Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell Review

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 80% 80%

Price: $300

Waterproofing: 3L AscentShell Technology

Weight: 11.8oz/335g

What We Like: Lightweight, Breathable, Moves Very Well

What We Don’t: Durability Is A Concern

You know a company is confident in their shell’s breathability when they don’t even include pit zips. The Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell breathability is, simply put, out of this world. While not as thick and warm as a traditional 3L shell, the Ascentshell provides exceptional water protection in a very lightweight package. The material is a bit on the thin side, so don’t plan on bashing into too many rocks and all will be well. At $300, it is an expensive coat, but the performance matches the price.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Rain Jackets of 2021

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Rei.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Great Features, Lightweight

Cons

Price

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus & 3-layer Gore-Tex with C-Knit

Weight: 12.7oz/360g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Patagonia Torrentshell 3L - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 70% 70%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

High Performance For Low Cost

Cons

Less Movement Than Other Jackets

Waterproofing: 3L H2No Performance Standard

Weight: 14oz/397g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Mobility and Value

Cons

Not As Breathable As A 3L Jacket

Waterproofing: BD.dry 2.5-layer

Weight: 9.9oz/282g

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Zeta SL - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Effective Minimalist Design

Cons

Price

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus

Weight: 10.9oz/310g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: The North Face Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 60% 60%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Good Styling

Cons

Futurelight Is Not Quite There Yet

Waterproofing: FUTURELIGHT 3L

Weight: 11.99oz/340g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Patagonia Rainshadow - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Stretch Fabric

Cons

Hood Too Small For A Helmet

Waterproofing: 3L H2No Performance Standard

Weight: 14oz/397g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Lightweight, Breathable, Moves Very Well

Cons

Durability Is A Concern

Waterproofing: 3L AscentShell Technology

Weight: 11.8oz/335g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 60% 60%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

TorsoFlo Venting, Helmet Compatibility

Cons

Weight and Packing Size

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite

Weight: 16.3oz/463g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 50% 50%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Waterproofing

Cons

Not the best Looking Jacket

Waterproofing: OutDry EXTREME

Weight: 14oz/398g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight and Packable

Cons

2.5L Durability Is A Concern

Waterproofing: 2.5L WeatherEdge

Weight: 9.6oz/272g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: REI XeroDry GTX - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Rei.com

  • Weather Resistance 60% 60%
  • Breathability 60% 60%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Budget Friendly Gore-Tex and Lightweight

Cons

Waterproofing is Not The Best, Gets Hot

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite

Weight: 12.5oz/355g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Mountain Hardwear Exposure2 Gore-tex Paclite Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 70% 70%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Stretch Fabric

Cons

No Pit Zips

Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Paclite 2.5 layer

Weight: 12.5oz/355g

The way that Outdoor Research describes the construction of their Interstellar AscentShell reads like science fiction. “Charged polymers are affixed to a grounded surface,” whatever that means. Essentially, the polymers form a “web” that helps shift sweat vapor to the exterior of the jacket while not allowing water droplets to enter. Now, this sounds all well and good, but does it work?

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Weather-Proofing

The AscentShell technology created by Outdoor Research is quite impressive; the 3L Interstellar is light and moves really well with your body. The fit is more on the “athletic” side, so size up if you are looking to layer. The breathability and air permeability of the fabric does keep the heat moving in and out really well, but it doesn’t make the jacket as warm as other 3L jackets on the market. However, the jacket does seem to start wetting out a bit sooner than other 3L jackets that use Gore-Tex. The DWR (durable water repellent) is not as long-lasting and wears down quickly in abrasion zones like the shoulders while wearing a pack.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Weight and Durability

A trade-off for the Interstellar AscentShell with impressive movement and breathability is the overall durability of the jacket. Using a 100% nylon 20-denier stretch ripstop fabric keeps the jacket light and mobile, but it does impact the jacket’s overall ruggedness. Leave this jacket at home if you’re planning on bashing rocks and crashing through the forest.

At 11.8oz (335g), the Interstellar is one of the lightest 3L jackets on the market—thanks in part to the proprietary electrospun material. The jacket can pack into a handwarmer pocket and will have a clip on the outside when packed away. One side of the packed jacket pocket is mesh, so it won’t protect the jacket from any rain or dust, and the clip is quite flimsy.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Features

Outdoor Research was so confident in their AscentShell technology that they didn’t even include pit zips on the Interstellar. The handwarmer pockets, which are quite low and not in the best location, are mesh-backed and could be used as vents when needed.

There is a small chest pocket for valuables and two handwarmer pockets. The hood on the jacket is large enough for a helmet, but unfortunately, the brim doesn’t quite cover your face when wearing one, and as a result, water could run down and enter the jacket. The hood just needs to be just a little deeper to properly accommodate a helmet.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Outdoor Research Interstellar AscentShell is a jacket made for high-exertion activities that don’t involve too much scrapping around rock or ice. Perfect as a hiking, biking, or backcountry skiing jacket, it comes with a great range of movement while maintaining impressive breathability. The price tag of $300 for a 3L jacket gives it a great level of value compared to other 3L hard shells that are nowhere near as breathable.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Compare Prices From Retailers Below

You help support Gear Hacker by purchasing from our retail partners.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!