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  • Outdoor Research - Aspire Jacket - Women's - Elderberry
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  • Outdoor Research - Aspire Jacket - Women's - Elderberry
  • Outdoor Research - Aspire Jacket - Women's - Scarlet
  • Outdoor Research - Aspire Jacket - Women's - Cornflower
  • Outdoor Research - Aspire Jacket - Women's - Black

Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket - Women's


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    25 Reviews


    Travel dry, travel light.

    Normally, in the world of outdoor clothing, the terms 'full-featured' and 'lightweight' are mutually exclusive. The Outdoor Research Women's Aspire Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket is the exception to the rule. At just 13 ounces, you'll barely know you're wearing it at all. That is, of course, until the rain starts. The guaranteed waterproof breathable Gore-Tex Paclite membrane easily shrugs off the storm. Outdoor Research also designed the Aspire with its TorsoFlo venting technology to allow you to dump heat in a hurry without getting soaked. The adjustable hood, cuffs, and hood seal out the weather, and the Aspire stuffs into its own pocket for easy packing once the sun comes out.

    • Guaranteed waterproof breathable Gore-Tex membrane for total storm protection
    • Fully taped seams eliminate waterproof weak spots
    • Waterproof zippers throughout keep the jacket fully rain-sealed
    • Women-specific fit for a feminine look
    • TorsoFlo hem-to-underarm zipper vents allow air to flow freely through the jacket when you need to dump heat in a hurry
    • Fixed hood for complete upper-body protection
    • Lightweight construction lets you keep the jacket in your pack without weighing you down or taking up much space
    • Drawstring hem and hook-and-loop elastic cuffs allow you to seal out drafts and weather
    • 2 hand pockets and a sleeve media pocket for plenty of storage
    • Item #ODR1033

    Tech Specs

    Fabric Waterproof Rating
    guaranteed waterproof
    Fabric Breathability Rating
    guaranteed breathable
    2 hand, 1 sleeve
    fully taped
    TorsoFlo (hem-to-underarm)
    Claimed Weight
    13.1 oz
    Recommended Use
    hiking, camping, streetwear
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    great jacket for price point

    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: medium

    Although this jacket won't compare to the jackets twice the price ($450-$500), it is a great jacket for the price. Sizing: I am 5'4" 130 lbs average shape. I was debating between S and M due to "fits slightly large". Chat person suggested S. I ordered both, and am keeping the M, as I want to be able to wear a fleece or down also, and want movement room (and returns are SO easy with this company). The zipper was 'sticky', but due to other reviews I ran it up and down about a dozen times and it is fine. Very happy!

    Not helmet compatible

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: True to size

    The jacket itself is not bad in terms of construction. However it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of design. The side vents make no sense, unzipping all the way to the hem at the hip. I just don't see the need for that. But my biggest complaint is the fact that the hood is not really helmet compatible. It might work over a low-volume climbing helmet, but for a ski helmet it does not come close. In the present ski helmet era, I find it hard to believe that any manufacturer would design a hardshell without having a full on helmet compatible hood.

    Hi Mark, I am sorry you were disappointed with this jacket. This is one of OR's best selling pieces in the line, definitely in the top 5!

    This jacket was not designed to be worn with a helmet - not designed for that use. This is a rain shell for backpacking and hiking, not specific to ski or climb... but we do make jackets for those purposes, they just cost more.

    The side zips absolutely have a purpose! They are called torso flo, and when you use pit zips normally, they don't dump heat as well as they could, unless you walk around with your arms up. This jacket has a pit zip feature... BUT if you use that same zipper line from the bottom up, NOW you can dump heat really effectively. Personally, I think it's one of the best features of this jacket.

    If you want a more technically designed jacket, then you need to look at the Furio ($385) or the Maximus ($550), or maybe the Axiom ($389) or Realm ($279). At $215, this jacket cannot get to the design set that you are describing. It is our "lightest duty" Gore Jacket, and again, is not designed with helmet activity in mind.

    OR Rep

    Great features but didn't hold up

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    Picked this up to replace an aging XS Patagonia Torrentshell.

    Sizing: I usually order an xs to a small in most products but decided to size up to a medium to accommodate my (size s) down sweater and because I was worried about arm length as mentioned by a couple of other reviewers. It's baggy, I would've exchanged it for a small if there had been more time before the trip it was purchased for.

