The zippered, front-facing vents on our Allout Hooded Jacket gulp cool air on “give it all you’ve got”-ascents, regulating your body temperature on the way to the summit. The waterproof, breathable Ventia soft shell fabric deflects rain, snow and energy-sapping wind, and the jacket stretches to match the athletic movement needed during rapid alpine action.
- Movement-Mirroring Stretch
- Articulated Elbows
- Fully Seam Taped
- YKK AquaGuard Zippers
- Double Separating Center Front Zipper
- Internal Front-Zip Stormflap
- Front Chest Vents
- Fully Adjustable Wire-Brimmed Hood
- Two TwinZip Pockets
- Two Internal Shove-It Pockets
- Key Clip
- Drawcord Hem
- Elastic Cuffs
- Trim Fit
- Ventia, 3L, face: 100% polyester, back: 100% polyester, 50D mechanical stretch plain weave
- Center Back Length – 73.7 cm (29 in)
- Weight – 410 g (14.5 oz)
- Retail – $210
This is not the first jacket that I have reviewed from Outdoor Research. If you are not familiar with the brand, you really should take a look. They make high quality clothing and gear built around a purpose. Some brands have more of a fashion element over function, not Outdoor Research. They leverage their pro staff and reviews from their customers to guide the creation of their products. I have always had a soft spot for Outdoor Research. Growing up and living in Seattle for 30 years, I became familiar with them long ago as they are from Seattle. Got to root for the hometown!
Testing this jacket has taken some time. It has been a crazy summer and fall with far fewer rainy days then I needed to put it through the ringer. I also seemed to have moved to wherever the rain just was as I moved early in the summer. Nonetheless I have been able to get it out in some truly wet weather once the fall opened up. Several times getting long hours of active use in the rain, just what you need to truly test a waterproof jacket.
The Allout Jacket is interesting. It is made with Outdoor Research’s proprietary Ventia 3 layer waterproof softshell material. Being a 3 layer jacket means it has an out face fabric, inner face fabric and waterproof layer in between. If you want to learn more about how waterproof jackets work and are constructed, click on the banner below.
What makes this jacket cool is it has a mechanical stretch while still being waterproof. The seams have been all taped and it is also outfitted with water resistant zippers. The Allout has a great hood with a wire brim and adjustments to help it fit the way you want it to. The jacket is on the light side, weighing in just under 15 oz (less than a pound). This makes it a good candidate for really any activity you want.
Being a waterproof jacket, one issue often is breathability. Outdoor Research has added torso vents to help the jacket vent even more. Some of the other features worth mentioning are elastic cuffs and an adjustable hem to help the jacket not get too airy unless you want it to. The Allout also comes with 4 pockets, two handwarmer pockets on the outside and two shove-it pockets on the inside to stash larger things on the go. While the amount of pockets was good, I did find the way the handwarmer pockets were designed a bit odd. They were built on the same zipper line as the chest vents so they end up being wrapped around a little farther back on your hips. For me this just felt a little awkward as I like to put me hands in my pockets. This a personal thing so some people might not even notice.
Arm Length (20%)
Comfort Next Skin (15%)
Ease of Movement (20%)
Torso Sizing (25%)
The Outdoor Research Allout is a trim fit jacket. This is awesome!! I find that many jackets out there are a little too roomy around the midsection. I like how the Allout has a bit more of a tailored fit. Think the difference between a regular fit and slim fit dress shirt. If you know what I am talking about here then you will understand how great this is. I tested out the medium and it fit me just right. The torso has a good amount of room, especially if worn over a baselayer or light fleece. If I wanted to layer over a thicker insulated jacket, it does get a bit tighter, but not too bad. I really liked the length of the arms, one of my pet peeves is too short of sleeves, and that was not a problem here. Also the low profile elastic cuffs are really well done. They are not adjustable, but for me I did not miss that at all. The elastic cuffs are low profile, great with gloves, and fit snug around the wrists without being too tight.
The hood is also well done. It adjusts well so you can size it the way that works best for you. Between the adjustments for size and volume, the wire brim can be adjusted to the user’s preference. The other big win on the Allout is the fabric. It does not stretch a lot, but the little stretch it has is just right. I have been a big fan of softshells ever since they were first created. I like how they are a little more supple and generally more comfortable to the skin. Not to mention that they are now being made to be waterproof and lighter which is beginning to blur the lines. The Allout is one of those softshells that blurs the lines. For being such a thin softshell, I was impressed by the fabric’s feel. It does not get very clammy even when generating a bit of heat. It has that softer feel that I like. Do not buy this and expect it to be like a typical softshell however. The typical softshell has a fuzzy backer fabric that will be much thicker and insulating then this jacket. This is not a bad thing, just a different type of jacket for a different purpose.
Water Resistance (35%)
Fit is important, but it is worth nothing if the jacket does not perform. I must say that the Allout was a solid jacket. It took a while this summer, but once the rain did arrive, the Allout performed very well. I had no issues with leaks or staying dry even in the largest downpours. The breathability was solid as well. For me a waterproof jacket is never breathable enough. When people say that they can work hard in a waterproof jacket without overheating I just do not understand how that can be. Even at a brisk walk I can generally overheat a bit in a waterproof jacket so breathability is a relative term. I felt like the Allout was solid in this respect. Yes I could overwhelm the jacket, but it did seem to allow me a little bit more time than many. Even better was having the vents that I could open up in all but the heaviest rains. The location was also nice as it let in more air than typical pit zips do.
While I have been able to wear the Allout quite a bit, I have not been able to truly put it through the wringer. I mean it would be nice to put it through countless day s on the trail climbing and hiking, but I just don’t have that time. I have been able to wear it around quite a bit, tote a backpack and even wear it around town without any issues. I would not have any worries about the jacket not holding up over time. One other thing I look for in an outdoor piece is it having versatility. I am done with the one trick ponies. I like a jacket that can work for lots of applications, I think that improves the value. I feel like the Allout is one of those jackets. Take it hiking, wear it around town, even putzing around town on your cruiser, the Allout will be a good option.
Overall, I would give the Outdoor Research Allout Jacket is an above average rating. I think Outdoor Research has come a long way in their clothing and this is one of those jackets that is performance oriented at a really solid price. The fit is good and it performs, what is not to like. The only thing I can think to say negatively about this jacket would be the handwarmer pockets. Apart from this there is not much negative I can say. If you are looking for a solid jacket with a little stretch while blurring the line between softshell and hardshell, this is a good option. It is a good value, take a look. As always Your Mileage May Vary.
- Light Stretch
- Comfortable Against the Skin
- Low Profile Wrist Cuff
- Lightweight & Packable
- Chest Vents
- Handwarmer Pockets a Little Farther Back