Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Outdoor Research Clairvoyant Jacket: A Product Review

Right before winter Travis invested in the Clairvoyant Jacket from Outdoor Research for me for more of a 3-season coat. Originally, Travis was under the impression it was a bit more "coat" than raincoat. Either way, on my end of the spectrum I didn't have a raincoat that was suitable for more or less 3-season wear. I have a wonderful coat from Patagonia that has a rain/windproof outer shell, but it's longer and much more suitable for the colder months.
I wanted something that wouldn't be so long when it was warm out, and the Clairvoyant jacket was just the ticket!

Points-
The jacket is lightweight, which seems like it would not retain any sort of warmth whatsoever.

Being that it is waterproof, people have said to look for something that is waterproof and breathable due to the fact you can be without airflow and get warm.


The very first test ride with this jacket was on a November evening, temps weren't too cold, but there was some light snow falling. With mountain biking, less is more when it comes to layers sometimes and I thought it would be an ideal time to try the jacket out. Especially for the water resistant aspect.

That evening I opened up the two side pockets to essentially "vent" as I had gotten rather warm. A jacket so lightweight really kept me toasty as I climbed our hills!

The hand pockets are positioned to be above a hip belt or harness- in my case, above the waist strap of my Camelbak. This is handy if you store anything in your pockets- you'll have much easier access.

The zippers are water resistant, which are great for keeping you dry inside and out. They are a bit of a beefy zipper, so sometimes you may find you have to work a little to zip pockets up, etc. Not a problem.

The night of the ride I had quite a tumble off my bike, resulting in my somersaulting partway down a hill. There were sticks/shrubbery, and larger branches in my way- and

I worried that my coat had met its match. Darn it. It's not an inexpensive coat (GORE-TEX).
No damage done! Really, it was pretty darn amazing. So let that be a testament to say that the coat does seem durable.

There is a zippered Napoleon pocket- which for me doesn't give a whole lot of usefulness other than money storage if I'd like to not have items near my sides (just use pockets for my hands.) I don't have anything like an MP3 player or device to play music with. So it ultimately is a key/id/money storage pocket!
You can see from the photo that it's more of a mesh-lined pocket. If I'm empty and starting to get too warm, I'll open the pockets to aid with air flow. The two hand pockets are similar in design.

The cuffs are easy to adjust with their velcro tabs. You also have a drawcord hem and drawcord on the back of your hood. Gloves on? No problem.

The hood is designed to go over your helmet, but I actually wore it under my helmet recently. Let's be real, I'd been out on the trails and had gotten soaked- the helmet liner was doing to be wet. It fit very comfortably under my helmet, I had no issues with sizing/adjustment. There is a wire brim in the hood that I find very handy. At first I found it a little odd, but I've realized that it completely solves the floppy-hood problem that arises with many jackets.

Spring is here and I've worn the jacket on the cooler days commuting to work. I love how it cuts down on the wind blowing through me as well as provides water protection when it rains.

It's easily stuffed into my bag when I don't need it, so I just leave it in my bag for those "just in case" moments. It also has enough coverage so when I'm leaned over slightly on my bike I'm not experiencing any "back gap."

Without putting it through a torrential downpour (yet), I will say that this jacket is definitely worth the investment. It's not tight and fits comfortably over a sweatshirt when you need added warmth.

I would recommend this jacket for those who want something that is very functional as an article of clothing for on or off the bike wear.

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