Gear Review: OR Guardian Jacket

If you are looking for one technical jacket to weather you through the worst wind and rain the Pacific Northwest can dish out on your hiking, camping, and biking adventures, OR’s Guardian Jacket is a no-brainer. I happened to wear mine out in some of the wettest weather this spring on a 9-mile hike, putting the jacket’s waterproofness and features to the test. Pit zips are great for keeping air and moisture flowing while you’re pounding out the miles, but poorly-designed zippers that stick can leave you with frustrated thoughts of slashing your own pit vents with your pocket knife. The butter-smooth pit and pocket zips on the Guardian were a welcome feature on a hike that had me adjusting ventilation incessantly as the storm we were walking through intensified and ebbed without warning. Most importantly, I stayed dry through the downpours thanks to the seam-taped waterproof/breathable Ascent Shell that’s relatively light (13.7 oz for a large size), especially considering the high-performance options. MSRP: $199.

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