Outdoor Research Linchpin Hooded Jacket - Men's

Made to move.

Rapid ascents in rugged alpine environments demand a jacket that will repel the wind and remain breathable when you're on the move. The Outdoor Research Men's Linchpin Hooded Jacket does this and more with a thee-layer Gore Windstopper shell, circular knit softshell face, and huge hem-to-bicep underarm zips. Designed and built with versatility in mind, the Linchpin will eliminate your need for a closet full of shells with a well-conceived design that will work well whether you're climbing in the alpine or ski touring on a clear and windy day.

The Linchpin may be minimalist in looks, but what features it does have function well during a wide range of activities. The two-way front zip can be adjusted to accommodate a belay device, and the stretch panel underarms make climbing in the jacket as comfortable as possible. Zip the TorsoFlo underarm zips down when you need to lose heat quick, and take cover from light flurries and below treeline mistings beneath the wire-brimmed hood and tall stand collar. The Linchpin has just enough pockets to keep the essentials in tow with two vertical-zip hand pockets, a diagonal zippered chest pocket, and one internal mesh media pocket all right there.

  • Gore Windstopper three-layer softshell
  • 30D polyester circular knit face fabric
  • Critical seams taped
  • Regular fit
  • TorsoFlo hem-to-bicep ventilation zips
  • Adjustable, wire-brimmed hood
  • Elastic cuffs with molded tabs
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Very poor sizing.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Large

I picked up this jacket to replace a totally shot Vahalla jacket.
The features were alright, close to what is needed for a solid backcountry skiing softshell. Although the inside pocket was way to small to fit skins. I was hoping for the same size as every other "shove it" style pocket OR has. The Transcendant\superlayer\Choas\Havoc\Inertia all were perfect size for skins. The Linchpin could maybe fit some 90mm skins but not 115mm or my splitboard skins.

But whom ever OR used to size this jacket is... unusual.
Every OR Large fits me the way it should. This fit like a medium. The arms too short, chest tight and short in the center so my baselayers hung out the bottom.
I wish OR could just make the same jackets for years instead of changing them every 3 years. I was very disappointed in this piece. The XL fit me like a very boxy large. Not well enough to warrant keeping.

Hey Reid - I am so sorry. Rarely, you find a jacket where the fit is just off for some. OR nails fit most of the time, but like every other vendor, sometimes, there are jackets that don't fit quite as well for some folks. The other reviews here were OK with it, so I am wondering if what you received was a really weird one-off or what? Regardless, I am sorry about that and hope that you will continue with OR in the future!

One piece to try is the Skyward for backcountry skiing. Although it's not a softshell, it breathes incredibly well with its electrospun technology, which creates a water barrier, but with very large pores for moisture vapor. VERY cool.

OR Rep

Hey Leta,
I'd gone into the OR seattle store afterwards and tried a few more on. The rep I did the return through said the same thing. But there isn't a Reid size in there. The Iceline fit "normal OR large" but was sold out.
The material of the Skyward is awesome! I have the Realm piece for spring and a "just in case" jacket.

Almost the perfect ski touring jacket

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

So close. The giant vent zippers are awesome. Anyone who actually skins uphill a lot knows just "breathability" won't cut it. Being able to go up with zippers wide open, then close up & head downhill (vs. taking off your pack and changing layers) is great. Only complaint here is that the jacket has to be pulled really really taut for the pit zippers to move. I understand this is a trade-off for flexibility/comfort. Maybe I'll get used to it.

My only real complaint is the interior chest pockets -- they're too narrow! They won't fit my 120mm skins, which nowadays are on the skinny side. I realize this won't be a problem for all users, but OR's promo video even shows someone stowing skins there.

The fit is good. Maybe the torso is a tiny bit baggier than it needs to be for aerobic activities with minimal layering underneath, but with some skins in the chest pockets (as intended), it'd be perfect.

This is a really nice jacket. A++ on the venting, hood & neck areas, cuffs, and fabric. Still probably better than anything else out there for getting sweaty in cold/windy weather. Two tiny tweaks and it'd be the perfect ski touring jacket.

Robert - thank you so much for your very thoughtful review! I will pass on your feedback about the interior skins pocket. Really good feedback!

Thanks so much for writing!

OR Rep

Overall good softshell

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: large

I think it's hard to find a good overall soft shell jacket these days. So many models and brands to pick from. For years i loved the OR Ferrosi jacket. I still think it's great but many days it's to thin for me and just not warm enough.

I recently used the OR Linchpin jacket on a trip to Patagonia. I found this layer to be really versatile and great for climbing. It is a bit heavy but you get what you carry. I found it the perfect blend of warmth and keeping me dry. While on my trip i would carry just this jacket and used this both as my soft shell and hardshell. This jacket cut the wind and kept me warm.

The pockets are in good spots so i could get to food or my topo when i needed to. The hood fits easily over a helmet and secures quickly when it's windy. The side zips are super nice for venting quickly while carrying a pack.

The only downside is the weight of this jacket, but it's perfect for cold weather climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering in cold conditions. I also think it will be good for cold days ski touring.

I'm 6'1 about 170lbs and found the size Large to be a good fit for me.

Overall good softshell

Jonathan, thank you for the great review! Awesome picture as well!

OR Rep