Gear Review: Outdoor Research Alibi Jacket

A stretchy softshell jacket that is perfect for dayhikes

Whether I was hiking in 35°F drizzle with a pack or climbing a class 5 pitch on a windy afternoon, this stretchy softshell jacket nailed it. It’s made of waterproof/breathable Ventia on the shoulders, arms, and hood for total protection in those key places. A more breathable (and merely water-resistant) fabric lines the torso, with stretchy polyester under the arms.

The combo killed wind and shed moderate rain without ever feeling clammy or hot, making it ideal for dayhikes when you don’t need a fully seam-taped rainshell—but still need enough weatherproofing to get you back to the trailhead. The full side zips are amazing; the extra ventilation let me wear the Alibi on humid uphill trudges that would have had me gushing sweat in other jackets.

I especially liked the dual hood design: The stretchy polyester liner fits under a helmet for warmth, while the waterproof shell fits over the top. The cut is trim, but underarm panels gave me full mobility. Downsides: It’s a bit heavy, and pockets lie below a pack hipbelt. $260; 1 lb. 9 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;

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