As part of of The Great Outdoors’ November 2020 review of women’s waterproof jackets, Judy Armstrong reviews the Outdoor Research Women’s Micro Gravity Jacket.
The lovely, lightweight Outdoor Research Women’s Micro Gravity Jacket features OR’s own AscentShell: 3L fabric made from an electrospun membrane. On a basic level, it was described to me as like throwing very small spaghetti at a wall, building up into a waterproof, highly breathable layer. Certainly the hydrostatic head figures are lower than some 3L (15,000mm compared with Fjällräven’s Eco-Shell 30,000mm) but air permeability is exceptional.
As a major plus, the fabric is also lightweight, supple and quiet. It’s not long, only just covering my backside, with a laminated, one-way front zip. The pockets are excellent: two at the sides are just high enough to clear a hipbelt, and two chest pockets are useful and easy to access. The hood adjusts at the back and inside the collar via shockcord toggles. These are a bit fiddly and are best manipulated prior to heavy rain as the jacket must be unzipped at the top to access them. Unlike some hoods, a decent peak and good peripheral vision, plus that quiet fabric around the ears, make it easy to wear. Again the soft fabric comes into play with the hood down, as the collar rests below ear level.
The overall cut is neat with plenty of chest room. The soft fabric did show reduced DWR at rucksack wear points after a few months of use. I’d personally save it for three-season adventures as lightweight fabrics are generally less resilient in driving rain, but for moderate conditions it’s a top choice.
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