Alpine Houdini Review

“Weather permitting…”

patagonia alpineReal trekkers hardly acknowledge a phrase like this one. It rains. We’re either prepared and comfortable or unprepared and grin through it.

I prefer the former.

During the lovely monsoon season here in Colorado, it might rain every day for a few months. Most afternoons, though, clouds gather, skies darken, and rain threatens heartily before moving on.

On my many miles of hiking and riding in the mountains and canyons of Colorado, I’ve learned to pack lightly and consider the likelihood of rain. I’m too old and smart to suffer proudly through cold and wet. But, gotta say, rain coats were a hassle.

I take:

Water & snacks

Tiny first aid kit

patagoniaCell phone (maybe)



Rain jacket

My new rain jacket weighs as much as my phone. It’s Patagonia’s Alpine Houdini.

The Alpine Houdini (not to be confused with the Houdini, which weighs even less and is more like a wind breaker) is not even six ounces and stuffs easily into its own pocket or a plastic sandwich bag. It has a nifty adjustable hood which Patagonia made with helmet wearers in mind. I found this mid-skull, elastic drawstring feature excellent for adjusting coverage depending on the ferocity of the precipitation: pulled back and snugged for a sprinkle or released and extended for a deluge.

It comes in gorgeous colors, like “Arbor Green” and “Concord Purple.” I’ve been wearing a “Sulphur Yellow,” which is perfect for hunting season. Like most Patagonia women’s items, a medium Alpine Houdini is slimly-styled and true to size. I’m 5’7”, 130 pounds, and the medium left a little room for one or two layers.

It’s a lightweight, but no sissy. Moving through scrub oak and juniper, the Alpine Houdini held up fine. Not a single rip, pull, or tear. I might see more game, too, since it’s fabric (1.5 ounce 20-denier nylon ripstop with a water repellent finish) is close to noiseless.

The only issue I can foresee? Given it’s it humble nature and size, I might forget I packed it.

Posted in Exploring Colorado, Gear and tagged , .

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