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OWNER REVIEW - Patagonia Houdini Full-Zip Soft Shell Jacket

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  • Andy Ng
    Hi, this is my first owner review. Thanks. Andy ... Patagonia Houdini Full-zip Softshell Jacket Reviewer information Name: Andy Ng Age: 32 Gender: Male Height:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 28, 2006
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      Hi, this is my first owner review. Thanks.

      Andy

      ---------------------------------------------
      Patagonia Houdini Full-zip Softshell Jacket

      Reviewer information

      Name: Andy Ng
      Age: 32
      Gender: Male
      Height: 174cm / 5'9"
      Weight: 70kg / 155 lb
      Torso: 53.5cm / 21 inch
      Waist: 84cm / 33 inch
      Arm (base of neck to wrist): 53.5cm / 33 inch
      Inseam: 81cm / 32 inch
      City, Province, Country: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
      email: andyng2@...

      Backpacking background:
      I started hiking 2 years ago doing mostly day hikes and occasionally
      weekend backpacking trips. I hike primarily in Southern Quebec in the
      winter and in the Adirondack High Peaks region from srping to fall. I
      encounter various weather conditions during my hikes: from cold and
      windy to hot and humid. My hiking philosophy is to ensure safty while
      remaining as light as possible within a relatively low budget. As I
      gain more experience I plan to start winter hiking in the Adirondack
      wilderness.

      Product information

      Manufacturer: Patagonia
      Date of Manufacture: 2005
      Web: http://www.patagonia.com
      Size: Men's Medium
      Color: Ridge Blue
      Listed weight: 113g / 4 oz
      Weight as delivered: 115g / 4 oz
      Material: 1.1 oz, 15x20 denier nylon with 50-denier triple ripstop
      yarns
      List price: $129 US

      When placing the order, I made a few mistakes and had to modify my
      order several times via emails. The customer service at Patagonia
      replied my emails promptly and made the adjustment of the order
      accroding to my need. Everything arrived as expected.

      The Houdini jacket comes in a plastic bag, neatly folded and appears
      as a high quality product. The color of the jacket matches quite well
      with images on the web site. The fabric material is very thin and can
      be stretched slightly. The jacket is not seam sealed and there are
      seams along the front zipper. There is an hidden chest pocket with a
      velcro closure. The jacket can be stuffed into this chest pocket and
      the final size is about the size of a CD. It is interesting to note
      that the velcro is a circular ring, instead of the usual retangular
      piece. I think it serves to further minimize the weight of the
      jacket. The sleeve is held tight by elastic, also note that non-
      sealed seam is around the wrist. The hood and the bottom of the
      jacket can be tighten by an elastic cord, with foam and spring-loaded
      adjusters, respectively.

      I have worn the Houdini under very strong wind and moderate rain. The
      Houdini blocks wind very well. The hood is very well designed and
      provides excellent coverage. The draw cord for the hood stays inside
      the jacket. While I like the fact that the cord is not flying and
      hitting my face, I find adjusting the hood is difficult due to the
      use of foam adjuster, which holds the cord very tight.

      The Houdini served me reasonably well under light rain during my
      early spring hike from the Adirondack Loj to Avalanche Lake. I had my
      Houdini over an expedition weight capilene. At the end of the hike my
      body was dry, except some wet spot over my shoulder and around my
      sleeve. The durable water resistant (DWR) treatment repelled water
      effectively. However, the area around the non-sealed seam soaked
      through after 15 minutes of moderate rain. In addition, the hood
      soaked through. I believe my hair acted as a wick and water went
      through the fabric via capillary action. I recommend wearing a light
      weight hat under the hood to prevent this from happening.

      Under heavier rain the Houdini cannot be used as effective rain
      protection. It completely soaks through after a maximum of 15
      minutes. On the other hand, it dries very quickly.

      The Houdini is so light I can carry it in my pant pocket. I don't
      feel it on my body as long as I don't sweat. While I believe this
      jacket has excellent breathability, as soon as I have moisture on my
      skin the tissue-like fabric sticks. Once it starts to stick to my
      skin there won't be any breathability and it doesn't feel comfortable
      until I cool down and dry up. Therefore the Houdini is best worn over
      long sleeve wicking layer to prevent this sticking from occuring and
      to maintain breathability.

      Summary
      The Houdini full-zip soft shell is a very well constructed, super
      light weight wind jacket. It is best for use in warm to cool weather
      at the mountain summit where strong wind is present. It is also
      useful for the occasional drizzle or light shower. However, dedicated
      rain protection is necessary when anything heavier than a light
      shower is in the forecast.

