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Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket Review

Getting outdoors in the rain can be enthralling, but only if you have the right gear. There have been some solid gains in the waterproofing garment sector since the invention of the poncho, and of all the hard shell jackets on the market, some are more breathable than others and are therefore better suited for strenuous activities. One of the key features of a hardshell is to be built with a durable fabric, but more so the jacket needs to bring some serious waterproofing. With that in mind Outdoor Research has developed the Interstellar Jacket, a pinnacle AscentShell outerwear that offers waterproof…

Review Overview

Overall

Maximum tech. Minimum weight.

Summary : Covering the spectrum of outdoor activities and seasons the Outdoor Research Interstellar is the multi-tasker of jackets, offering up a tough, high performance compact shell that will keep you one step ahead of the weather in any situation.

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Getting outdoors in the rain can be enthralling, but only if you have the right gear. There have been some solid gains in the waterproofing garment sector since the invention of the poncho, and of all the hard shell jackets on the market, some are more breathable than others and are therefore better suited for strenuous activities. One of the key features of a hardshell is to be built with a durable fabric, but more so the jacket needs to bring some serious waterproofing. With that in mind Outdoor Research has developed the Interstellar Jacket, a pinnacle AscentShell outerwear that offers waterproof protection for multi-sport versatility.

Performance

The Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket is totally waterproof, super breathable and incredibly lightweight. The air permeable, laminated AscentShell technology found in the jacket provides high-exertion adventurers with complete protection against rain, snow, wind, and inclement weather. AscentShell fabric’s remarkable breath-ability quickly vents perspiration during intense activity, and its light weight saves precious energy on demanding endeavors. One of my favorite stand out features on the Interstellar is the Movement-mirroring stretch that keeps you dry without keeping you constricted.

For spring, the Interstellar is the perfect hard shell for wet and windy trail running. During summer and fall this jacket will be a great packable for backpacking, thru-hiking, and day treks. In the winter, there is no doubt that it will stand up to the demands of all-day ski tours. The Interstellar combines an incredibly versatile outer layer with the functional details, fabric performance, and a superb all-around weatherproof technology that outdoor enthusiasts have come to expect from Outdoor Research.

The three layers of the AscentShell™ membrane work together for one important job; to keep you dry and comfortable when exposed to the elements:

  • Layer One: Shell fabric protects the membrane from the outside, holds the Durable Water Repellant (DWR) treatment, and provides strength of the composite fabric.
  • Layer Two: Waterproof membrane allows for air permeability.
  • Layer Three: Backer protects the membrane from the inside, aids moisture management, and ensures your jacket stays protected for a long period of time.

Fit

Streamlined with a trimmer fit, the Interstellar moves with you as you reach, flex, and transition from activity to activity and season to season. For me, a size Medium was a perfect fit for my 6 foot, 172 pound fame.

Standout Features of the Interstellar Jacket

  • Elastic cuffs with cuff tabs, a drawcord hem, and an internal front stormflap seals out the elements during relentless downpours.
  • A YKK® AquaGuard® waterproof zip chest pocket and waterproof zip hand pockets store important devices, accessories, and snacks.
  • Fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood offers versatility across different activities and seasons.
  • Dynamic reach panels allow full range of motion – even when wearing a harness, heavy pack, or base and mid layers beneath.
  • To top it off, all of its 11.6 oz total weight packs neatly into its own left-hand pocket with an external carabiner loop that ensures your Interstellar stays within reach.

Fabric Performance

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Air Permeable
  • Fully Seam-Taped
  • Laminated Construction
  • Movement-Mirroring Stretch

Design Features

  • Fully Adjustable Helmet Compatible Hood
  • Wire-Brimmed Halo-Hood
  • YKK® AquaGuard® Zippers
  • YKK® AquaGuard® Vislon Center Front Zipper
  • Internal Front Stormlap
  • Zip Chest Pocket
  • Zip Hand Pockets
  • Stuffs into Left Hand Pocket
  • Carabiner Loop
  • Key Clip

Functional Details

  • Dynamic Reach™ Underarm Panels
  • Single-Separating Front Zipper
  • Hook/Loop Cuff Closures
  • Elastic Drawcord Hem
  • Elastic Cuffs

Final Thoughts

The Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket has your back when the weather takes a turn. It might be lightweight, but the jacket packs a heavy punch when it comes to keeping you protected out on those adventures. The Interstellar not only provides excellent waterproof protection, but offers up high levels of breathability and soft movement stretching to keep you comfy when the exertion levels rise. Thanks to AscentShell™ fabric, the Interstellar Jacket combines the best qualities of a hard shell and a soft shell. It’s one of the most breathable waterproof shells I have ever tested and has landed on my front door coat rack as my go to for every outdoor activity that requires weather protection. While the price point of $299, will definitely make the wallet lighter, the Interstellar can cover all four seasons and any outdoor activity, making it a cost over time/use investment that ends up paying for itself.

For more information on the Interstellar Jacket or other Outdoor Research products, visit www.outdoorresearch.com     MSRP $299

About Mark Ranum

Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.

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