Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

In 2015, Outdoor Research introduced the Uberlayer Hoody to its line up of puffies. To this day, it’s still one of the pieces that I reach for the most. Last spring, the Ascendant Hoody popped onto the line-up, as the Uberlayer’s lightweight little sister.

How does it compare?

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

Available through REI | Outdoor Research

The Ascendant Hoody is another piece in Outdoor Research’s active insulation line, and active insulation it is. The outer is constructed with Pertex® Microlight 100% nylon 20D ripstop stretch woven shell. The insulation is Polartec® Alpha® Direct Insulation 100% polyester#95 g/m2.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

It is non-restricting and moves and breathes with you. When it starts to sprinkle unexpectedly, the Ascendant Hoody is water resistant. When it’s breezy out, the Ascendant Hoody blocks the wind from reaching your core.

The hood is helmet compatible; I’ve pulled it over my bike helmet to protect my cold ears many times. When it’s really chilly, thumb loops keep your sleeves in place over your hands. The jacket features three pockets: two hand warmers and one zippered chest pocket. The fit is trim, but you can still fit a baselayer or even another lightweight jacket underneath. The Ascendant Hoody weighs approximately 10.9 oz.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

Available through REI | Outdoor Research

The Ascendant Hoody is generally my go-to for warmer weather commuting. It’s enough insulation without being too warm. The Polartec Alpha Direct Insulation with its fuzzy lining is one thing that I wish more companies did! I wear it over a t-shirt on most days and work up a sweat by the time I get in the office. The fuzzies (as opposed to polyester ripstop) are much more comfortable when you’re festering in an office environment.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

I also love it for gym climbing in the winter. Our climbing gym is drafty. It takes forever for me to warm up, so having the Ascendant as an extra layer really helps.

Outside Magazine says Outdoor Research perfected the mid layer with the Ascendant, but I disagree. They first perfected it with the Uberlayer, and then added a similar jacket. If I had to pick between the two, the Uberlayer is my first choice every time.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

Available through REI | Outdoor Research

Zippered hand pockets are incredibly important to me. Things fall out of my slip pockets often. That’s one thing I wish that Outdoor Research kept on this lighterweight little sister.

I also tend to get really cold, unless it’s the middle of summer with no air conditioning. The Ascendant has much less insulation, compared to the Uberlayer.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

Lastly if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I love bright colors. The Ascendant was originally an REI exclusive and offered in only two colors. Now, it comes in more fun colors like purple and blue. However, because mine is grey, it’s not something that pops in photos, and therefore, not the first layer on my body when I’m out shooting.

I’m not getting rid of my Ascendant Hoody anytime soon. It gets used often. Once my Uberlayer is too filthy to wear to work (or if it’s really warm out), the Ascendant is the jacket that I pick up until I have the chance to do laundry again.

Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody Review

Buy the Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody through REI or Outdoor Research for $249.

For other pieces of Outdoor Research gear that I love, check out the Petra Pants, the Antora Hoody, and the Isolation pack.

This jacket was sent to me for review.