Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire is one of Britons great ruins, its remaining gothic stonework has a strength to it that is subtle and almost delicate but yet it has stood in this state since Henry VIII finished with it in the 1530’s. It may be over doing the metaphor a little but many modern outdoor garments combine great design with functionality and a hidden strength despite the initial delicate appearance.
The Outdoor Research (OR) men’s Deviator hoody is no exception to this category of excellent modern garment. Gone are the days of bulky, ugly and heavy fleece of the 70’s and 80’s. Retired are the functional yet plain ugly water proof fleeces of the 90’s. Even the superb soft shell garments of the noughties are plain and bulky in comparison.
This hoody is brilliant it has everything you want yet delivers it in a light weight, stylish and surprisingly hardwearing package. The jacket is made of Polartec Alpha Insulation and Polartec Power Grid – it has a full length front zip a windproof insulated front panel, three front pockets, thumb holes in the sleeves and a snug fitting hood.
I have worn the garment for rock climbing, alpine routes, biking, hiking and of course going down the pub, in all situations it is brilliant.
When worn over a base layer and with nothing over the top for walking or climbing its slim fit and lack of bulk around the front pockets means that it remains comfortable even when you have a climbing harness on or have your rucksack strap pulled tight. Once the thumb holes and hood are deployed for descending or when belaying the warmth and comfort are increased. To put the hood on you need to take off your climbing helmet but it will fit back over the hood without the need to re adjust your helmet.
The Polartec Power Grid wicking and general non sweat properties are amazing, you will of course perspire under a heavy rucksack when walking uphill but once you stop the wicking begins and the garment dries out. Of course the most amazing feature of all being that the jacket does not smell, even after a few days of continuous use.
The final aspect of the jacket is the Polartec Alpha insulated panel on the front. On a very wet bike ride in Chamonix worn under an old waterproof this panel made a huge difference, my arms were wet but my chest and stomach remained dry and warm under the added wind proof and insulated section, whilst not designed to be waterproof it makes a big difference when worn under another jacket.
After much abuse and a good few washes the jacket remains the same shape and perfect fit when new and remains in near perfect condition showing very limited wear despite its very light and delicate feel, I would predict that after this first well used six months the jacket still has years of life left in it which combined with its stylish design and great functionality make it well worth the price.
More: Outdoor Research