Unless you’ve done it, ski touring could seem like a practice in misery. And like most endurance activities, it is, to a certain extent — but in touring, the pain only increases the feeling of reward when your bindings are locked and the only direction left to go is down. You still have to get to the top before that reward can be reaped. There are no shortcuts. Elevation gained is elevation earned.
Outdoor Research’s Ascendant jacket lessens the price you pay on the way up. Even in the cold, ascents are fated to be sweaty endeavors, especially when you’re wearing a loaded pack. The Ascendants is a game changer when it comes to active insulation. It utilizes Polartec Alpha Direct insulation, which has no liner. The insulation sits directly on whatever you’re wearing underneath the jacket. The outer shell is constructed from breathable and stretchy Pertex that is also highly water resistant. The jacket insulates your body only where it needs it — so, less sweaty back — while also shedding wind. It’s incredibly packable and fits well underneath a shell while you take those deep blower turns you hiked up for in the first place.
You might be asking why we’d even bother talking about an insulated jacket in the dead of summer. Aside from the benefits of keeping one in your kit year-round, summer is also the best time to score deals on some of the year’s finest outerwear. If you’ve been eyeing up one of Outdoor Research’s award-winning jackets with active insulation, now’s your chance as the Ascendant is currently 25 percent off at Backcountry. And if you’re looking for a jacket that’s slightly heavier and a bit less breathable, Outdoor Research’s Uberlayer is also on sale and is even cheaper ($173) than the Ascendant.
Fill Material: Polartec Alpha Direct
Shell Material: Pertex Microlight (20D nylon ripstop)
Waterproofing: DWR finish
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