ProView- Outdoor Research Offchute Jacket and Pants
I have a love/hate relationship with the cold. Don’t get me wrong – I love to be out in the cold; I just don’t want to be cold. Layering, whether in the backcountry or inbounds, is always running through my head.
And, on my days off in the resort, is there anything wrong with wanting to be comfortable? While I’ll compare frostbite scars with the best of them, some days you want the warm comfort of a plush ski jacket.
Because of these things, I fell in love with Outdoor Research’s Offchute Jacket and Offchute Pants. I tested them on a sunny but particularly blustery and chilly day at Arapahoe Basin ski resort in early season snow conditions. From waiting in the liftline to the summit at roughly 13,000 feet to walking back to the car, it seemed like my body temperature stayed consistent, and I was comfortable the entire time.
Fit and Comfort
If there were a gear award for the softest soft shell, this would take the cake. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt this comfortable in a pair of ski pants and shell.
The inside of the jacket feels like a cloud. The outside, though waterproof, is just as soft. I found myself wearing this jacket not only on the lifts but happily through the streets of Breckenridge in the evenings and to and from my job. At times, I even found myself wearing it around the house on particularly cold nights. (I really cannot stress how soft it is).
The back of the pants curves upward which is a subtle feature but one that I’m thankful for. There’s nothing worse than realizing your layers and pants have shifted when a gust of icy air gusts from the chairlift up your back. The insides of the pants are just as soft as the jacket. While I usually wear tights underneath, these pants would be perfect on warm days where I could regulate from the vents and feel comfortable. On very cold resort days, my thighs are always the first thing to get cold so I appreciated the slight insulation that still allowed for ventilation.
Look and Style
I don’t usually opt for bright red in my day to day life but, on the slopes, I like to be visible. It’s much easier to find your friends on a powder day (after you’ve all spread out across the mountain) in a recognizable shell.
While I do like pants that are tailored very close to the boot, I didn’t mind the slight flare as the boot cuffs were secure and tight. The pants were tailored slim and the length was just enough for my abnormally long legs. I liked the look of the pair together, only wishing the arms and shoulders were cut a little bit slimmer in the jacket.
Overall, the style felt visible but subtle and slim in the way that I normally choose for my technical gear. This is a jacket that I also love to throw on over my jeans and wear down into town for dinner or to the bar after a long ski day.
As someone who likes to do backcountry, the pit vents are a nice touch. I may not take this on a full touring day but the ability to open up a large vent on both the jacket and pants is great for hiking the bowls of Breckenridge or Keystone. I may even take these along on a low angle, frigid hut trip for the warmth and breathability that they provide.
A small feature that I appreciated was the soft fabric on the inside the top of the zipper making it comfortable for me to duck my chin and cheeks under when the wind was especially bitter. I don’t always wear a face mask and this was a nice “get warm quick” addition.
Function and Performance
Outdoor Research’s tagline for this jacket is “Warm on the Lift, Cool on the Move,” and I would heartily agree for both the jacket and pants. I never got too warm or cold. Even when the wind whipped the chairlift around, it didn’t cut through either piece of clothing. It felt as though both articles could sense my body temperature and adjusted.
I felt that I had a great range of motion at all times and didn’t feel confined by the fit at any point. One of the best performing features was the powder skirt that never budged. It stayed comfortably secured around my hips at all points of the day.
The Final Word
Seriously, I can’t get over how soft these jacket and pants are. I wanted to hug myself. But the comfort isn’t the only benefit – both the jacket and pants performed well on the slopes in range of motion while also regulating my temperature. I was impressed at their ability to block the wind and never budge throughout all the movement. There may be several design features I’d tweak but the Offchute set delivers on what it’s supposed to: a perfect resort day.
All Photos by: Jordan Spivey
Haley Littleton runs communications for the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado, is an editor for Outdoor Women’s Alliance, and a ski instructor. Growing up in South Carolina, Haley was exposed to skiing in the West at a young age and moved to Colorado as soon as possible to complete her undergraduate and master’s degree in English. She got stuck out here and doesn’t plan on leaving, not when there’s so many ridgelines to run and peaks to skin up. Find her on instagram at @haley_kit.