Gear Review: Patagonia Houdini Ultralight Shell

Trim fitting, highly durable, and easily packable, this is one shell you'll never question packing.

There's not much to this trim fitting, highly breathable wisp of a shell–which is exactly the point. You'll never question packing it, and you'll love it the moment you break free of treeline and need a touch of warmth and reliable wind protection. The DWR coating sheds moderate rain (it's not waterproof), and the snug-fitting, high-necked hood stays in place in strong gusts. The 10-denier, triple-ripstop nylon (the reinforcing checkerboard threads are tripled) is more durable and has a softer feel than many other ultralight fabrics. A single pocket doubles as a stuffsack. The trim fit works over baselayers and light insulation.
$125; 3.6 oz. (men's M); men's S-XL, women's XS-L; patagonia.com.