The Patagonia Alpine Houdini is a bomb shelter of a storm jacket designed to weigh and pack down like a windbreaker. It manages very effectively to do both of these things. It is the only windbreaker we tested that doesn't merely rely on a DWR coating for water resistance, and instead incorporates a full 2.5 layer waterproof/breathable membrane like that found on most rain jackets. This heavy-duty construction makes it one of the most wind and water resistant layers we tested. While it includes the name "Houdini," we found this jacket to be quite a bit different than the Patagonia Houdini. Not only is the construction and fit significantly different, but it also lacks the breathability that makes its lighter weight namesake a must have for aerobic activities. While this jacket will protect you better than most in a storm, this ability limits its use as a pure windbreaker.
Patagonia has discontinued the Alpine Houdini. Ride the breeze on over to our Wind Jacket Review to see our top wind-shells!