“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.
“Other than the Clairvoyant Jacket,” says Jeannie Wall, “this is the first time we’ve developed a women’s technical product on its own, separate of any men’s version.”
Wall, an Outdoor Research Product and Marketing Consultant for Alpine and Rock Climbing, is talking about the Women's Revelation Jacket and Women's Revelation Pants, the newest additions to the Outdoor Research collection of technical pieces designed by women, for women.
Below: The Women's GORE-TEX® Revelation Jacket
An accomplished skier and climber, Wall’s role with Outdoor Research fits somewhere between product innovator and athlete. This job gives her a unique position to test products in the field and be among the team designing them. This time, Wall’s aim was to design and build apparel that would withstand sustained use in rugged, bad-weather alpine environments.
Outdoor Research already had a burly Women’s GORE-TEX® jacket called the Enigma, based on the men’s best-selling Mentor Jacket™. When Wall set out to create a new women’s jacket, she realized there was no need to base a women’s jacket off a men’s design.
“It’s like we had an epiphany that we can be successful making technical products for women purely based on their specific needs without assuming they are the same as men or having to start with a man’s product first,” says Wall.
The jacket’s name, Revelation, reflects her realization.
Below: Our women-specific apparel and gear is tested, refined and perfected in the field.
To create the Revelation, the design team started with a fabric that could hold up to the pounding of day-in, day-out use.
Made of a tough 70-denier GORE-TEX® fabric, the Revelation is durably waterproof for longer-term use. While the GORE-TEX® Active in the Clairvoyant is more breathable, softer and good for activities where you’re going to be sweating a lot but don’t need as much abrasion resistance, “The GORE-TEX® in the Revelation is designed for harder use in terms of abrasion, tears and heavy duty rain,” says Wall.
In addition to this burly jacket, the design team cooked up matching GORE-TEX® Pants. For women that are mountaineering and ice climbing, the jacket and the pants are totally waterproof, durable, breathable, stretchy and comfortable.
Jewell Lund, Outdoor Research Alpine and Ice Climbing Athlete, used the Revelation Pants as her primary ice climbing and backcountry skiing pants last season, which spanned a range of locations and temperature and weather situations. They preformed in everything from heavy, wet snow in the San Juan Mountains to a blistering cold snap in Hyalite Canyon in December where people were wearing double boots to avoid frostbite.
Below: Testing our women's apparel and gear in the field.
“The pants and jacket are purpose-built for alpine climbing and ski mountaineering,” says Wall, “so they’re articulated for full freedom of movement for climbing and skiing.”
For Lund, the trimmer fit and stretch means she can high-step while mixed climbing without thinking twice.
“The Revelation Pants were also incredibly durable,” says Lund who, despite the jacket’s tenacious fabric, was impressed with the soft feel of the Revelation. “My climbing partners couldn't believe these pants had GORE-TEX® — they couldn't hear me swishing around in them while we skinned in to an ice climb.”
And despite the burly fabric, Lund notes, “They breathed well even for springtime alpine climbing in the Wasatch.”
The pants have a clean silhouette made up of only essentials, “yet they’re perfectly designed with thigh pockets to work for skiing and climbing, with all the stretch and articulation but none of the bulk or extra fabric to get in the way of precise movements,” says Wall.
This construction provides hard shell weather protection with near soft shell comfort.
As for the need for women-specific gear, Wall believes it’s critical to start addressing the larger volume of women going into the mountains and the reality of their specific needs.
“I think we need to realize there are products that might be similar for men and women and then some that are totally unique,” says Wall. “By doing this, we are acknowledging the value and importance of women in pushing the limits of skiing and climbing.”
“I feel a lot of outdoor clothing companies create a women's line by taking a men's item, scaling it smaller and producing it in a color more amenable to females,” says Lund. “The fact that Outdoor Research has a female product consultant who is an incredible climber and skier is really useful. Jeannie Wall uses these products, develops novel ideas and incorporates feedback to ensure they work.”