2015 Outdoor Research White Room Jacket and Blackpowder Pants; Tested
Who buys their outfit for function these days? It is all about looking good. Luckily, Outdoor Research has both bases covered with the White Room Jacket and Blackpowder Pants. To add to that, this particular Gore-Tex performs surprisingly well against full frontal food spillage and the pocket banana explosions. Both of which are frequent occurrences in my life. I got a chance to test this jacket and pants combination in a full range of conditions, from mega wet snow/rain, pounding laps on the resort, to ski touring on ridge tops with high winds and – 20 degree temperatures. It handled all conditions with ease. The hood can be pulled up over your helmet to keep the weather off of the back of your neck, and the collar has a spacious feel around the nose and mouth, while still snug around the neck to keep snow out. I wish that I could say that face shots were the only reason that I am worried about snow getting down the back of my neck.
When It’s Wet:
The Kootenays produced significant snowfalls through late December, great testing grounds for the jacket and pants ability to keep me dry while touring and skiing on the resort. When it is dumping and you are touring with temperatures hovering around zero, it is critical to have a jacket that has adequate ventilation to release heat, while keeping you dry. The ventilation zips are in front of your pits, which is great for those who are opposed to the bulky feeling of regular pit zips. Good for lots of airflow when you are moving quickly too. The other benefit is that you can access these vents without interference from your backpack straps. Without question, I felt very comfortable skinning and getting rained on while sitting on the chairlift. Sometimes a common occurrence on the coast or in the Koots…
When It’s Cold:
For those cold biting days when layering up is crucial, these pants and jacket pack plenty of room. The flannel backing on the inside of the 3 layer Gore-Tex material helps to hold in the heat and wick away moisture. It is a nice change from the crunchy hardshell feeling. Again, the hood it a beauty for those cold windy days.
The Techy Stuff:
Attention to details can truly make or break a jacket and pants; where the pockets are, the length of the zippers, the location of the vents, the design of the powder skirt. One detail I liked was the dual vents on the pants. The outer vent is great for getting rid of excess heat, while the inner vent can be used to avoid filling you pants with snow while breaking trail. The suspenders keep the pants up enough that the powder skirt does not ride over your waist and you are not left with the feeling of skiing with a bib. Having the ability to roll up skins and throw them in your pocket is a nice feature, unfortunately unless you are still ripping it up on vintage 70 underfoot touring skis, you are likely to not be able to slide your skins through the chest pocket zippers.
Finally the most important part… when you are getting white roomed… who F*%#ing cares about your outfit. Enjoy the White Room.
- Fabric: Pertex® Shield+ 2L 100% nylon fabric 200D, 100% polyester tricot lining
- Avg. Weight (oz./g): 35.8oz / 1016g (L)
- Get more info on the Outdoor Research Blackpowder Pants
- Fabric: GORE-TEX® 3L, 92% nylon, 8% spandex soft shellface fabric, 100% polyester fleece backer
- Avg. Weight (oz./g): 29.6oz / 838g (L)
- Get more info on the Outdoor Research White Room Jacket