Outdoor ResearchSkyward Jacket - Women's

Worn skyward and downward.

There are softshells and hardshells, and then there's the Outdoor Research Women's Skyward Jacket—a soft hardshell suitable for skinning up steep, backcountry terrain and skiing down said steeps in deep snow. Outdoor Research's lightweight and thin three-layer AscentShell construction assures reliable waterproofing for snowy conditions, and it provides outstanding breathability that's air permeable to keep you comfortably cool when you work up a sweat.

A jacket this breathable might lead you to believe that it actually isn't that waterproof, but Outdoor Research taped the jacket's seams to prevent a single snowflake from seeping through. Just in case the fabric's air permeable nature isn't enough for you, the Skyward's long, hem-to-underarm, TorsoFlo ventilation system assures ample airflow. The hood adjusts over beanies on the skinner, and it slides over helmets with ease. In case your skins freeze, the internal Shove-It pockets warm them up on the ride down for the next hike up.

  • Air permeable hardshell for backcountry touring
  • AscentShell for waterproofing and outstanding breathability
  • Fully taped seams for enhanced waterproofing
  • TorsoFlo's long hem-to-underarm ventilation system
  • Adjustable and helmet-compatible hood with wire brim
  • Internal Shove-It pockets stow climbing skins
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

To the Resort and Beyond

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: XS

After purchasing this shell a few months ago, I couldn't wait to try it out on the slopes -- I love this even more than before!



I'm learning how to ski this winter in Utah, so I've been researching the appropriate gear for a beginner, but I knew I wanted something I could get a lot of use out of both for skiing and other snow related activities. I've worn this for every occasion I've gone skiing and it's great at what it's designed for -- keeping out wind, moisture, and trapping heat beneath layers.

**Note: This shell was designed as a touring specific jacket, so there aren't a ton of bells and whistles but you can easily wear this in the resort over a puffy or similar mid layer! It's a shell, so it is not insulated and will not keep you warm without the proper layers underneath it. **



The cut of this jacket is very flattering; not bulky, not too thin, not too short, not too long. Right where it's supposed to be with plenty of room to wear my Outdoor Research Sonata Puffy, or my North Face L3 Down puffy under it for super cold ski days! It has amazing range of motion in the shoulders/underarms, and the tailored fit does not feel tight or restricting before, during, or after I'm skiing (or falling, let's be honest here).



The inner pockets provide ample room for things like skins, liners, gloves, a beanie, or similar items that you don't want to leave in the car but don't necessarily need to carry a backpack for. The two chest pockets are very convenient for my ski pass and my phone -- not once did I feel my large iPhone digging into my chest while skiing.



The underarm zips are a nice touch as well for the days when it gets too hot or sunny but you don't want to take off all of your layers. That being said this jacket is made with OR's breathable AscentShell material and I didn't feel like I was sweltering at any point of the day! It also kept me dry every day I've worn it so far. I would put this on par with something like Gore Tex, but a lot more breathable/stretchy and softer as well while keeping the same amount of waterproof ability in tact.



I am very eager to test this out some more! This is a great all-around shell for skiing inbounds or off - piste, as well as any other snow sport. OR killing it again!



To the Resort and Beyond

Awesome lightweight shell!

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

I got this for my neice as a gift and I snowboard with her everytime I go. This peice is awesome! we have encountered just about everything mother nature could throw at us and she has been totally dry. Breathes well when we do hike makes a great shell for wet days on summer hikes. As far as a touring peice, totally the gear anyone would need! Lightweight shell that is nylon with pit zips. This thing would breathe all day on tours! She is 5'5" and about 150lbs and I got a medium for her.

Brave the elements in the Skyward

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

I tried out this jacket on a blustery winter day, and boy, is it burly! When it comes to snow, sleet, hail, or wind, the Skyward is bombproof. I'm usually one to avoid the backcountry when the weather isn't clear and sunny, but the Skyward might be the jacket that gets me out there even when the sun is hiding.

Excited to Take this on the Slopes

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: XS

I recently purchased the OR Skyward Jacket as part of my first ever ski set up and I can't wait to see how it performs. Aesthetically, I really love the simplicity to it and the color -- not too vibrant but just enough pop to make it stand out. It also has ample room for layers beneath it. I tried it on with my OR Sonata Jacket as a midlayer and I didn't feel like my movement was restricted or tight at all! The hem of the jacket sits right at my hips but covers my bum, and the sleeves don't go past my fingertips (as a shorter person I get this issue a lot). The vented zippers go all the way to the hem, so that's also a neat feature. The internal pockets are another huge plus .

I've read nothing but amazing reviews on the performance of their AscentShell waterproof compared to Gore Tex both in repelling water and being air permeable.

I only gave it 4 stars as I haven't had a chance to test it out on the slopes but will be updating my review when I do!

Look Good- Feel Good

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

What makes a jacket? For me it's not only the fit and color, but also how you feel in it! And I feel fantastic when skiing in this piece! I just picked this up in March, but it was perfect for the late winter/ early spring days. And since I was re-learning tele skiing it was long enough for when I fell several times no snow went up my jacket!

This jacket has a feminine cut where it looks more tailored compared to some ski jackets but at the same time, its roomy enough for a puffy and you don't look like a balloon with just a base layer underneath.

The pit zips are easy to use and actually in the right spot (you would be surprised with other jackets sometimes)
It's super breathable and best of all POCKETS! Functional and perfectly placed pockets! I love pockets- somedays you need not only your cell phone but when touring to have pocket snacks, fresh headbands, and gloves all stored when things get hot on the uphill. I have not had an issue fitting anything into the pockets.

Pro Tip for resort skiing: Bring a picket burrito and share with your chairlift friends- this jacket is perfect for pocket burrito storage.

Incredible Jacket!

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

This jacket is wonderful! I wore it for a multi-day snowboarding excursion, and it's the best jacket I've ever had. The chest pocket held my phone, lip balm, sunscreen, and more, and it didn't feel like anything was in there. It snowed on us most of the time, and the moisture slid right off the jacket. It provided great protection against the wind, and I never got overheated. The temperature never got above -5 celsius, so I didn't need to use the ventilation zippers. The high collar provided great protection, and I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone!