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Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie - Women's Review

A lightweight emergency layer that's simple and comfortable enough to be brought along (just in case) for pretty much any adventure
outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review
Credit: Outdoor Research
Price:  $219 List
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 1, 2022
62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort - 25% 6.5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 4.5
  • Weight and Compressibility - 15% 9.0
  • Breathability - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT is a simple, very lightweight jacket, both in actual weight and the warmth it provides. It's fairly comfortable to wear and can be a good option to toss in your pack "just in case". It's one of the lowest-weight jackets in our lineup and packs into its pocket. Though not adjustable, the hood is accommodating and adaptable, fitting over a helmet without feeling enormous on our bare heads. As an ultrathin jacket with pretty minimal insulation, the SuperStrand just doesn't have a ton of warmth to offer compared to other models. And when packed up, we sorely miss having a loop to easily clip it to our packs.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Simple
Comfortable
Accommodating hood
REASONS TO AVOID
No adjustability
Not that warm
Has no carabiner loop when packed

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Pros Lightweight, simple, comfortable, accommodating hoodWarm without being bulky, great coverage all around, protective and comfortable cuffs, microfleece-lined pocketsSoft and comfortable, breathable, easy to layer, great mobility, weather resistantWarmth, many comfort features, very weatherproofWarm, packable, light, unbeatable price, decent weather protection
Cons No adjustability, not that warm, has no carabiner loop when packedRuns largeDoesn't stuff into its own pocket, hood is very largeNot breathable or very packableLess durable construction, not breathable
Bottom Line A lightweight emergency layer that's simple and comfortable enough to be brought along (just in case) for pretty much any adventureAn excellent midweight jacket with great warmth, top-notch coverage, and comfortable detailsA very comfortable jacket that's great for adventures in diverse conditions where layering, mobility, and protection are keyA cute, high performing non-technical option that boasts an excellent priceA warm, comfortable, baffled jacket that isn't great but comes at a very affordable price
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Su... Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Columbia Heavenly H... Amazon Essentials L...
Warmth (25%)
5.0
7.5
7.0
9.0
5.0
Comfort (25%)
6.5
8.5
8.5
9.0
4.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
4.5
8.5
7.5
8.5
4.5
Weight and Compressibility (15%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
3.0
4.0
Breathability (15%)
7.0
6.5
8.5
3.0
5.0
Specs Outdoor Research Su... Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Columbia Heavenly H... Amazon Essentials L...
Weight, size small (ounces) 9.3 oz 12.1 oz 10.5 oz 22.4 oz 13.3 oz
Number of Pockets 4 (2 zippered hand, 2 slip) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal slip)
Hem Type Elastic Single bungee adjustment Dual bungee adjustment No adjustment No adjustment
Fit Relaxed slim Relaxed slim Relaxed Slim Relaxed slim
Insulation VerticalX SuperStrand 100% Polyester 100% recycled PrimaLoft Silver Coreloft 60 100% recycled polyester 100% polyester 100% polyester
Outer Fabric 100% Nylon 12D Rip Stop 30D Pertex Quantum ripstop Tyono 20D 100% nylon
Stretch fleece side panels: 94% polyester, 6% elastane
Storm-Lite DP II Polyester 100% polyester
Lining 100% Nylon 12D Rip Stop 20D recycled Atmos ripstop Dope Permeair 20D - 100% nylon Luscious Pile Fleece Polyester 100% polyester
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in stow pocket Yes; hand Yes; chest No No No; included stuff sack
Cuff construction Elasticized cuffs Elasticized with overhang Stretch-knit Stretch-knit wrist-warmer cuff with thumbholes Elasticized cuffs

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT is a lightweight jacket with a relaxed slim fit and a helmet-compatible hood. Its external fabric is 12D ripstop nylon, and it has a nonadjustable elastic hem. It boasts four pockets — two zippered hand pockets, which create two internal drop-in pockets — and packs into its own hand pocket.