      Things I like:
      1. Super light weight.
      2. Design of hood.
      3. Excellent in blocking wind.

      Things that can be improved:
      1. Addition of hand pockets for storing small items such as facial
      tissue paper.
      2. Use of sealed seams.
    • chcoa
      Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do not worry if nothing happens
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 31, 2006
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        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
        The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
        to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
        manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
        you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
        start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
        with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to
        Jennifer P, the mentor coordinator, at (jennifer.pope@...).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
        review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
        line of your re-submitted review, if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
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        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
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        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
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        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • nazdarovye
        Andy - Welcome, and thanks for your first owner review. You ve met some of our requirements (including conversions and measurements), but I do note missing
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 10, 2006
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          Andy -

          Welcome, and thanks for your first owner review.

          You've met some of our requirements (including conversions and
          measurements), but I do note missing information and some other edits,
          which I've provided below. I'll ask that you address those, then
          repost an edited version of your review here for a second edit pass.
          Be sure to include the word "REPOST" in the subject line of the
          message containing your updated review.

          I also recommend you run a spell check on your review before posting -
          there were a number of mistakes here that would have been caught by that.

          In any case, this is a solid first effort, and I look forward to
          seeing your next edit.

          Regards,
          Steve
          BGT OR Editor

          [EDITS FOLLOW:]

          Patagonia Houdini Full-zip Softshell Jacket
          ***EDIT: Add "Owner Review:" before the product name, and add the date
          of your review on the following line

          Height: 174cm / 5'9"
          Weight: 70kg / 155 lb
          Torso: 53.5cm / 21 inch
          Waist: 84cm / 33 inch
          ***EDITS: Here and throughout the review, use a consistent style for
          spacing and measures - I recommend a space, as in "155 lb" or "70 kg";
          also, "in" is our standard abbreviation for inches, though the double
          quote is acceptable as well (use one of those rather than the singular
          "inch" here and elsewhere throughout the review)

          I hike primarily in Southern Quebec in the
          winter and in the Adirondack High Peaks region from srping to fall.
          ***EDIT: "spring"

          My hiking philosophy is to ensure safty while
          remaining as light as possible within a relatively low budget.
          ***EDIT: "safety"

          List price: $129 US
          ***EDIT: I recommend starting the body of your review (after the List
          price) with an overview of the product. What is it? Does it have a
          full zipper? How many pockets, drawcords, etc.? You actually mention
          much of this below, so just move the key descriptive points up to the
          start of the main review.

          ***EDIT: Please also add a "Field Conditions" section that describes
          general information about where you used the jacket, including
          elevations, temperatures, weather and general locations

          The customer service at Patagonia
          replied my emails promptly and made the adjustment of the order
          accroding to my need.
          ***EDIT: "according"; consider how important the ordering information
          is to a review of the performance of the jacket (I can see an argument
          for leaving this in as a statement on Patagonia's customer service,
          even if it was their store rather than their repairs/returns department)

          It is interesting to note
          that the velcro is a circular ring, instead of the usual retangular
          piece.
          ***EDIT: "rectangular"

          I think it serves to further minimize the weight of the
          jacket.
          ***EDIT: "I think this"

          The sleeve is held tight by elastic, also note that non-
          sealed seam is around the wrist.
          ***EDIT: "The sleeves are held tight by elastic, and the seams around
          the wrists are not sealed" would read more clearly; you're welcome to
          reword however you see fit, though

          The hood and the bottom of the
          jacket can be tighten by an elastic cord, with foam and spring-loaded
          adjusters, respectively.
          ***EDIT: "tightened"

          I had my
          Houdini over an expedition weight capilene.
          ***EDIT: "Capilene" should be capitalized as a trademarked name;
          consider adding a noun for it to modify (e.g., "shirt")

          At the end of the hike my
          body was dry, except some wet spot over my shoulder and around my
          sleeve.
          ***EDIT: "spots"; also "sleeves" if both of them had wet spots

          I recommend wearing a light
          weight hat under the hood to prevent this from happening.
          ***EDIT QUESTION: Have you tried this yourself to verify that it
          works, or is this just a guess?

          Therefore the Houdini is best worn over
          long sleeve wicking layer to prevent this sticking from occuring and
          to maintain breathability.
          ***EDIT: "occurring" (though you could also just say "prevent this
          sticking and to maintain..."); it would be even better to say "I wear
          the Houdini over long..." than to project what others might find true,
          which the current wording seems to do (any where you've used "it is
          best" or made other general statements, consider rewording them to say
          "I believe" or "I" and what you do.

          [END OF EDITS]
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