weather protection.

Stuff yourself into a barrel and send it over the falls, or just stuff yourself into the Patagonia Alpine Houdini Men's Jacket and send it up the big wall you've been checking out from the valley floor. Lighter than imaginary helium, the Houdini disappears when you clip it to your harness, and then magically zips up to shed wind and precipitation when the weather takes a turn for the worse. The Houdini has a DWR treatment for extra water protection and a coated front zipper that locks away any moisture that tries to finagle its way in. Its 30D nylon fabric is durable enough to withstand the inevitable scuffs and scratches of climbing, and the Houdini stuffs into its own chest pocket for easy carrying, so you can go pack-free to make those squeeze chimneys more manageable.

  • H2No Performance Standard shell (2.5 layer)
  • Nylon ripstop face with DWR finish
  • Fully taped seams
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • Water-resistant center front zipper
  • Elasticized cuffs
  • Stowable chest pocket
  • Bluesign-approved fabric
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Perfectly Packable

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

Love this jacket! Incredibly lightweight and windproof. This is a great piece of gear if there's a threat of rain, wind, or maybe just a slight chill. While it's not going to perform like a fully dedicated rain jacket, it will keep you dry from a quick-passing shower. Stash it away on your bike ride or hike for an added layer of protection that won't weigh you down.

Must have

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

I think this jacket is a must have. It's super-light and packable. Although it does take some effort and time to pack it. It is very windproof. It handled 100 km/hr winds with ease.

Water-resistance is a debatable. The DWR coating only lasted two days. I think it's only good if you expect occasional light rain.

The biggest con, which prevents it getting 5-star rating, is the zipper. Fiddling with the zipper as winds/rains are blowing you away is highly annoying.

It's true to size, and meant as an outer layer. Don't buy a size larger. I usually wear a medium, and I was able to fit a base-layer, Nano-air jacket and this Houdini jacket.

The weight and size is used well

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

I still have a Stoic Wraith which I really love. 1/2 the weight and size of this Houdini. But after 10 minutes of rain or drizzle, the Wraith is done, whereas the Houdini can stand being exposed much longer. I think for long Alpine adventures and/or long bike commutes, the Houdini will be my go-to.

The sizing is actually pretty good, I'm bummed that Patagonia is steering away from the Athletic cut (I think this cut is more for a desk-job person), but the medium fits pretty good with a little room to spare for a micro fleece.

Stashed In My Bike Pack

    I've got a Torrentshell that's been great to me and decided to give the alpine Houdini a try for stashing in my bike pack. The helmet-compatible hood is great. I was also impressed by the lightness of fabric.

    Finally Able to Use It

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: Runs large
    • Size Bought: Medium

    The jacket is considerably warmer than the normal Houdini which is expected. I could only wear it while hiking when we were up pretty high and moving a lot slower. The size of it in my pack/on my harness is the best part. For the amount of protection you get with this jacket I find it hard to find anything else as small and light.



    Normally am a Large in Patagonia Jackets and I am a large in the Houdini. The Alpine Houdini is cut bigger than the normal Houdini and therefore grabbed a medium.

    Finally Able to Use It

    So Far, So Great

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    Have not really put the jacket to the test yet but, intend to make it my full time backcountry skiing shell. Have worn it a few times just to really check breath ability and move with it on.

    On its first and only outing you can feel the extra fabric compared to the regular Houdini. Means it doesnt breathe as well but, protects much better. Right now in the Wasatch, the upper elevations are around 60 degrees, makes the normal Houdini the perfect option should you need a light shell. I had it in the Teton's where it was more like 40 degrees at the summits and it wasnt enough, this is where the Alpine Fits in my quiver of shells. Below 40 degrees and the verdict is still out on how far I can push it in the cold .

    The first thing to notice is the difference in fit. Where the normal Houdini is a tighter, trimmer fit, the Alpine Houdini has extra room for layering. I own the Large in the normal Houdini and sized down to the Medium in the Alpine Houdini. I wouldnt say it runs Large, it fits like my large Westcomb ski jacket. That still has too much fabric to alpine rock climb for me. With the medium Alpine Houdini I still can layer with my go-to cold weather choice, which is: Capilene 1, R1 Hoody, Nano-Air Hoody, and then the Alpine Houdini.

    You can really tell the difference in fabric compared to the normal Houdini. The Alpine Houdini is stiffer, thicker, and much less air-permeable. When trying to stuff it into its own pocket it was creating air pockets, never saw that in the normal Houdini.

    Picture is comparing the stuff size of the normal Houdini (Blue Large), Alpine Houdini (red, Medium), and a Nalgene Bottle.

    So Far, So Great

    Good ultralight rain coat

      When I bought the Alpine Houdini, I wanted an ultralight compacting rain coat for Backpacking in Wyoming. We only got small showers and I stayed dry but in a storm I would rather gortex over h2no. My only real complaint was that there are no pockets. I used the jacket to keep bugs out in the wind river range and having no pockets for my hands was miserable.

      Part of my rack

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: Medium

      The Houdini is the perfect addition to my climbing rack. It is extremely lightweight and I take it with me on every multipitch climb I go on. It helps with sun protection on hotter days and breathes well but also creates a great layer for slightly colder days. It blocks the wind well and creates a decent thermal layer. It takes about 15 seconds to put on and 30 to put away so it is quick and easy to use at belay stations.

      Rain, sleet, or snow

      This is a great jacket for when the weather rolls in but you still want to get out on the trail without getting soaked.

      Rain, sleet, or snow

      Houdini +

        The regular Houdini from Patagonia is an awesome lightweight piece, and the Alpine Houdini comes in to compliment it as a waterproof version. (windproof too)

        I always have a regular Houdini with me for just about any outdoor activity, and I'll reach for the Alpine Houdini on my way out the door if I'm anticipating the weather to be nasty, or if the conditions are a little colder for a hike or mountain bike ride and I need the extra wind protection. The breathability isn't the best, but it packs down super small and keeps you dry when you need it to.

        The fit was slightly updated for 2016, as well as a more durable zipper, and the latest and great version of the fabric