A lightweight windshirt from environmental frontrunners Patagonia, this has rarely been off my back since it arrived. This one features an adjustable hood, a very gently tapered back to catch rear tyre splashes, low profile elasticated and adjustable hem, and elasticated sleeves, cut to protect the front of the wrist with arms extended (as they are on a bike). There’s a small external chest pocket (just about big enough for a small smartphone) and the jacket will pack down into this pocket, with its two-way zip. The fit is boxy, which is handy for pairing with insulation layers when at rest. Windshirts are great for hi output, fast moving activities like cycling where you need maximum breathability with some weather protection. What’s been surprising about the Houdini is just how water resistant it is – light (and sometimes not so light) rain is still bouncing off. Experience tells me the DWR will eventually tire, but it’s a great start. This is fair trade sewn and made from 51% recycled nylon, so while it’s not the cheapest windshirt around, it does mean the environment isn’t paying so much of a price. Weight, around 115 grams.
Best for: Biking, hiking, climbing, and running – a windshirt is the do-it-all essential.
Verdict: High quality, breathable, wind and water resistant with good eco-credentials.
Review by David Lintern @davidjlintern