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Outdoor Research Ascendant Hooded Jacket - Men's

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sale from $149.37 Original price:$248.95

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Ascendant Hooded Jacket

Unlike most midlayers, the Outdoor Research Men's Ascendent Hooded Jacket is an insulated layer that's actually designed for the ascent. It has that light touch of warmth that backcountry skiers and alpine climbers look for when they're moving fast on the uphill. Polartec Alpha insulation keeps warm while allowing total air permeability, which means the jacket begins to breathe the moment you put it on (unlike most insulators that only breathe after you started sweating). The result is a remarkable difference when you're breathing hard on the ascent.

  • Synthetic insulator warms you on climbs and ski tours
  • Polartec Alpha insulation assures active air permeability
  • Pertex Microlight shell is ultralight, windproof, and breathable
  • Adjustable hood and hem stay secure in windy weather
  • Item #ODR00N8

Material
Pertex Microlight (20D nylon ripstop)
Insulation
Polartec Alpha
Fit
trim
Center Back Length
30in
Hood
adjustable
Pockets
2 hand, 1 zippered chest
Claimed Weight
13oz
Recommended Use
backcountry skiing, backcountry snowboarding, ice climbing, mountaineering, trad climbing
Manufacturer Warranty
lifetime

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?

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>Rating: 4

Really breathable

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
L
Height
6` 2"
Weight
175 lbs

I bought this jacket for the hype of Polartec Alpha. I am a heavy sweater even when hiking in cold. My previous lightweight synthetic insulated jackets are Atom LT and Nuclei. While they are of good quality, when I sweat the smooth interior nylon would stick to my skin (if I don't have a long sleeve base layer on). The Ascendant's fluffy interior works much better in that regard. And it does breathe and regulate body temperature a lot better. The only downside is that the fleece sheds over time and may become thinner and thinner. I still recommend wearing a thin base layer for it to work best.

>Rating: 5

Crazy warm for how thin it is

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
medium
Height
5` 9"
Weight
165 lbs

I don't understand how a jacket so thin can insulate so well. I picked up one of these to replace an aging/stained Patagonia Nano Air and am more than satisfied. Similar fit, slightly more weight (but less bulk, it's not as "airy" as the nano), and it's waterproof all the same! DWR seems a bit better than the nano. I spilled coffee all over myself and none of it absorbed (cept for into the carpet, oops). It's not goretex, but plenty enough to get the job done if you forget your rain shell on a drizzly day.

>Rating: 5

Best hybrid midlayer ever

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
Medium
Height
5` 9"
Weight
145 lbs

This has become my goto jacket for 80% of the year. Thanks OR for such a quality design! I've worn this jacket skiing, climbing, backpacking, and around town. It just holds up. At first I was hesistant that the 20D Pertex softshell outer fabric would rip pretty quickly with the abuse I was throwing at it but it still has lasted for almost two years now. It works great in temperatures all the way down to 30F with a midlayer and the softshell exterior sheds water. Even if the fabric soaks in, the fleece lining maintains your warmth. Additionally, using the Ascendant as a midlayer under a hardshell skiiing in mild temps just breathes excellently. The only issues I have are the thump loops which don't work very well (however the elastic cuffs are more than adequate), and the front hand warmer pockets are unzippered. This jacket is meant to be used as a midlayer and as a light softshell, there is a key loop in the left pocket, and it can stuff itself into the hood.

>Rating: 4

Decent for an all in one

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Size Bought
Large
Height
6` 0"
Weight
200 lbs

My primary use for this jacket is modest activities like walking the neighborhood in 30f, usually with a sweatshirt underneath. The jacket breathes well enough for such low output to eliminate that sweaty feel that comes on after 15 minutes with a typical coat. I have used this on cold days, e.g. 0F, skinning as a mid-layer. On a 20F day it would be too impermeable and warm for me unless it's very windy. My go to is a light or midweight softshell (ferrosi or BD dawn patrol type) with either a light weight or 100 weight first layer. If it's very windy an extra wind only layer like a houdini cuts that. This as an all in one is less gear but also less flexible and won't breathe like a softshell. The fit is quite trim. I've got a large and at 36" waist the whole jacket is tight over a sweatshirt, particularly belly and arms. The benefit of that is increased warmth by eliminating inner airflow, but I can forget about additional layering under, which you certainly wouldn't need if you're working hard.

Thanks for the solid review, Peter - Leta OR Rep

>Rating: 4

Great light Layer

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
Small
Height
5` 3"
Weight
150 lbs

This jacket had a great feel to it, is extremely comfortable when active or lounging around, and breathes really well. The outer material feels really nice and the lining is not bad, but could be softer against bare skin. For me, if the fit was better, it would be the perfect jacket, but it has a lot of extra material in a couple places. I prefer a size small. but sometimes they can be too tight across the chest, but this jacket is perfect in that regard, with a nearly skintight fit. The small is just right in the chest and shoulders and the fabric stretch keeps it from feeling restrictive when active. The lower sleeves and belly area just seems to have a ton of extra room that is unnecessary considering you'll mostly wear this jacket with just a baselayer underneath. Still a great jacket that performs and looks good as well, could just lose a bit of material here and there to make for more performance layering.

