With the 2019 revision, wind and water resistances of the Squamish are improved; and it now looks prettier overall (this Iliad color is really liked by many - including me).
Its breathability, on the other hand, now sucks with the 2019 revision. Just like that of Houdini. They're less than 10 CFM (a measure of breathability that confirms they indeed suck).
That's a bold claim, but in case it has to be said, there it is. Don't believe anyone who claims otherwise.
That's because Arc'teryx and Patagonia simply chose not to design these products for high output activities anymore (although Squamish was a breathable option between 2014-2018). It's mind blowing how the Houdini and 2019 Squamish are marketed to runners in some places...
- 13 Mar 2023: I've been to Pfander and floodplain forests with my Nuclei SV
- 13 Dec 2022: Arc'teryx Alpha Parka Review: The most impressive jacket of all time
- 8 Dec 2022: Arc'teryx ReGEAR: OutdoorCrunch exclusive promo code!
- 7 Nov 2022: 2023 Thorium Hoody is in - as well as the new Thorium Parka (yes, parka)
- 2 Nov 2022: Beta Insulated Jacket: Pit zips AND two way zipper!
- 7 October 2022: Proton Hybrid Hoody is live! The ultimate do it all?
- 5 October 2022: DropHood vs StormHood: Pros/cons and best uses
- 5 September 2022: Reviewing Arc'teryx Fall Winter 22/23 Gear
- 5 August 2022: 5 things all Arc'teryx newbies should know
- #A sidenote here: Arc'teryx's PDF guide to jackets is GOOOLLLLDDDDD. Absolutely check that out too if you're interested in buying one.
This is why they're light, packed tiny (so that they can easily fit inside even the smallest pockets of some of your pants), and don't even come with hand pockets.
- If this is your intended use for these shells, then they will fill the bill without a hitch, so keep reading.
- If, on the other hand, you're actually looking for a shell for any high output activity other than ice/rock climbing and bouldering, then I'd recommend you to stop reading and check out my post about the Arc'teryx's Incendo for summer running and cycling or the one about Patagonia's Houdini Air for all the other aerobic uses during the summer.
They're both significantly more breathable than the Houdini and Squamish.
Both Houdini and Squamish are marketed as wind jackets in their product pages as you can see here and here.
Compared to the Houdini, Squamish performs noticeably worse in this department - not only for the wind but also for the water resistance capabilities.
Because the DWR coating of 2019 Squamish wears off quicker than that of Houdini.
DWR is a coating.
It's basically sprayed on to the surface of these jackets as a finish. It stands for Durable Water Repellent - which means that water will be repelled under wet conditions instead of soaking into the fabric.
DWR also decreases dry time.
It's a good thing these jackets are coated in DWR, but pay attention to the fact that DWR is a coating - meaning that it will wear off over time.
Which is why you might want to invest in a DWR spray such as this one for after treatment.
As you see, there's a strong correlation between FP x FW and temperature ratings, but not more than, say, 80%. I explained why this happens here in this post of mine.
More robust face fabric of the Houdini also makes it more durable than the Squamish.
Stuff Sack Sizes
Squamish is packed considerably larger than the Houdini.
If you're planning to use these shells as for what they're designed for, then the superior portability of Houdini is an extra advantage for you. You can even try stowing it into the hand pockets of your pants.
Best uses and conclusion
Like I said, instead of high output activities, these hoodies are actually meant to work as simple pop up shells against sudden summer and spring storms.
So, if you'll be using them for this purpose, then I'd recommend Houdini over Squamish any day.
...with one exception.
Velcro cuffs and chest pocket (accessible when you have a harness on) of the Squamish come very useful during the activities where hands are involved - most popular ones being rock/ice climbing and bouldering. So I'd recommend the Squamish in that case.
If you tend to overheat, though, breathability would definitely fall short. I'd head towards something provides more breathability without sacrificing weather protection, such as the Houdini Air.