    Product review: Unfortunately, though I wanted to love this coat, it failed me twice on an extended trek in Northern Norway. It rained every day, off and on, and while the coat mostly held up to brief rain I wound up in wet down twice - once on an hour-2 hike in some pretty severe weather, so I gave that a pass, but the second time in just a light, consistent rain on a 2+ hour hike out. If I'd had more days ahead of me I would've been in bad shape. Still not clear if I got a bum jacket or if it's a product flaw. Loved the zips on the side, it's super lightweight and breathable.

    Great features but didn't hold up


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: large

    I used this jacket on a very windy, rainy trip to Ireland. At first I was skeptical reference the rain, but this jacket performed perfectly. It is a great windbreaker and kept me dry during downpours on two 10K hikes on the Cliffs of Moher and the Gap of Dunloe. It is a quality jacket and I am glad I purchased it. No sizing issues or any other issues.

    Great features, but not quite right

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: XS

    I ordered this jacket after reading the Outdoor Gear Lab's 2016 review for women's rain gear. It had all the features I was searching for: lightweight, Goretex (I am DONE buying rain jackets with a DWR layer that wears out in a blink), pockets high enough to allow for a hip belt, and pit zips (!). Relative to other Goretex shells, it's also pretty affordable, and I know OR makes generally solid gear.

    I ordered a size down, as suggested. The jacket had a nice feel--smooth, somehow, and not clammy like some rain coats--and the XS fit me VERY WELL. Like, the hem fell at the hipbone, and the sleeves were exactly the right length, which almost never happens. For any other garment I would say hooray!, but for a rain jacket, I want a little more overhang, otherwise the hem and sleeves of my insulating layer wind up exposed. Maybe a small would have suited me better.

    I also have a giant skull, and a lot of hair that I usually wear in braids wrapped around my head, so the hood--although supposedly suitable to accommodate a climbing helmet--wasn't quite capacious enough for me. Unfortunately that clinched it. I didn't feel that exchanging for the next size up would necessarily provide the extra space I was after, so I returned the Aspire and coughed up for an Arc'teryx Beta.

    Did not fit

    • Size Bought: Medium

    I am tall and thin, so I purchased a medium just to have added length. The sleeves were too short and arms oddly wide. Not the fit I was looking for, but would be great for someone of average height with large arms.

    Not 100% , but pretty close

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: Runs large
    • Size Bought: small

    Bought this shell for my girlfriend as entry to snowshoeing /backpacking rain cover. For the price pretty pleased with it. It is quiet and seems to be well built. Runs a little big, I imagine that even layering there will still be plenty of room. Love the Gore-Tex, and is relatively light weight. Only downfall I see is the pit (torso) zips. There is no mesh and they unzip all the way down and then even split apart. I imagine that a long pit zip like that could be a weakness and if it it breaks or splits apart leaves the jacket wide open and exposed.

    Hey Porter, thank you for writing. The torso flo feature on many OR jackets is a signature feature that is designed to give the user the option of zipping down for a pit zip, or more maximum heat dump, open it from the bottom to really allow for that. The benefit of opening all the way is that it then fits better while using a pack hipbelt or climbing harness. GREAT IDEA.

    Hope that helpto better understand the benefit of this feature. And again, if you do not want to use it, you don't have to! Finally, we have been using this feature for alomost 15 years and the durability is completely there.

    Thanks for writing!

    OR Rep

    Great but needs improving

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: Runs large
    • Size Bought: XS

    I was excited to receive the jacket based on other reviews. It's sealed seams are great, love that it was Gore Tex.
    My only disappointment was that it needs to be better shaped at the back and longer in length to cover my rear as I am sure it would get wet. I am petite and ordered an XS which was actually a little larger than I was expecting - it would allow for another layer underneath. Sadly I am returning this item.

    Hood is not helmet compatible

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I really really REALLY wanted to give this jacket 5 stars. Every feature is thought out - the torso flo, pockets, colors etc. Plus the fact that this jacket is actually waterproof is a plus, too. However, I needed this jacket for alpine climbing and backpacking. The men's version is helmet compatible and I thought this would translate to the women's version as well. I was wrong, and worse I was wrong traveling on a glacier with 9 students. Not the time to be wrong. Unfortunately, I will have to return this product for something to better suit my needs that doesn't cost as much as Arcteryx. Personally, I would recommend this product for backpacking, and car camping climbing pursuits. I also didn't have to size up to make the jacket suitable for layering. It is durable, waterproof, and intentionally designed, which makes it worth every penny.

