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Outdoor Research Interstellar - Women's Review

If you are an avid climber who frequently encounters drizzly weather, this would make a great addition to your archive of must have gear.
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Price:  $300 List | $164.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, comfortable, great for climbing
Cons:  Expensive, no pit zips
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Katherine Elliott ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 17, 2018
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Water Resistance - 30% 8
  • Breathability - 15% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 9
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Packed Size - 5% 8

Our Verdict

Whether you tend to find yourself wearing a harness or pedaling up steep hills, the Outdoor Research Interstellar will be there to shield you from the elements, keeping you dry and comfortable. Sporting its exclusive Acentshell technology and incorporating a 20D mechanical stretch ripstop face fabric, you will not be disappointed in this jacket's ability to shed water while on the move. Lacking a couple of key features left this model just shy of receiving an award.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
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Pros Breathable, comfortable, great for climbingWater resistant, wind resistant and breathableIncredibly stretchy, comfortable, lightweightExceedingly water resistant, great fit, comfortable fabricAffordable, breathable, water resistant, packable
Cons Expensive, no pit zipsExpensive, sleeves a little shortExpensive, uncomfortable half-sized pit zipsNo pit zips for dumping excess heat in a pinch, expensiveShort torso and arms
Bottom Line If you are an avid climber who frequently encounters drizzly weather, this would make a great addition to your archive of must have gear.Waterproof, breathable, and comfortable, the Aspire is an all-in-one marvel.Its status as a highly functioning stretchy rain jacket sets this model apart and will suit your active lifestyle be it rain or shine.Offering a sleek design and a genuinely comfortable fabric, this is a superior rain jacket for the hiking-oriented outdoors women.An economical, functional rain shell for any activity.
Rating Categories Interstellar Aspire Stretch Ozonic Arc'teryx Zeta SL - Women's Marmot PreCip - Women's
Water Resistance (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Breathability (15%)
10
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8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Comfort (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
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8
Weight (15%)
10
0
8
10
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7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Durability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Packed Size (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Interstellar Aspire Stretch Ozonic Arc'teryx Zeta SL... Marmot PreCip -...
Measured Weight (oz) 9.6 11.4 9.8 9.5 8.4
# of Fabric Layers 3 2 2.5 2 2.5
Material Ascentshell 3L 100% nylon 20D mechanical stretch ripstop Gore-Tex with Paclite product technology 2L, 100% polyester 50D plain weave Dry.Q Active Stretch 40D 2.5L (100% Nylon) 40-denier ripstop (N40r) GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus NanoPro 100% Nylon Ripstop 2.2 oz/ yd
Pockets 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand 2 hand
Pit Zips No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stows into Pocket Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket Yes Yes No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

A combination of technical performance and a highly breathable membrane make the OR Interstellar a great choice if you tend to find yourself climbing or biking in stormy weather. Throughout testing, we found this model to lack a couple of essential features, which kept it out of reach of the award's circle.

Performance Comparison


The large  helmet compatible hood comes equipped with a wired brim  allowing it to hold its shape  keeping us dry when the rain started to fall.
The large, helmet compatible hood comes equipped with a wired brim, allowing it to hold its shape, keeping us dry when the rain started to fall.

Water Resistance


The Interstellar features exclusive Acentshell technology that is highly water resistant while maintaining the ability to offer exceptional breathability. It's worth noting the DWR finish began to deteriorate toward the end, leaving us a little more waterlogged than we would have liked.

The 3L Ascent Shell fabric kept us dry throughout testing but the DWR finish wore off quickly and needed to be replaced much sooner than that of its counterparts.
The 3L Ascent Shell fabric kept us dry throughout testing but the DWR finish wore off quickly and needed to be replaced much sooner than that of its counterparts.

Breathability


AscentShell is an exclusive Outdoor Research technology that uses an electrospun waterproof-breathable membrane, which is key to its breathable functionality. It boasts a high caliber level of breathability and this jacket strongly relies on the ability to breathe rather than the vent. While not always able to be accessed in a downpour, we do value pit zips, and the lack of underarm vents left the Interstellar just a smidge behind our Editors' Choice winner, the Aspire. Fortunately, the Interstellar sports incredible breathability that negated the lack of pit zips.


Comfort


The soft, stretchy fabric of the Interstellar earns it high marks in the comfort category. Its large, helmet-compatible hood kept us dry in even the strongest of downpours. One notable feature of the hood is the wired brim that holds its shaping, even when unpacking from its stow pocket. It cinches from both sides to ensure a highly adjustable fit, with or without a helmet. The only problem we encountered with the hood was the location of the drawstrings, which are located on the inside of the collar; they lay against your cheek, making it a touch difficult to access when your jacket is zipped up.

The hook/loop cuff closures of the sleeves are highly adjustable and easy to use.
The hook/loop cuff closures of the sleeves are highly adjustable and easy to use.

Weight


The Interstellar weighs in at 9.6 ounces, putting it in the middle of the pack and right alongside our Top Pick winner for Versatility, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, which weighed in at 9.8 ounces.


Durability


The Interstellar's 20D mechanical stretch ripstop face fabric is soft, flexible, and rather thin. Although we did not encounter any rips or tears throughout the testing process, we are not convinced of the longevity of the delicate nature of the fabric.

Packed Size


One of the features we have found to be very necessary with rain jackets is the built-in stow pocket. The Interstellar doesn't disappoint, it packs down to a reasonably small size and stuffs right into its left-hand pocket, making it easy to stow away. Even though the Interstellar was a couple of ounces lighter, the Aspire still won out on packability, leaving the Interstellar close in the wake of our Editors' Choice award.


Best Applications


The Interstellar introduces its stretchy AscentShell 3-layer fabric which consists of mechanical stretch and a 12D polyester lining. The Interstellar also features Dynamic Reach underarm panels and a trim, flexible fit to allow for a better range of motion. This alone makes it a superior rain jacket for those who tend to find themselves in a harness more often than not.

Thanks to the high location of the pockets  it was easy to warm up our hands while wearing a harness.
Thanks to the high location of the pockets, it was easy to warm up our hands while wearing a harness.

Value


With one of the highest price tags of the bunch, ringing up at a whopping $300, this is not a jacket for the budget minded individual. However, it will not disappoint if you are looking for a trusty rain jacket to partner up with whilst out pursuing your climbing endeavors.

Conclusion


If a high price point is not the main concern for you and you like the look and sound of the OR Interstellar, partner up. It won't leave you disappointed while out on the move or while shlepping up your local rock formation, and can hold its own in a downpour.


Katherine Elliott