>Rating: 3

Vermont backcountry mixed success

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
Medium
Height
5` 10"
Weight
160 lbs

I've been using a size medium Ascendant hoody jacket for some early season skiing in Vermont and wanted to post a quick review. I ski on Mount Mansfield and my ski runs start with a 1.5 - 2 hour uphill ski followed by a 1/2 hour ski out. Conditions have so far ranged from 15F to 38F across 5 tours. Four of the tours have been successes for the Ascendant. One has been a failure. First tour out was coldest. 14F and windy. I went up with a thin capalene long sleeve shirt under the jacket and started out uphill. By the time I was at the top I had the jacket unzipped but the hood was up on my head for wind protection. Typically I would have to add a layer before pulling the skins and heading down. In this case with the Ascendant I was amazed to be able to simply zip up the jacket, pull the hood on, add my goggles and head down. Once I started making turns I was perfectly warm and never once felt clammy or sweaty. The breathability was amazing and the thermal regulation was spectacular. Over the next few days I had a chance to test the jacket out again in slightly warmer temps (20F), light snow (25F) and finally 38F and a light breeze. In each of the cold weather outings the jacket was awesome... until today. Just back from a 1 1/2 hour uphill tour followed by a 20 minute ski out in 38F. It was warm so I wore a merino wool t-shirt and the Ascendant on top. By the time I reached the summit the jacket had been fully unzipped, hood removed and I was not wearing gloves. The lining on the jacket was soaked with sweat as was the t-shirt. The ski out was fine - however at the base while putting away gear I started to get cold and once home stayed cold until I could get my wood stove cranking. My conclusion? The fuzzy lining on the jacket feels good next-to-skin however from a sweat management standpoint - it does not do a good job of managing sweat during peak exertion as the lining is absorbent. On the other hand, when paired with a light long sleeve base layer in cold to very cold conditions the jacket comes into its own. Excellent thermal regulation, great mobility and wind resistance. The jacket will be my main go-to for nearly all mid winter conditions with the exception being really far off-trail bushwhacking when I'll go with a more burly soft-shell to avoid tearing the light exterior fabric of the Ascendant to pieces. Update: I had a chance to try the jacket on a cold (20F) day with sporadic snow squalls. By the time I reached the summit the inner capalene lining had soaded out at shoulders, back and forearms. The outer pertex layer might be slightly water repellent but for longer outings with precip I wouldn't want to have this as my main outer layer.

I've

Bill- I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write such a well done and, fairly technical review on this jacket! As a former USAF Staff Sergeant who wrenched on aircraft in all kinds of crappy weather and Eagle Scout, I appreciate high performance clothing and it's ability to actually help you increase your output with strenuous activities. I too am a native New Englander (I live about an hour South of you in Massachusetts) who lives in some fairly hilly terrain, so, conditions can be quite fickle at times. This jacket sounds like a perfect solution to a layering conundrum I've had with warmth and breathablity. For snowshoeing especially, in my case, something that keeps one comfortable, without feeling like a sweatsock afterwards? This sounds like the perfect solution! Thanks again so much for taking the guesswork out of this outerwear purchase, it is GREATLY appreciated!! Go raibh míle maith agat, as they say in Ireland!

Just goes to show... one jacket cannot be used for all situation and heat management is important.

>Rating: 4

Could do with a few makeovers

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
small
Height
5` 7"
Weight
130 lbs

I hike all winter here in the U. P. of Michigan. It is some of the nastiest weather you will ever encounter. This jacket by OR is great. Have worn it as outer layer while layering under it down to -5 degrees. It does all it says but could do with some upgrades. Like zippered side pockets, as you lose whatever you put in there. The hood cinch in the back of hood is a real pain in the a**. And the waist cinch hangs out like a tail, and if you are in thicket can get hooked on branches and such. And they should have DWR coated it. Why go all out with a windproof jacket and not also make it water repellent.

>Rating: 5

No more need to de-layer while active

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
medium
Weight
130 lbs

After buying this jacket for my brother, we've been fighting over it because we both enjoy wearing it so much! We have both used it for active pursuits such as xc skiing, hiking, ski touring and snowshoeing. It really hits the sweet spot of keeping you warm, protecting from the wind and blowing snow, and breathing like a dream. I find that it really does replace a fleece and a synthetic insulation piece, allowing you to go lighter, and avoiding the hassle of constant layering and de-layering as athletic output and conditions change. Plus, it looks very stylish around town, especially with a performance fit that avoids the bagginess of so many other jackets. I will definitely be purchasing one of these for myself in the near future.

Great review, Logan! The Ascendant is amazing at its ability to keep you warm when you are moving, but not overheat! Very cool. Thank you for sharing! Leta OR rep

>Rating: 4

Excellent Breathability

Familiarity:
I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This jacket fills a recently created "active insulation" gap in my wardrobe. After spending time on trail shedding other synthetic jacket layers (Atom LT for example), I wanted something I could put on and leave on during my aerobic pursuits. I've used this jacket a couple times on my bike and was impressed with how well it breathes. At a standstill it continues to insulate and allow excess heat to dissipate. I'm very excited to see how this jacket will perform through the colder months. The sizing on this jacket is a very performance fit. At 6'00" and 160lbs I can fit a close-to-skin baselayer under a size Small. If you have wider shoulders or a broad chest, the sizing might feel tight.