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  • Outdoor Research - Gorilla Balaclava - Men's  - Black

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  • Outdoor Research - Gorilla Balaclava - Men's  - Black

Outdoor Research Gorilla Balaclava - Men's

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    • Black, S
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    4.555

    5 Reviews

    Details

    The Defender.

    You live for days full of endless face shots, but if experience has taught you anything, it's that you're way more comfortable when the snow's not clinging to your beard and running down your neck. That's why Outdoor Research created the Men's Gorilla Balaclava.

    Built to protect you from the best conditions, this balaclava features a 3-layer Gore WindStopper construction which effectively stops wind and resists soaking snow. A soft polyester backer wicks away moisture and provides a layer of warmth for those bitter days. A convertible design allows you to remove the nose and mesh breathing port for protection tailored to your needs.

    • A balaclava built to defend you from harsh weather
    • Gore WindStopper construction blocks wind and resists snow
    • Polyester backer wicks moisture
    • Removable mesh breathing port for tailored protection
    • Flat-Seam construction sits comfortably against skin
    • Item #ODR1002

    Tech Specs

    Material
    [face] Gore WindStopper 3-Layer (94% nylon, 6% spandex), [backer] polyester
    Style
    balaclava
    Weight
    3.0 oz
    Recommended Use
    alpine & expedition, skiing, snowboarding
    Manufacturer Warranty
    lifetime

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Unique. Fantastic for sub-zero running!

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

    OK, I don't know who's in charge of marketing for this bad boy, but they TOTALLY failed to communicate how spectacular it is.

    First, I got this for running when it's below freezing, sometimes WAY below freezing, so by far my biggest priority was finding a solution that would keep my face from freezing off, but still allow me to breathe like an old steam engine without sucking the mesh into my mouth, creating a soggy mess around my face and soaking/freezing my eyeballs with breath mist..

    So something that directed my breathing down and out away from my eyes, that was vented heavily enough to support heavy breathing, but somehow also kept the bitter cold from freezing my lungs.

    Sounded impossible. After a dozen other high-priced balaclavas I nearly gave up. Then I finally gave this bad boy a try.

    Here's what they don't show you very well. It actually has two face pieces. A normal-ish one that velcros around your mouth and nose like a normal balaclava.

    BUT . . . you can also adjust that part down lower so it covers just the neck, the chin or the mouth. THEN it has this fantastic nose/mouth piece on top. Thanks to the velcro you can get it just the way you like it on the nose so it's snug enough to direct breath down and out, but not too snug.

    And the piece of material where the mouth is on that part is genius. It manages to let you blast out enough heavy-breathing air in and out without sucking the mesh into your face, while still letting it warm just enough to not burn your lungs.

    I read one person's review that it wasn't ideal for adjusting and taking on and off in the middle of a blizzard with mittens on. Yah I can totally see that. You kind of want to dial this one in. So if you're not doing much breathing or if you don't mind the soggy face you get, then you'd probably prefer one of the billions of normal balaclavas--haha.

    I found this one to be ingeniously perfect for REALLY cold running.

    Downsides and improvements? Yah it takes a bit to dial it in. The super rugged velcro is REALLY loud on your ear when you rip it off--haha. It's kind of heavy. So overkill for most anything above freezing.

    Possible improvements. Not sure, but it seems like it would be valuable to build one without the double layering. Just the single nose piece with mouth breathing area that seamlessly connected to the mesh below. Maybe a lighter version? Maybe, but maybe not.

    Saved my face from frostbite on Denali

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large

    I wore this with goggles on a day on Denali when it was -15F with 40mph winds, which is about -50F with windchill. My face stayed warm and frostbite free and the mesh breathing port didn't freeze over despite heavy respiration for hours. I overlaid my goggles all the way around the opening, tightened them down, and did not experience any fogging even on other days when winds were much lower. The velcro for the piece that goes over your mouth and nose can be peeled up on just the bottom 2/3 or so to allow you to eat and drink without having to break the seal on your goggles. No one else in my group had a balaclava that performed better than this one did.

    Hey Matt! Thanks a lot for the review here. This, among many other OR products, is definitely a great piece. Were you just on Denali this season or was this a previous year? Feel free to reach out to me if you have any other helpful beta, or are in need of some gear questions/ recommendations! tbivins@backcountry.com or (801)204-4657

    Disappointed

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size

    I got a chance to use this in the cold windy weather of the NH Whites that I had bought it for. Unfortunately if you are going to try to stay hydrated or refuel along the trip this is a total pain in the butt to unvelcro and and redo without using two hands and forget about trying to do it with any kind of gloves or glove liners on. It became maddening after several attempts. I'm going back to the similar one piece version that I can easily pull down with one hand and easily readjust. I love all the Outdoor Research products I have ever bought, and I have a number of them. High quality and very durable. This was not an issue with material quality and it was quite warm and comfortable when properly adjusted.

    best Clava I've ever owned.

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

    This my go to Clava for cold mountaineering trips. Gore WS protects my face when the howling wind kicks up. I love the "on the fly" feature, or how I don't have to slip it over my head like other Clava's. The velcro front, which includes one over your mouth and one over the nose, can be put on or off rather quickly. Fit is very secure. Great to carry for the alpine. 5 star all the way.