Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket
Lightweight and highly breathable waterproof protection.
The first of our winners, Maria Parkes, gives us the lowdown on how her new Women's Adroit Jacket held up ...
The Marmot Adroit jacket has proved to be a really versatile summer waterproof. Marmot bill the new NanoPro Membrain fabric as being 140% more breathable than 'previous technologies'. Whilst I've never used a old version of Membrain, the NanoPro has certainly impressed me with it's breathability. It's absolutely fine to walk fast or bike in - I haven't tried running in it but then I get too hot in a t-shirt, never mind a waterproof! Compared to heavier weight Gore-Tex & eVent jackets it certainly wins on breathability and feels similar to NeoShell in terms of (lack of) sweatiness - though this is purely on experience, I don't know the stats on it.
Seeing as it is advertised as being somewhere between a softshell and hardshell, I was expecting a softer face fabric. However the Adroit is definitely in the hardshell category, with the 2.5 layer construction meaning that you do have a plasticy layer on the inside. Whilst this doesn't mean it's less breathable than a more traditional 3 layer construction, it does mean that you have this layer next to your skin if wearing it just over a t-shirt. This can feel a bit sticky, especially if it's really warm out. This is a downfall of
pretty much any jacket in the ~300g range and is definitely
something you can put up with for the benefit of the weight
saving. Wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath obviously
solves this problem.
The material is very stretchy - the best I have come across in a waterproof. This makes the jacket really comfortable to wear and stops the restrictive feeling you can get with many hardshells. It also seems fairly tough for its weight - I've certainly had no problems with abrasion so far and it feels as if the stretch would also help stop small tears from tree branches etc.
All in all, the Adroit is a great lighter weight waterproof. It's perfect for general summer use in wet weather whilst being light enough to keep in your sack just-in-case. I have it in the lime green colour which is perfect for feeling very visible whilst on the bike - and looks great in photos! For winter use or mountaineering you'll definitely want something more protective, but this is really not what it's designed for. As a summer weight all-round jacket for active use it's a very good choice and has certainly replaced my slightly heavier waterproof in my pack and for day-to-day use.
Maria (aka. Maria85) won the recent UKC competition to review the Wm's Adroit Jacket that you see above. In her own words: "I am happiest out pounding a trail, halfway up a multipitch or skiing powder under blue skies. I've travelled the world in search of mountain adventures, climbed first ascents in Greenland and made hasty retreats in the Alps, road tripped the States and hitch-hiked my way through Patagonia, lived in the Canadian Rockies and Southern Alps of New Zealand. Currently back home in the UK, I'm re-exploring the many great crags and hills throughout the country, planning the next big trip."