Outside and Backpacker Magazine testers both praise unique combo of air permeability, stretch in a waterproof jacket, with near-perfect features.

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 1, 2018) – In the Spring 2018 Buyer’s Guide, Outside Magazine awarded its prestigious 2018 Gear of the Year Award to the Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket, which uses the brand’s proprietary AscentShell fabric to push the standards on breathability and air permeability in waterproof technical apparel. In addition, the Interstellar earned accolades this season from Backpacker Magazine, which named it “Best All-Around” shell in its Spring 2018 Gear Guide.

Outside called the Interstellar, which is new for Spring 2018, the “the holy grail of waterproof jackets.”

“The Interstellar blew our crew away with an uncanny mix of weatherproofing, breathability, and stretch,” Outside’s editors wrote. ‘It feels softer than a soft shell but as waterproof as any hard shell I’ve used,’ said one tester. ‘Not to mention that it’s the most breathable rain shell imaginable.’ … And since it folds up smaller than a water bottle, the Interstellar has earned a permanent spot in our packs.”

AscentShell is an exclusive Outdoor Research technology that uses an electrospun waterproof-breathable membrane, which is key to its benefits. The process uses electric charges to draw polyester fibers from a polymer mixture and “spin” them into a crystalline structure that is like cotton candy on a nano scale. The benefits of this are a waterproof fabric that has excellent stretch, a high capability for moving moisture through it, and – most uniquely – the ability to be air permeable while simultaneously achieving a serious waterproofness rating, seemingly competing features.

“I had four people test the Interstellar, including myself, and everyone struggled to find something to complain about. In fact, the last tester won’t give it back he likes it so much. It kept us dry in serious rain, and the fabric is soft, quiet and breathable when we were going fast,” said Ryan Stuart, lead jacket tester for the spring Outside Buyer’s Guide issue. “It’s the kind of jacket you reach for every time you’re heading out and aren’t sure about the weather, whether it’s to walk the dog or for a week of backpacking. Outdoor Research has been stepping up their game for several years now, especially when it comes to jackets, and, in my opinion, this is their best shell yet.”

Backpacker said: “The Interstellar ticks all the boxes on our three-season shell wish list: It’s breathable, packable, stretchy and durable.”

Outside and Backpacker Magazines have the most rigorous independent testing processes we know of among media, so to come out in such good standing from these tests is incredibly rewarding not only to the product-design team that worked on the Interstellar, but to everyone here at OR,” said Michelle Wardian, President of Outdoor Research. “We’re grateful to earn these awards as it reinforces our commitment to keep pushing for the highest performance and comfort equation for our customers. We want people to enjoy getting outside, not worry about their gear, and know they are getting the very best value for their hard-earned money.”

New for Spring 2018, the Interstellar Jacket is currently available at retailers and at outdoorresearch.com. 

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