You wouldn’t ask a Floridian to design the perfect ski jacket, right? Or an Alaskan to put together the ideal tropical island ensemble? That’s why you trust Outdoor Research to deliver the goods when it comes to wet-weather protection. We’re based in Seattle—one of the rainiest city in the United States, with an average of 150 days a year of the wet stuff. We know our moisture.
We’re also an active bunch who go stir crazy if we’re indoors for too long (read: most of us bike commute and/or take daily lunchtime runs outside), which means we’ve come up with some of the best solutions for staying dry and comfortable while doing what we love when the weather’s less than ideal.
We asked our staff members to pick their go-to shells for playing in the sop. We unanimously couldn’t agree on just one, so here are a few of our must-haves:
The Foray Jacket provides solid protection when a downpour sets in for the long haul. Waterproof and extremely breathable GORE-TEX® fabric shrugs off the wear-and-tear of the trail, while TorsoFlo™ side zippers allow poncho-style ventilation when body heat needs to escape. This jacket works as hard as you do, but packs down tight once the weather breaks.
The zippered, front-facing vents on our Allout Hooded Jacket gulp cool air helping to regulate your body temperature, while the waterproof, breathable Ventia™ soft shell fabric deflects rain, snow and energy-sapping wind, and the jacket stretches to match the athletic movement needed during rapid action activities.
Designed specifically for women, by women, the Clairvoyant Jacket uses incredibly breathable, waterproof GORE-TEX® Active technology. Streamlined, durable and functional, the Clairvoyant is built for high-alpine climbing epics and aerobic backcountry tours. And unlike many waterproof shells, the polyester face fabric is soft, supple and quiet, yet easily repels unpleasant weather during all-out adventures.
When the rain begins to fall and the activity is just getting started, throw on the Allout Hooded Jacket. This waterproof, breathable Ventia™ soft shell fabric stretches to match the athletic movement needed for high action adventures all while deflecting rain, snow and wind.
The 9.1 ounce Pertex® Shield+ Helium HD Jacket is completely waterproof and breathable, super compressible and provides all the features that serious backpackers and alpine climbers demand. These include zippered hand pockets, a wire-brimmed hood, pit zips, a key clip and our proprietary Halo Hood™, which preserves peripheral vision while sealing out nasty weather.
Our Outside Magazine and Men's Journal "Gear of the Year" award-winning Axiom Jacket is a storm shell engineered for fast-and-light alpine climbs and all-day backcountry tours. Lightweight and extremely breathable GORE-TEX® Active provides complete waterproof protection, but breathes like no other fully waterproof shell.
Strong for its incredibly lightweight 6.4 ounces, the Helium II Jacket easily stows in your pack and can be thrown on to ward off an unfriendly downpour. 100% waterproof and super-breathable, this jacket is an ultra-compressible piece that keeps you completely dry, it is something you'll never leave home without.
The Aspire Jacket repels even the most inhospitable wet weather. Waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® fabric easily withstands the wear-and-tear of the trail, and TorsoFlo™ hem-to-bicep zippers provide ultimate venting when excess body heat needs to escape.
Don’t get caught unprepared in a flash-storm. The Helium II Jacket is 100% waterproof, super-breathable and weighs an incredibly light 5.5 ounces. It is the ultra-compressible piece you won’t want to leave behind because it keeps you completely protected from unfriendly weather on the trail but doesn't waste space or add more than a feather's-worth of weight to your pack.