For a day of backcountry ski touring you almost need a crystal ball to figure out what’s best to wear: ventilation and moisture management if the sun comes out during the uphill, lightweight compression if you pack it, weather protection if a storm rolls in, dry coverage if you snorkel thru a powder stash, windproof if arctic winds attack.
Outdoor Research attempts to foretell future weather with the women’s Clairvoyant jacket. Constructed of breathable waterproof GORETEX, it’s loaded with features that will keep WildSnow Girls comfortable during nearly any upcoming event.
The feature I like best about the Clairvoyant is the brushed polyester face fabric which makes it feel tee-shirt soft. The fabric eliminates crunchy noises common to most shells, yet it repels water and snow almost as well as those customized trash bags with arm holes you see at Mount Baker or Crystal on a rainy day.
Like most modern technical pieces, the Clairvoyant is pricey at $325 MSRP. After forking over your precious dollars, it’s an added plus when your gear looks stylish on slope and off. The Clairvoyant is designed with a slightly tailored torso, flattering enough to catch a few admiring glances when you walk into the bistro, and still roomy enough to cover a down sweater or medium weight mid layer.
Clairvoyant does not feature pit zips which I don’t like anyway. However it was a bit too warm to wear skinning up on a sunny 45 degree day. The large side pockets, nicely positioned above belt line, offer some ventilation but I wound up taking it off and just wearing my thin wool baselayer. Colorado sun bakes when it shines!
Specs — Outdoor Research Clairvoyant women’s jacket
I paired the Clairvoyant with Outdoor Research Trailbreaker pant. Lou reviewed his pair here. I’m happy they are making these excellent pants for women now too.
WildSnow Girl, Katie Spieler, is the team captain of the University of Hawaii sand volleyball team. Last season, she earned AVCA All-American honors after finishing as one of the top 8 pairs in the nation. When that Pacific sun gets too hot, she likes to drop into the Colorado Rockies for cold weather bliss.
Recap of last week’s blogposts, WildSnow.com 12/8/14 — 12/12/14: