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Outdoor Research Maximus Review


Hardshell Jacket

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: July 30, 2015
Price:   $495 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Durable Gore-Tex Pro membrane
Cons:  Mesh hand pockets lets in melting snow and wind, very heavy, stretch fabrics have reduced durability
Best Uses:  All purpose
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 30, 2015  
The Outdoor Research Maximus uses high quality Gore-Tex Pro Shell membrane and a durable face fabric but it has a feature set and fit that are inferior to many other shells tested. We therefore, prefer other shells. This is true for both the old version as well as the Spring 2014 version, which uses the new Gore Pro membrane. The new version weighs a substantial 20.2 oz. and offers less comfort and durability than other top-tier expedition shells, like the Arc'teryx Alpha SV.

New Version Update - July 2015
The Outdoor Research Maximus has been updated. Keep reading to find out more!

RELATED: Our complete review of hardshell jackets

  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

The New Version of the Outdoor Research Maximus vs. The Older Version

The New Maximus has seen a few updates. Check out the quote below from Outdoor Research.

"With the Maximus, this got redesigned to be a trimmer fit, more work was done on the patterning so that when you have your hands overhead while climbing, the jacket doesn't ride up, and pockets were redesigned somewhat. Basically, it's a more refined piece for alpine climbing than the old version."

-Outdoor Research

The newest version of the Maximus can be seen below on the right, while the older version is pictured on the right. The latest version can be purchased in Black, Hot Sauce/Charcoal, and Hydro/Glacier. The list price remains $495.
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Hands-On Review


The Maximus is Outdoor Research's top-tier hardshell. It uses Gore Pro Shell, has two high-set handwarmer pockets and a helmet compatible hood.


The jacket is versatile in that it's made of good materials and has a fit that accommodates layering without being too bulky. But the shell falls below average in our rankings. First, its cut is simple and not particularly ergonomic. As you can see in our photos the jacket has straight tubular arms. Other shells, like the Patagonia Super Alpine and Arc'teryx Alpha SV have articulated elbows that feel more comfortable. Second, the Maximus has mesh-backed pockets that let in melting snow and ice. Solid pockets, found on almost all other hardshells, are better. And finally, our testers found the Maximus' Torso Flow side vents to be inferior to traditional pit zippers because they're not as easy to open on the go, and don't vent well when you're wearing a pack. Their main advantage is that they can be fully opened and used poncho style for high output hiking in vertically falling rain. That, however, requires unbuttoning the bottom and unzipping the sides, which can't be done while wearing a waistbelt!! They are far inferior to pit zips and we do not know why OR uses them.

A men's medium Maximus weighs 20.2 ounces on our scale. This is 6+ ounces heavier than our highest rated all-purpose shell, the Patagonia Super Pluma, and 3 ounces heavier than the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, our highest rated bomber mountaineering shell- which is better than the Maximus in every respect except price.


Although the Maximus is $50 cheaper than other high quality shells we believe that it's well worth the additional cost to get a better fitting and better featured shell.

Other Versions

Outdoor Research Clairvoyant
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  • Womens hardshell
  • Lightweight and ultra breathable
  • Earns our Top Pick award
  • $325

For a women's hardshell jacket, check out the Hardshell Jackets - Women's

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: July 30, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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Outdoor Research Maximus
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $494.95
Amazon $494.95
REI $495.00
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

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