Hiking is one of my favorite things to do. It is challenging, keeps me in touch with nature and is extremely rewarding. However, climate is always unpredictable and you have to be ready at all times. That’s why it is important to have a good waterproof jacket. Patagonia’s Women’s Alpine Houdini Jacket caught my eye and after testing it up on a volcano, I consider it a must have item for my adventures.
Lightweight Waterproof Jacket – Women’s Alpine Houdini Jacket Review
Hiking is an activity that I really enjoy. I have been doing it for a couple of years now, mostly in Guatemala, one of the countries along the ring of fire. In Guatemala, there are 37 official volcanoes of all sizes that offer different difficulty levels. The country also offers mountain ranges that can be quite challenging.
The higher volcanoes can be quite tricky, with climate that goes from tropical to extremely cold. The changes can happen in seconds, especially as you go higher. I never know if it will be hot, rainy or below 0°C.
That’s why, if you plan to climb up a volcano or mountain, you have to be prepared. I had a waterproof jacket that I absolutely loved but it started to get old and doesn’t provide the same protection anymore. I needed a new one and it had to fit three main aspects:
– Lightweight and portable – if you have ever gone hiking you know that each centimeter and every pound counts.
– Waterproof – Weather up there can’t be predicted. Plus it can be dangerous to be up on a mountain with wet clothes, especially as sun starts to go down.
– Windproof – Staying away from the wind is important when it comes to staying warm.
What the Women’s Alpine Houdini Waterproof Jacket by Patagonia Offers
– Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell with DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
– Taped seams throughout entire garment.
– Full-zip hooded jacket with an interior storm flap.
– Single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood.
– Zippered, interior left chest pocket that doubles as self-stuff pouch.
– Elasticized cuffs.
– Windproof Material.
I tested this jacket during an adventure in Tacana Volcano, the second highest in Central America at 4,092 meters above sea level. During this trip we experienced temperatures as low as 0°C.
It was a nine hour hike up to the volcano’s extinct crater where we set up camp. When we first started hiking, it was hot, one of those days when not even sunscreen can protect your skin 100%. But half way up the volcano it all changed suddenly.
The Women’s Alpine Houdini Jacket proved to be good at retaining warmth. It is a great option to wear over a couple of layers. I was coming from hot weather when it suddenly got cloudy, only moments after that it started raining. The waterproof aspect of it worked perfectly, keeping me dry during the two hour rain.
At first it kept me warm, but a few minutes after it got windy, I started to feel cold. This wasn’t because the jacket allowed any wind inside. I couldn’t feel any wind going in but I was wearing a light top with short sleeves underneath. So the jacket was in direct contact with my skin.
The main aspect that made me fall in love with this jacket was how compact it is. The inner pocket can be used as a bag. My previous jacket was bulkier and didn’t fit in the smaller, easy access pockets of my backpack.
The fabric looks like it will last a long time. I really hope it does because I like it a lot. I plan on using it as my go-to outerwear for future adventures along Central America and Mexico.