Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our Favorite Waterproof Jacket - Outdoor Research Interstellar Review

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Today Luke and Susie are reviewing the award winning Outdoor Research Interstellar jacket.  Is it as good as everyone says that it is?  Find out now with our year-long review.

Link Mens :

Link Womens :

Price : Retail is $299 but will vary; at the time of filming, I saw the black version for $200

Versions : Men's and Women's

Colors : Will vary depending on refresh but at the time of filming there is Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, and I have seen Orange still in stock from a previous OR refresh on amazon. The women's version has their own colors as well such as black, purple, a teal color and a red which they call garnet

Sizes : S, M, L, XL, XXL (women sizes XS-XL)

Fit : Trim Fit – meant more for being active – low bulk – still enough room for a mid insulation layer

Weight : Large is 11.6oz; lighter is smaller size, heavier if larger.

Material : 3  layer nylon shell Hardshell with an AscentShell ; 20D nylon stretch ripstop front with 100% polyester 12D backer; material feels very soft, not plasticky or silky.

There is a lot of geeky talk that I could go into when it comes to this material but to sum it up; what makes it so impressive is how much moisture can transmit through it

Ykk aqua-guard zippers with a storm flap behind it

Who is this For : This is a high-end waterproof jacket for those want a very lightweight jacket that also performs at a high end level.  There are plenty of excellent low-end waterproof jackets but with lower level materials you breathability suffers.  For an example, the Marmot Precip is one that I often recommend when asked about a budget friendly waterproof jacket.  The con is breathability and the amount of moisture which can collect on the inside of the jacket.

Pros :

Price – This is a pro and con; pricey but yet cheaper than a good quality goretex jacket.  Much, much cheaper than some brands.

Superlight weight; lighter than any Gore-Tex jacket that I have ever owned. In fact, this is the lightest hardshell I have seen.

Excellent waterproofing performance. – If you are going to be in an environment which features nonstop flooding downpours, a much more expensive gore-tex pro jacket would be recommended.  For most people though, that level of protection and weighty jacket isn’t needed.

Excellent breathability – better than any high end goretex jacket that I have ever owned and I have many; Mountain hardware, Marmot and so on.

The jacket will flex and stretch with you allowing you to move and do what you need to.

Packable – you can pack this super, super small and it will stuff into its own hand pocket!

Can be used with a helmet for climbing as an example – but the brim doesn’t cover your face

Performances excellently with snow-

Sizing is right on; it is a trim fit though so you may need to size up depending on what you want to wear underneath it.

Very comfortable – it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a waterproof jacket -

Stylish – I really like the orange color but couldn’t find it in that color at the time of ordering.  I do like the yellow; it’s banana yellow, sticks out like a sore thumb….and I still like it a lot.

Font pockets sit a bit low for use with a backpack; the waist belt will cover up at least some of the pockets but luckily you can still use them even with a harness.


Cons :

This is without a doubt one of the most breathable of waterproof jackets that I have used and still, I wish that there were pitzips.  Not to release moisture but for the simple fact of airflow.  In the air, hot summer day, hiking on the trail…some air here would be oh so nice!

When wearing this jacket with a backpack, the friction will wear off the DWR coating on the back and shoulders; luckily this is easy to reapply when needed.

While not a con for me, this jacket has not media port.  Might be important to you.

Chest pocket has a cellphone sleeve….which I have found hard to use….so I don’t use it.

location of the drawcords on the hood: they reside deep inside the collar against the cheek, a location that is not convenient or easy to access for fine-tuning a hood fit.  Not sure hard to adjust by any means but it may take some extra fiddling.

Additionally, the drawcord buckles used on the hood, as well as the single hem drawcord, are small and very difficult to release if wearing thick warm gloves.

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