Performance Comparison


outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - the or superstrand lt is an ultralight jacket that adds enough...
The OR SuperStrand LT is an ultralight jacket that adds enough warmth for mild conditions but isn't ideal in serious cold.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Warmth


The SuperStrand is exceptionally thin with wispy lightweight insulation. It provides reasonable warmth for extreme conditions but can't compete against a long list of models with far denser and more insulation. A moderate length and drop hem add some coverage to this easily layerable jacket, and the cuffs end in elastic bands on the ends of long sleeves that add wrist protection. The hood (along with all the openings of this jacket) is rimmed by elastic, helping it to be the most accommodating size and shape of any we tested. It's compatible with most helmets without being so oversized that it won't protect your bare head.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - the superstrand hood manages to be fitted enough to wear over a bare...
The SuperStrand hood manages to be fitted enough to wear over a bare head yet accommodating enough to fit many helmets.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


The SuperStrand is fairly comfortable, with the classic swishy material typical of insulated jackets. Its thinness adds flexibility and the shoulder area has a decent amount of space for movement, and its relaxed fit is more accommodating of a wider range of body shapes. This jacket offers no adjustability anywhere, which some of our testers love and some don't care for. The main zipper chin guard is an uncommon design. Rather than a single flap of fabric in which to tuck the fully zipped zipper pull, it's split into two halves of a whole guard meant to be pulled together by the zipper pull. In practice, the zipper pull nearly always catches on some part of this, preventing us from fully zipping the jacket without undue finagling and a two-handed struggle.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - though the sleeve insulation doesn't hang over our hands, the...
Though the sleeve insulation doesn't hang over our hands, the sleeves are long enough that we still appreciate their increased coverage.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weather Resistance


Without any adjustability, it's impossible to cinch the SuperStrand down against the wind. Depending on how it fits your body, you may be left with gaps around the hem or cuffs that let gusts right in. The main zipper also lacks a wind guard, making it a weak point in trying conditions. The fabric proved to be reasonably water resistant in our testing, though the baffle seams allowed some very minor seepage into the insulation.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - the baffle seams are the only mildly weak points of the superstrand...
The baffle seams are the only mildly weak points of the SuperStrand when it comes to water. More obvious in a cold wind is its utter lack of a wind guard to protect the zipper.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weight and Compressibility


The size Small we tested weighs just 9.3 ounces, making it one of the lightest insulated jackets in our lineup. It packs fairly easily into the left hand pocket, creating an oblong package. However, perhaps in an effort to continue cutting weight, the SuperStrand has no carabiner loop. Sure, you could clip into the cord loop on the zipper pull — but this is risky since it is simply tied in a knot, and if that knot comes undone, your packed jacket may end up on the side of the trail or tumbling down the pitch.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - though the superstrand is very lightweight, it lacks a carabiner...
Though the SuperStrand is very lightweight, it lacks a carabiner loop to clip it to your gear. The zipper pull is an option, though it's just a knotted loop of cord that could easily come untied and dump your jacket without you noticing.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


As an overall thin, less warm jacket, the SuperStrand is better than most when it comes to breathability. And yet it has no actual features to enhance breathability and its slippery fabric will trap heat rather than let it escape. The breathability of the SuperStrand hinges entirely on the fact that it's less insulated and less warm.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - the breathability of the superstrand hinges on its overall thinness...
The breathability of the SuperStrand hinges on its overall thinness rather than any special features.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT?


If counting ounces is your bottom line, the ultralight SuperStrand LT may be worth the investment. However, if you're heading out to serious cold or need to know your jacket is secure when clipped to your pack, there are other lightweight jackets we like better for about the same cost.

What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?


We like the SuperStrand best in mild conditions where an extra layer is appreciated but doesn't need to be excessively warm — like camping on cold high alpine summer nights. For a very lightweight jacket that has more warmth and better coverage, check out the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow. If you're after a breathable insulated jacket that can keep up on sweat-filled winter missions, the Ortovox Piz Boè offers the best breathability around, while the Arc'teryx Atom Hoody is breathable and excellent for layering as the conditions require.

outdoor research superstrand lt hoodie for women insulated jacket review - the superstrand is ultralight and makes a good option for mild...
The SuperStrand is ultralight and makes a good option for mild climates - like backpacking in the mountains during summer.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Maggie Nichols
 
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