Do you want to know what Rock/Creek employees are wearing, and using in the backcountry? More and more, the answer is Outdoor Research. If you’re not familiar with OR, they make innovative and thoughtfully-designed outwerwear, gloves, hats, gaiters and more, with an unmatched attention to detail.
Frankly, Outdoor Research has a legacy of creative ideas we can’t believe we didn’t think of first. One example is the TorsoFlo pit-zips on many of their shell jackets, which extend all the way down to the waistline of the jacket.
Rock/Creek manager Josh Legg, who has been torture-testing a Revel Jacket for several months now, elaborates: “Outdoor Research has really hit the nail on the head with their TorsoFlo system. With pit zips that extend all the way down to the waist hem, it’s a no-brainer solution that allows the wearer to make very precise adjustments to the jacket’s ventilation based on temperature and activity level.”
There is a lot going on here besides ingenious rain jackets, though. Here are five of our favorites for this season, starting with the aforementioned Revel Jacket:
Outdoor Research Revel Jacket (men’s)
Here’s the bottom line on the Revel Jacket: it’s better than the rain jacket you’re using right now. Well, most of you… you know who you are. With TorsoFlo side zips and a hood that stows away when not in use, it’s versatile enough to adapt to a variety of conditions. The entire collar is lined with micro-fleece for comfort.
If that’s not enough, the high-end Pertex Shield DS fabric is stretchy and flexible, worlds apart from the “plastic bag” feel you might expect from such a reasonably-priced rain jacket.
The Aspect Jacket might be the best softshell jacket out there, and I’m not kidding. Highly water-resistant and highly-breathable, the Aspect combines high-loft fleece and low-loft fleece with a nylon face; the result is a piece you can wear as an outer layer on the way up the mountain and slide under a shell for the way back down.
Speaking of pit zips, check out the CrossFlo system on the Aspect, a chest-to-hip zipper canted forward for maximum air flow.
The Outdoor Research Exit Hoody, and the corresponding women’s Salida Hoody, are made with Alpin-wool — a lightly-ribbed blend of wool and nylon — for incredible warmth and comfort. This is a must-have casual layer for cold nights in the mountains, and it’s just a great-looking hoody on both men and women.
Never one to skimp on features, OR has equipped this one with an adjustable hood and an internal media pocket.
Outdoor Research Aria Vest (women’s)
The women’s Aria Vest is a down vest with a hood, a combination that provides plenty of warmth in a compact, attractive package that stores comfortably in the included stuff sack. The unique baffle pattern isn’t just for looks; it helps keep the down in place to prevent cold spots. This works just as well around town as it does in the wilderness.
Like the Aria? You’re in luck, because it’s also available as an Aria Jacket, Aria Hoody and Aria Parka, available in several excellent colors. Shop the entire Aria Collection here.
I am including this in our list because, well… because it’s basically the greatest thing ever. Do you like awesomeness? Then you’ll love this. Seriously, just put one on your head. I can’t believe you’re even still reading this instead of buying one. Buy three of them. Buy one for the dog. It’s fleece & wool, so you’ll stay warm and look good.
Of course, if you don’t like the greatest hat ever, OR and rockcreek.com have teamed up to give you almost 100 more options: click here to visit rockcreek.com and find the right hat for you.
Speaking of hundreds, if none of these styles suit your needs, we have hundreds — literally, hundreds — more Outdoor Research products available at rockcreek.com this season. We’ll make it easy on you and break it down by category: