Kim Jacobs and her husband own an international adventure travel company called Mountain Spirits that takes people trekking, skiing and climbing all over the world including Asia, Europe and South America. When Kim is not working, she is climbing rocks somewhere on this planet, normally close to where she just finished guiding be it Utah, Idaho, Thailand, Spain, Italy, or Argentina. Kim chatted with us about her passion: helping others enjoy the outdoors.
I had the great fortune to test the new Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket this fall. My overall impression is this: WOW, this jacket rules!
My favorite feature is the suppleness of the material. It is tough enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventure without being overly stiff. In the old days, material that could withstand me stuffing my arm deep into a crack was also material that could stand up on its own (without me inside of it). The Uberlayer is different. It is light and soft and comfortable yet can withstand the granite and sandstone I am exposing it to.
My next favorite feature is the breathability. I have been mountain biking in it to test just how breathable it is. Hitting the new “flowy” up and down trails of Moab you don’t have time to take your jacket on and off for every hill you encounter. The Uberlayer Jacket breathes so well so that I can sprint uphill without heading back down in a pool of sweat (that quickly turns to ice). This was surprising to me. OR claims that it will dump heat yet keep you warm when you need and guess what? It does just that. Awesome!
As far as the technical details:
Fit: The sizing was perfect for me. I am usually a medium, ordered a medium, and this jacket fits great.
Colors: I have the “Hydro” blue jacket and when comparing the color to the website, it was true to color. For women there are a couple of different fun color options along with timeless black.
Waterproof: To test this jacket in precip, I intentionally headed out to hike in a monsoonal rain storm to see how it would perform. I have to say I was shocked at how well it did! The suppleness of the material leads you to believe that it would become a sponge in the rain but not the case! The rain beaded up and rolled right off. The Uberlayer passed this test with flying colors.
The hood: OR killed it with this hood! It has a wire brim which keeps the hood out of your eyes (love) and a cord in the back to keep it out of your eyes (love) and to make it adjustable with or without the helmet. The jacket also zips right up to your chin for those icy days when you need to bundle up inside of it and keep the cold completely out.
Pockets: side pockets keep your hands warm when you are glove free and there is a convenient front pocket for your phone and/or other items that you need in a pinch. One of the pockets is designed as a stuff sack for the entire jacket which is a feature that I use often. When you are climbing a long route, it is nice to make the jacket as small as possible in the already too heavy day pack. This jacket is perfect for these applications. Lightweight and packable. What more could you ask for?
I have been wearing this jacket every day since I got it and after a close inspection, it is showing zero signs of wear. This is amazing. It’s barely even dirty after days and days of going in and out of my pack and on and off my body. This is a bonus when we are dirtbagging in the mountains or desert for months on end. I am heading to Nepal for a couple of months and this jacket is coming with me for sure, the sign of a big winner!