    Rain or Shine

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    I can't say enough great things about this jacket. Initially, I had been hunting for a while for a solid, lightweight rain shell that included all of the features that I needed. Narrowed it down to the Marmot Minimalist jacket or the OR Aspire, and I have been more than pleased with the results of the Aspire. The main features that set apart the Aspire for me were the double zipper feature so that I can wear this jacket while belaying without it interfering with my harness. Secondly, the hood is more compatible with a helmet and stays secure over your noggin for those extra stormy days. I took this jacket on a rainy weekend trip through Moab and Telluride Colorado with heavy rain and light snow the whole way. This jacket never let me down once, and it packed in nicely with the rest of my gear. Ultimately if you're on the fence about which rain shell to buy, take the plunge and grab one of these. With a Gore-tex paclite membrane, waterproof zippers, and pit zips for a lightweight, breathable technology, you really can't go wrong. As far as sizing goes, I am 5'3, 135lbs and wear a medium in most things. I grabbed the medium in this so I would have plenty of room to layer a puffy and a fleece underneath. The medium fits the bill for that category, yet still doesn't look bulky if I decide to wear it on its own. If you have any questions on sizing, product specs, or anything else, feel free to ask for me on chat!

    Rain or Shine

    Hi Shannon,

    I ordered a "M" even though I wear a "S" in most clothes. I am 123lbs, 36-26-36, and have broad shoulders. I plan to wear this when El Nino arrives and use it as a shell for skiing. I have a Patagonia Down Sweater, and plan to wear it as a mid layer under this shell. Did I order the right size or should I re order a "S"? Thanks!

    Hi Shannon,
    I just ordered the "S" to compare to the "M". The "M" is a bit larger than expected, (I am 5'0")so I'll wait till the "S" arrives and see which one fits me better. Do love the jacket, and can't wait to play in the rain and snow with it.

    Hey Shannon, I am going to be spending the summer in Kodiak, AK (rain central) and I am looking for a very durable, light (because I will be backpacking the whole time), and waterproof rain jacket. I am 5'6" and 140 lbs. I want to be able to comfortably fit a puffy underneath this rain jacket when its really cold AND rainy. I usually order a medium for regular clothes so I was going to order a large in this jacket to fit a puffy underneath comfortably plus maybe extra layers, however it seems from the comments that this jacket runs a bit large? Do you have any input on the size you think would fit best for what I am looking for with this jacket? Thanks for the help!

    awkward size

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Fit: Runs large

    The jacket is a great material - thin, light, but strong, and the red/coral is a great color, however I found the size/fit awkward, so I returned before even testing in the rain.

    I'm somewhat short and stalky - 5'4'' and 160lb, and typically get size L to accommodate a fleece jacket underneath. I felt like the jacket was made for a tall person. The length of my arms was right, but the length of the neck/hood was way too large, and the jacket was a bit long (the length would have been ok, but the pockets felt low on the torso). I would consider just re-ordering in a medium, but for all that the length was too large, the inner diameter (ie, how baggy it feels across your chest) was perfect in the large for me, because I prefer plenty of space for layers, which means it would definitely be too tight in a medium.

    All in all, it really just felt designed for slimmer/taller person, which isn't a flaw, since no jacket is going to fit all dimensions of people, but is disappointing for me personally! ;)

    I'm not sure how to classify the fit in the drop down, since the problem is proportion, not true 'size', Backcountry - consider adding more fit options in your drop down list!

    Unique hip-zip feature

    Kings Peak, UT, 13,527'

    A friend said "those aren't pit zips, they're hip zips." It's a good description. When the sides are fully unzipped, this jacket provides protection from rain while preventing overheating. I also like that I can unzip the front and sides from the bottom. so the jacket drapes over my pack's hip belt. It's lightweight, packs well, and I love the red color.

    Unique hip-zip feature

    My favorite jacket

      Overall, I would describe this jacket as perfect. For me, it's been everything I was looking for in a hard shell, including that it's Paclite Gore-Tex. This jacket is very light weight and easy to stuff in my pack while also being extremely durable and ready to handle the elements. The ability to play around with ventilation so much with the hem to underarm zippers is one of the stronger points of this jacket, making it a good piece year round.

      I also find it fits really comfortably and it's been easy to layer or wear independently. The hood is great and I have been able to fit it easily over a climbing helmet.

      Basically, its perfect. Nice work on this one, OR!

      OR TorsoFlo hem-to-bicep side vent zips

      A tip of the hat to Sierra Trading Post for having made a photo available that portrayed at least a portion of the TorsoFlo vent system on this jacket. I'm sure people have pined for such a thing to be made readily accessible.

      Photo credit:

      OR TorsoFlo hem-to-bicep side vent zips

      I'll have to take your word for it, Ben, though I agree. A photographic comparison of the most recent model when juxtaposed with the photo I was able to find are definitely different, feature-wise, to say nothing of the aesthetic appeal of the newer model. Thanks for pointing out that fact.

