Best of both worlds.
The Outdoor Research Men's Interstellar Jacket is a lightweight, air-permeable shell ready to tag along on any and all alpine ascents you have planned. Crafted from a stretchy, durable ripstop fabric, this jacket breathes exceptionally well to let you pursue high-output activities without overheating or being restricted, and it features a waterproof AscentShell laminate to protect you from the wet rain, sleet, and snow that usually come with mountain adventures. Outdoor Research also made the hood helmet-compatible to take the question of sacrificing safety for comfort off the table before you leave your home. Dynamic reach underarm panels enable mobility when you're stuck on the wall, and the pockets are situated above where your harness would go to meet the needs of any alpine expedition.
- Hybrid shell jacket that's as protective as it is mobile
- Stretchy, durable fabric keeps up with active comfort
- Three-layer laminate offers waterproof, breathable protection
- Regular fit ensures easy layering and mobility
- Adjustable, helmet-compatible hood customizes the fit
- Underarm panels open up your range of motion
- Multiple, harness-friendly pockets stash the essentials
- Item #ODR00PJ
- Q & A
Seems decent, but not a great fit
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Size Bought: Medium
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 150lbs
I ordered a few rain jackets to hedge my bets and this one didn't make the cut. Main reason came down to fit- the bottom hem seemed too tight, even with the tensioners loosened all the way. The sleeves were plenty long and shoulders fit well, but I could see this being hard to layer under, as there wasn't enough stretch to make up for the hip tightness.
The Interstellar Jacket is LIGHT! I really like the athletic fit and minimalist design of this shell. It's trim, with a perfect waist length to tuck under a harness. The sleeves are long enough to cover the back of my hands. The fully zipped collar completely covers my neck and chin. The hood fits over my climbing and backcountry ski helmets. The fit is definitely DIALED! My only dislike are the partially elasticized wrist enclosures. I think there are more functional and durable enclosure choices for this type of jacket.
I was concerned the Interstellar jacket was going to be just another frail and anemic offering currently popular in the climbing and backcountry skiing shell markets. Boy was I wrong. The Interstellar is LIGHT (<12 oz), stretchy and the 3-layer AscentShell appears very durable and abrasion resistant. Imagine if the Helium ll and Ferrosi hoodys had a love child. This is the Interstellar!
IN THE FIELD:
I took the Interstellar on it's first mission yesterday. We backcountry toured from the Sugarbowl ski area to the backside of Mount Judah in search of Spring corn snow. Temps at the parking lot were cold (28 degrees) and clear. I layered the jacket over a thin base layer and threw a mid-layer in my pack. That 2-layer system was perfect for the ascent in cold temps. Not once did I have to think about venting or adding/removing layers.
Once on top we traversed the ridge to our intended ski line in howling winds. I flipped the Interstellar hood up and cinched it down tight. On the leeward side we found full sun, no wind, and PERFECT corn snow conditions!
Amazing turns ensued.
On the skin back up I intentionally kept the Interstellar on and zipped tight. In the full sun I could feel the warmth being generated from my core, but I never really broke a sweat. I had to vent my Patagonia Refugitive goretex pants, but the AscentShell breathed like a champ!
The Interstellar jacket will fit perfectly into my 3-jacket quiver, between the Powslayer and Helium II. It's a full value 3-season shell, with fast & light 4th season applications. I plan on using it all Summer for backcountry skiing and climbing in the Sierra, and taking it with me on a trip to Iceland and Norway in September.
The Interstellar is one impressive jacket Outdoor Research!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Shells are so tricky; they have to be waterproof, but how well do they breathe? Will I overheat? Will this jacket trap my moisture vapor??
The answer is an unequivocal "NO!"
The electrospun technology lends itself not only to breathability, but to enough air permeability to allow for a perfect exchange of air, to help prevent the "sweat box" that can often happen in a shell. It's like a web, or like cotton candy, so the breathability is off the charts. You will love the Interstellar!!
PS - I have used the women's, but the men's is the same