When Is A Hard Shell Not? - Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket

Written by K2 Team Member - Kevin Reilly

When you think of a technical hard shell (rain jacket) you generally think of a Gore-Tex jacket. Something that is quite chunky and noisy when you move in it.

Well, now there is a new kid on the block. The Outdoor Research Interstellar is a new direction for technical hard shell jackets. This jacket is lightweight, extremely breathable and very versatile.

Made from Outdoor Research’s own Ascent Shell proprietary technology this 3 layer membrane jacket is very breathable, yet waterproof. Where other jackets need temperature change to function, the Interstellar is actually breathing all the time! This makes for a great jacket while you are pushing things hard in our steamy summers and mild winters. The Ascent Shell material is also very light and fabric-like in feel, eliminating that noisy rustle you get from other jackets.

It weighs in at 329g and rolls up into its pocket, so is great to use when you are on the move.

A decent sized hood and the stretchy fabric with anatomical fit, gives it has a huge amount of movement in it allowing you to use it in a variety of situations, even to play golf!

For the gear nerds (me!) the jacket is 3 layers consisting of a light 20 denier rip-stop nylon face fabric and a 12 denier backer panel with an Electrospun membrane sandwiched in between.

The membrane is manufactered by exposing resin to an electrical charge and harvesting the fine fibres that come off it. This soft almost candyfloss like material is made into a thin layer that allows vapour to easily pass through it, but repels water.

Like other technical jackets you will need to keep this one clean. This is easily done using Nikwax Techwash also ensuring the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating is in prolonged. Once the DWR coating finally wears off, you can easily reapply using Nikwax TX-Direct Spray On. This will ensure the breathability of the jacket is at its optimum, when you are using it.


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Queensland’s premiere outdoor and travel gear retailer for over 30 years. The K2 Team live, breathe, and know outdoor adventure inside out.