ProView – Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch Jacket Review
I am intrigued by the features of this jacket and was excited to see how it performed out in the mountains! I tested this jacket out on multiple backcountry ski and mountaineering adventures in weather that ranged from windy, sunny, snowy, to wet. I packed this jacket along on recent rock climbing adventures as well. I found the jacket to be incredibly lightweight, durable, and comfortable. This is going to be the jacket in my pack from March – October. The Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Super Stretch Jacket really hit the nail on the head when it comes to a versatile and dependable outer layer.
Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch Jacket
Product Name: Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch Jacket
Product Description: Mountainous terrain often demands your undivided attention—from tricky terrain to sudden weather changes. The Aspire Super Stretch Jacket features GORE-TEX's waterproof, windproof, PACLITE® Titanium finish for rugged weather protection that articulates to match your body's natural movements. Scale confidently to the top with flexible, silhouette-complementing GORE-TEX STRETCH®, breathable hem-to-bicep TorsoFlo™ venting, and a super-stretch back panel suited to your every move. With a 100% recycled face, bluesign® certification, and PFCec-free durable water repellent, you can rest assured this shell was engineered with the highest level of attention and responsibility to protect our planet.
Offer price: MSRP: $300.00
The Outdoor Research Women’s Aspire Super Stretch Jacket has proved to be a more versatile layer than I originally anticipated. The jacket is waterproof and windproof, but is also very light weight and breathable. This jacket has excellent features such as a stretch panel across the back and full ventability on both sides, making it ideal for climbing, skiing, or hiking in spring, summer, or fall.
- Side zippers creep up
- Small pockets
I tested a size small and found the jacket fit me well and provided room to wear several different layers underneath. The jacket is long enough to fully cover my backside and the arm length was also perfect, with enough fabric and stretch that when reaching above my head the sleeves did not pull up and leave any skin exposed. I also liked that the hood fit over my helmet fully and I was able to zip the jacket up all the way with the hood stretched over my helmet.
The Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch jacket features GORE-TEX® waterproofing and windproofing features and PACLITE® Titanium finish for durability. The stretch on the jacket is really amazing and something I have not experienced with any other GORE-TEX hardshell. Standing out in some wet snowfall I was able to see water bead off the jacket, leaving both myself and the jacket dry to the touch. With an insulating layer underneath, this jacket kept me warm and protected on a windy day in the backcountry as well! I enjoyed wearing this jacket on an active mountaineering day because it moved so well with me and all the various vents kept me from overheating, but then when the weather turned stormy I was able to zip up my jacket and find relief from the storm. I was pleasantly surprised with this jacket and will definitely continue using it for more alpine endeavors.
The Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch jacket is designed for versatility in mountain adventures. I was able to test this jacket out on mountaineering excursions that involved scrambling and axe work and also several backcountry ski days. I also think the jacket will do really great for ice climbing and I plan to bring it along to hike the Colorado Trail! The jacket has full length pit zips (pit to hip), allowing you to control ventilation and stay cool. The zippers did tend to unzip themselves at my hips, which I found a tad annoying. The hood has a firm brim which helped keep rain/snow off of my face and the drawcord on the hood worked well to keep my hood from slipping down. In the center of the back of the jacket is the super stretch panel and I loved this feature because it made the jacket ridiculously comfortable! I also appreciated that there is a soft patch of fabric on the inside of the jacket, so that when you fully zip up the front it isn’t rough and scratchy against your chin. The velcro straps for the sleeves are very slim and effective. The jacket has two hip pockets, one of which has a clip for your keys, and one chest pocket. The pockets are ok-sized, but could be larger. Also, I got the tropical color which is a very beautiful turquoise color and I love it!
Outdoor Research went all out with the GORE-TEX STRETCH®, PACLITE® Titanium finish and Torso-Flo™ venting. I love the feel and comfort of the jacket and also know it is strong and durable to last through many more mountain adventures.
Room for Improvement
There isn’t much I would improve on the jacket. I think the pockets could be a bit bigger and I think the vent zippers need to be made differently because they were constantly unzipping at my hips, which was annoying at times. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic jacket.
The Final Word
I would recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a lightweight breathable hardshell for mountain adventures in spring, summer, or fall. It’s a unique jacket that can be used for a variety of mountain activities in a range of conditions. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t, making it a great balance of weight and durability for any mountain outing.
About the Gear Tester
Emma is an Environmental Engineer, working for the State of Colorado to protect the quality and safety of drinking water. In her free time, Emma is an avid climber, ski mountaineer, and yoga instructor. You can also find Emma biking and drinking beer around her favorite town, Golden, with her adventure hound Zeke.