      Best Rain Jacket I've Ever Owned

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size

      Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with this rain jacket. I've gone through many non-gortex rain jackets in my life that I spend $100 on and they peel and leak after a year. I decided to spend a little extra this time around and am very glad I did. The jacket is still light weight and is truly waterproof and breathable. I ordered it in "flame" and really like the color. The jacket is longer in the back then the front - my only small complaint is that people with longer torsos may find the front of the jacket to be a bit short. Overall, I love it and you can't beat a lifetime warranty.

      Marmot Mimimalist vs. OR Aspire

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size

      As an avid hiker and dog-walker, I needed a reliable rainjacket that could double for backcountry trips and casual, rainy strolls around the neighborhood (in the rare instance of Southern CA rain.) I started with a very disappointing Marmot (non-Goretex) jacket, which had me soaked to the bone after five minutes of moderate rain. After a chat with the fine people behind the scenes at Backcountry, I decided to try two jackets: the Marmot Minimalist and the Outdoor Research Aspire.

      Both met and exceeded my expectations:

      - Repels water during a moderately vigorous storm

      - Lightweight and packable

      - Fashionable enough for casual wear

      - Zippered armpit vents for breathability

      The finer details (why I went with an Aspire):

      - The Minimalist comes in a gorgeous array of colors, while the Aspire is limited. The electric blue Minimalist was tempting, but ultimately, the slate black Aspire won me over for practicality/daily wear.

      - While both have quality venting, the Aspire's vents are much larger, and I loved having the option to fully air the pits during a sweatier hike.

      - The zipper quality on the Aspire feels more durable and waterproof, even though the waterproofing does take away a bit from the clean look (my opinion.)

      - The hood on the Minimalist didn't fit my head right, and the top kept sliding over my eyes. I'm not sure why the Aspire works so much better in this regard, but my head is much happier with this product.

      While I kept the OR and returned the Marmot, whichever jacket you choose will be an excellent, durable product that will keep you dry and happy. Both are a great investment.

      Many thanks to the awesome Backcountry rep who suggested I try them both! I feel very satisfied with this purchase.

      Great Fall Adventure Piece!

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size

      Lightweight (13 ounces), perfect cut/fit, and waterproof for under $ could you go wrong? I've used the Aspire for fall mountain biking in the Northwest, hiking in the summer with a chance of thunderstorms, and spring volcano skiing. It's holding up great! Love the gem color.

      lightweight and gets the job done!

        I Love my Aspire jacket from OR! OR takes a Gore 2 layer jacket and then adds a killer feature called "torso flo" which allows me to dump any additional heat by opening up the hem of my jacket. This zip from hem to pit can work 2 ways - hem up (to accommodate my harness or hipbelt) or pit down, as a more standard "pit zip." Really packable and seems to breathe better than my "non Gore" alternatives. AND under $200! Can't beat the Aspire!

        Unanswered Question

        I am 5'6" and weigh 138. I want this jacket for general backpacking, canoeing (in October in BWCA) and snowshoeing. I wear 32/30 jeans and size 10(generally). Not sure if I should get M or L. Suggestion? Also for the pants...

        Can someone recommend a sizing to me?
        bust: 34.5"
        waist: 27"
        hips: 36.5"
        height: 5' 7"
        I wear small in most things, but I would want a little room for my nano puff. Is there a lot of give in this jacket? Should I get small or medium?

        Unanswered Question

        Is there some way to secure the hood if it is not used like in biking ( roll it up and secure with a tab) or does it just have to hang? Thanks, Jim

        Any way to get it in the turquoise color shown in the photos above in a small?

        This jacket seems great for most seasons,...

        This jacket seems great for most seasons, especially for layering...but would this jacket be comfortable for use during summer in humid weather? Where I live, we get moderate to heavy rain...the Columbia jacket I have now soaks through. Also, I am a very petite person at only 98lbs and 5'2"..will the XS be too large?

        Concerning the worry about sizing, would you please provide some more measurements to compare to OR's sizing guide (i.e. bust, waist, hips)?

        To digress, as for whether or not this jacket would be comfortable for use in moderate to severe humid regions that are frequented by torrential downpours, I would say that you could make a safe gamble at minimizing (if not altogether eliminating) that problem. The reason I say that is that this jacket has OR's TorsoFlo vent system, so there are zips that go from the lower hem of the jacket up to your bicep; those are really massive vents, relatively speaking, so the worry about overheating while using it should be overwhelmingly attenuated.