I’ve been a die-hard of my Rapha Stowaway for 5+ years. I’ve tried countless others but nothing competes on packability, fit, style and form. I was hoping the Houdini would step up to the plate with a home-run. My initial reaction to the packed size was a jaw drop. I tend to love anything that packs tight, especially on the bike when you're very limited on carrying space.
Even with my monkey arms, at 6’ 0” the medium is the size for me. I’ve worn it several times now, a few of which were a rainy weekend in northern Idaho. I didn’t notice too much sweat build-up even after climbing for 60-75 minutes, this pleasantly surprised me. When I got to the summit I briefly pulled it off while we waited for the others to arrive. With the cool temps I put it back on for 20 minutes joy-ride back to the valley floor. Naturally I tucked the hood into the top of the jacket itself.
After 3 or 4 minutes the hood was out and catching wind It hurt my throat as the zipper dug deep into my throat, being pulled back by the hood catching air. I was riding supreme single track with a group and had no desire to stop and adjust, nor was there a good way to secure the hood down. I was a bit distracted by the strong tug for the remainder of the downhill. For the long weekend this was the only jacket I brought so I had to repeat this on the descents a few more times, one other I just opted for no jacket and a bit of a chill on the chest on the way down. I mention this hear not to deter you away from buying, but more so as a plead to Patagonia to add some simple way to solve the problem. I won’t prescribe how to solve it, but trust you will since you’ve done this well for so many other products.
Bottom line — it’s an amazing “safety blanket” when on the mountain, and is a slick little package to pack while traveling.