The Outdoor Research Skyward Jacket was designed with AT skiers and splitboarders in mind. When it comes to going uphill not all snowboard jackets are created equal. In fact, the jacket you rock at the resort is going to be vastly different from anything you want to be touring in.
Outdoor Research Skyward Jacket Review
“That Skin track isn’t going to set itself” is the first thing you notice written on the tag of the Outdoor Research Skywear Jacket. Clearly as mentioned above the Skyward was designed for moving in the backcountry, but how?
Starting from the bottom up, the Outdoor Research Skyward Jacket utilizes Torso pit zips that run up the entire length of the jacket. Yes, you heard that correctly. These pit zips go all the way from the bottom of the Skyward Jacket up through the elbow. And the zips are located on both sides.
It will be hard if not impossible to find another shell with this much airflow. Outdoor Research figured out a way to make the membrane of the Jacket breathe even better by using Air-permeable AscentShell technology or to geek out (Electra spun membrane).
Regardless if you’re touring on warm days, wet day or cold and dry days the Outdoor Research Skyward jacket can adapt to the changing conditions.
I have toured in the Skyward in a blizzard, on warm days and even climbing a 1,000 feet up the Glory boot pack. So far the airflow, waterproofness, and flexibility of this jacket is spot on.
What can be Improved?
The front of the Skyward Jacket has 2 pockets which work great for storing small items like a cell phone, compass, and snacks. However, the pockets are too small to fit an avalanche snow safety notebook so I have a hard time using this shell when going out to dig pits as that’s always been my go-to place to put my notebook.
When it comes time to rip your skins, you no longer have to worry about stuffing them inside your backpack while using the Outdoor Research Skyward Jacket as on the inside are 2 very deep skin pockets making a total of 6 pockets for all your gear. If you plan on filming or shooting photos in this jacket I would suggest going with the Hot Sauce or Vintage colorways. Also to note this Jacket is available in Men’s and Women’s sizes.
For everyone else, you won’t be able to find a better jacket that was specifically designed for touring. Let the Outdoor Research Skyward Jacket ($350) take you, well skyward.