What's in a name? Well, with the Outdoor Research Maximus Men's Jacket, pretty much everything. It's a full-blooded alpine workhorse, designed to handle the nastiest weather in the burliest places with the least amount of fuss possible. It's simple, sure, but that doesn't mean it isn't ruggedly built and thoughtfully designed to maximize what it does have.
It starts off with a Gore-Tex Pro waterproof and breathable membrane to keep you dry, and is accented with a Gore-Tex Pro Stretch in key points (elbows, underarms, and hood) for enhanced breathability and stretch where you want it most. Each and every seam has been taped to ensure complete weather protection, all the zippers are water-resistant, and the stowable hood (which rolls into the collar when you don't want it) is designed to fit over helmets with ease, and it has a wire brim to keep water out of your eyes. It also cinches up with a Halo closure, which seals out weather without blocking your peripheral vision.
The Maximus is designed to be worn under harnesses and packs, so it's no surprise that it has pack- and harness-compatible hand pockets, along with articulated elbows and a Movement-Mirroring stretch design that makes it easy to maneuver in tricky alpine spots. If the sun peeps out and you start getting warm, unzip the underarm-to-hem TorsoFlo vents to get some air moving and grab a quick snack out of one of the Maximus' plethora of pockets. When you're ready to move again, cinch up the hem drawcord, lock down the hook-and-loop cuffs, and boogie up to the summit before the next squall rolls in.
- Stout shell for those who work in mountains
- Gore-Tex Pro shell is tough and waterproof
- Dynamic Reach panels enhance mobility and comfort
- Fully taped seams to prevent leaks
- Hem-to-pit venting for quick relief
- Stowable, helmet-compatible hood with wire brim
- Storm flap keeps drafts out
- Pockets are accessible with harness on
- Item #ODR00HM
- Q & A
Hopefully as good as Mentor
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
I'm writing this review for no other reason than to praise Outdoor Research for their excellent customer service.
Prior to this jacket, I had OR Mentor for the past 5-6 years and loved it. Used it for snowboarding in PNW and many camping and hiking trips and the jacket performed perfectly. Sadly, the lower portion of the main zipper gave up (ripped away ) and I couldn't zip the jacket anymore. I suspect extra length of Mentor, it reached about 4-6 inches down my thighs, was the cause that put extra force on that part. The rest of the jacket still looked new. I take care of my gear, but this is still way better than average.
I went the required warranty service route and new jacket was mailed to me within a week. I think they mailed me a replacement before I even returned mine. Well, since Mentor was no longer in production, they sent me Maximus as replacement. I have only worn it few times in casual situations, so no extreme weather testing yet.
Material seems very similar to Mentor in thickness and stiffness. The jacket is cut slightly narrower everywhere. Sleeves are less bulky and the fit is somewhat slimmer than Mentor. I'm stocky 210lb with wide shoulders and XL fits fine. There is enough room for decent warm layer or two. Front zippers are beefier than Mentor's but they don't appear waterproof. Main zipper is backed by a flap so it should be fine, but two front chest pockets might not be waterproof anymore. Side pockets are now protected by flaps as well and mesh lining serves as ventilation point. The hood is a touch smaller than I like. I can still fit it over my helmet, but it's just a bit tighter fit than Mentor. Side zippers, just like Mentor, but they don't go as far up thus they can't serve as armpit vents. I rarely used that feature, so I won't miss it. Three pockets on the inside (one zippered) provide additional ample storage.
Overall, the jacket looks and feels great. I'm going to miss my Mentor. I'd still prefer if they could have fixed it. Maximus seems like a worthy replacement and Outdoor Research has a fan for life.