High-end, waterproof performance that won't break the bank.

The Outdoor Research Men's Horizon Jacket is a high-performance rain shell that won't break the bank. The waterproof and breathable Ventia Dry (2.5-layer) membrane and fully taped seams protect you from passing rain showers when you're hiking, backpacking, and climbing. TorsoFlo hem-to-pit vents allow built-up heat and moisture to escape when you're working up a sweat during a summer storm. Zippered hand pockets secure daily essentials, snacks, and on-trail accessories.

  • Waterproof and breathable Ventia Dry (2.5-layer) membrane
  • Nylon ripstop (70D) shell
  • Fully taped seams
  • TorsoFlo hem-to-pit vents
  • Zippered hand pockets
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

For the side zips - is there also a zipper at the top by the armpit so it can be vented there without unzipping from the bottom?

Best Answer

Hey Mark, yes! It has two zipper sliders so that you can decide how you want to vent. VERY cool!

Thank you for the question,


OR Rep

Good solid rain jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

I'm pretty rough on gear. In the space of a year and a half I've managed to abrasively remove the DWR treatment on my Marmot Minimalist to the point where reapplication doesn't help a whole lot, and also managed to destroy the inside coating on my Precip jacket (don't ask...it's a rather embarrassing story,) thus providing me with a reason to acquire a new rain jacket to beat the crap out of.

After looking at several options, I decided to go with the Outdoor Research Horizon jacket. I've always been a fan of their gear, because I know it's quality stuff and it's guaranteed for life. My ol' reliable Seattle Sombrero is still going strong after 20(!) years of use, and I figured if that hat can last for that long, why not give this jacket a chance?

First of all, the fit: It's spot on. It's a standard fit that allows for some layers underneath but doesn't feel like you're wearing a tent. The sleeves are the perfect length and the cuffs are a combination of elastic and Velcro.

So the next question is, how does it perform under real-life conditions? I took it out on a rainy day for a hike to see how it would hold up. Here's my report:

THE GOOD: It's definitely waterproof, at least as far as the "industry standard" definition of the phrase goes. While I didn't have it out in Noah's Ark-style biblical downpour, it was a pretty steady rainfall, and the DWR worked well. My favorite feature, though, has to be the numerous venting options. The TorsoFlo zips give it poncho-like airflow and allow you to buckle your hip belt underneath the front of the jacket. The hand pockets are mesh, so you can open them up for extra airflow. There's also Velcro fasteners at the bottom and top of the zipper that can be fastened without zipping up the jacket for another venting option.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD: While this is advertised as waterproof and breathable, the Ventia membrane on the jacket is, well, not all that breathable. It's fine if you're not working hard, but once the activity level picks up you'll feel it. Fortunately this can be compensated for with the nifty ventilation options I mentioned earlier. The other concern I have is with the side zips...If they're open and there's a blowing rain this is definitely an ingress point for lots of water coming in. On the other hand, though, if you're in a blowing rain you'd best have all the hatches battened down anyway.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think I've found a good jacket here. I've been impressed with the performance so far. The nylon shell seems to be pretty durable and should take a beating. Ventilation is top-notch and almost makes up for the lackluster breathability of the membrane. While I would have liked to see the side zips go a little further up onto the sleeve (to function as a pit zip if desired) that's just a little gripe. I'm looking forward to throwing it to the wolves and seeing how much punishment it can take. After all, I'm pretty rough on gear.

Second Impression

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

I had purchased the Helium II Jacket, but found it to be inadequate in heavy rain. The manufacturer educated me on what water proof means in the industry, i.e. not what normal user mean. So I was advised to purchase this jacket if I was planning to be in heavy rain more than 1 hour.

Second Impression. I have used the jacket in a number of hikes. It is water proof. However, breathability is disappointing. The breathability rating is low. Even with side panels open, my base layers get really wet in long hikes.

Yes, it's a hard thing for people to get their head around. The most waterproof will be Gore Tex, but comes with a price. The Helium Jacket is an emergency shell. Hope that you enjoy the Horizon Jacket!

OR Rep

Outdoor Research Horizon Jacket