Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket Review
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SPOILER ALERT!!!! The Outdoor Research Superlayer is awesome!
Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket Overview:
Admittedly, I have become partial to Arcteryx and Patagonia when it comes to my ski gear. When presented with the opportunity to try the Outdoor Research (OR) Superlayer Jacket, I was hesitant to deviate. To make matters worse, my first and second color choice (Pewter/Lemongrass, Glacier) were not available, so I was less than excited to get my last color choice (Bengal). Before I get into how wrong I was about deviating from my go-to products and color, let’s talk about the OR Superlayer jacket.
The insulated mid-layer is a rapidly evolving product, and for good reason. The insulated mid-layer is arguably the most important layer; it is the layer that keeps you warm after all! With that in mind, it can also generate heat and sweat when your heart rate climbs. And we all know that when your heart rate goes down, the heat and sweat generated will eventually turn to cold and shivering if not properly evacuated. Recognizing this conundrum, OR designed the Superlayer Jacket. The Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket uses PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Hi-Loft between a polyester woven mesh lining and a highly breathable nylon shell fabric This offers an insulating mid-layer that retains heat when you need it and dumps it when you don’t.
Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket on the Snow:
I took the Jacket out for a spin at Copper Mountain for opening weekend. We were blessed with a beautiful bluebird day and low winds at the base. Since it was sunny and pretty warm, I wore a short sleeve shirt with the Superlayer jacket and opted to skip the shell. I was a little hesitant to go up with just a short sleeve layer and jacket, but decided to give it a shot. When gearing up, I made a few observations about the jacket. First, the fit is true to size, the medium fit me perfectly and borders between athletic fit and standard fit which is ideal for a layering piece.
Second, the thumbs loops are amazing! Not only do they keep the jacket in place, they are very comfortable, and do not dig into your hands like other thumb loops tend to do.
Third, the design is fresh and every feature in the jacket was designed with quality and performance in mind.
Copper was running two lifts from the summit to the base. As I hopped off the summit lift, I noticed the wind had picked up substantially and the temperatures had dropped. Even though I was only wearing a short sleeve under the jacket, I was surprisingly warm and impervious to the wind. I made my way down the mountain, making some huge GS turns and tighter slalom turns. By the time I reached the bottom, my heart rate was up and my blood was pumping. Despite the sun beating down on me and my body generating heat, I could feel the Superlayer dumping all of my excess heat. I got right back on the lift. As I cooled down and reached the cold windy summit, the Superlayer once again kept me warm.
Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket Final Thoughts:
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I was hesitant about both OR and the Bengal color (bright orange). Not only do I love every feature on this jacket, the color grew on me as well (must be because the Broncos are doing well this season). Since the jacket is so stylish, I have also been rocking it at work on cold days.
The limitations of this jacket should be pretty obvious. First, this is not a waterproof shell, but you can get away with with wearing it as an outer layer if there is little to no precipitation in the forecast. Second, I would NEVER ski the trees with this piece if using it as any outerlayer, it would rip way too easily.
The price point on the Outdoor Research Superlayer Jacket is fair given the quality and performance of this product. If you are looking for a mid-layer that is true to size, windproof, retains heat when you need it and dumps it when you don’t; this is the one for you!
Bottom Line: I am stoked on this jacket and cannot wait to take into the backcountry. For more info on the Superlayer Jacket and other Outdoor Research products, visit www.outdoorresearch.com or www.amazon.com/outdoorresearch.
In addition to the Bengal color, the Superlayer jacket is also offered in Pewter/Lemongrass and Glacier
Outdoor Research Specs:
- Fit: Standard Fit
- Fabric: 100% nylon soft shell outer, 100% polyester woven mesh lining // PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Hi-Loft 100% polyester insulation 65g
- Avg. Weight (oz./g): 16.2oz / 460g (L)
- Water Resistant
- Wind Resistant
- Single-Separating Front Zipper
- Internal Front-Zip Stormflap
- Zippered Napoleon Pocket
- Two Zippered Hand Pockets
- Elastic Cuffs with Internal Thumb Loops
- Drawcord Hem