Outdoor Research Skyward 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
To the Resort and Beyond!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- 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!