Houdini Wadi - Women's Review
Cons: Runs large, expensive, belt is inconvenient
Manufacturer: Houdini Sports
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Houdini Wadi - Women's
$84.95 at Backcountry
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|Pros||Comfortable, ultralight, versatile||Comfortable, water-resistant, breathable, versatile for general outdoor recreation||Lightweight, breathable, athletic, low price||Stylish, comfortable, versatile||Affordable, water resistant, breathable|
|Cons||Runs large, expensive, belt is inconvenient||Not the cheapest, not the most stylish||Baggy looking, no hand pockets||Minimal water resistance, minimal features||Unnecessary belt, small cargo pockets|
|Bottom Line||A fairly standard pair that is light and flexible but has a cumbersome integrated belt||A versatile and high-performing pair of shorts with subtle styling and deep pockets||A seeming hybrid between hiking and running shorts, these aerobics-focused shorts offer high comfort but no hand pockets||Style and function combine to offer greater versatility, breathability, and high comfort||Functional and fun, these shorts cover all the basics|
|Rating Categories||Houdini Wadi - Women's||Mountain Hardwear D...||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Prana Alana||Columbia Sandy Rive...|
|Comfort And Mobility (35%)|
|Venting And Breathability (20%)|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Houdini Wadi - Women's||Mountain Hardwear D...||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Prana Alana||Columbia Sandy Rive...|
|Weight (in oz)||4.6 oz||4.6 oz||4.9 oz||6.7 oz||5.1 oz|
|Material||56% nylon, 38% recycled nylon, 7% elastane||94% nylon, 6% elastane||86% polyester/14% spandex (liner: recycled polyester | rib: 91% polyester, 9% spandex)||95% recycled nylon, 5% spandex||100% nylon|
|Water Resistance||Minimal||DWR||Minimal||Minimal||Perfecta Plus II quick-dry|
|Sizing (waist, length options)||XXS - XL||XS - XL||XS - XL||0 - 14||XS - XL|
|Sun Protection||No||UPF 50||UPF 50||UPF 50||Yes, UPF 30|
|Waist Strap/Fasten||Integrated waistbelt||Elastic waistband||Elastic waistband||Double metal snap, zip fly||Elastic waistband with plastic snap and zipper fly, optional belt|
Our Analysis and Test Results
At first glance, these shorts have hiking written all over them. When it comes to pocket space and material comfort, this piece of apparel shines. The fit runs large and sits baggy on the hips for us, which drastically impacts how this model ranks among the others tested. Made with 56% nylon, 38% recycled nylon, and 7% elastane, they are partly recycled and the brand accepts old clothing back to recycle as well.
Comfort and Mobility
We appreciate the low-profile waistband on these shorts and how the nylon is light and relatively soft to the touch. Weighing in at only 4.6 ounces, the overall feel is comforting. Mobility is also high with these shorts as the leg openings have a 21-inch circumference. The relaxed design and flexible fabric make for great apparel and we enjoy them for all-day wear, for the most part. The fit is what is awkward for us: very baggy around the hips for the size Small we tested, so we feel that they run large. Basically, without the belt, they would fall right off of us. Cinching the belt is awkward and tightening it enough for our lead tester meant crinkling the waistband, which isn't ideal for long-term wear and doesn't look great, either.
Venting and Breathability
Having moisture-wicking qualities help regulate body temperature as you sweat. This metric where this pair truly shines. During testing, we were able to see light easily through the fabric and our breath test was a breeze as well. Due to the lightweight nature of the fabric and the generous leg openings, airflow is a given and much appreciated.
Style-wise, the Wadi is what we would call conservative. They have a traditional traveler look, which isn't as trendy to wear around town or to dress up for dinner in (for the taste of our testers, at least). Activity-wise, these shorts fare well during floor routines, climbing, and other sports that require lots of mobility. Their length does allow for more versatility across colder temperatures, which can be a huge plus, and also if you find yourself bushwhacking unexpectedly.
During our testing, we found the water to absorb readily into the fabric. There was no noticeable beading, but we know that this isn't necessarily a must-have feature for hiking. The nylon dried quickly thanks to its thin and technical nature. Being able to air out so effortlessly is a true highlight all the same.
From a gusseted crotch to its stow pocket, there are a few features to this pair. These shorts have four pockets, two in the front and one in the back, with a snap closure, plus the zippered, hidden stow pocket in the right front pocket. All of the hand pockets are extra deep, which is always a bonus. The stow pocket actually fits the entirety of the shorts, which is nice, but doing so wrinkles them badly. There are no belt loops or added sun protection. The lack of belt loops is due to its integrated belt design, which is our biggest point of contention. The belt is a G hook design, meaning there is a G-shaped clasp that you passively hook into sewn loops along the belt. We feel this system is very inefficient and cumbersome to operate. Hooking the clasp isn't very easy and for our lead tester, she had a large tail after finding the right tightness, which stuck out awkwardly. There is nowhere to tuck a tail into, plus, since the size runs so large, having a tail seems unavoidable.
Made in Portugal, these shorts retail for a hefty price for how relatively simple they are. We feel the high price is a bit steep for our practical hiking purposes, and, compared to all the other pairs we've tested, they just aren't particularly astonishing. Bottom line, if you can afford them and like the traveler look, they are still a quality item.
We found that the basal function of the Houdini Wadi is to provide a casual option for easy to moderate trails, notably for those wanting more leg coverage. They rank below the middle of the bunch, but depending on what you prioritize, these will nonetheless be a dependable choice.
— Sara Aranda
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