“Designed By Adventure.” At Outdoor Research, our products have been designed by adventure for more than 30 years, with features and fabrics imagined, tested and perfected in the wild. And like our products, our lives and the lives of our customers are sculpted by the experiences we have in the natural, unpredictable environments we love. We, too, are Designed By Adventure.
The right skills and apparel can make getting after it in the outdoors a year-round, any-weather pleasure. As conditions change by the season—or even the hour—some gear heads and diehard outdoor enthusiasts attempt to match their gear to the exact conditions. However, today’s best technical apparel is versatile enough to handle it all.
This all-condition versatility is the key to our Men’s Foray Jacket and Women’s Aspire Jacket. These streamlined, waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX® do-it-all jackets are exactly what you need when it comes to year-round outer layers.
They’re lightweight and built with all-season features that protect from heavy rain, snow and the trail’s abusive wear-and-tear. The Foray and the Aspire are both made with ultralight, two-layer 50D GORE-TEX® fabric with PacLite® technology.
“GORE-TEX with PacLite technology provides the durable waterproof performance expected from GORE-TEX, but it’s lighter and more compact than a three-layer construction of a similar face fabric,” says Melanie Sirirot, Outdoor Research Apparel Product Manager and the brains behind much of our outerwear.
As Sirirot says, GORE-TEX with PacLite technology is ideal for a wide range of activities because of the construction. For this fabric, a waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® membrane is bonded directly to the high-performance polyester fabric shell; a construction that eliminates the need for an inner liner. This shaves weight and enables the jacket to pack impressively small.
“Originally, the Foray and Aspire were designed specifically for hiking and backpacking, but they work perfectly for any number of activities,” says Sirirot, noting they both have a standard cut that will fit comfortably over layers. They’ll keep you dry when worn alone in the summer deluge, and add protection from the sting of frozen wind and blowing snow when worn as a shell over an insulating layer in the winter months.
Sirirot also points out that the jacket’s TorsoFlo™ venting makes them ideal for activities where you need to dump excess heat built up from working hard. Exclusive to Outdoor Research, TorsoFlo hem-to-bicep zippers allow incredible ventilation. “The best utilization of the vents is to open them all the way, and pull the front of the jacket over top of your pack’s hip belt, wearing it like a poncho,” says Sirirot.
To complete the package, each of these jackets has an adjustable hood, two harness-compatible zippered hand pockets, and a chest pocket. As an added bonus, the left hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack.
While the Foray and Aspire have been in the line since 2008, they’ve had a few updates, both to styling and fabric. “The aesthetic has been updated to a very modern look, and we changed from a nylon face to a polyester face,” says Sirirot. “This makes for a softer, quieter hand to the fabric and more comfort overall.”
Today, both jackets are staples in the Outdoor Research line and remain among our best-selling styles. With their amazing versatility, performance and comfort, it’s easy to see why.