What Run Oregon is Wearing: Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket, Airchaser Shirt, and Strider Shorts

It’s easy for gear from this well-known brand to move to the top of anyone’s favorites list because, well, they just make good-quality stuff. There’s a reason it’s popular: it looks good, fits well, and gets the job done. Patagonia knows what they’re doing and they do it well. It’s easy to scoff at the higher prices because paying almost $50 for a shirt or $60 for shorts seems steep, but let me tell you why it’s worth it.

First, I admire and respect Patagonia for their activism, environmental responsibility, and repair/reuse/recycle philosophy. You can read more about those important values here. But at the end of the day, they still make great gear for outdoor enthusiasts, whether it’s the latest innovative technology for a new jacket or continuing to churn out everyone’s favorite light-weight fleece, their product line runs the gamut of quality garments and gear and has something for everyone.

Run Oregon was lucky to test out a few pieces this summer, and, as I mentioned, they have quickly landed as top choices in my adventure wardrobe lineup.

Houdini Air Jacket


This jacket falls into the “ultralight” category – it’s not a hardshell or even softshell rain jacket and is lighter than most running jackets on the racks at your favorite local shop. Weighing in at just 3.6 ounces, this is a “blocks the wind”, “UV protection”, “need-a-jacket-for-gear-requirements”, grab-and-go in the spring and fall, everyone-needs-one-in-their-closet type jacket. Ultralights are the best for all seasons and I’m super pleased with the Houdini Air. It also folds up nicely into itself via the chest pocket (and has a loop inside for clipping onto) so it’s easy to throw in a running pack, shopping bag, pannier, car floor; wherever your gear ends up!

My previous jacket that I’ve been enjoying for the past few years has two drawbacks: 1) it looks like a shiny garbage bag and 2) if there’s any moisture buildup inside, it sticks to you like a second skin. Patagonia has combatted both of those issues to bring a “normal”-looking jacket in lovely colors (I’m rocking the Tasmanian Teal) with an interestingly textured material inside to help with breathability. The back is just ever-so-slightly ribbed to allow for increased airflow over the skin to avoid the clammy, sticky feeling. It is made from 90% nylon and 10% polyester with a durable water repellent (DWR), is Fair Trade Certified™sewn, and has nice cuffs that allowed me to put on and remove the jacket over my ridiculously oversized running watch, which was a huge bonus! So few other jackets give that allowance.

It’s been rainy in Portland for the last week or so and I’ve worn (or packed) this jacket everywhere I’ve gone. The jacket did a great job of keeping me dry underneath and having the hood was a nice plus. As other reviews mention, the hood is big! Not obnoxiously so, and it’s nice to be able to fit it over a hat without losing comfort in the shoulders/neck, but it could be a little floppy while running and needed to be adjusted with the elastic in the back.

The fit of this jacket is great as well. The torso is long enough to keep you covered and prevent drafts from below (even with arms up!) but doesn’t feel like a tent. It also has a small amount of stretch so movement isn’t restricted from any direction. I find that I am in between sizes and almost wish I had sized down in this jacket. If you can, try on your size +- one size to see what feels best without compromising the ability to layer.

Overall, Patagonia has done a great job with this ultralight and I’m excited to get in some good adventures with it this fall and early winter.

Strider Pro Shorts

These shorts are the “every wo/man” short. Super comfortable. Lightweight. Look great. No fuss. I love them.

They have all the essentials: split leg for airflow, durable water repellent (DWR) finish for quick drying, a zippered pocket in the back and 4 envelope pockets (for me, that means gel holder / trash pocket), hidden drawcord, and a light and minimal elastic waistband. You put them on and they stay put. So you can just run. That’s the best kind of running gear.

These shorts have some other interesting features as well, though. They are made from 100% recycled polyester and are Fair Trade Certified™sewn, and they also have HeiQ® Fresh durable odor control so you can avoid that “running gear” funky smell.

The women’s version is a 3” inseam and the men’s is 5” so if you prefer more coverage, these are on the shorter side. Typically I prefer a long inseam just for chafing purposes, but I haven’t had an issue with these and the black with the side split actually looks pretty darn good, so I’m rocking them.

Airchaser Shirt! It’s just 2.3 oz and is so nicely cut and designed, it feels great! We all have our favorite race shirts and some of us paid a pretty penny for them (either literally as a race add-on or physically and mentally and like to wear them around as a reminder of the accomplishment!) but they might not always be the best quality. I would be completely happy if every race tee I acquired from today on was the Patagonia Airchaser.

The fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester double knit and the thoughtfully placed mesh shoulders and back panels are made from 100% recycled polyester mesh. The entire garment features Patagonia’s miDori™ bioSoft (a plant seed-based multi-purpose fabric softener) for added moisture wicking while maintaining a soft feel and Polygiene® permanent odor control to again help with the dreaded “tech tee” smell. The shirt is also tagless, which should be a given with any running shirt at this point. In that same vein, the seams are glued and strategically placed to avoid chafing when wearing a vest or pack.

The fit is loose, but not baggy and covers well. The panels placed in the back help provide breathability (again, especially when wearing a pack!) and it’s been great to wear all summer. I imagine the wicking and quick-drying features will be just as appreciated in the upcoming rainy months. It’s the shirt I grab most often now and I need one in every [fun] color!


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Products & Price:

More about Patagonia:

We’re in business to save our home planet.

Our Reason for Being

At Patagonia, we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We aim to use the resources we have—our business, our investments, our voice and our imaginations—to do something about it.

Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers. Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes clothes for climbing—as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, mountain biking and trail running. These are silent sports. None require an engine; rarely do they deliver the cheers of a crowd. In each, reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection with nature.

As the climate crisis deepens, we see a potential, even probable end to such moments, and so we’re fighting to save them. We donate our time, services and at least 1 percent of our sales to help hundreds of grassroots organizations all over the world so that they can remain vigilant, and protect what’s irreplaceable. At the same time, we know that we risk saving a tree only to lose the forest—a livable planet. As the loss of biodiversity, arable soils, coral reefs and fresh water all accelerate, we are doing our best to address the causes, and not just symptoms, of global warming.

Staying true to our core values during forty-plus years in business has helped us create a company we’re proud to run and work for. To stay in business for at least forty more, we must defend the place we all call home.

Core Values
Our values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers, and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach we take toward product design demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility.

Build the best product
Our criteria for the best product rests on function, repairability, and, foremost, durability. Among the most direct ways we can limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them remain in use. Making the best product matters for saving the planet.

Cause no unnecessary harm
We know that our business activity—from lighting stores to dyeing shirts—is part of the problem. We work steadily to change our business practices and share what we’ve learned. But we recognize that this is not enough. We seek not only to do less harm, but more good.

Use business to protect nature
The challenges we face as a society require leadership. Once we identify a problem, we act. We embrace risk and act to protect and restore the stability, integrity and beauty of the web of life.

Not bound by convention
Our success—and much of the fun—lies in developing new ways to do things.

Thank you to Patagonia for providing us with sample products. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and traveling the world. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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