GEAR REVIEW – Outdoor Research Women’s Revelation Jacket.
Whether I’m working hard to earn my turns in the backcountry, “gracefully” thrashing up some frozen waterfalls or climbing some sketchy alpine “classic”, Outdoor Research’s Revelation Jacket puts up a solid fight and is a glutton for physical abuse. It’s there, without noticeably being there; it’s breathable Gore-tex and abrasion resistant stretchy fabric construction allows for complete freedom of movement and fully taped seams offer protection from the inevitable harsh alpine elements, wind and water. The jacket is fitted with a must-have storm style, helmet-compatible hood, which did not restrict peripheral vision when lifting or turning my head looking for the next ideal tool placement or navigating down a couloir. The jacket also comes with two way pit-zips, which are requirements for backcountry shredding or alpine climbing as your variable output dictates your bipolar body temperature.
- FIT – The jacket sits well under my harness, with the pockets accessible even while wearing a harness. The arm length is long enough to keep the cuffs from riding up on your arm while reaching for a tool placement, the jacket doesn’t ride up and crawl out the top of your harness thanks to a drop tail cut- both key features protecting both your wrists and lower back from exposure to the wind and wet elements. The cut is slim-fit, leaving reasonable room to wear a base layer and puffy if conditions call for it, but not baggy if you rock it sans puffy.
- Warmth – It’s a Gore-tex shell, so it’s windproof and waterproof, meaning it cuts the edge off windchill and if you reach the upper pitches of a local classic ice climb just to find it dripping, have no fear, it repels water and you will not freeze to the core. In high output activities, like skinning in the backcountry to earn your turns or leading a powerful ice or mixed climbing pitch, the shell does well with a modest baselayer. When temps dip below 0F, it goes without saying that you will need to add a layer of insulation, as is the case with any other shell. When comparing this to another elite brand Gore-tex Pro Shell, I find it equally warm and waterproof, while being quite a bit more stretchy.
- THE ZIPPERS! This was the most legit feature on the Outdoor Research Revelation Jacket, they pull with ease thanks to the larger teeth construction of the zipper and the glove friendly zipper pulls. I have suffered through countless hard shells, where I’ve had to annoy my climbing partner to help me find my zipper pull, because I had failed countlessly with my fumbly gloved hands. In harsh conditions, I like to throw my hood on and pull the zipper up to cover my lower face and neck while I am belaying my partner; however, I like to lower the zipper below my chin when it’s time for me to climb. So its pretty flipping nice to be able to go through the zip/unzip routine on my own with the Revelation’s glove friendly zipper pulls. Sure it may add a fraction of an ounce, but it saves a lot of time and climbing partner frustration when I can pull up my own zips. This goes for the two way pit-zips too, I can do it all on my own, in both directions; mommy wow, I’m a big kid now!
- Waist Cinch Cord. It stays cinched regardless of how much you contort your body throughout the day. I’ve tested a few jackets and pants with a cinch cord feature that routinely came lose, the Outdoor Research Revelation Jacket’s cinch cord did exactly what it was supposed to do, it stayed cinched.
- Pockets. The harness compatible pocket placement actually means harness compatible for the Revelation jacket. The jacket comes with a left and right hand pocket as well as a left-hand chest pocket that could fit a small camera, topo, key, etc. On the inside of the jacket is one mesh pocket handy for storing climbing gloves while wearing mitts on chilly belays or for a few snacks.
- Pocket construction
- While the pockets are accessible while worn under a harness, they would benefit from being bumped up by about 0.5″. This is nit-picking, but it could only improve the jacket to bump em up a little, making the zipper fully unobstructed by the weighted harness.
- The pockets are constructed with a mesh lining; I am not sure I appreciate this feature, as sharp items could likely puncture through and topos could be subjected to moisture. I don’t keep sharp objects in my pockets and rarely venture on a big route without my trusty topo in a trusty ziploc, so once again this is nitpicking.
Bottom Line – Outdoor Research killed it with the Women’s Revelation Jacket. It is ready for any alpine pursuit you throw its way. I 100% recommend this to alpinists and backcountry adventurers. It is now my go-to hard shell.
Addict Disclaimer – Thrillseekers Anonymous was provided with the Outdoor Research Revelation Jacket for this review. The opinions expressed above are my own and reflect my experience with theOutdoor Research Revelation Jacket. No one can buy my love!