Outdoor Research Hemispheres ski-specific apparel earns awards from Powder, Backcountry

Testers praise combination of mobility and fit in first jacket, bibs to use new stretch GORE-TEX fabric.
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SEATTLE, Wash. (Oct. 9, 2018) – The first North American brand to use a new stretch GORE-TEX fabric that dramatically improves mobility in waterproof apparel, Outdoor Research earned awards this fall from two of the industry’s most prestigious ski media for its new Hemispheres Jacket and Bibs.


The Hemispheres Jacket and Bibs were awarded Powder Magazine’s first-ever Apparel of the Year Award. The Hemispheres Bibs also earned Backcountry Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award.

“The Hemispheres Jacket and Bibs … scored the highest across the board for their superior technical performance and comfortable fit, earning the nod for our first-ever Apparel of the Year Award,” Powder’s Editors wrote. Testers spent a combined 300 hours reviewing hundreds of pieces of outerwear, scoring each piece on style, fit and functionality. After a weekend of testing at Utah’s Solitude Mountain, the Hemisphere’s kit reigned supreme in every category.

Testers from both Powder and Backcountry noted the brand’s unique use of GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology, offering better freedom of movement combined with superb weather protection.

“It’s flattering, flexible and easy to move in,” one Powder tester said. “This is great material. I feel like it’s barely there when I’m skiing.”

The pieces, which are available in both men’s and women’s specific styles and fits, employ hybrid-mapped panels of GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology on the back shoulders and underarms of the jacket, as well in the crotch, side panels and back panels of the bibs.

This pioneering fabric offers nearly four times the stretch as other stretch waterproof fabrics, and also stretches easily with very low force – roughly 25 percent of what is required to stretch other waterproof fabrics. That means the Hemispheres pieces can adapt easily to users’ movements. Because of this stretch, garments can also be cut with a trimmer fit, yet still accommodate insulation layers being added beneath. For skiers, that means a better fit whether being worn over only a base layer or with insulating layers between.

The result is that Outdoor Research was able to create high-mobility outerwear that, as one Powder tester put it, “passed the spread eagle test.” The Hemispheres kit also implements a unique venting system for uphill travel, an intuitive helmet-compatible hood, as well as detailing like a beacon pocket with clip-in retention in the bibs.

In its 2019 Gear Guide, Backcountry Magazine’s team of testers raved about the Bib’s waterproofness and mobility. “The shell material provides phenomenal protection from the elements. I spent several days in wet, driving rain/sleet and these pants didn’t flinch.”

“Powder and Backcountry are some of the most respected names in ski media, and to come out of their tests earning such notable call-outs speaks to the commitment to product innovation and versatility that our product team envisioned when they first mapped out the Hemispheres concept,” said Liz Braund, Head of Product at Outdoor Research.

About Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research® is dedicated to inspiring the journey ahead with award-winning technical apparel and accessories. Based in Seattle since 1981, we are committed to improving our customer’s experience through innovative materials, purpose-driven features, and versatile products that are backed by our Infinite Guarantee®. We rely on the real-world testing of our athlete ambassadors, mountain guides, and local adventurers involved in our core sports: alpinism, rock and ice climbing, hiking, backpacking, paddling, trail running, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. We’re here for the fun, adventure, excitement, and For the Journey Ahead™. Get to know us at outdoorresearch.com to follow the journey via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


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